There are only very few martial arts systems in the world which utilizes Drumming as a part of their training and rituals as Angam. An Angam martial artist’s training is not considered complete unless, in addition to the fighting art itself, he is also skilled in the art of drumming in Angam. The use of drums in Angam goes back to a very early age in Sri Lankan history where Angam warriors would march into battle with their Sinhalese kings to fight off foreign invasions.
In Angam, drum beats are used both in training, display and combat. These beats contain a high rate of beats per minute, creating a chaotic and intense atmosphere for the practitioner. The main purpose of training in such an environment is to condition the angam fighter to remain calm and focused during a real battle. Ancient gurus used this technique to prepare his apprentices for the battlegrounds of old, which are probably one of the most chaotic and disturbing experiences any one at that time could have faced.
There are several types of drums that are traditionally used in Angam. All of which are indigenous to Sri Lanka. Namely, Geta beraya. Yak beraya, Daula, Thammettama, and Rana beraya. And the beat of the drum and the style it is played also differs according to the play or form the student performs or practices. Expert drummer will know which beat to play that corresponds to what is done by the performer.
Drum beats have always been a part of human physical experience. From music to rituals, as far as the memories of history, they have been there. The usage of drums in Angam is a means of both physical and spiritual perfection of the art.