Silambam also good for instilling ethics and discipline

MARTIAL arts may be regarded as a dangerous activity for some but it is a self-defence skill and good for health for practitioners.

If you are into action-packed movies, you might not want to miss the Indian ancient martial arts, silambam.

Grandmaster R. Anbananthan from the Nillaikalakki Silamban Association said silambam could cultivate ethics and discipline in life among practitioners.

“In silambam, the training includes meditation, breathing techniques, diet, moral and discipline besides the normal training.

“The art is authentic. We cannot teach in a group. The training is individual.

“There’s a need to understand each other as everyone has different capabilities,” he said.

Silambam uses the stick as its main weapon.

Nillaikalakki silambam has at least 36 patterns with 12 ways of movement.

The beauty of silambam lies within its twirling skill that involves three important elements — defending, attacking and applying.

Anbanathan said mastering the martial arts would take at least seven years to work on sophisticated methods.

“The wrist twirling, geometrical manoeuvring art using the staff is therapeutic in nature,” he added.

Anbananthan received his tutelage from Asan Mariapakkiam, who received the nillaikalakki silambam knowledge from Kerala.

‘Silam’ means hill while ‘bam’ comes from the word ‘bambu’ which means stick.

The association, established since 1974, has some 100 students training at the centre, including several foreign students from Russia, Vietnam and France.

The art of ancient stick fighting can be done unarmed as well. Silambam also uses deer horn, spiral knife and double sticks in its training.

To see Anbanathan and his team in action in their fast-speed twirling skill, head on to The Star Health Fair on April 7 and 8.

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