The Silat Martial Arts Team at COD is Representing the United States

Anna Sieg, News Editor

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The COD Silat Martial Arts team will be across the world to compete in Malaysia, representing the United States.

Originally from Malaysia, Silat is a form of martial arts that combines Kung Fu, Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, Karate and Tae Kwando. At COD, Sheikh “Sam” Shamsuddin teaches not only the art, but also the culture. The class can be taken as a physical education class to learn the style of Silat called “Gayong” as a sport or as self defense. Anyone can join the class.

Outside of COD, Shamsuddin created a non-profit organization called the United States Gayong Federation, which will have competitions. 

COD’s Silat team competed for the first time last year in Colorado against nearly 15 states. At least six students from COD’s Silat team qualified to compete with other teams from the United States in Malaysia this June.

“I am from Malaysia myself,” Shamsuddin said. “The thrilling part about this is I’m going to be holding the United States flag, with my team, and compete with Malaysian athletes.” 

Not only does Shamsuddin lead the Silat team, he is also the program chair of the Computer and Information Science Department at COD. 

The main struggle that concerns Shamsuddin is funding. The team only has one sponsor, causing the students to put their own money toward the trip to Malaysia and any other trips or events they want to participate in.