Silambam Art – Its beginning and Development.
In his theory of Evolution of Man Darwin has asserted that the human species evolved from apes. The world has accepted this theory. Man with such a lineage struggled hard for getting his food, dwelling and to exist in general (struggle for existence). Survival of the fittest, being the objective condition in which he was precariously placed by nature, man began to use implements made of dry wood from tree branches, sharp tipped stones, pieces of animal bones and hoofs in order to defend himself from harmful animals and while hunting for food. In course of time the pre-historic man who lived a animal level life began to bring orderliness in his use of his self defense implements by establishing definite steps, rules and techniques. This was to be the sowing of the first seeds for Martial Arts. The seedlings branched out gregariously like a massive banyan tree of Martial Arts. Our Silambam Art is the main root of the tree. Silambam is a traditional marital art of Tamilnadu which comprises swirling, rotating and making swirling attacks and defending oneself by swirling. Besides these Silambam has many other unique facets. It is a powerful traditional art of Tamilnadu.
During the times of the Chola, Chera,Pandiya and Pallava rule, the kings used Silambam as part of war training. In the period of freedom struggles small hold kings like Marthunayagam, Poolitheven, Theeran Chinnamalai, Kattapomban, Marthu Pandiyar and etc., use Silambam against British peoples. Although Silambam Art throws on the Mindy mystical images of weapon training involving threatening fireballs, these can be handled with ease and mastery by expert training and mental strength. Silambam is hence a valiant sport.
The other names of Silambam
Silambam is also called as Silambattam, Silamba Sandai, Silamba Vilaiyattu, Thadivarisai, Thalinam Vilayattu, Sadhanaiyattam, Kavandhu Aatam, Kerudiyattam, Kazhiattam, Valtiyada, Valdi Jekada and Pana Aatam.It is called as Laati in Maharashtra, Dalakkadi in Gujarat, Keradi Aatam in Andhra, Neduvadi and Kalari in Neduvadi. In English it is called as Stickbite , Po jn Japan and as Latikeela in Bengal.
Uses of practicing Silambam:
Traditional Art: Silambam is one of the traditional and ancient forms of art in Tamilnadu. It was of the most famous forms of art during the Chera, Chola,Pandian and Pallava kingdom. Though it had a fall in the middle, it rose to greater heights in the present period and was also introduced in the South Asian games. Hence it is our duty to learn, practice and teach this ancient and traditional art.
Martial Arts: A person who gains dexterity in rotating the pole (stick) can even stop a stone being pelted on him. For those who have mastered this art can defend themselves even when attacked by ten persons at a time. Hence Silambam should be learnt as for the purpose of self defense.
Exercise Games: The adage of the elderly people, “Health is Wealth” becomes a way of life for those who learn Silambam continually. Over a period of time, such persons will be cured from chronic and long lasting diseases like asthma and diabetes. Hence Silambam is an art of physical workout (exercise).
Exhibition Game: After mastering Silambam, particularly Thee silambam (performance with fire sticks) the art can be performed to amuse people and get their appreciation during family functions, temple festivals and in college functions in the area one lives.
Tournament Games: After learning Silambam well one can express his individuality by competing in various competitive events. State and District level Silambam competitions are being held nowadays. By winning in these competitions one can get certificates, medals and above all recognition that could enhance one’s job prospectus.