Sri Lankan martial arts - the Cheena di boys and girls
There are 2 styles of martial arts native to Sri Lanka, these are
Cheena di and Angampora.
Cheena di was taught by Chinese monks to locals when they made
pilgrimages to see Buddha's footprint and tooth. Relics that are still
on display in Sri Lanka. This is the more popular style of the two.
The other Style is Angampora and it is the style taught to soldiers
during the pre-colonial period.
However, during the European rule, this fighting style was banned. As
a result, it was taught in secrecy and is still taught only to a few.
Weapons used in this style include:
* Bow and arrow
This style also employs a unique weapon consisting of a metal whip
with serrations. Due to a lack of teachers and the length of time it
takes to master either style, the number of practitioners are in the
Karate, boxing, aikido and the more well-known martial arts have
become popular in Sri Lanka surplanting the traditional styles.
Literally "Chinese Punch". It is an ancient Kung Fu style of Sri
Lanka.Legend has it,this style was taught to the Sinhalese by Shaolin
Monks who came to see the Tooth Relic.
It is now rare, as Karate, Wushu, Aikido, Jujutsu and Judo are the
more popular styles in Sri Lanka. It takes 15 years to master the style
and teachers still teach using the Orthodox Methods and it takes 15
years to master it.
Another Sri Lankan Martial arts were fostered from the Indian martial
Ancient India was one of the centres of several martial traditions
and practices. Some of the older traditions include organised martial
systems as practised by the Kshatriya caste of Hinduism, which are some
of the oldest descriptions of organised martial practices documented in
the Rigveda, these systems include armed and unarmed combat and aspects
such as meditation, conditioning, horse riding etc.
Lord Hanuman is worshipped by wrestlers in India
Organised martial arts in India include the ancient martial art of
Malla-yuddha (more commonly known as Mallayuddha), which is described in
the Indian epics as the fighting style of warriors such as Bhima.
The art is supposed to have gained maximum prominence in ancient
India at the time when the oral tradition of the Mahabharata epic was
conceived, the Mahabharata was compiled in textual form during the 5th
century BC, the epic's setting has a historical precedent in Vedic
India, where the Kuru kingdom was the centre of political power in the
late 2nd and early 1st millennia BCE. It is believed that mallayuddha
was regarded as a prominent martial art in that era.
Sword fighting in Kalarippayattu
Martial arts of India are diverse in nature and have origins of
different times from various different ethnic groups of ancient India. A
number of ancient and sophisticated Dravidian martial arts were
developed in South India including Kuttu Varisai (empty hand combat),
Varma Kalai (the art of vital points) and Adithada (kickboxing) in Tamil
Nadu, and Kalari Payattu (way of the arena) in Kerala.
Dravidian martial arts was influential in various Indianized kingdoms
of Southeast Asia.
Influence of Indian martial arts
Many relevant martial arts, including those emanating from the
Shaolin temple , Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu Jujutsu , Goju Ryu Karate 
and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have officially credited India as their origin.
Legend holds that Bodhidharma (Chinese: Ta Mo; Japanese: Daruma) was
the third child of the Pallava king Sugandan from Kanchipuram, Tamil
Nadu. He trained in breathing exercises and combat, namely in the arts
of Varma Kalai and Kuttu Varisai. Bodhidharma also studied Dhyana
Buddhism and became the 28th patriarch of that religion.
Bodhidharma, woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, 1887.
Following the death of his master, Bodhidharma travelled to China to
spread Buddhism. After appearing in the court of emperor Wu-Di of the
Liang dynasty, he settled down in the Shaolin, in the province of Henan
(northern China), where he is said to have installed many martial
practices leading to the development of Chinese martial arts such as
In the monastery, Bodhidharma lived for 9 years and is also credited
for the development of Zen Buddhism.Alex Doss, President of the Tamil
Sangam at San Diego State University, claims India to be a founding
influence for the development of martial arts such as Bando, Lethwei,
Muay Thai (kickboxing), Bersilat, Silambam, Pentjak Silat, Kali, Escrima
and Dumog (wrestling) citing that these arts developed either in
Indianized kingdoms or in kingdoms having very close ties with ancient
The decline of martial practices
The occupation of India by England was instrumental in the decline of
Indian martial arts. The British raj saw the suppression of several
Indian martial arts to obscurity.
The rule of the British also saw Indian economy turn from the
wealthiest in the world to the poorest, leading to widespread poverty,
illiteracy, overpopulation and the ultimate breakup of India into many
During the recent years, Indian martial arts have become obscure,
with many martial arts becoming extinct and others turned into combat