Art of Weaponry
What is Elangam ?
Elangampora is another special part of Angam. This is known as the armed combat techniques of Angam. To be complete and competent Angam practitioner, the knowledge of Elangam is essential. Normally Elangam is taught to a student after at least two years into his Angampora (unarmed) training. Learning this requires a lot of discipline and dedication. Generally, students are taught the techniques pertaining to all weapons, one can only “master” two or three weapons according to one’s physical prowess. Most of the weapons used for practicing are cleansed with specialized rituals. A student must be granted permission from the guru in order to learn a particular weapon, and this is signified by performing a special ritual where the weapon is handed over to the student by the guru.
This art consists of 21 main weapons including 7 main weapons as follow
- Staff (long/short)
- Belt sword
- Battle axes
The sword is the most revered weapon in the Elangam armory since ancient times. There are 32 types of swords used in ellangam. Ancient ellangam fighters were experts in wielding the single sword, double swords as well as the four bladed sword play. There are many variations to the sword such as long sword, short sword, wak kadu (curved sword), nai pena kadu (cobra head sword) . The shield was used in combination with the sword in ellangam.
The long stick is one of the most important weapons in Elangam. Its length is usually measure up to the nose level of its wielder. It is made using “venivel” or cane sticks, and it is hardened using medicine oils and heating in fire. The main movement of the long stick comprises of the wielders ability to rotate it around one’s body with considerable speed and agility. Long stick comprises special foot movements and 16 basic strikes.
Before learning the spear, the practitioner must become familiar with the techniques and stepping of stick play in angam. After the sword, the spear was the most used weapon in the ancient sri Lankan military. The spear is wielded as a single weapon as well as in combination with the shield.There three types of spears Long spear, Mid length spear, Short spear
The dagger is one of the main weapons in the Ellangam armory with single and dual dagger wielding techniques. The dagger is taught for self-defense and close quarter combat. In Angampora there are techniques to attack the upper and lower body. It addition to its martial applications, it also has aesthetically appealing techniques for display.
The axe was also a weapon that was a part of the day to day lives of the ancient Sri Lankan. Apart from being used as a tool it was used as a weapon and was normally wielded by individuals of superior strength. It can be dual wielded as well as used individually according to the history King Ravana’s brother Kummbakarna used battle axes as his choice of weapon.
Mainly used to attack the stronger parts of the body — head, thighs and ribs. The practice of Mace (gada) increases body strength. The Mace was used by a select few among the ranks of the ancient Sri Lankan military. Maintaining the balance and moving with the flow of the weapon are important in in Mace wielding. One special feature of the Mace is that a Mace can only be blocked by a Mace and it is difficult to be blocked using any other weapon.
The short stick is an important weapon in the elangam armory. It has become popular because it is a weapon that can be fabricated or found easily. The basic practice of the short stick comprises 8 types of special foot movements and 12 basic strikes including joint locks and wrist locks.
It is recorded that there are more than 21 weapons variations in the ellangam armory. The most unique weapon among them is the “welayudha”. Apart from that Ang kinissa, Thun kinissa, Maradanda, maruwala, kalakirinyga and the kerchief are weapons for which special foot movement are practiced. Some of these weapons are unique to elangampora.