Kalaripayatt is the ancient martial art of Kerala, which has been practiced for centuries. It has it's own style and peculiarities according to the culture, geographical and historical background of Kerala. There is no other ancient martial art in the country to compete with this system and the techniques complied (accomplished) by the great Gurus of ancient India. 'Kalari' means the place/space where Kalaripayatt is being practiced. KALARI' the word coming from Sanskrit language. It is "Khaloorika" a place were weapon training is practiced. It is belived that it was from Sanskrit word "Khaloorika" that the word "Kalari" came in use in Malayalam for similar institution imparting training in martial art. Such institution were common throughout the country where similar training was imparted in each regions they might have been known by different names, according to the differences in the regional languages.
The systems of physical and weapon training imparted within the Kalari came to be called "Kalaripayatt" means to practise. The exercises for martial training are practiced. Also exercise-cum - combat in training for martial way is taught. Kalaripayatt is an institution of the traditional Gurukula system where students stay with their guru from their chilhood and undergo training until they become experts. The Kalari will be kept like a Temple and the space has to be respected. Nevertheless there are no restrictions to religion, cast or sex. The class will open with the lighting of Bhadradeepam (The Holy Lamp) and the blowing of the divine conch.
Kalaripayatt is directly linked to the ancient Indian Science of War (Dhanur Veda) and medicine (Ayurveda). More over, the Dhanur Veda section of Agnipurana clearly establishes a close relationship between martial practise and meditation. Kalaripayatt emerged as a distinct, regional, martial, meditational and healing art around the 12th centaury A.D, although many principles and techniques antedate this period as it is clearly linked to earlier classical texts, it's generally traced during the period of disintegration of the PERUMALS of Kodungallore, it was an integral part of the socio-political system of medival Kerala. Principles and practices of Ayurveda, Dhanurveda and Yoga. The main elements of Kalaripayatt include training in physical culture, armed and unarmed combat, breathcontrol, higher forms of meditation and specific classes of treatments.
The legend is that Parasurama (picture parasurama), an avathar of Lord Maha Vishnu, and the disciple of Lord Siva, is the creator of Kerala and the founder of Kalaripayatt. (click) Kalaripayatt is a concept of developing oneself to become a perfect individual. This knowledge should not be abused under any circumstances other than self defence. Kalari helps to dispel all bad influences in children, stimulates them to be well disciplined individuals with quality character inculcating respect for their elders/enviorment, boosts up their power of concentration and sharpens their intellect This training helps them to face everything in life with confidence. Classical and folk-arts like kathakali, koodiyattam, Theyyam, Thira and contemporary theatre have incorporated this martial system in movements and body compositions to highlight and create various expressions on stage.
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