Angam Pora – the traditional Sinhalese martial art

On Saturday I had a special meeting.
I received through Suranga who’s close to Sarvodaya the possibility to meet an authentic Angam Pora martial arts group in Moratuwa. Their master Sandun Fernando is a descendent of Puran Appu alias Francisco Fernando who was one of the leaders in the Matale Rebellion 1848 against the British. Angam Pora however is the traditional Sinhalese martial art. It is 3000 years old and combines armed fighting as for example swords of different sizes, spears and long sharp chains and unarmed fighting.
Seeing their demonstration of unarmed fighting I wondered how close it is linked to Japanese or Chinese martial arts. The school of master Sandun Fernando is specialized on attacking vital points but also healing through them.
As Angam pora was forbidden by the British, the martial art was almost erased. Only few families taught it in secret and made it survive. Nowadays it starts to become more popular and famous in Sri Lanka. I was very happy to meet this people as it is still not very public.

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