Presentation of the PERSILAT Knight of Honour Title
to the Pioneer of Pencak Silat Indonesia in Switzerland,
Mr. Haka Tahir
On Saturday, May 2, 2009, the Ambassador of Indonesia in Switzerland, H.E. Mrs. Lucia H. Rustam, on behalf of the President of PERSILAT (International Pencak Silat Federation), Mr. Eddie Nalapraya, handed over the PERSILAT Knight of Honour Title to Mr. Haka Tahir, who has introduced Pencak Silat for the first time and dedicated 50 years of his lifetime to promote and preserve Pencak Silat, Indonesian original martial art, in Switzerland.
This presentation was held at the Ambassador`s Residence in Gümligen, Bern, from 11 am to 14 pm. At least 200 guests, who mostly are friends of Mr. Haka Tahir, coming from several cantons in Switzerland, have witnessed this presentation. The President of Pencak Silat Federation in Switzerland, known as Pencak Silat Verband Schweiz (PSVS), Mr. Ralph Irminger, who was a former student of Mr. Haka Tahir, also attended this event, accompanied by some members of PSVS and several Haka Tahir`s students. The PERSILAT Knight of Honour Title was actually handed over by Mr. Eddie Nalapraya at the European Pencak Silat Championship, which was held in Zürich in October 2008, to the Presidents of Pencak Silat Federation in Europe as well as to those, who have paid outstanding services to the development of Pencak Silat in foreign countries, one of them is Mr. Haka Tahir.
In her speech, the Ambassador praised Mr. Haka Tahir for his dedication to the founding and the development of Pencak Silat in Switzerland. Mr. Haka Tahir, born in 1918 in Sulawesi, has brought Pencak Silat to Switzerland in 1958, when he opened his first Pencak Silat school, called TAHIR Pencak Silat. Being the first of its kind in Switzerland, he taught the students about self-defense and martial arts, which then became very popular in Switzerland. In the past 50 years, Haka Tahir has trained many students. Today, there are 8 pencak silat schools with 6 different styles and around 200 students across Switzerland. Two of his former students have gone abroad, where they founded their own pencak silat schools. Mr. Haka Tahir was very proud to receive this award and thanked the Ambassador, who has conducted the event. In his speech, Mr. Ralph Irminger also thanked the Indonesian Embassy for its continuous support to Pencak Silat in Switzerland. He praised Mr. Haka Tahir, who has trained him and other students in Switzerland. Many of his students won medals at various international pencak silat tournaments, won the second place at Pencak Silat International Championship and recently the second place at the Pencak Silat European Championship in 2008. Without him, there would be no Pencak Silat in Switzerland.
After the presentation of the award, the guests enjoyed the tasty traditional Indonesian cuisine and watched the demonstrations of Pencak Silat from Haka Tahir`s students, Perisai Diri students, etc. Mr. Haka Tahir has also performed his typical pencak silat movements, called Tahir Grak, which means Tahir alive. Even in his old age, he is still giving trainings and instructions in his schools, pursuing the training of his students with great attention. He proves that Pencak Silat as a life philosophy can provide a solid basis for body and mind.