Martial arts are well prepared systematic means of combat in which self-defense, attacking techniques and methodologies apply. They are known to offer physical and mental fitness to an extent. Martial arts include the use of techniques which when used unknowingly can cause fatal consequences. India is rich in martial art techniques and people who train and use them. A number of teens in India find it interesting to study martial arts. Kalaripayattu is a kind of martial art unique to the keralites. It originated in kerala and is still the traditional martial art of the state. The ancestry of Kalaripayattu is really interesting.
Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest martial arts which originated about 2000 years ago.It’s an art of self-defense which includes usage of the body to gain advantage over the competent. It’s one among the oldest fighting techniques used all over the world. It consisted of fatal blows, grappling techniques to bind enemies, healing methods and usage of weaponry which didn’t include gunpowder weapons. Inspired from the hunting techniques of lion, tiger, wild boar and the venomous viper, Kalaripayattu remains one of the deadliest forms of art which is difficult to master. But once mastered, one can easily take over a dozen of enemies without much agony. This form of martial art is believed to have originated from the gods itself. Kalaripayattu is taught through kalaris. Both male and female aspirants take up classes here. The flexibility of the body combined with inner soul control is the base of mastering kalari. Fatal blows to marmas, also known as vital physical parts, can lead to even death. The decline of kalaripayattu was seen when the British defeated the Nair warriors after their settlement in India in the 19th century. Their introduction of fire arms made it even more difficult as it’s virtually hard to fight ranged enemies with melee techniques. They even made it clear that practicing these martial arts or mere possession of weapons for the promotion of these arts was punishable. So the masses were forced to practice in rural areas and in hideouts. Nowadays it’s being revived and kalaripayattu found a place among most of the cinemas which took place considering martial arts. The various forms of kalaripayattu are northern, southern and central. While central kalaripayattu of them focused on agility and flexibility, northern kalaripayattu emphasized the use of weapons instead of empty hands. Southern kalaripayattu was practiced in Travancore now known as Trivandrum.
Proper guidance was a must for the finishing of this art since it included a major contribution of moves and methodologies. The gurukkal as they are known were true professionals in the art and they knew how to train a novice. They emphasized on the flexibility of the body, the ability of the legs to turn impossible degrees and the eye hand coordination. It is said to have the power within which when properly learned can stun an enemy simply by pointing at him. This article provided a short description of the oldest form of martial art, Kalaripayattu.