Silambam is a form of martial arts that has its mention in the old Tamil Sangam Literature. This form of martial arts has been practiced in India since the 4th century BC and it still holds a significant place in the Indian martial arts. Silambam is derived from the Tamil word, silam that means hill. And the word bamb (or Bambu) refers to the type of bamboo found in the Kurinji hills in Kerala. Thus, Silambam is named after its main weapon, the bamboo stick.
Silambam was the only technique that was used by the Indians to fight against the Britishers. It symbolized the strength possessed by the Indians. Because of its effectiveness, Silambam has gained a lot of popularity in recent years in India, and in many parts of the world.
There are around 18 ways of practicing this form of martial arts. These ways differ in grip, posture, footwork, and length of the bamboo stick. Among all ways practiced, Nilai Kalakki is the most popular method that is practiced outside India, especially in Malaysia.
Silambam is practiced using a bamboo stick as long as 1.68 meters. The stick is generally associated with the height of the person. Separate training is required to use the stick for defensive purposes.
Other names of Silambam: Silambattam, Chilambam, Chilambattam