07/15/2014 01:58 pm ET Updated Jul 25, 2014

Breathtaking Photos Of An Old Sri Lankan Martial Art

Angampora, an old martial art form created according to legends more than 30,000 years ago in Sri Lanka, combines the use of indigenous weapons, hand-to-hand combat and meditation. The practice nearly disappeared when Britain took over the country in 1815 and banned it. But a few families passed it down through generations and the practice survived until the country became independent more than 100 years later.

The photo series below, made by photographer Reza Akram, shows Angampora fighters with real weapons at an old fortress in Sri Lanka's Uva province. The images have been staged to replicate the style of true Angampora fighting.

Angampora Fighting Art Form

Clarification: The headline and language of this article have been adjusted to emphasize that Angampura's age of 30,000 is according to local legend.