My name is Chris Parker. I am delighted to write this brief piece about Silat Fitrah for my dear friend and student Eddie Quinn.
I began my training in the martial arts in 1973.
I met my Silat teacher Bapak Hj Idris bin Alimuda in Cheltenham in 1976. We were both university students. I became his lifelong student. For me, it is the greatest privilege to know him, to be challenged by him and to learn from him. The art I now teach, Silat Fitrah, was named by Bapak Idris more than thirty years after our first meeting. That naming was an emotional experience for me; it was more than just a recognition; it was at once a gift and a burden.
Having said that, Silat Fitrah is nothing special; just a simple syllabus reflecting a number of core physical and psychological principles. The purpose of the art is to develop increased self awareness, to discover who we truly are and, through that, to add value to our relationships and lives. After all, if we have nothing of value to defend, why develop a defensive capability? The syllabus includes ground, footwork, elbow, striking and kicking forms and a salutation that incorporate all the key principles of movement and reinforces the attitude and purpose of our practice. Silat is a blade art that also addresses the issue of multiple attackers.
At the time of writing, I am teaching Silat Fitrah to only a handful of people, all close and dear friends – my Silat brothers. Eddie has been with me by far the longest. For over fifteen years we have trained together and, during that time, I have learnt many things (as teachers do) because of his dedication, curiosity and willingness to learn. It is a great privilege to know Eddie, to be challenged by him and to teach him. I believe that, in the final analysis, the greatest value of martial arts lies in the relationships we develop and enjoy on a daily basis, rather than in our increased ability to defend ourselves.
If you are able to train with Eddie in Silat Fitrah, or in any other art that he teaches, I know that you will enhance your combative skills and, more importantly, have the opportunity to develop a relationship with a man who has much to offer – and who has not yet realised his potential.
I hope that he finds my recommendation both a gift
and a burden.