Dravidian is a family of related ethnic and linguistic groups in South Asia. These ethno/linguistic areas of the Dravidians consist of Southern and Central India, Northeastern Sri Lanka and parts of Pakistan & Bangladesh. In Southern India, the Dravidian areas are composed of four states namely Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Within the four major Dravidian states are the Tuluvas and Kodavas, while in Central India are the Kolamis, Gonds, Gadaba, Kuis, Parjis, and Kurukhs. In Sri Lanka there are Tamils of Northeastern Sri Lanka, while in the Central part of the island are Tamils of Indian origins.
The origins of Dravidian martial arts date back to the 2nd possible 3rd century BC, when various martial arts were described in Sangam literature at the time. The Akananuru and Purananuru describe the martial arts of ancient Tamilakkam, including forms of one-to-one combat, and the use of spears, swords, shields, bows and silambam. The word "kalari" appears in the Puram (verses 225, 237, 245, 356) and Akam (verses 34, 231, 293) to describe to both a battlefield and combat arena. (more...)