Silambam is a martial art form which originated in South India and was inherited from the Kurinji hills in Kerala. Etymologically, Silambam is a combination of the word ‘Silam’ meaning ‘hill’ and babmu’ meaning ‘bamboo’. So the word Silambam literally means Bamboo from the hills. Silambam flourished widely during the Sangam era and was spread by the Tamil settlers in South-Eastern countries like Malaysia where currently it is a popular recreational sport.
In Chennai, most of the people who are interested in this traditional art form are kids from government schools, students from various colleges. Software and IT professionals take up Silambam as a stress buster. This martial art form has developed itself into a sport where people of all ages compete. The Tamil Nadu Silambam Research Centre is going to he started in Thiruvanmiyur where masters from all over Chennai will exchange their own special form of the art. Various ideas and methods will be documented to keep a record of the tradition.
Silambam classes are conducted at the YMCA in Nandhanam. Supported by the Tamil Nadu Sports Authority, they have been conducting classes for quite a few years now. They teach about 50- 60 students every week. These students are trained for various district and state level competitions. Here, extremely skilled and experienced masters train movie and television stars. The original stunts require immense amount of footwork, hand-eye co-ordination and mental stability which takes years of practice. Timings: Sat and Sun – 6:30 – 9:30. Age: Above 19 yrs. Price: Free. Contact Number: 044- 24344816
JG Silambam School:
Located in various places across the city, the JG Silambam School is one of the first started classes in Chennai. They have branches at Valasaravalkam, Chrompet, Kilpauk and an upcoming one in Thiruvanmiyur. In the new branch, the traditional art form is being taught as the importance of the original form is being forgotten. In the other three branches, the simpler form of the art is taught. The class consists of about 120 students per batch. The research centre is a part of the class in Thiruvanmiyur. Gowrishankar is the Silambam master of all the four branches. Timings: 6:30 – 7:30, weekly twice. Price – 500 per month. Contact number : 9840027616- Gowrishankar.
Gopalan Martial Academy.Vyasarpadi :
Started 20 years ago the academy specializes in Silambattam. T.M Kumar, the instructer masters in the art and various other fields. Apart from silambattam the academy also teaches yoga,Gymnastics and other art forms.They teach Silambattam, karate and yoga in over 25 schools across the city. They also train students to enter national and international level competitions.The academy is run by Sensai A.M Gopalan, a black belt champion. Timings: 5:30-6:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Price : 600 per month Contact number : 9840755955
Shorin Ryu Matsubayashi Karate & RyuKyu Kobudo, Thiruvottiyur.
Aasan S.Rajamani trained in the South Indian martial art of Silambam under his uncle Mr.P.Sadaimal Nadar in 1952 at the age of 8. He studied various aspects of the art under several teachers.He is currently the instructer of this institution and excells in various art forms. This institution has branches all across the country in Maharashtra, Gujrat, Orrisa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka. This academy is affliated to the worlds headquarters at Okinawa. The class fee depends on the course taken. For further details contack : SR. Arun : 9003127222/9444715677. E-mail id : [email protected]
Minnessota Praying Mantis Kung-fu India:
This instituion, among the various other martial art forms they teach, conduch special Silambattam classes on ECR, near the Golden beach every week-end. Peachi Muthu, the master has his well-qualified students who teach the others. Braches are located across Perumbakka, Sholinganallur, Neelangarai, Akkarai, and Pallavalkam. Contact number : 9500916899 / 8608229885. Timings : 6:00 – 8:00 am. Price : 600 . E-mail : [email protected]