This is a very popular form of martial art, which has survived the tests
of time. The name is derived from the whishing and whooshing noise
created by the movement of the pole used in this combat. In Malayalam,
it is known as Neduvari, in Kannada-Thanda Varisai, in Telugu-Karadi
Generally youth and middle-aged men involve in this. They fight
with long bamboo poles. During the fight one has to protect oneself from
being hit by the opponent's pole. It is used for self protection and
exercise. Eye, leg and hand co-ordination is very necessary. Movements
of beating, swinging the pole and circling the pole are involved. Quick
steps, jumping and running are also essential. It can be practised one
against one or one against many. Success is indicated when one manages
to knock the pole from the opponent's hand. Expert care is given to the
practice of preventing the opponent's pole from touching one's body and
also to touching of other's body with one's own pole.
In Tamilnadu, Silambattam is popular in the southern districts,
particularly in Tirunelveli district. This district has given birth to
many famous silambatta experts like Kattabomman,
Umaithurai, Marudhupandi etc. The person who teaches this art is known
as Silambam Vaathiyar or Aasan. This art was practised as a game during festival
times, accompanied by song and music.
In Jalli Kambu method, the opponents fight with each other armed with
two short sticks of two and half feet length.