Kalarippayattu originates from the southern Indian state of Kerala and is often considered to be the father of all martial arts. The name literally means a space/school (kalari) of exercises/fighting (payattu). Historical sources confirm the existence of kalarippayattu from at least the 12th Century AD.
Kalarippayattu is commonly divided into three styles: Northern (vadakkan), Southern (tekkan) and central one which is a composite of the other two. Rich in ritual, each of the styles includes the study of movement sequences, incapacitating locks, close combat techniques, and handling wooden and metal weapons (sticks, knives, swords, and spears) as well as strengthening, stretching and breathing exercises. The styles mostly differ in movement sequences, weapon combat techniques and some exercises.
In all styles the training is completed by a unique healing system closely related to ayurveda. It includes, among other things, massages that heal and make the body flexible, and teachings about marmas – vital points of the human body which are practically used in the Southern style of kalarippayattu especially.
Elements of kalarippayattu have been also used for centuries in Kerala in training of actors and dancers of such art forms as kathakali, krishnattam, kutiyattam, mohiniyattam, as well as in many folk performing arts, for example kolkali, porkali and velakali.
Through regular practice of kalarippayattu you achieve flexibility, agility and body coordination; you develop strength, stamina and concentration; and – most importantly – you become aware of your potential and able to control your energy and shape your spiritual mindset.
Thanks to its multi-faceted character kalarippayattu has something to offer martial artists, yoga practitioners, actors, dancers and anyone interested in a form of exercise that involves conscious work with body and soul.
Website of Studia Kalari: www.studiokalari.art.pl