Thang -Ta : Meitei Martial Arts of Manipur

Thang-Ta or huyen lallong is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Meitei of Manipur. In the Manipuri language, thang means sword and ta means spear. As its name implies, the sword and spear are the primary weapons in thang-ta. The spear can be used in its non-missile form while in close or thrown from afar. Other weapons used include the shield and axe.

Because of Manipur’s cultural similarity, geographic proximity and ethnic ties with Myanmar, thang-ta is closely related to banshay. Both can be practiced in three different ways: ritual, demonstration and combat. The first way is related to the tantric practices and is entirely ritualistic in nature. The second way consists of a spectacular performance involving sword and spear dances. These dances can be converted into actual fighting practices. The third way is the true combat application.

The earliest record of thang-ta and its sibling Sarit Sarak dates back from the early 1600s. Warriors would arrange to fight one-on-one as a way of settling feuds or disputes. The day before a duel, fighters might eat dinner together. While thang-ta involves using weapons against one or more opponents, Sarit Sarak is the art of fighting empty-handed against armed or unarmed opponents, but on many occasions there is a combined approach to the training of these two systems. They were used with great success by the Manipuri kings to fight against the European colonists.[citation needed] Martial arts were banned during the British occupation of the region, but the 1950s saw a resurgence of the traditional fighting forms. Today thang-ta is the most popular of Meetei martial arts, practiced by both men and women. It is most often seen through demonstrations in cultural programs

Source : Wikipedia

Further readings :
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