Silambam is a weapon based martial art that originated in South India and is said to have been invented by Sage Agastya. Known to be over 5000 years old it derives from the Tamil word “silam” which means hill. Silambambu is referred to a particular type of bamboo found in the Kurinji Hills, and Silambam was named after this bamboo staff.
In Silambam, the length of the staff is determined by the height of the practitioner – it should ideally touch the forehead around 3 fingers from the head. The basics come from its footwork, known as Chuvadus, and there are essentially 18 types of such footwork. Only after a student has mastered the footwork will he be allowed to train with the stick.
The purposes for which Silambam was used:
The ancient city of Madurai is the hub and the point of focus for its fame to spread.
The masters of Silambam are called asaan – while grandmasters are known as periyasaan, or iayn. The modern forms of Silambam have gone beyond bamboo and use other weapons as well.