A look into Angampora –  Sri Lanka’s ancient martial art form


Angampora is Sri Lanka’s ancient martial art form, not known by many. The origins of the art span back to more than 30,000 years ago. Ayubowan. Sri Lanka’s traditional fighting form is known as Angampora. “Angampora” means the use of body parts for the art of fighting. This fighting form was identified as “Angagam Kirala” in the past. Later it evolved into “Angampora” and is in use today. “Angampora”, as identified today,holds the world’s oldest written history for a fighting art form. This fighting art form, considered to be from a pre-Ravana era, is said to be a dominant fighting art founded by the Yakkha clan, by critiques. A fighting art form of this type is very rare. But this art form, created by the Sinhalese, includes a lot of these characteristics. This fighting art form was preserved by various sects, with different styles of fighting. Amongst them “Sudhaliya,Maruwalliya, Viyahakkara, Paliyakkara, and Korathotaarachchi” are examples of sects that served the King and brought their own fighting forms forward. Banned in 1818 by the British, this core part of Sri Lankan culture eventually faced a steady decline. However, unknown to many, a few secret lineages of warriors have kept the art form alive, through the pretence of practicing dance forms for over 200 years. It is made up of three components. Angam, which incorporates hand-to-hand fighting. Illangam, involving the use of indigenous weapons. And mayaangam, which uses spells and incantations for combat. The art of Angampora is practiced on the fields called ”Angampitiya”. The Korathota Angampitiya is situated off Kaduwela. The deadly techniques used are many, such as Riti Satan – Stick Fight, Mallawapora Satan – Wrestling, Kadu Palis Satan – Sword and Shield Fighting, Namaskaraya – Worship, Marma Satan – Vital Points , Ath Haramba – Single Performance, Uura Linda – Fighting Arena, and Bambara Kotaya – Practice Wood. Angampora’s history is a vital part of Sri Lankan culture, legends, and myths, kept alive by dedicated Angampora practitioners across the country.

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