Silambam - The Dravidians Martial Art


Silambam is a traditional stick fighting system from South India. . In "Silambam", the word Silam means hill , bam is the shortcut for bamboo and the attam means fighting. Silambam is somewhat different from Kalaripayattu. The exact differences are in some cases major and in others minute. Silambam is about stick fighting, or rather walking-staff fighting. The length of the staff is about Five feet and Two inches. It is held at one end, right hand close to the butt, left hand about 40 centimeters (16 inches) away. This precise position allows a wealth of possibilities of stick-and-body movements, enabling tricky hits or blocks.

The player must also be able to ward off stones hurled by a crowd, and disperse an unruly mob by a range of strokes like 'monkey hits', 'snake hits', 'hawk hits' and 'spring hits', which must be inflicted in quick succession. This activity involves some amazing footwork, staff - swinging, pivot - jumping and stroke play. From a purely defensive art, Silambam has become a combat exercise.

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