Silambattam is a very old martial art of Tamil Nadu which is mainly practised by men folk for their self-defense from enemies and wild animals. The word Silambattam comes from Silambam staves that were used in warfare by ancient Tamil Kings. The Thandu Padai who were the soldiers of foot regiments armed themselves with Silambam staves. Novices started learned the use of Silambam staves before they graduated to handling other weapons. The Silambam staves are short sticks made of extremely hard wood that can endure blows from swords. In addition to these staves, the performers use swords and deer horns.