A World Champion’s Road to Recovery

By Charity Chan

Silat World Champion, Shakir Juanda who sustained a crucial knee injury last April could not perform in the competitive category in the recent SEA Games but he will return stronger, ready to face off his opponents in 2016.   

The 27-year-old medal hopeful was only six weeks away from the SEA Games when he sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) sprain, Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury and a Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury on his left knee, during the Southeast Asian Pencak Silat Championship last April. 

Photo Credit: Yahoo.com

Within 10 seconds into the second round, his opponent unexpectedly executed a sweep, which forcefully landed on Shakir’s knee. He recalled: “After I got up, my leg was trembling and when I looked at the clock, it was only 10 seconds into the second round, I had another one minute and 40 seconds left so I still continued on and kicked with my left leg, nothing happened.”

When the bell went off concluding the match, his left leg started hurting and he began limping but shortly after, the pain became unbearable. “The next day I woke up, it was really bad, I couldn’t put my leg on the ground and not even (put) pressure on (it),” he sighed.

For an athlete who has never experienced any sort of serious injury apart from bruises and a minor dislocation of his toe, the diagnosis came as a shock to the World Champion who has always persisted with his training despite his injuries. “They diagnosed that I had an ACL sprain, MCL, PCL, yea all the package in one, I was sadden and disappointed by it,” he added. 

Photo Credit: Sportsingapore.gov.sg

How did he adapt to the unexpected?

He shared: “I think I adapted slowly because it was quite a shock and prior to the competition… suddenly I had a setback and suddenly I cant run, not even a jog or a walk, I was on clutches.”

As foreign as it was to him, training had to come to a standstill and for a month, Shakir went for rehabilitation. He explained: “(Everyday) they helped me to reduce weight to walk on the treadmill (and) the rehab was painful for me. My leg was swollen and they had to inject my leg to take out the fluid from my knee.”

Besides working closely with his sports trainer and physiotherapist, he diligently made time to do his own stretching at home even after he returns from rehabilitation sessions. “Trust in the people who are willing to help you. If they are willing to help me but I’m giving in 50 per cent, they also cannot help. At home you have to do your own recovery like stretching,” said Shakir.

2 weeks before the competition, the doctor observed good progress in his recovery. However if Shakir decides to compete, chances of the injury occurring will be high and more severe. After much consideration, the he decided to compete in the artistic category, which was less of a risk for him. 

Photo Credit: Berita.mediacorp.sg

He explained: “You can’t escape from injuries. I’m thinking about the future, if I continued on and get injured during the fight and the doctor says I can’t play silat anymore? It’s okay that I (sit back) from this SEA Games and get back to my 100 per cent shape to fight again.”

Despite this unfortunate incident, the 2012 Silat World Champion carried an unbreakable spirit in his road to recovery, which certainly inspired the people around him.

He shared: “(Now) I’m preparing myself for full recovery and I will be starting my competitions next year.”


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