|Angampora: A Fighting Art associated with Sri Lankan Kings|
Angampora, a 2500 year old martial art is still being revived in many areas of the country. In those days it was the fighting technique of the noblemen. Legend has it that the army that came under the command of Sapumal Kumaraya comprised fighters skilled in this martial art. With each new king emerged new gurus and as a result the pedigree of the gurus of Angampora got diluted.
‘Angam Pora’, is a traditional martial art in Sri Lanka, which is known to be one of the oldest fighting disciplines in the world. It’s a deeply spiritual form of combat which has its roots in different philosophies of nature and astrology and also has a strong connection to music, employ rhythmic and flowing movements. ‘Angam Pora’ means ‘unarmed combat’. Combat techniques wherein weapons are used are called ‘Illangam’. ‘Maya Angam’ is a technique which involves the use of spells and incantations to confuse or bring an opponent down.
Angam Guru, Mahantharachchige Ajantha Perera, who is responsible for the revival of this ‘Angam Maduwa’ (A mud hut built specially for this practice), located in Korathota village, 35 kilometers (20 miles) outside the capital Colombo, in the middle of a paddy field away from the buzz of the city, explained that there is written evidence to prove the existence of this combat form that dates back over 2,500 years and myths and folklore that goes as far as 33,000 years that speak of the art of fighting named ‘Angam’, making it one of the oldest known forms of martial arts in the world.
‘Angam’ was freely practiced till British Government banned and suppressed it in the 1800s. Under British rule, those practicing these games were shot below the knee, forcing people to abandon the art. But the experts in this fighting art, educated the youth and secretly protected the art and they are still continue doing it.