Kalaripayatu

KALARIPAYATTU

The most ancient martial art and the art of living, Kalaripayattu was known in the Gurukulam tradition of the Gotra cuture in India. There were 3 versions of kalaripayattu named Arrappukai version, vatten thirippu version, and pilla thangi version during that time.

Arappukai version consists of a varieties of fighting tactics which is mainly focused on to jump high, standing and lifting legs, bend and fix the body in the middle position and stretch and fight, steps to practice complex exercises, various techniques to develop flexibility and weapon applications are also included. The technique of fighting using the flexibility of the body , the tricky movements in an up and down manner & verieties of jumps are used in Arrapukai version.

Secondly in vatten thirippu version includes varieties of summersaults (Malakkareethikal), a large variety of foot & hand movements (Kalam chavuttu reethikal and vettu chuvadukal) and Body flexibility techniques.

 The third one is pillathangi version which consists of ground level stretch movements & its combinations , body flexibility, fast forward & backward movements in different ways, methods to develop the speed & strength of hands . There are also combinations of striking hands on the floor and variety of applications of hands always in low stance movements (kaikuthi payattu) are also included.

The other kalaripayattu names have been derived from names of kalari gurukal(master), his house name, village name etc, according to the situations. They are kadathanadu, thulunadu, odimurisheri etc . After 1957 the Kalaripayattu associations formed and they are coordinated as one union.They divided kalaripayattu in names of northern, southern and central kerala(vadakkan, thekkan and Madhya Kerala) they started conducting kalari competitions. All the Kalaris started then was started under this classification of northern, southern & central kerala.

Kalaripayattu is the fore-father of all Martial arts

Kalaripayatu has a major role in India'’s heritage and it is considered as traditional martial art form of kerala. The practice of Kalaripayattu has immense benefits spread across various levels of an individual & society. It improves concentration, patience, self-discipline and self-awareness, ability to deal with stress and it also increases flexibility, strength, immunity & dynamism. It also improves the speed of reflexes of a person & makes him amazingly active. Kalari masters give the detailed description about each steps of this enormous system of training. They are the following,

Ashtatharikal

  • Vanakkathari
  • Chuvaduthari
  • Maithari (physical method of fighting)
  • Kolthari (wooden weapon fight)
  • Ankathari (Iron/metal weapons)
  • Verumkaithari (unarmed combat)
  • Marma chikilsathari
  • upasanathari

Ashtatharikal

Vanakkathari

Vanakathari is the first and foremost one in Ashtatharikal. Kalari masters describe it in 4 steps, such as yeka dikku vanakkam(only one side),eratta dikku vanakkam(two sides),chathur dikku vanakkam (four side) and ashtta dikku vanakkam (eight side). These sequences are pre arranged routines used for paying respect to the kalari masters of generation's and to awaken the subtle, the inner body of practices. Each kalari student used to start kalaripayattu practice after doing vanakkam in which special combinations are added for flexibility, for respecting 'easwara' & kalari masters of generations are also included in it. Kalaripayattu students touch the foot of master , kalari poothara & guruthara to take permission to learn kalari. All the powers of mind should be exercised in each of kalari students. As per kalari masters instructions they moved their body in very pleasant manner. This is taken place near poothara. people are not judged by cast, creed, religion, colour, politics and culture in kalari, apart from the discriminations of sex and age they consider only humanity. Vanakkathari is the key to regenerating body and staying young. It also develops the strength of the body to maximum and gains immunity power. Vanakkathari helps to protect the learner from every bit of accidents while learning the kalaripayattu. After learning vanakkathari the students will be awared that all human beings are equal.

