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History Of Kalaripayattu | First Martial Art Forms of the World

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If you want to know the history of Kalaripayattu the world’s first martial art?

You are on the right page!

Kalaripayattu is the most sophisticated and ancient martial art form in the world.


Hello, friends welcome another fresh article of “Newkeralatravels.com” Here in this article I explained everything about Kalaripayattu.

It was born in Kerala, a small state in South India, and precisely for that reason, its history is inextricably linked to the social and cultural life of the land.

Although tiny differences in terms of regional practices led to variants like:-

  • Thekkan Kalari (Southern-style)
  • Vadakkan Kalari (Northern style)

Kalaripayattu is essentially one in spirit. From its earliest times, it was accessible to all regardless of differences in caste, religion, and gender.

Also:- Thrissur Pooram: The Mother Of All Festivals.

History Of Kalaripayattu.

History Of Kalaripayattu.

The story of the origin of Kalaripayattu is linked to the myth that surrounds the birth of Kerala.

It is believed that after reclaiming the land from the sea, Sage Parashurama set up 1008 Kalaris or training centers to stop the ground from shaking.

Historical research, of course, has another account to offer.

It states that Kalaripayattu was developed by the soldiers of Kerala when war broke out between the Chola and Chera dynasties in the 12th century.

According to other historical sources, Kalaripayattu was developed much earlier.

Philosophy & Techniques Of Kalaripayattu

Philosophy & Techniques Of Kalaripayattu.

Kalaris are constructed in two ways. One by digging a rectangular pit on the ground. This is the Kuzhi Kalari.

The other is made by enclosing a flat patch of open ground.

Although there are small and big Kuzhi Kalaries, the most common one is 42 feet long and 21 feet wide.

The most important spots inside a Kalari are the Poothara and the Guruthara.

The Poothara is a set of seven semicircular steps. Beliefs vary regarding the significance of the number.

According to some, the steps symbolized seven gods that protect the world.

According to another, they stand for the Panchendriya’s, five sense organs, the mind, and the intellect.

The Guruthara is constructed one foot to the north of the Poothara.

Poothara Vandanam This is a ritual that every student has to follow before the training begins.

It is an indigenous form of worship that involves specific moves and stances.

This is the first of the four types of combat training in Kalaripayattu.

The Vaithari or the oral commands made by the Guru or master are rendered in a rhythmic fashion which the students follow implicitly.

The Maithari module includes training in various forms of steps, jumps, and stances.

With constant practice, the students can take complete control of their bodily movements.

After the students have gained mastery over their bodies, they are introduced to Kolthaari or combat using various kinds of sticks.

Kettukaarippayattu involves the use of long sticks.

This is followed by Cheruvadippayattu, using short sticks, and Ottappayattu using curved batons.

Ottappayattu comes just before Kataarappayattu or dagger fight. the only difference between the two is that the former uses wooden weapons whereas the latter uses metal ones.

After the students have mastered the art of combating with sticks, they graduate to training in the use of metal weapons.

Metal weapons of Kalaripayattu

Two weapons commonly used all over the world are employed in a stage – Vaal or the sword and kundam or the spear.

Although both are equally important in kalarippayattu, the churika or dagger is considered more deadly.

A similar weapon that combatants tuck around their waists is the urumi of the whip-like sword.

students who have gained proficiency in the first three combat procedures are considered eligible for Verumkkai or bare-handed combat.

This trains them in tackling opponents when they are totally unarmed.

After acquiring expertise in Marmashastra or science of the vital spots of the body, the formal education is complete.

In this manner fingers, fists, elbows, knees, feet, and even the forehead of combatants become weapons.

Kalari chikitsa or treatment

Kalari chikitsa or treatment is as famous as Kalaripayattu.

Uzhichil or massage that is fundamental to the treatment is characterized into three-enna.

The chu pidipikkal or oil massage, kai uzhichil or massage using the hands, and chavitti uzhichil or massage using the feet.

When students sustained injuries to their marmas or vital parts of their body the guru who is also an expert in uzhichil, administers the right treatment, Deep knowledge of Marmas is vital to Kalaripayattu.

Thus Kalaripayattu that encompasses training and treatment is an indigenous martial art form of Kerala that has no peers.

For that reason, thousands of people from all over the world come to this tiny land in search of Kalari.

They acquire this precious knowledge and return, their hearts brimming with a sense of gratification.

If you have any questions or queries about the Kalaripayattu then you can ask it on the comment box and make sure to keep your nature clean and green.

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