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SUSS Supply Chain Management Student’s Silat Journey - From Novice to National Athlete

Some say “Success is 1% talent, 1% luck and 98% hard work” – and for Year 2 full-time Supply Chain Management student Muhammad Wafiq Aqil, that silver of luck was the catalyst that propelled him forward in his Silat journey.   

An avid sportsman since his schooling days, Wafiq is no stranger to the competitive sports scene. The rugby player was seeking a new sporting challenge and it was the artistic and self-defence aspects of Silat that captured his attention.  

Despite having no prior experience in martial arts, Wafiq joined SUSS Silat Competition Group (CG) when he entered the University in July 2022. His timing couldn't have been better as the CG had also recently begun training under a national coach from the Singapore Silat Federation. Wafiq’s eagerness to learn and natural aptitude for the sport did not go by unnoticed, as he was selected to participate in a Silat competition – and placed second – even though it had only been a week since he picked up the martial art.  

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SUSS Silat CG posing for a group photo

Reflecting on his initial Silat journey, Wafiq shared, “Clinching a medal during my inaugural competition pushed me to keep coming for training, but over time, I found more personal motivation to continue. It was the sense of inner peace and fulfilment that I found in each training session that contributed to my love for the sport.” 

Earlier this year, the CG had the opportunity to train and spar alongside the national team. Wafiq’s sparring prowess caught the eye of the national Silat team’s coach and he was recruited to join the national team. 

Although Wafiq lacked the extensive experience of his fellow Silat exponents on the national team, he did not let imposter syndrome overwhelm him. “The learning curve was steep and I was expected to perform at the level of a national athlete while I was still learning the basic techniques of punches, kicks, and takedowns, as well as familiarising myself with the rules of the sports. Training alongside peers who are well established in the sport – Asian and World Champions alike – was intimidating, but I gave it my all every training session.” 

His hard work paid off as he made his international debut representing Singapore at the Sarawak Premier International Silat Championship in March, two months after intensive training with the national team, where he earned a bronze medal. Wafiq’s most recent achievement was clinching a gold medal at the Kejuaraan Silat Terbuka Pendekar Seabad University Malaya in July.  

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Wafiq with the National Silat team coach

A versatile student-athlete, Wafiq is also the Chairperson of SUSS Powerlifting CG, which was established earlier this year. Expressing his gratitude for the school's unwavering support, “From subsidising competition fees to getting good coaches, I feel the school’s strong commitment towards supporting students’ sporting aspirations and pursuits.”  

It may seem daunting to balance rigorous training, sports commitment, and academic studies, but Wafiq shares that there is no hidden secrets to how he manages his time. “It all boils down to prioritisation and forward planning. I am also a strong believer that when you love doing something, no matter how much effort you have to put into it or the amount of sacrifices you need to make – it will never feel like a chore.” 

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Student-athlete Wafiq

Elevate your student life at SUSS by joining a Competition Group. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned athlete, there’s a place for you to compete and thrive! 

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