Chuvaduthari

Vanakathari is the first and foremost one in Ashtatharikal. Kalari masters describe it in 4 steps, such as yeka dikku vanakkam(only one side),eratta dikku vanakkam(two sides),chathur dikku vanakkam (four side) and ashtta dikku vanakkam (eight side). These sequences are pre arranged routines used for paying respect to the kalari masters of generation's and to awaken the subtle, the inner body of practices. Each kalari student used to start kalaripayattu practice after doing vanakkam in which special combinations are added for flexibility, for respecting 'easwara' & kalari masters of generations are also included in it. Kalaripayattu students touch the foot of master , kalari poothara & guruthara to take permission to learn kalari. All the powers of mind should be exercised in each of kalari students. As per kalari masters instructions they moved their body in very pleasant manner. This is taken place near poothara. people are not judged by cast, creed, religion, colour, politics and culture in kalari, apart from the discriminations of sex and age they consider only humanity. Vanakkathari is the key to regenerating body and staying young. It also develops the strength of the body to maximum and gains immunity power. Vanakkathari helps to protect the learner from every bit of accidents while learning the kalaripayattu. After learning vanakkathari the students will be awared that all human beings are equal.

Chuvaduthari is the second phase it consist of 18 steps and ashttavadivukal. As per this 18 steps each students make their body flexibility. When completing this second stage chuvaduthari the students get an detailed knowledge about the body flexibility of meythari, kolthari and angathari.

Following are the names of Kalaripayattu chuvadukal, kalaripayattu vadivukal (postures) and shareera (human body) vadivukal.

Steps

  • Vattachuvadu
  • Yer chuvadu
  • Aakka chuvadu
  • Karadi chuvadu
  • Chatta chuvadu
  • Simha chuvadu
  • Kuthira chuvadu
  • Naga chuvadu
  • Neekka chuvadu
  • Pakarcha chuvadu
  • Therukka chuvadu
  • Anga chuvadu
  • Thancha chuvadu
  • Pokka chuvadu
  • Panni chuvadu
  • Koti chuvadu
  • Oothira chuvadu
  • Malakka chuvadu

Kalaripayattu flexibility

  • Gaja vadivu
  • Varaha vadivu
  • Simha vadivu
  • Aswa vadivu
  • Kukuda vadivu
  • Mayoora vadivu
  • Marjara vadivu
  • Sarppa vadivu

Body flexibility

  • Sheersha vadivu
  • Vadhana vadivu
  • Kanda vadivu
  • Maru vadivu
  • Puram vadivu
  • Udhara vadivu
  • Omal vadivu
  • Hastha vadivu
  • Sandhi vadivu
  • Ara vadivu
  • Paadha vadivu
  • Sourabhya vadivu

Meythari

Meythari is the third phase of kalaripayattu training, through the study of maythari a kalari student get the ultimate experience about the body flexibility & attain mental strength & physical strength which is essential for the upcoming training of Kolthari . The stages of training are kaaledupureethikal meypayattukal, chumattadikal kaikuthi payattukal, vettuchuvadukal, kalamchavittukal, chaattapayattukal etc. It is practised before verumkai Thari & is also helpful to attain exact equilibrium in mental speed & physical speed which is highly essential for the upcoming training of angathari. The practice of Meythari is helpful to resist from any types of chronic diseases & keep the ever youthful state of human body.

Kolthari

Kolthari is the fourth phase and is consisted of kettukaripayattu, Muchaan payattu, otah payattu, pondhi payattu, chottichaanpayattu, erattavadi payattu and perundhallupayattu, in these fighting techniques either cane or wood crafted weapons are used. There are fighting Combinations for each weapon specially designed by Kalari masters either in 12 or 18 numbers. A few of them had only 6 combinations. It s all round practice will increase the efficiency of a Kalari student to attain qualification for the next level of training which is angathari. Anybody can notice that a practitioner of kolthari can attain special qualities from each & every stage of kolthari training.

Angathari

Angathari is the fifth level of kalaripayattu training in which the courage & physical strength of a trainee will be attained it's maximum. A Kalari practitioner will attain extra ordinary courage, the extreme powers of termination, ultimate honesty & extra intelligence from the training of angathari. It consists of Neetukadarapayattu, kathipayattu, kunthappayatu, marapichakunthapayattu, udavaalpayattu, churikapayattu, ghadhapayattu, puliyankam, neettuvaalpayattu, erattavaalpayattu, churuttuvaalpayattu, ambumvillum, venmazhupayattu, vettukkathipayattu etc are the varieties of weapons trainings included. Each of them has around 12 basic combinations & 6 complex combinations of fighting tactics are included. Kalaripayatu stage programs are included with angathari fightings which is highly attractive & mind blowing one.

