Thang-Ta and Rules
THANG TA is popular term for the ancient Manipuri Martial Art known as HUYEN LALLONG. As the name implies, Huyen Lallong is more than just the training of fighting skills. It is an elaborate system of physical culture that involves breathing methods, meditations, and rituals. Some of the sword and spear forms are entirely ritualistic, although they are composed of material techniques.
The art developed from the war environment of the tiny state of Manipur in North-east India, which was an independent kingdom since the early Christian era. It played an important role in the geopolitical environment of medieval times in between India and China with many independent states at war with each other. Constant life and death struggles between clans, tribes and states resulted in the devising of ways and means of safeguarding the lives of the citizen soldiery and at the same time developing an inward attitude to problems of life, death and afterlife.
At the start of the sword drill, stand with feet shoulder width apart; turn to the left, pivoting on the balls of both feet. The feet should form an approximately forty-five degree angles. Lean forward until the toes of the left foot are aligned with the knee and the chin. Your body should form a straight line from the back of the head down to the right heel. This is called the “Lion’s Posture” or basic stance.
The unarmed aspect of Thang-Ta is named SARIT-SARAT. Traditionally, it is taught after competence in weapons was gained. It uses footwork and handwork form the weapons forms, with a liberal dose of the native wrestling style (MUKNA) thrown in.