SILAMBAM - a fight with long bamboo poles

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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 Aatta.

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.




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