Martialpreneurship: Wisdom of ‘Silat’ (Martial Art)

Martialpreneurship: Wisdom of ‘Silat’ (Martial Art)

Probably most of us wonder, what is the relationship between martial arts and entrepreneurship? The following article describes briefly and clearly how the rules of martial arts can be used in running a business through the existence of what we call a noble man.

Confucius, a philosopher of China, said in 2500 years ago that there are three things that we must have to build a strong country i.e. strong defence forces, healthy economic conditions and equal distributions, as well as trusted leaders or, leaders who are not corrupt.

Martialpreneurship derived from two words, martial art and entrepreneurship. In short, martialpreneurship is a concept that invites all people to not only willing to be entrepreneurs, but also capable of running a business, to understand and implement the principles of life taught in martial arts.

Why Martial Arts?

In martial arts there are two important things, namely self-ability or a thorough understanding of the self-potential and the environment as well as a vision of life that is a reflection of one’s inner. To simplify, for example is a man who has strong ambition to be an entrepreneur but he does not have any courage. Why?  Because he does not know that he is potential and does not have a clear vision of life.

‘Silat’, a type of martial arts originated from Indonesia,  teaches three things about yourself, first that humans have a unique potential  that is obtained directly from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala when they were born such as physical condition and the ability to think, family or neighbourhood they were born and lessons learned in passing his/her life. It is in line with the advice that those who know themselves then would know their Creator.Secondly is self-awareness that other people have the same thing, i.e. the unique potential.

Third, a fighter sees great potential in him/hers and great potential in others, so it can form a relationship with other people who also have great potential, without making it as a competition and then it will create a condition called capital networking.

In the capital networking, each person respects that he/she brings his/her own capital. For example, there are four people, one person has a unique ability to examine numbers patiently, other has the ability to communicate well, another has a social capital that was born from a wealthy family, and the latter has a passion for cooking that can create cuisine. When they work together, synergize, and formulate a vision of culinary business, they will make it happen.

The concept martialpreneurship hold principles, as in the hadith narrated by Muslim (Sahih): Ihrish ‘alaaa billaah wa maa laa yanfa’uka wasta’in ta’jiz (take heart with what’s important to you, pray to Allah and do not feel weak).

Martialpreneurship concept is not only in the scope of courage to be an entrepreneur or creating a partnership, but also the overall business management that cannot be described in one short article.

Martialpreneurship concept at this point is still being developed in the neighbourhood who have known martial arts and want to dig deeper on these aspects of martial arts to life.

Philosophy of martial arts is philosophy of peace, friendship or silaturahim (relationship). When the philosophy is kept on the basis of mutuality and same vision then there is no lock that we cannot release, no problem that cannot be solved, and there is no desire that cannot be realized.

Martialpreneurship concept is just one of many other elements that may need to be reviewed so that gradually we can approach what Confucius said a strong country.

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illustration from

Edwin Abdullah

The author is a father of three, live in Indonesia, got Economics bachelor from University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; Received Lee Kuan Yew Fellow, NUS LKYSPP and KSG Harvard University; Ideas fellow-Sloan School of Management, MIT. Currently, he is an entrepreneur and silat (martial art) lover. @edwinhid (twitter).

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