"Kalaripayattu" is an Indian martial art that originated in southwestern coast of India, where now Kerala is. It is also considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin dates back to 3rd century BCE.
“Kalari Payatt" is believed to be the mother of all martial art forms, and it is not just about Kicking & Punching or stabbing. It's of learning to use the body in every possible way. Kalari is gaining popularity because Kalari combines Defense techniques, Dance, Yoga and Healing Systems.
This ancient martial art is not only involves exercise and other aspects of agility, it also involves understanding the energy system. Kalari chikilsa ( Kalari treatment) and Kalari marma chikilsa (Marma means the vital parts of body) involves knowing the secrets of the body and healing the body quickly to keep the body in a regenerative mode.
The Therapy of Uzhichil (Kalari Body Massage) is from the system of Ayuvrda, but it gained popularity through the medium of Kalari Payatt. Thus Uzhichil (Kalari Massage) became a part of Kalari Payatt training & there by a new stream of Kalari Chikilsa (Kalari Treatment) evolved. Three forms of massages are prevalent in the Kalari chikiisa system – Application of oil on body, Hand Massage & Massage by feet.
Students may get injuries rarely during training to their Marmas (vital parts of the body). They are instantly & completely cured by the Kalari Asans (Kalari Masters) who are adept in giving right treatment. Even today, Marma chikilsa (Marma Treatment) are a part of Kalari Payattu training And Kalari chikitsa boasts of many traditional panaceas that are not very popularly used in Ayurvedic treatment & not even mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. For instance, "Murivenna", a wonderful medicated oil, is used copiously in Kalari chikitsa is not mentioned in Ayurveda. But nowadays "Murivenna" is being used in Ayurveda.
Normally, Kalari Payattu training can be started at the age of seven, when the body is not stiff & so chances are less to get bodily damage. Different levels of Kalari Payatt are Basic level, Intermediate level, Advanced level, Senior level, Instructor level. It will take 9+ years of continuous training to become at Master Level.
Kalari Payatt is dangerous, aggressive, physically demanding, but for regular practitioners, Kalaripayattu is extremely effective for whole body development, weapons knowledge and health.
According to ancient folklore, Lord Vishnu’s disciple Parasurama who was an avatar of Lord Vishnu is believed to be introduced Kalari Payatt in Kerala & Lord Shiva said to have taught Parasurama, the art of Kalaripayattu. And Parasuraman taught it to the original settlers of Kerala shortly after bringing Kerala up from the ocean floor. Existence of Martial arts in India for over 3000 years can be proved by the mention of martial arts in the Vedas.
You can also learn this Ancient Martial Art "Kalari Payatt" !
Kacha Kettal is wearing traditional long cotton cloth before exercise in Kalaripayattu. The traditional dress using in Kalari payatt is known as Kacha and its wearing method is Kachha Kettal. The Kacha used in Kalari is 5 to 6 feet in length and one feet width. It is wrapped in a particular method in which gives maximum tightness to the hip and support cover to the naval region.
Meyppayattu or Meythari is a set of physical practices that imparts strength to the body and the mind, and makes the student sure-footed. Meyppayattu is the backbone of Kalaripayattu, they are doing excercises by hands pressed against the floor, exercises to learn advance and retreat moves, exercises involving lifting the legs etc
Normally, kalaripayattu can be started at the age of seven, when the body is not stiff, & less chances to get bodily damage.
Different levels of Kalari Payatt are Basic level, Intermediate level, Advanced level, Senior level, Instructor level. It will take 9+ years of continuous training to become a Master Level.
Kalari Payatt is dangerous, aggressive, physically demanding, for regular practitioners, Kalaripayattu is extremely effective for whole body development, weapons knowledge and health.
This is stick fighting in Kalaripayattu, for uses many kinds of sticks. Kuruvati is a short stick weapon made from the wood of the tamarind tree. And and the students are taught to use them to attack as well as to defend.
"Kalaripayattu the ancient the martial art of Kerala is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India"
This picture of Gaja Vadivu or Elephant Posture is is one of the poses in ancient Indian martial art of Kalari Payatt.
The Elephant posture is taught to gain strength in the hips, thighs, spine and ankle like an Elephant & to get its inexhaustible agility and swiftness irrespective of its size.
Postures in Kalari Payatt consists of animal poses as they adopt the fight or the flight mode of self-protection swiftly.
Kalari Payatt training can cause accidental injuries because of the use of weapons & even without weapons. So the treatments ( Kalari Chikilsa) have a great importance in this Kalari system.
64 out of 107 vital spots of the body are fatal if injured, and this system of treatment cures injuries to any such parts. The training of a student to become a master includes training in Ayurveda and in locating the vital points of the body.
Chavitti Uzhichil is a massage using the foot, is an unique form of massage that originated from the esteemed traditional martial art of Kalari Payatt of Kerala.This is extremely relaxing from bones to muscles. Enhancing circulation stimulates the body’s immunity & lymphatic system, rejuvenating and thus make body fit for Kalari Payatt.
In Vaalpayatt (sword fight) Master trains the students to cut and thrust with the sword. Use of sharp weapons-sword and shield, spear, urumi and dagger are recommended only after learning Meythozhil (body fighting) & Kolthari (Stick fighting).
"Among all the Kalari payatt weapons, the sword enjoys the pride of place."
Kalaripayattu, the martial arts of Kerala uses a number of weapons for fighting and Gadha (Mace) is one among them. Shown here are different types of Gadha used in Kalaripayattu. Valum Parichayum (word & Shield),Spear (kuntham), Mazhu (Axe), Urumi (Spring Sword), different kinds/length of sticks are some of the other weapons used in Kalari Payattu.
