Malyutham The Indian Martial Arts
Malyutham is a wrestling art of the Tamil people that focuses on grappling and throwing techniques. Although its origin is unclear, it is noted in ancient Tamil literature. Malyutham is one of the few (64) martial arts that is actually mentioned in ancient literature.
Evidence suggests it reached a peak of popularity in Tamil Nadu during Pallava period in the 4th century During mid-Chola period mallas(artistes) went to Sri Lanka to participate in tournaments. The art was taught in ancient days by persons belonging to the Malliga Chetty community.
Although many variations and interpretations of it’s rules existed during its peak, generally a victory was signified if one wrestler threw his opponent the ground and forcefully held hi down so that he could not move, if the combatant was injured and withdrew from the match.
Challenge matches were widespread and well-known wrestlers traveled from town to town, winning respect and fortune, a phenomenon that exists in wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions today.
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