Verum kaithari

Verumkai is the sixth phase, through verumkaithari kalari masters give the idea about self defence. Verumkaithari(barehanded fight) verumkai involves predominantly the use of bare hands in fighting. An attack during unarmed moments can be handled by using one’s hands that may be aided by a piece of cloth or a rope. Locks and blows are the main feature of such combat. Attacks directed to various parts of the body especially the nervous system using blows and kicks are therefore practiced to be perfection in verumkai. This is the training for defence without using any weapon against an armed or unarmed person. In Verum Kai, different techniques of locking, gripping, throwing are taught. Verumkai is said to be the advanced stage of Kalari. Master of the martial traditional order will impart this knowledge only to those students who are highly disciplined not only in Kalari but also in their daily life.

The following are the self defence procedures in verumkaithari
  • Kalari kettukal
  • Ozhivukal
  • Ayudha kettukal
  • Thala prayogangal
  • Akramana prathyakramana syilikal
  • Prathirodha murakal
  • Kayattangal
  • Marma prayogangal
  • Thattukal
  • Thadakal
  • Neetukal
  • Mushti proyogam
  • Adi prayogam
  • Vettu prayogangal
  • Kuthu prayogangal
  • Parakka prayogangal
  • Aakka prayogangal
  • Valivukal
  • Churuttu prayogangal
  • Oda prayogangal
  • Chavittu reethikal
  • Chatta varavukalum
  • Puram thiriyal prayogangal
  • Viral prayogangal
  • Drishti reethikal
  • Sthanbana prayogangal
  • Valicherukal
  • Marachil reethikal
  • Malakkangal

It is all done for only self defencing not to attack any one. In this way of study a students can improve their mental stability and power. It also rejuvenate the brain functions. Kalari masters gives the idea to self protection and also the enemies body protection. If any tactic used while fighting to the enemy which may cause any risk to him then that person is supposed to inform it to the master & do essential treatments or he has to apply treatment himself if he is an expert in Kalari marma treatment.verum kaithari is the most important and genius one in kalaripayattu.

Marma chikilsathari (Marma Treatment)

Marma chikilsathari is the backbone of kalaripayattu. Marmas are the pressure points within the body usually close to the skin surface, where important nerves form junctures with muscles fibers,veins, bones and joints. Prana(life energy) flows through the body channeled through marmas or vital points. A marma point is a juncture on the body where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscles, veins, ligaments, bones or joints and ‘where the Prana is present’. A kalari master uses the marma points to heal. The Kalari master has extreme knowledge about psycho-physiological aspects and practical knowledge on the body’s vital spots ‘marma’. This gives him extraordinary control over his body and thus the control of the vital energy.The marmachikilsathari is aimed at remodeling the humors of the body environment. Vatha humor is considered to be the principle energy form in the living body, which enables the energy forces to work in its manner. Channelizing this particular energy system will naturally balances the other humors too.

Without practice of kalaripayattu the student could not develop the actual picture about the marma chikilsa in the mind. When there is situations in which modern medical science fails kalari marma chikilsa acts as a saviour.

Upasanathari

Upasanathari is the 8th step in kalaripayattu. In this section kalari masters ask for students to sit in a round wooden platform & develop their internal consciousness. This training is helpful to memorize all that tactics studied before & all that studied can be used systematically & at proper timings in every situations of life. It also helps the student to conserve every cycles of nature & transfer the heritages to the younger generations. It helps the student to complete the actual life span of a person according to nature in healthy manner. After completing the eight segments of kalaripayattu, master conveys the most important & extraordinary 'Pathinettadavukal' to each of the students at the very end of kalaripayattu training. The kalaripayattu student becomes a kalaripayattu master after successful completion of upasanathari . Then after he will start a new kalari where he likes and hand over this precious system of knowledge , practice & experiences to the next generation.

Functions of kalaripayattu

To protect ones own body ,to improve mental power and to reach the higher level of honesty. The life of a person can be protected in almost all cases at the time of accident, through kalari marma treatment. The learning of kalaripayattu helps to make a proper and meaningful human culture.