Guru Zainal has spent the greater part of his life studying a wide range of martial arts, from Taekwondo to Thai Boxing, to several different styles of Malay and Javanese Silat. Despite early exposure to taekwondo and then silat, Guru Zainal was intrigued by the devastating power of  Muay Thai. This intrigue led him to travel to Thailand where he became a student of a teacher of both sprt Muay Thai but also classical Thai boxing.

Guru Zainal Abidin

 Guru Zainal is on the left (Zhong Ding instructor Don Harradine is on the right)

At the urging of his teacher he entered and won a provincial boxing championships. Guru Zainal went on to marry his teacher’s sister and became heir to the family’s White Tiger system of classical Thai boxing. Then he met the man who was to be his main influence and mentor, Tok Guru Ayah. From him he learnt traditional silat from Pattani in Thailand.

Now Guru Zainal teaches in his home in Penang, and he has a constant flow of students of all ages coming to learn the arts he practices. He urges most students to start their training with Muay Thai or the set forms of Javanese silat. When they have gained a strong foundation in one of these arts he allows them to progress, if they so wish, to silat tua, or old silat, as he calls the art that Tok Ayah taught him
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