Meet two of our Full-time National Servicemen, Corporal (NSF) Noah Lim Tian Run and Lance Corporal (NSF) Muhammad Syakir Bin Jeffry, who participated in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam from 12 May to 23 May 2022. CPL
(NSF) Noah, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) from Alexandra Fire Station, clinched the gold medal in Ju-jitsu while LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir, a firefighter from Tuas Fire Station, took the joint-bronze medal in Pencak Silat for Team Singapore.
CPL (NSF) Noah Lim at Alexandra Fire Station
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir at the Civil Defence Academy
Other NSF participants in the SEA Games include Lieutenant (NSF) Lucas Huan Zhi Kai, a Fire and Rescue Officer from the Special Rescue Unit (SRU), and CPL (NSF) Nur Muhammad Shah Bin Shahiran, a Firefighter from Paya Lebar Fire Station.
Our NSFs have certainly done SCDF and our nation proud by displaying their dedication and sportsmanship during the matches!
Rescue 995 caught up with two of the athletes who participated in the SEA Games to hear their experiences.
CPL (NSF) Noah Lim
CPL (NSF) Noah proudly displays his gold medal at the SEA Games
Rescue 995: Share with us what Ju-jitsu is and its main objective.
CPL (NSF) Noah: Ju-jitsu is a match fought between two opponents and the main objective of the martial art is to make your opponent tap out of the match using submission holds such as arm locks, leg locks and chokes. In Ju-jitsu, there are various
types of submission locks. Performing every submission lock must be precisely carried out otherwise the opponent would have a chance to escape and overcome you in return. Ju-jitsu is not an easy martial art to master.
Rescue 995: How long have you been practicing Ju-jitsu and what attracted you to learning this martial art?
CPL (NSF) Noah: I have been practicing Ju-jitsu for about six years. Prior to this, I was a competitive swimmer, and my elder brother was practising Ju-jitsu and he would usually practice his submission moves on me at home. [laughs]
I became fascinated by the different types of submission moves that one can master in Ju-jitsu. That was how I became fascinated with the martial art and dedicated myself to it.
CPL (NSF) Noah (left) competing against his opponent from the Philippines
Rescue 995: How do you feel having won the gold medal for Singapore?
CPL (NSF) Noah: I did not expect myself to do well for this sport as I was up against several strong opponents in the competition. Moreover, since my enlistment to National Service (NS), I was not training as much as I should. My brother, who
was more experienced than me in Ju-jitsu, competed in the same category and clinched a bronze medal. Knowing this and the challenges involved, there was a lot of expectation I placed on myself to do Singapore proud.
Rescue 995: Was there any challenges faced during the competition? What were they?
CPL (NSF) Noah: Of course, there were! My opponents were all very strong. During my first match, I used a technique which I was confident would work against my opponent unless he has a significant strength and size advantage. However,
he was the same size as me but was physically stronger. I managed to wear him out later in the match and emerged victorious.
CPL (NSF) Noah and his coach after a victorious fight
Rescue 995: What is your training regime like for Ju-jitsu after you enlisted to serve your NS?
CPL (NSF) Noah: Before I enlisted for NS, I would usually train three times a day for about two hours each session. My current training regime is conducted on my off days. As an athlete, the key to doing well in your sport is consistency and
self-discipline. These are simple words but sometimes with all the distractions around us, one can find it hard to keep focus. This is when we must always fall back the reason we got into the sport and what we want to achieve at the end of the
Rescue 995: In what way does your involvement in Ju-jitsu positively impact the work you are doing in SCDF as a Full-time National Serviceman (NSF)?
CPL (NSF) Noah: Ju-jitsu trains me to stay calm under pressure and this enables me to have a clear mind to strategise my moves to overcome my opponent. Likewise, in my work as an EMT, I have worked under immense pressure during emergencies
where there is a need for physical and mental fitness, and most of what we do is closely scrutinised by the public. The ability to keep my composure under a highly-stressed situation allows me to make good judgment calls to save a person’s
Rescue 995: What do you plan to do after your NS?
CPL (NSF) Noah: I will be enrolling myself in a Medical School. This would most likely affect my training schedule in future. I want to use the time I have now to compete in as many matches as I can before moving on to the next chapter of my
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir Bin Jeffry
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir clinched the joint-bronze medal in Pencak Silat for Singapore at his first SEA Games this year.
Rescue 995: Tell us what Pencak Silat is about.
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir: Pencak Silat is a form of martial art which originated in Indonesia. It involves the use of strikes, throws and grappling techniques to overcome the opponent. In general, there are two types of Silat. The competitive
type, which is Pencak Silat, and the other is Seni Silat, a form of performance art.
Rescue 995: How do you feel about your recent win in the Sea Games?
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir: This is this first SEA Games I had participated in, and it was a memorable one for me. About ten weeks before the competition, I tore my left Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and my doctor advised me to refrain from
competing in the SEA Games. I insisted and till the day of competition, I focused tremendously on my physiotherapy sessions to get myself back in shape. It was not until a week before the SEA Games when I could finally do kicks and run as per
During the semi-finals, I was competing against a Thai exponent. The Thais are one of the strongest in the region and I could feel the pressure building up within me, especially when I knew I had not fully recovered. I said to myself, “I have
come so far and this is what I wanted. There is no turning back and so, I just have to give my hundred percent in this competition”.
I managed to overcome my opponents until the match against Indonesia, which was a close fight. Even though I lost the match, my coach commended me on my strong determination despite not being in my best physical condition. His encouragement meant
a lot to me.
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir in a match against his opponent from Thailand
Rescue 995: How do you juggle your time between training for Silat and your work as a firefighter?
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir: Before my enlistment, I used to train five days a week, from Monday to Friday, and two sessions per day. During my off-duty days in NS, I would hit the gym at my fire station to build on my physical strength. As I
have been practising Pencak Silat for ten years, firefighting to me, is not physically demanding but a form of daily exercise for me to maintain my physical condition to compete in Pencak Silat.
Rescue 995: What are your future plans?
LCP (NSF) Muhammad Syakir: I will be going for my surgery in June this month, and henceforth, focus on my recovery. Once I have fully recovered, I aim to compete in next year’s SEA Games in Cambodia.
To our lifesavers who participated in the 31st SEA Games. Thank you for making Singapore and SCDF proud!