Fusing elements belonging to “self defense techniques, sport exercise, and meditation” is a South Asian martial art form known as Angampora. This “grappling and striking” form of combat is said to have originated from Sri Lanka. Furthermore, a major component in this martial art form comprises of the “angam” which involves the use of hand fighting, and “illangam” which includes the use of weapons such as ethunu kaduwa, knives, and swords. In addition, brutal tactics such as “pressure point attacks” are also used in this combat form.
a. History/origin of the Angampora:
According to the cultural history of Sri Lanka, the Angampora is said to have developed about 30,000 years ago. Apparently, it was said to have been developed within a tribal community known as the Yaksha. Furthermore, there are a couple of ancient literature titled “Varga Purnikawa” and “Pancha Rakkhawaliya” that suggest that there were in total nine hermits who actually established this martial art form. In addition, it was during the medieval period in Sri Lanka’s rich history that this unique combat form fast gained popularity in the society. In fact, it was when Bhuvanekabahu VI of Kotte successfully captured the kingdom of Jaffna that he used fighters who were experts in the Angampora combat form. In addition, warriors who understood this martial art form were also used by the army of Mayadunne of Sitawaka during the Battle of Mulleriyawa in the year 1562. It was eventually in the year 1817 under the colonial rule of the British that Angampora was banned. It was eventually after Sri Lanka attained its independence in the year 1948 that this martial art form began to be practiced in public in an area known as Belligal Korale. In 2001, an organization known as “Jathika Hela Angam Shilpa Kala Sangamaya” was established in the country so as to maintain the legacy of this martial art form.
b. Weapon used in the Angampora:
In terms of unarmed combat the weapon mainly used are the “hands and feet” of the wrestler. While in case of armed combat the weapon mainly used will include sword, knives, and staves.
c. Technique involved in the Angampora and training availability:
In terms of technique, “striking and grappling” are mainly used by a fighter to overcome an opponent. And so moves such as locks, grips, strikes, blocks, and nerve point attacks are frequently used in this combat form. Furthermore, weapons such sword, shields, knives etc may also be used in the Angampora. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world for those interested in learning this “grappling and striking” combat form.
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