Mar 18, 2010

A Tale from Angampora

Angampora is the native martial art of the Sinhalese community of Sri Lanka. This clip of Angaporam is a bit MTV-ish, but what is interesting about this art is its history, do read it till the end:
Sri Lanka fell under the British rule in 1815. Immediately thereafter the martial art schools appear to have been banned. Practice of martial art was prohibited and any who defied were persecuted. Thus began the era in which, an art that protected the people of the island for over 2500 years, was being forced to oblivion.

However, our ancestors who knew the value of this great martial art, in a last bid to save the knowledge, have then turned into secretly preserving it within the families. Although part of the knowledge was still lost, this fortunately had saved Angam Kalawa totally being lost to the future generations. We are lucky to have teachers, still among us, who have the knowledge to pass on techniques in unarmed combat, grips, stick and sword fighting and techniques of a variety of other weapons.

As mentioned earlier the prohibition of practicing our martial art was one of the first things that appear to have happened immediately after the British started to rule the country. Thus for the next 133 years i.e. till 1948 when the island was granted independence by the British Empire, a systematic campaign has been carried out to eradicate the great traditional martial art which was the national pride of the Sri Lankans. However even after independence the expected revival of the art cannot be observed as the prohibition imposed by the British was continued by the new rulers. Finally in the year 2002 only steps were taken by the Government to recognize Angam Kalawa as part of our heritage. [angampora.org]
If you like traditional martial arts and have benefited from it, remember the hardship and sacrifice that past teachers went through to bring their art to this generation. Do not be the generation to lose it.

1 comment:

Bandara said...

We are proud to say that our indigenous fighting art, Angampora or Angam Art posses the longest history when compaired with same traditional history of martial art of any country. Our Fighting Art's history goes back to more than 33000 years with historical proofs.

For more info visit:
www.angampora.info

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