Spear fight (Kuntham Payatt) in Kalari Payatt is another important variant of Angathaari. It teaches a person how to use the sharp end of the spear to jab and attack, and the handle of the spear to beat as well as to defend himself against a swordsman. In the medieval period Kalaripayattu was a way of life in the Kerala region. The Asan or Guru (teacher) of Kalaripayattu had much social respectability.
Picture of the fight with sword and spear (vaal and kuntham) also known as Mara Pidicha Kuntham.
This fight is of prime importance in Kalaripayattu. An expert in Kalari payattu should always be ready to defend himself from attack by any weapon.
Training in Mara Pidicha Kuntham fight with seven adavus (7 tactics) helps the trainee to attain this end.
kettu kaari (long & thin stick) normally made of bamboo or cane. The stick should be the length of the guru's (Teacher's) eye level, regardless of student height. For a balanced attack and defence both sides of the stick has to be used equally. Practice with this weapon will allow greater proficiency in the spear, which is introduced in Ankathari.
Meythari or Meypayatt is a set of physical practices that imparts strength to the body and the mind, and makes the student sure-footed. Meyppayattu is the backbone of Kalaripayattu, they are doing excercises by hands pressed against the floor, exercises to learn advance and retreat moves, exercises involving lifting the legs etc
Kalaripayattu training takes place in a specifically designed area called "Kalari" or Arena. And training takes place in the kalari of 6 feet depth made by digging a rectangular pit (42 feet long and 21 feet broad) in the ground.
And a thatched roof raised on pillars (21 feet in height and erected on the eastern and western sides of the kalari) covers it entirely. But full-fledged Kalari centers are always larger.
Gadha or Mace is a heavy wooden weapon (4 to 9 kg) must be wielded by well built people. The heavy wooden weapon of Gadha weighs 4 to 9 kg.
It is strictly followed that this weapon should not be aimed below the waist of the opponent. Blows on vulnerable parts of the body like chest & above is fatal.
The warriors hold the mace with both of their hands and blows are exchanged swinging the weapon.
Kadaara (dagger) is a short, sharp, metal weapon used in Kalari payattu. It is quite handy with a length of about one foot and is sharp on both sides, easy to hide and less breakable. It has a blade with a slight curve, sharp on both sides and pointed at the tip. Both attack and defense are done with the dagger itself. No shield is used in the fight. So Cuts and thrusts can be made on any side.
"Mara Pidicha Kuntham"is the fight with sword and spear (vaal and kuntham). This fight is of prime importance in Kalaripayattu. An expert in Kalari payattu should always be ready to defend himself from attack by any weapon.Training in Mara Pidicha Kuntham fight with seven adavus (7 tactics) helps the trainee to attain this end. There is also a scientific medicine system called "Kalarichikilsa", the herbal medicine system is highly effective for bruises and sprains.
Kai Payatt or Fight using hands in Kalari payatt is an unarmed fighting technique. By getting efficient training in kalari payattu person gets power of "Bare Hand Fight" to withstand any type of attack with or without weapons. And this Bare Hand technique also known as verum kai Mura . It includes various types of punches strikes and locks leaps etc and also uses some of the vital spots (marmas) to freeze the opponent.
Thaila lepanam is an integral part of Kalaripayattu training & is the application of oil all over the body before the Kalari exercise. Sesame oil is generally used for the purpose. Occasionally some other oils also used depends on the physical peculiarity of the student. Application of oil imparts flexibility to the body, reduces obesity and gives strength to the muscles. Usually, the students do the oil application on their own.
Urumi is a double-edged, long and narrow flexible sword-like weapon. This extremely sharp sword is made by joining and compressing foils of iron to ensure strength, durability and flexibility. The Urumi is swayed rapidly to inflict slashes on the enemy. A famously lethal weapon, the urumi is one of the most deadly of the Ankathari. As the combatant attacks with force towards the opponent and swings the urumi, the blade coils and turns rapidly. Therefore if the fighter is not quick on his feet, skilful or vigilant, he is very likely to injure himself seriously in the process.
Otta is a curved wooden weapon, specially chiseled, rounded and curved dagger-like wooden weapon called Otta. The most unusual Kalari Payatt weapons of Otta is long and curved with a handle at one end and a small club at the other.
It is meant to honor the powerful trunk of an elephant, which was used so skillfully in combat with a lion. In Kalari Payatt learning Otta is the final wooden weapon to be learnt by students.
Kuntham Payattu (spear fight) is is another important variant of fight with sharp weapons (Angathari). It teaches a person how to use the sharp end of the spear to pierce & attack, and the handle of the spear to beat as well as to defend himself against enemy.
A Churika is a double-edged weapon. Its central width is 8 cm, and with an arm’s length. In this fight Churika and shield is used. Shield is used for defence. But new generation is not interested in learning Churika Payattu nowadays.
Ankathari in Kalari Payatt means fight with sharp edged weapons. Sharp edged weapons in Kalari Payatt are Val (Sword), Urumi (double edged long sword), Kataara (Dagger), Kuntham (Spear), Churika (knife like & long weapon) etc
Kolthari is the use of various types of sticks – long, short, specially fabricated rounded, chiseled & curved ones etc. Kalari Payatt students are trained to use them to attack as well as to defend. After completing the training in Kolthari, the student will be adept at using whatever stick happens get in possession to resist all kinds of attacks, make counter-attacks and overpower enemies. Students learn to use pandeeran (a stick of five feet long) & finishes the basics of Kalari Payatt by learning Otta (a short & curved stick)