Whatfs Silambam ?




The origin of word Silambam is supposed to be two. One is that Silam means gup on the hillh then Bam means gbamboo stickh. The other is that onomatopoeia of distinguished swinging stick sound in Tamil language.

Anyway, Silambam is the stick martial technique practiced in Tamil Nadu States, broadly popular among locals. Generally it uses a kind of flexible cane, but without oil putting on it.

The history will be traced back to the Sangam age. Originally it was a composite martial arts form include the technique of metal weaponry and empty hand technique@same as Kalarippayattu, but only Long stick technique is dominant and enough developed these days.

In the colonial period under Britain, It was strictly prohibited to practice, and suppressed. But after Independence, it has been popularized among young generation together with public school education.

Apart from severe martial arts, stick is very common and useful in daily life for protection against wild animal, poison snake, and thief, etc. then really common in use at local village and mountain area. Even now, you can find out many gex-mastersh everywhere in rural .area of India.

Notable point of Silambam is the contributions of Muslim people. There is many

special term derived from Arabic word. This is the biggest difference with northern

style Kalarippayattu, in which Hindu is majority.


Silambam can be categorized in three section.


‚PDSports Silambam

The modern Silambam was popularized mainly as a sports education for school students, thus this category has been highly promoted among young children recently. The game is played inside circle court on the ground, and rules for bodily safety is very strict, as just taking point by merely touching opponent rather than beat it hardly. It looks like Ken-do in Japan, but less like martial arts than game play. With the name of Stick Fencing, people is trying to make it as a Olympic games, then population and region of playing Silambam are increasing little by little these days.

‚QDShow Silambam

Mainly performed with colorful ribbon and ring for local festivals and events. Especially fire Silambam performed in the night companied by ethnic drum beat is really fascinating, almost looks like a circus entertainment, invite you into the states of trance.

‚RDWar Silambam

This is the original feature of martial arts Silambam. From basic manipulation of the stick, offence and defense sequence with partner, along with advanced locking and  throwing technique.

The variation of stick rotating technique of Silambam is most dominant.

In deep south of Tamil, borderline of Silambam and Southern style Kalarippayatu become very vague.

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