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Sign Up With Email. Sign Up. Follow Unfollow. Follow Following. Follow Following Unfollow. Possibly the oldest and most secret of martial arts in the world has finally revealed itself.

Angampora, Sri Lanka's ancient martial art, is a deadly and mysterious discipline that practitioners believe originated in a legendary era more than 30, years ago. Angampora is a science of combat that combines unarmed and armed combat, deadly pressure-point attacks, meditation, and esoteric practices that have their roots in a time far before history can recall.

The art was outlawed and systematically driven to decline after exactly years ago by the British, and it was believed by many to be extinct, but it was not. It was kept alive in secret by families of practitioners, and a vestige of an ancient time has survived to this day. This collection of pictures gives a rare glimpse into the fascinating art of Angampora in a way never seen by the world. The book is the first of its kind in the world to compile a comprehensive visual record of combat techniques, secret rituals, and ancient artifacts of this ancient art to narrate a story about a hidden cultural heritage never seen or heard by the world before.

Angampora was an art of war that was used by ancient Sri Lankan Kingdoms to defend the nation from external threats. As such, Illangam, or the art of weapon combat in Angampora, has been a core component of the discipline since ages past. Locks and grips, Sinhala: "gata-puuttu" with or without weapons, is a key part of Angampora combat. There are more than 60 different locks and grips that have been transmitted through the centuries to this day.

Traditional combat takes place amidst the rhythm of ancient Sinhala war drums. Figure of armed Angampora fighter on an ivory comb held at the National Museum in Colombo. Angampora motifs were popular among traditional craftsmen and artisans of ancient times. As such, motifs with Angampora fighters can be seen in a range of ancient Sri Lankan artifacts. An ancient painted cloth, known as a "Somana" measuring 5 meters across artistically represent the preparation of armies for war.

This invaluable painted cloth lies in a state of neglect in the National Museum in Ratnapura. The pen is mightier than the sword. The British decree pictured to ban Angampora came in the wake of the Uva-Wellassa freedom fight in The freedom fight was headed by noblemen such as Monaravila Keppetipola and other noblemen who were distinguished Angampora warriors. The order by Governor Robert Brownrigg was executed by John D'Oyly, effectively cracking down on the Sudaliya and Maruwaliya Angam lineages who were responsible for training the King's armies.

This decree signalled the rapid decline of Angampora over the following decades. This document is presently held at the National Archives in Kew, London. After the banning, Angampora movements and techniques assimilated into other traditional Sri Lankan arts such as dancing and drumming.

Pictured is a drummer performing a backflip; a movement influenced by Angampora. Chokehold using a sash Sinhala: Saluwa , a manouver known as the "salu getaya".

Fingers are an important weapon for Angampora fighters. Fighters strengthen their fingers using traditional exercises in order to deliver lethal attacks to vital points in the body that could kill, paralyse, or maim instantly. Training in the secret science of pressure points in Angampora is given only to the most advanced students. The initiation into the Angampora traditionally begins very early in life.

The minimum age for a pupil, male or female, is 6 years. Thereafter customary rituals are met, traditional vows taken, and, only then, the first drill lesson is taught. Since the distant past, women too practiced Angam in the same capacity as men. A traditional drill known as "dandukanda puuttuwa" that enhances core strength and coordination.

Traditional exercises to strengthen arms by using an elephant's tusks. Unfortunately, the art of "Ath-Adi" or elephant foot drill in Angampora is nearly completely extinct. In developing the extreme physical stamina that is needed of a Angam warrior, sparing with Gaur, tamed buffaloes and wild water buffaloes was common practice. Domesticated buffaloes were an integral part of the agricultural society of ancient Sri Lanka.

Buffaloes were used to plow the paddy fields back in the day, and are still used for the same purpose even today. Ethunu Kaduwa. A flexible sword with multiple blades. This weapon is one of the deadliest weapons in the Illangam armoury. Each of these double edged blades is 6 feet in length and was used by elite fighters to annihilate entire troops of enemies.

A single hilt can hold up to 24 blades. Combat with flambeaux Sinhala: "gini pandam" was a highly advanced combat skill that was used in the battlefield since ancient times. This combat technique assimilated into traditional temple ceremonies in later times. They were known to operate in small bands and their key strategy was stealth. When they strike upon an unsuspecting stronghold, their delivery is often lethal. These fighters could be compared to the elite special forces of today's armies.

The stalk of the lotus leaf is used as a training instrument to practice the precise weight that a pressure point attack should be delivered. These teachings are accessible only to the most senior disciples. A fighter holding a traditional weapon known as "an-kirinnya", a handheld melee weapon made of deer antlers. A traditional blessing ceremony prior to the commencement of a secret annual combat ritual of the Korathota Angam lineage.

Invoking mystical powers onto a combatant. Using ancient spiritual practices, Angam fighters channel light and dark energies and manifest them through spells, incantations, charms, and a range of techniques that are only divulged to the most accomplished practitioners due to the serious effects of such practices.

Crystals are used in this exercise to channel focus of the eyes. The objective of the exercise is to improve peripheral vision and to be able to move each eye independently. Published: June 19th Reza Akram Follow Following Unfollow. Reza Akram Colombo, Sri Lanka. A Read More Tools Nikon Phottix. Creative Fields Photography , Photojournalism ,. Copyright Info. Made in NYC.


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Item added to cart. The mysteries of the world are all but gone. For thousands of years, Sri Lanka was the abode of the martial art Angampora, a sophisticated ancient discipline that was fortified with military philosophy, a deep spiritual connection with nature, and a deadly array of combat techniques. The dramatic saga of this exotic art begins with legends that date back to the dim recesses of time and unfolds to the present day, where it has survived after enduring the onslaughts of three centuries of colonialism and political unrest in Sri Lanka's recent past. Angampora: A Nation's Legacy in Pictures is a stunning pictorial narrative of this ageless martial art.


A Comprehensive Study of an Ancient Art

Fighters usually make use of both striking and grappling techniques, and fight until the opponent is caught in a submission lock that they cannot escape. Usage of weapons is discretionary. Perimeters of fighting are defined in advance, and in some of the cases is a pit. The British administration prohibited its practice due to the dangers posed by a civilian populace versed in a martial art, burning down any angan madu practice huts devoted to the martial art found: flouting of the law was punished by a gunshot to the knee, effectively crippling practitioners; Angampora nevertheless survived within a few families, allowing it to emerge into mainstream Sri Lankan culture post-independence.


ANGAMPORA: The Deadly Ancient Legacy of Sri Lanka

But can we justify it? So to cut the chase short, let me elucidate on the content of the book, the key feature of this one-of-a-kind work. First, let me give you some context into the content. Please do not get us wrong because all pages do not contain images of fighting manoeuvres alone. The book explores the origins and influence of the art in multiple disciplines of arts and crafts of Sri Lankan culture in 14 chapters. I must reiterate the point that much of the content will reveal an unseen side to Sri Lankan culture, and its groundbreaking quality shines through due to the very fact that most of this information will be presented for the first time. This collection of information and photographs were painstakingly sourced over the years, and our effort was to bring everything together to create a unveiling of that buried knowledge in a fashion fitting of its long heritage.

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