There is an artiste in renowned karateka Palitha Galappaththi that surfaces, often. Galappaththi has displayed his creative skills once again; this time in the field of music.
A 4th Dan Black Belt holder in Kyokushin Karate, Galappaththi has selected about 40 songs, from a fine collection of musical writings he has penned in, to be included in a book which he is working on. The book is to be titled ‘Satan Saahithyayata Geetha Tikavathak’ (A song in verse to the literature of martial arts).
It is easy to fathom that Galappaththi has a love for music. The long ponytail he posts gives him the look of a hardcore member of a rock band. The image of a musician that his physical presence suggests can grow rapidly the moment one begins talking on music with him.
Martial Arts & Music –
Galappaththi has the ability to make you listen and enjoy his conversation the moment he opens out and reveals how he finds ideas for the songs he composes.
He said he saw similarities between martial arts, life and music. Like the way all kids try their luck at music, Galappaththi too went in search of a guru. He found two, Kusum Lokupitiya initially before coming under the tutelage of Stanely Perera.
The influence karate has had on his life made him blend music with vigorous training sessions.
"I used to time a song and then started hitting the sand bag. When the song was over, I would have finished the number of punches required for my training that day. Music helped eliminate some of the pain from the punishing schedules I did as part of my karate training," Galappaththi told ‘Sunday Island – Sportstar’ in an interview done at his residence at Nawalapitiya.
Sad Songs –
He said he preferred to listen to sad songs. Galappaththi said his life had been a story of disappointment and that sad songs had a soothing effect on his mind, at times when he was not very cheerful.
His understanding of songs started becoming deeper after realising that one had to maintain a rhythm in the body during a fight, just like when singing.
When he is sad, his pen starts flowing like water from a sprout. He said it is the sadness in him that fuels his mind to write on music. In both his martial arts career and his part-time acting career, on the silver screen and also on television, he has experienced more heartaches than moments of glory.
"I’ve realised that life is a sad story. Those disappointing moments in my life are the sources for my creations which finally end up as songs," said Galappaththi who also plans to release a collection of songs on a CD.
Strong Stimulant –
He spoke of the use of musical instruments like drums a long time ago when a person was being sent to the gallows.
"On such an occasion, music helped prepare the wrong doer’s mind for the incoming death. Music can condition human mind before a combat, and even before they are having sex. In the good old days, music was played from the background to inspire the soldiers who were engaged in fierce battles. Music is an amazing tool that can have a strong stimulating effect on the mind," explained Galappaththi, a renowned instructor in kyokushin karate.
Sans Good Literature –
He said the time was ripe for him to do a creation which will offer people an opportunity to enjoy martial arts literature. Galappaththi opined that martial arts had never been penned properly into a book, in any form.
"I believe it’s my duty to make people, who are usually hell bent on acquiring material things, listen to a series of songs which will stimulate their minds and give them a good spiritual experience," he said. He believes music forms a large part of people’s culture and lifestyle.
Elaborating further his point, Galappaththi finally related a funny story emerging from the local ‘trishaw culture.’ "Our three-wheel taxi industry has at large embraced music. Most of the owners of these ‘three-wheels’ have fixed cassette radios in their vehicles. They blare out various kinds of odd rock or pop sounds while they’re going on their trips. Once, one of these noisy trishaw knocked down an old lady. The lady has later recalled the incident saying ‘a big radio’ had come and knocked her down," said Galappaththi kiddingly, implying the level of music tastes the masses have at present.
Speaking on his martial arts, Galappaththi revealed he belonged to a family of fighters, who used to guard the coastal belt many years ago.
"I’ve a liking for my country. I believe that the valuable things in this country need to be protected. My attempt to document the literature of martial arts in the form of a book are part of this whole project. I want this book of songs on martial arts to have a revolutionary effect on the minds of our people," he said.