Arun who loves watching nothing less than the World Wrestling Championships and action movies on television surprised me by tuning in to a History channel recently. On prodding him further I got to know that he was trying to learn more about Kalaripayattu, a martial art form mastered by his idol Vidyut. I joined him and we watched the documentary that talked about the nitty gritty of the art form.
Getting To Know More About Kalaripayattu
We were awestruck by the fluid movements of the art form being practiced before us. After the initial hesitation and apprehensions, we approached few Kalari (or Kalaripayattu) students and their trainers. While Arun tried his hands on some of the moves, I talked to the trainer about the art form. According to them, the 3000 year old martial art form symbolizes the raw power and the sinuous strength of the majestic animal forms like lion, tiger, elephant, wild boar, snakes and crocodile. It has been the combat code of the South Indian ruling dynasties of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas.
I got to know that Kalaripayattu is not just about kicking, punching or stabbing; it is all about learning to use your body in every possible way. The art form helps its practitioners in gaining mental peace, physical strength and flexibility.
The History of Kalaripayattu
The Gurukal took me and Arun on a trip inside the centre. The centre has daily Kalari performances at 6 in the evening. The viewers sit in the gallery section to get a better view of the Kalari enthusiasts who perform in the centre of the crowd. He talked spiritedly about how Kalari is also a field of medicinal sciences. Kalari Chikitsa heals your body and keeps it in regenerative mode. It also works wonders as an excellent orthopedic system and massage regimen.
The Kalari Marma knows every nook and corner and secrets of your body. There are 108 vital nodal points in our body. (Did you know that? Atleast I did not). He also added laughingly that a Kalari master can kill you with a simple touch.