India is a Land of Knowledge where many Gods and Saints have given Divine Knowledge to lead a good human life. Silambam is a common word now used in Tamil Nadu, for the martial art of stick-Fencing.

Silambam is a martial art originated from the indian sub continent. According to reseach, this form of martial art has been in existance for over 5000 years, even before the aryan race migrated to India. By this historic statement alone the martial art form of Silambam is said to be the oldest in the world.

Silambam is an age old art of stick fencing patronised the Chola, Chera, Pandiya Kings, who ruled Tamil Nadu in ancient India. It received royal portnage from all the Kings of Tamil Nadu beginning from the Sanggam era. The royal patronage was later taken over by the zamindars and Palayakars.

The soldiers of the King Veerapandiya Kattabomman (1760-1799) relied mainly on their powers in silambam in their warfare with the British Army. Silambam in the modern era has become an art of self defense both for men and women. It has develop in to a highly skillful sport renowned for its existing manoeuvres. Although, it goes by different names in different state in India.

Mahaguru Sri S.Arumugam : The hero of silambam

Mahaguru Sri S.Arumugam, the Enigma

            Mr. Arumugam is Mr. & Mrs. Subrayan & Anjalai’s sixth son, who was born in 1927 at Bukit Jenda Estet, Kapar. He has six siblings; they are two brothers, three younger sisters and one elder sister. His parents worked at Golgonda Estate as rubber trapper after a year he was born. He lived in poverty in his young days. His father died when he was just seven.

            He had his formal education from year 1 to 6 at Tamil Golgonda Eastet School. In 1941 when Japanese starts colonize in Malaya, he was forced to stop his education. His family had a difficult time during the colonization of Japanese in Malaya. He has a diligent character in learning about everything. At his young days, he meets with Master Mr. Muniandy to learn Silambam. However, class was only conducted for few months. They had not able to continue their classes after the Japanese obstructed it.

In 1951, he marries Mr.  & Mrs. Ramasamy & Parvaty’s daughter, Ms.Mariyayi who was from the same estate. Their marriage was held in Mari Amman temple which is situated at Golgonda Estate. After his marriage, in 1952, he continued to learn silambam from Mr. Xavier for the period of one year. In 1963, he moved to learn Silambam with Master Sundram for over ten years. Finally, he completed his silambam lesson successfully and became a black belt master.

             In 1963, He moved to Sepang “B” division with his wife and children to find a new job. Both the couples worked as rubber trappers. He has three sons and six daughters. In the same year, he tries to open a new silambam class for the first time in Lothian estate which show his diligence and loyalty towards silambam. There was only 15 students studied with him for over one year. Unfortunately, he faced the situation where he had to close the class in a short period due to the less support and cooperation from the estate people’s at that point of time. But his effort didn’t stop there; he continued to open a new Silambam class at Sg.Linau estate as a result of his efforts and self-confidence.

             In 1969, Mr. Arumugam opened another Silambam class. After 3 years, in 1971, the first batch of Mr Arumugam’s students completed their silambam lessons and did their final award presentation; ‘Aranggetram’ on May 13. There was many students from Sepang Estate (1974), Tanah Merah (1974) and Port Dickson (1976) also did their final award presentation ‘Aranggetram’; to become a Black Belt masters officially. Mr.Arumugam continuously moved his efforts to open more new classes from Sepang estate to Port Dickson to spread out Indian Martial Art (Silambam) among people especially Indian society. After he moved to Sepang from Kapar, he was introduced with Mr Jamal and Mr Ponniah who is the national coach Head master of Karate in Seremban until today. Mr. Jamal is a famous master for different Martial Art or can be called King of Karate, Akkido, Judo, and Kobudu in German. Mr. Ponniah is a National Coach and master of Karate in Malaysia.
They both had learned the basic skills of silambam from Mr. Arumugam. At that point of time, Mr. Arumugam get an opportunity to introduce with Mr Donn Draeger (King of American Sports) who was did research on various Martial Arts at International level. In 1972, Mr Jamal invited Mr Donn Draeger to Tamil school in sepang, when Mr Donn Draeger wanted to do research on Indian Martial Art (Silambam). Mr. Arumugam showed his silambam demonstration especially the special skills and varieties to Mr. Donn Draeger and also people who came from Australia, Swaziland, New Zealand and Japan. While Mr. Donn Draeger observed his performance which is very helpful for his research, at the same time, certain questions was answered by Mr Jamal on behalf of Mr Arumugam. After a long and deep discussion, Mr. Donn said that “I really impress with Mr Arumugam performance and that actually came from India” with a full satisfaction. After he completed his research on silambam, he decided to write a letter to Mr.Arumugam.

              According to that letter the important things he wrote is ’Dear, Mr. Arumugam I would like to be your student if stayed or born in Malaysia.”…Mr Arumugam was very happy after he read that letter. In 03.03.1975, Mr Donn gave “Mahaguru “awards to Mr Arumugam with the cooperation and contribution of all martial art organizations. He gave that awards in manner of to respect and appreciate his performance and since then until now, we called Mr Arumugam as MAHAGURU S.ARUMUGAM. Mr. Donn decided to write a book about Silambam after he completed his research in America. But unfortunetly, he passed away before he complete that book.

    After that, in 23.12.1990, Mr Jamal also gave “Mahaguru Sri” awards and red colour belt (10 tan degree red belt) from Germany which is the higher level of belt in Karate to Mr Arumugam to appreciate his skills & performance. That award was given on behalf of “Shoriri-Ryu Seibukan Karate “association.

Mr. Mahaguru Arumugam also a specialize and experts in varieties of arts such as drama’s, classical music, drawing, spiritual art (for silambam purpose only).When he was in Kapar (1938), for the first time was participate in drama’s.Mr.Ulaganathan and Mr Karuppiah become guider’s and teacher’s for his stage drama performance. Before he put his steps in dramas medium, temporarily he was working as make-up man for stage dancers. The first  drama he acted in was “Vallithirumanam”, ”AlliArjuna”, ”Lalithanggi” and “Sakkurabai” appropriately signaling his diligently to learn new arts and also life long loves for drama medium. He was playing in important role on those dramas

  In 1940, he acted in “Kovalan “drama as “kannagi” role. In 1942, he acted again in “Vallithirumanam” drama .Lastly, in 1950, he was acted in ‘Iranian” drama as “Gajakethu” role. He also a good singer and until now people call him as “Kuyilosai Kuzhalanthaivel Arumugam”(The most versatile talent). When he was in drama medium, he learned Indian classical music such as “bulubulthara”, “tabela”, “harmonium” by his own.

             Mr. Arumugam also learned drawing from Mr. Perumal who is draw the stage background views for stage dramas as well. Mr.Perumal also a founder of Sri Subramanian temple where located in Sepang. Mr.Arumugam is also expert and very talent in Shaping Statutes Art and until now there is also a lot of statues in temples created by Mr.Arumugam. He also learned spiritual art from Mr.Murugesu and Mr.Bambaya. Until now, he never teach and share spiritual art completely to anyone. But he only teaches this art to people who really close and loyal to him especially to be used for Silambam purpose only.

   Mr. Arumugam already reach the age of over 75 years and until now he is actively continuing his silambam training, supports and contribution to Silambam students. He is  founder and adviser for Malaysian Silambam Association.