What is Kalaripayattu ?

Kalaripayattu is a martial art from the Kerala, the Indian state of Kerala. Kalaripayattu is practiced in South India especially Kerala and some parts of Karnataka. The term Kalaripayattu is derived from the two words. The word ‘Kalari’ means "The Place or The battle field or threshing floor and the word ‘Payattu’ means ‘practice or exercise in arms’. It is includes kicks, strikes, preset forms, grappling, healing methods and weaponry. Kalaripayattu is trained in an enclosure, called "Kalari", which is 42 feet by 21 feet. Moreover the entrance face of the Kalari is the east. In the west-south corner is a platform (seven-tiered). That Platform is called the ‘Poothara’. These seven steps of Kalari symbolise seven qualities each person requires. They include Channiga (The patience), Vigneswa (The Strength), Vishnu (The commanding power), Tadaaguru (The training), Kali (The expression), Vadugashcha (The posture) and Vakasta - purushu (The sound). Various Kalari styles as specified in Ballads of North Malabar. They are Kadathanatan kalari, Kodumala Kalari, Karuvancheri Kalari, Kurungot Kalari, Mayyazhi Kalari, Mathilur Kalari, Melur Kalari ,Panoor Madham Kalari, Nadapuram Kalari, Payyampalli Kalari, Puthusseri Kalari, Ponniyam Kalari, Puthuram Kalari, Thotuvor Kalari, Thacholi Kalari, Kolastri Nadu Kalari, Tulunadan Kalari. This art is reached its pinnacle of glory, during the hundred year’s war between the Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas in the early part of the 1st millennium. The states of warring refined the fighting techniques and skills prevalent in the area (Kalari) into a form of martial art. Kalaripayattu flourished between the thirteen and sixteen centuries. And it becomes a part of the education of male young people. There was a social custom in South India especially Kerala to send all young people above the age of nine to learn Kalaripayattu Styles.