One look at someone who is demonstrating the Silambam art, will seem like the 5 feet wooden poles used by the exponent are flying and spinning around them with a string attached.
This ancient art of self defense requires precision in coordination of eyes, limbs and fingers and a simple mistake can be fatal.
The oldest ancient martial arts from Southern part of India –Silambam is said to be widely practiced among the South Indians as a form of self defense and it is also closely associated with “Kalari Payat” another form of martial art which is still practiced in certain a part in South India especially in Kerala.
Silambam also found its place among Malaysian Indians and believed to be brought in to Malaya by Indian immigrant workers in the late 1930s.
But soon the art form slowly faded with the introduction of other art forms like Karate-Do and Teakwondo.
In the effort to create a new awareness among the young Malaysians, Johor Silambam Association organised an open championship which saw participation of more than 200 students all over the country.
“With Silamban being accepted in SUKMA by the Malaysian Sport Council, we see not only participation from Malaysian Indians but also Malays and Chinese students are showing interest in the game”, said Shivan Krishan, president of Johor Silambam Association.
In 2010, Tan Pui Ting student from SMK Permas Jaya 1, Johor Bahru won a bronze medal in SUKMA event.
Commenting on the event, president of Nilai Silambam Club, Mooralitharam, who has been teaching Silamban for the past 25 year said that the effort by the Johor Silamban Association need to be applauded as the event managed to highlight and bring in many new talents.
“Not only the game is meant to discipline our kids but I am happy to see many new talents and I applaud the efforts of Johor Silambam Association for organising this event”, he added.
The three day event was organised at Johor Bahru Indoor Stadium with the support of Johor Bahru Municipal Council, Malaysian Sport Council, Public Work Department, Johor Sport Council and Johor Education Department.
The participants were later entertained with a dinner by the Johor Mentri Besar Abdul Ghani Bin Othman. Adun Bukit Gambir M Asojan officiated the closing ceremony.