Kalaripayattu the martial art form of Kerala is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world and One of the oldest fighting systems in existence.The Kalaripayattu includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods Training in combat is given at the Kalari (training school). The principles of Kalari education stipulate that training in martial art begins with an oil massage of the body which goes on until the body is agile and supple. Feats like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault) etc. are then taught, followed by the lessons in the use of weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, the bow and arrow and so on.
       Kalaripayattu training aims at the ultimate co-ordination of the mind and body. The traditional training in a kalari includes specialisation in indigenous medical practice too. Kalaris are also centers of religious worship. The general guidelines to be followed in Kalaripayattu demand that once the course is complete, a person should undergo oil massage and engage in the practice of the feats regularly to help him keep in shape
       Kalaripayattu became more developed during the 9th century and Kalaripayattu was first documented around the 11th or 12th century AD by the historian Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, who attributed its creation to an extended period of warfare that took place between the Chera and the Chola dynasties in the 11th century.



TRADITIONAL KALARI TREATMENT
       The training of a student to become a master includes the training in Ayurveda and in locating the vital points of the body. A Kalari Guru is not only a trained movement artist but also a professional in Ayurveda, a doctor who treats people of diseases and general ailments. Kalari has developed a traditional orthopedic system which is widely popular all over the states, especially for the setting of displaced bones. There are different types of Oils, pastes, herbs etc are used only by kalari masters to treat muscle and bone injuries.

KALARI MASSAGE
       The first stage of the preparation of a warrior and the artiste is based on oil massage known as Udvarthaizam or Uzhichal. The Ayurvedic tradition of Susrutha says that diseases are afraid of approaching a body which has been foot-massaged, just like animals in the sight of a lion.
      Combat situation demands an extremely agile, strong and supple body, which would instantly obey the focused mind. The ancient martial artists (warriors) used kalari massage to prime their body and sharpen reflexes.
      In Kalari massage the therapist or the kalari master uses his hand and feet to massage the recipient using medicated oils. The masseur uses nadisuthra kriya to apply pressure with the fingers, thumb or toe at certain points on the body. These pressure points (Marma points) are areas where there is a high concentration of Prana. Prana is the energy which gives life for the living organism.

Usually an uzhichil course lasts for fourteen days. At the time of massage the student has to follow strict restrictions in his or her daily routines. He should not expose to the sun for a long time should take only the prescribed food and should follow strict celibacy.

Three types of kalari massages are used for different purposes.

  • Sukha thirummu: This system of massage relieves the body from aches and muscular pains and also provides physical relaxation and rejuvenation.


  • katcha thirummu massage, given to increase a person's body flexibility and physical endurance, is particularly efficacious for those who practice martial arts and dance forms. It gives flexibility and suppleness to the body. This form of massage is combined with different yoga postures.


  • Raksha thirummu: This massage is for healing. Different ailments require specific massage techniques, which the masseur selects keeping the individual's condition in mind. The speed, force, number of stroke, the type of herbal oil used and the system of massage will vary depending on the patient's physical strength, age and ailment.

Massage helps the body to attain a healthy constitution as well as flexibility, nimbleness and suppleness. Moreover, massage can improve mental alertness and attention span by reducing tension and calming the mind .Kalari massage can keep one disease free and in a state of positive health.

MARMA POINTS
      Marmas are certain vital points of the body. A marma point is a juncture on the body where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscles, veins, ligaments, bones or joints and 'where the Prana is present'. There are total 108 Marma points in the body in which 64 are considered as kulamarma (deadly points). These points could be used to heel or to harm. If these points are pierced hard, it could result in trauma or even death. A kalari masseur uses the Marma points to heal. 
    The mind is considered as the 108th marma. The other marma points are classified for better understanding according to the physical components:
     Mamsa Marma - muscle
     Sira Marma - vessel
     Snayu Marma- Ligament
     Asthi Marma- bones
     Sandhi Marma - joints
Various kalari stylesKadathanatan KalariKaruvancheri KalariKodumala KalariKolastri Nadu KalariKurungot KalariMathilur KalariMayyazhi KalariMelur KalariNadapuram KalariPanoor Madham KalariPayyampalli KalariPonniyam KalariPuthusseri KalariPuthuram KalariThacholi KalariThotuvor KalariTulunadan Kalari
Weapons used in kalari

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