Kalaripayattu is an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in modern-day Kerala. Kalaripayattu is also mentioned in the Vadakkan Pattukal ballads written about the Chekavar from the Malabar region of Kerala.
|Kalaripayattu also was known simply as Kalari, is an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in modern-day Kerala. Kalaripayattu is held in high regard by martial artists due to its long-standing history within Indian martial arts. It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India. It is also considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin in the martial arts timeline dating back to at least the 3rd century BCE.|
Kalaripayattu is also mentioned in the Vadakkan Pattukal ballads written about the Chekavar from the Malabar region of Kerala.
The author Arnaud Van Der Veere confers the origin of martial arts to India (the roots of which are thought to be in Kalaripayattu), to which he refers Kalaripayattu as “The Mother of All Martial Arts”.
Kalaripayattu is a martial art designed for the ancient battlefield (the word “Kalari” meaning “battlefield”), with weapons and combative techniques that are unique to India.
Like most other Indian martial arts, Kalaripayattu draws heavily from Hinduism and is based on Hindu medicinal concepts found in Ayurveda. Practitioners of Kalaripayattu possess an intricate knowledge of pressure points on the human body and healing techniques that incorporate the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga. Students are taught the martial art as a way of life, with a sense of compassion, discipline, and respect toward the master, fellow-students, parents, and the community. Particular emphasis is placed on avoiding confrontational situations and using martial art only as a means of protection when no other alternative is available.
Unlike other parts of India, warriors in Kerala belonged to all castes.
Women in Keralite society also underwent training in Kalaripayattu, and still do so to this day. Keralite women such as Unniyarcha are mentioned in a collection of ballads from Kerala called Vadakkan Pattukal and are praised for their material prowess.
In contemporary times, Sri Meenakshi Amma, a73-year oldgurukkal from Vadakara, was awarded the Padma Sri by the government of India for her contributions to the preservation of Kalaripayattu.