URUMI – A Bizarre Ancient Weapon from India

Hey guys, today we are going to look at an ancient Indian weapon known as ‘Urumi’. This is how it looks, now, is it a sword? Or is it a whip? It is a combination of both, it is a flexible metal weapon with several blades. Urumi is quite popular in the Indian state of Kerala, where many people still practice and even carry it in their belt for self-defense. Yes, it can be neatly curled up and tied around your body, just like a belt.

Unlike most other weapons like knives or shields, the Urumi cannot be used effectively by a beginner. This is why it is known as a very bizarre and complicated weapon. It is not only dangerous for the enemy, it is equally dangerous for the user as well, because if you make one mistake while using it, you can get seriously hurt. So, this is not a user-friendly weapon. It takes many years of practice before you can master this weapon and use it effectively.

Here you are looking at an antique Urumi, at least a hundred years old. My friend Jayesh collects antique weapons and has been documenting these things for many years.While weapons like swords will make deep cuts in the skin and can cause instant death, the Urumi is different. It will make your skin and some flesh peel out with every blow, but a single blow is usually not lethal. In this antique piece, the blades have become blunt, so you can see that it is not cutting this banana stem, but imagine a brand new Urumi attacking a person, it can cause some serious damage.

In English we can call it as a flexible sword or even a metal whip and it usually has a simple wooden handle. Historians believe that the Urumi was invented around 300 BC, about 2300 years ago in India.  Remember, I have showed you some very interesting weapons like the man-catcher on my channel, but Urumi is a very effective defense weapon, especially if you are fighting against multiple enemies.. If you are surrounded my many opponents, Urumi can be used to create a defensive sphere around you, and no one will be able to even come close to you. This can be very useful and is considered as a part of ancient martial arts used for self-defense.

In the ancient Indian martial arts system known as KalariPayattu, this weapon is considered very important.  In this martial arts system, the Urumi is the last weapon to be taught, because it is so difficult to master this weapon.  A well-trained fighter is capable of handling 2 Urumis at the same time. Imagine fighting against a person wielding 2 Urumis at the same time, it can be twice as deadly. The only way you can fight him, is by using 2 Urumis yourself. Watching 2 guys use 4 Urumis is a very interesting sight.

In the state of Punjab, the Urumi is used with some variations. Here you can see how the Urumi is used with ease, it has almost become a demonstration weapon. Some Urumis only have one blade and sometimes there are up to 32 blades in a single weapon.

Praveen Mohan

 

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