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NRIs committed to revive karra samu back home

KADAPA: Upset with youngsters spending more time on their smartphones, two Kuwait-based NRIs are determined to reinvigorate the passion for once popular martial art karra samu among the youngsters of their native village, Mangampeta in Obulavaripalle mandal of Annamaiah district.

Mangarapu Narasimhulu and his nephew Peeraiah are home on a three-month vacation. This gave them the perfect opportunity to learn the traditional stick fighting that originated in Andhra Pradesh, from one Bapureddy, a village elder, while also providing other youngsters of the village the platform to learn it from their guru.

As many 40 youngsters, all of whom have either completed their higher education or are pursuing it, have been trained by Bapureddy already. After 40 days of training, the youths can now showcase a variety of skills and styles of stick fighting while also training others in the martial art.

“Stick fighting not only helps in gaining physical fitness but also teaches discipline. We practice it every evening, and want others to learn the martial art too,” said Sai, who is studying at a private college in Tirupati.

“Karra samu was very popular in the olden days. Now it is treated as a mere pastime exercise. We have decided to train all youngsters of the village in the martial art in an attempt to bring down the amount of time they spend on phones. We have appointed a guru who teaches karra samu. Forty youngsters have already successfully finished their training,” said Mangarapu Narasimhulu.

Karra samu is a traditional martial art of Andhra Pradesh. It had spread to other parts of the country as well. Earlier, youngsters trained in stick fighting to protect themselves and their villages. It helped them in preventing thefts that were common in villages. But with time the martial art became a mere pastime exercise and was completely forgotten. The rural sport is said to be around 3,000 years old.