Faces of the USSSA – Ariffin Yeop – Silat Gayong and Silat Melayu

Editor’s note: In leading up to the USA Pencak Silat National Championships 2019, the USSSA is highlighting representatives from the many styles you’ll see at the tournament.


Ariffin Yeop


San Clemente, California




Silat Gayong and Silat Melayu

How did silat find you? 

My passion for martial arts was first inspired at the tender age of 8, when I began training in the school of Silat Gayong under the late Mahaguru Dato’ Meor Abdur Rahman. Once grounded in the fundamentals, I continued training under various teachers appointed by my father, the legendary Singa Malaya (Lion of Malaya), Dato’ Yeop Mahidin M.B.E. (1918 – 1999), and on the authority of Pendekar Dato’ Pawang Noh M. B. E. (1874 – 1977).

My father also encouraged me to practise other traditional martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu and Karate. However, my passion remained with Silat which I began teaching in in 1979 in Malaysia. Later, in 1991, when I moved to London, I founded the school, Seni Silat Haqq Melayu and then in 1995 established Gayong UK.

Explain the history of your style as you understand it.

Silat Melayu has been practised by Pendekar from time immemorial and Silat Gayong is the biggest Silat organisation in Malaysia.

What excites you about sport silat?

I love sports and I love Silat so I am super excited to see the amalgamation of the two in a classical beautiful way.

Anything else we should know about you?

Silat is my life but my dad always taught me that if all you can do is Silat you are quite useless. So, I also embarked on a life in the film industry, am a qualified traditional healer, a minister of religion, a teacher of scuba diving and horseback archery and in my spare time can be found enjoying good food, good company and good music.