Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), together with Yogyakarta State University (UNY) and the International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement (ICM) under the auspices of UNESCO, organized the 7th Martial Arts Open School that will run from June to September 2023 in Yogyakarta.
UGM Vice-Rector for Education and Learning, Professor Wening Udasmoro, stated that Martial Arts Open School is a martial arts education program for teenagers launched in 2017 by ICM with funding support from UNESCO.
Hundreds of teenagers and women from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Moldova, Mexico, and Indonesia joined the program this year.
“This year, UGM and UNY were trusted to organize the Martial Arts Open School in Indonesia. As many as 100 primary to high school students in Yogyakarta participate in this program,” she said on Thursday (13/7) at UGM.
Professor Udasmoro explained that the Martial Arts Open School includes five martial arts branches, two of which are the UNESCO-listed Korean martial art Taekkyeon and Indonesia’s Pencak Silat.
This program will instill an understanding of Pencak Silat as a martial sport in the younger generation, making them strong and resilient individuals.
“This program focuses on Pencak Silat as a martial art, and in it, we can also find aspects of non-violence, gender, and peace,” she expressed.
Participants in this program will receive Pencak Silat training and an understanding of non-violence and gender.
“So, in addition to receiving training on physical strength and Pencak Silat techniques, participants also understood that men and women have equal rights in martial arts. They have equal societal responsibility, making Pencak Silat a sport against violence,” the vice-rector explained.
Professor Udasmoro mentioned that the Martial Arts Open School aligns with UGM’s commitment to supporting the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4, which is to provide quality education; SDG 5, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and SDG 16, which relates to peace, justice, and strong institutions.
Dr. Awan Hariono, a professor of sports biomechanics from UNY, stated that the Martial Arts Open School is conducted for four months, with training activities held twice a week at Graha Bhakti Yasa Yogyakarta and a curriculum combining physical fitness, non-violence, gender, and peace.
“It aims to reduce forms of violence that often occur in sports. Additionally, it encourages young generations to refrain from violence in the streets, peer groups, or student conflicts,” Professor Hariono explained.
This project is supported by the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association of Yogyakarta and involves three schools, namely SMAN 1 Ngemplak, SMPN 2 Ngemplak, and SDN Pujokusuman.
Three teachers and former Pencak Silat athletes from Yogyakarta, namely Kartini, Dyah Purnamasari, and Bambang Mujiono; a former national athlete representing Indonesia in Southeast Asian championships, Professor Awan Hariono; Professor Wening Udasmoro; and motivators from the UGM French Language and Literature program, Dr. Aprillia Firmonasari, Dr. Wulan Tri Astuti, Dr. Merry Andriani, and Dr. Arifah Arum Candra Hayuningsih, are also part of the program.
ICM Secretary-General Kim Gyu-jig explained that the Martial Arts Open School is an educational program to develop the physical and emotional well-being of vulnerable groups such as teenagers, women, and out-of-school youth in Africa and other regions.
The school has benefited 2,566 people from 19 countries and contributed to individual skill enhancement and potential development since its launch in 2017.
“This year’s program is attended by 650 teenagers and women from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Moldova, and Mexico,” Kim stated.
The 2023 Martial Arts Open School will run for 5-16 weeks in each country, featuring five martial arts, including the UNESCO-listed Korean martial art Taekkyeon and Indonesia’s Pencak Silat.
ICM organizes this project in collaboration with local institutions, universities, and NGOs, including the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico (Mexico), UGM and UNY (Indonesia), OBHIZATRIK Foundation (Bangladesh), Stauceni Sports School (Moldova), and iSAFE (Nigeria).
ICM will send martial arts instructors to these areas during the project and provide educational materials. Additionally, ICM will research the impact of martial arts training on individuals’ health status by conducting physical tests before and after the training.
“I hope that the Martial Arts Open School will be a meaningful opportunity for youth and women to improve their physical and emotional health,” the secretary-general expressed.
Photo: UGM team