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  • I-Witness
Published 03 July 2023
3-min Read

Martial arts enthusiast Insp Tan Buck Song shares how Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Muay Thai play a part in his fitness routine!

By: Nur Ihshana Shaheen Binte Babajahn

Inspector Tan Buck Song punching a black punching bag in his gym, a navy blue gradient fades out from the left of the picture, the words "SPF Fit" on it.
PHOTO: Insp Tan Buck Song

Inspector (Insp) Tan Buck Song is an avid martial artist who practises a variety of martial arts on a weekly basis. This is essential to his job as a Police Contact Tactics (PCT) trainer. Police Life finds out how his regime does this and more in his daily life. 

Tell us about yourself!
I’m Insp Tan Buck Song, but my close friends call me “Bucky.” I’ve been in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) for almost 30 years. I started off as a patrol officer at Geylang Police Division in 1998. I’m currently a Training Officer in the Criminal Investigation Department, where I conduct training in PCT. I also monitor how our officers fare in their annual shooting and physical fitness tests. 

I enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking, running and walking with my kakis. I treasure spending time with my loved ones and often cook for my kids. I recently took up a new hobby – videography. I’d take pictures and videos of my family, or anything that piques my interest such as unique architectures and turn them into fun short films! I also relish catching up with friends over a cup of coffee or a mug of beer.

Inspector Tan Buck Song posing for the camera, wearing his Singapore Police Force uniform 3 and peak cap, against the blue sky and white clouds background.
Insp Tan has been in the Force for about 30 years. PHOTO: Nur Ihshana Shaheen Binte Babajahn

What got you interested in martial arts?
My curiosity was sparked when I was chosen to become a PCT trainer. I wanted to equip myself with the necessary knowledge and become a more effective trainer, so I started enquiring about various types of martial arts and eventually chose Krav Maga as I found its tactics authentic and enlightening! After a while, I wanted to expand my horizons, which led me to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Muay Thai.

Inspector Tan Buck Song kicking a black punching bag in his gym.
Insp Tan is a practitioner in Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Muay Thai. PHOTO: Insp Tan Buck Song

The tactics that I’ve learnt from these martial arts have equipped me with the skills to become a competent and engaging PCT trainer.

Inspector Tan Buck Song in an upper-cut pose, facing a full-body mirror in his gym.
Practising martial arts has aided Insp Tan in his role as a PCT trainer. PHOTO: Insp Tan Buck Song

How has your martial arts training benefited your fitness and overall well-being?
The intense physical activity helps with my cardiovascular health by increasing my heart rate and improving circulation. 

Practising martial arts is also a stress-reliever as it helps calm my mind and reduce anxiety. 

Lastly, it has helped me to build up my social connections. I’ve made many new buddies as my training often involves working with partners and groups.

Inspector Tan Buck Song facing the camera, donned in his black martial arts uniform and white belt around his waist, posing in a martial arts stance, his left foot in front of his right, and his fists propped up.
Martial arts have also enhanced Insp Tan’s physical and mental health, enabling him to be more focused at work. PHOTO: Insp Tan Buck Song

How has martial arts helped you in your role as an officer?
Martial arts training has helped me to stay physically fit, which is important for my overall health and job performance. It also provides me with the skills to protect myself and others. 

Besides fitness, it has also improved my mental resilience and self-discipline. 

How often do you go for practices?

I attend training at least two nights a week.

What advice do you have for those who’re considering martial arts training?

There’re many types of martial arts, and each has its own unique style and benefits. Do your research and go for trial classes, then you’ll be able to decide which suits you best!

Be disciplined in attending classes regularly and stay focused. Practise the proper techniques to become competent. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

Martial arts training is a great way to improve discipline and mental clarity. Embrace these benefits and apply them to other areas of your life!

SPF Fit's 'This or That' segment, listing out some of Inspector Tan Buck Song's preferences on certain things.
Graphic: SPF

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