Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu – Indian Martial Arts Style

Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial arts from India. It focuses on unarmed combat, weapons training, yoga, healing techniques, etc. According to Kalaripayattu.org, “The various movements in Kalari are based on animal movements. Several poses are named after animals. Hence it is generally believed to have developed in the jungles when hunters observed the fighting techniques of various animals.”

Kalaripayattu is broken into three styles – Northern, Central and Southern.

Northern style is divided into “Alankara Kai” (Decoration Hand) and “Anka Kai” (Fighting Hand). The Alankara Kai has fully survived with the efforts of CVN. Real Anka Kai has survived in South Canara and Shimoga districts of Karnataka State.

Central is located in regions such as the Kottayam and Pathanamthitta Districts of Kerala State. Style is based on patterned movements. Patterns are called “Kalam” as they are drawn on floor for beginners. “Chumattadi” is an integral part of this style. Chumattadi is the technique of bare hand combat against multiple opponents. This is the best, among the three styles for bare hands techniques, because according to lore the local Brahmanical Kingdoms of Thekkumkoor and Vadakkumkoor had outlawed carrying of sharp weapons at some point in history.

Southern is pure fighting, no art. It is also called adi murai. Highly dangerous and focused on disabling/killing trained opponents. No extensive training. It is mostly a “one strike – one kill” philosophy unsuited to modern world. Most of it has not survived but in remote villages in Kanyakumari and Ambasamudram Districts of Tamilnadu.

Demonstration Video of Kalaripayattu Techniques

Reference Sources

  1. Kalaripayattu.org, Origins And Evolution, http://www.kalaripayattu.org/aboutus.htm, Added – 02/14/15
  2. Kalaripayattu style facts kindly provided by Anantha, Added – 02/15/15

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