Muhammad Ali-Rashid Hj Mohd Alipah (2nd L), a teacher at the Sports School, won gold in the Randori Putra (Class 75 kilogrammes up) category. Picture: Courtesy of Major Md Talip Hj Mohd Tahir
Call it beginners' luck.
Call it skill.
Or maybe they were born with it.
Whatever it is, the national Shorinji Kempo team has just given Brunei something to brag about for years to come.
Competing in their first overseas tournament, the squad of 12 kenshis (disciples) will be returning with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Shorinji Kempo Indonesia Open in Makassar, Indonesia.
Still in its infancy, the sport only took a hold in Brunei this year and their manager has nothing but praise for the side.
"The tournament saw 612 exponents from 32 Indonesian provinces as well as from Brunei, Cambodia and Laos," said Major Md Talip Hj Mohd Tahir in an email.
"Though Brunei is new in the sport, we were still able to compete with teams from the Indonesian provinces.
"The standard of this championship is very high considering it is a meet to select the six best exponents for next year's National Sports Week (Pekan Olahraga Nasional) which will be held in Pekanbaru, Riau," he said, referring to the Indonesian national multi-sports tournament which is held once in four years.
The manager reasoned that the competition is very tightly contested among the Indonesians because of this though that hardly meant Brunei didn't have anything to spur them on.
"Nevertheless, Brunei had a lot of fighting spirit and the athletes' performance is something to be proud. We were able to raise the profile of Brunei kempo even though the team was formed just four months ago.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Youth and Sports for its help in terms of finance and equipment.
"Special thanks must also go out to Brunei Darussalam Shorinji Kempo Federation (Perkeb) president Sensei Colonel (Rtd) Pg Dato Paduka Hj Rosli Hj Chuchu, the Perkeb committee as well as the families, coaches and friends that have given support and offered prayers for the contingent's success at this event. "The athletes will strive to improve their performance and skill as we prepare to compete in future events," added Major Md Talip, who is also the Perkeb vice-president.
Muhammad Ali-Rashid Hj Mohd Alipah, a teacher at the Sports School, won gold in the Randori Putra (Class 75 kilogrammes up) category at the July 22-24 event.
Rafidah Hj Rosli bagged the silver in the Randori Putri (Class 42 kilogrammes) category while the bronze medals came courtesy of Dk Siti Amalina Fitri Pg Dato Paduka Hj Rosli and Adelyine Vevian Yusof took bronze in the Embu Pasangan Kyu Kenshi Putri and Dzulhusmie Hj Kahan (joint-bronze) in the Randori Putra (Class 55kg) category.
They will remain in Indonesia until the end of the month for sparring purposes.
Shorinji Kempo is one of the potential sports in which the Sultanate will participate at during the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia in November, and the tournament was used to gauge the skills of the national exponents.
Courtesy from Brunei Times