KALARI PAYATTU

World’s oldest martial art for a perfectly healthy human mind, body and soul that possesses extreme physical and mental strength.

 

Kalari is the Malayalam (language spoken in Kerala) word, for a special kind of gymnasium, where the martial art known as Kalari Payattu, is practiced. It had its origins in the 4th century A. D. A special feature of Kalari is training in 'Marma', the art of knowing and activating the 107 energy points in the body.
These vital points (called marmas) are used for correcting the body's energy flows and replenishing its resources. Kalari therefore aims to make the practitioner not just a warrior but a self-healer, and one who can also help others with his healing powers.
Kalaripayattu evolved through centuries and is based on the idea of a sound mind in a sound body. Among the present day martial arts of the world, that of Kerala, (a state in the southern most part of India) is named Kalaripayattu and it can be considered as the most ancient and comprehensive. Legends say that around 525 AD an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharama traveled to China and preached at the Shaolin temple. On finding the monks weak and listless, Bodhidharama taught them the eighteen hands of Buddha - a special set of exercises and from this evolved the Chinese art of Shaolin Boxing. These eighteen hands of Buddha were said to be derived from the eighteen adavukal (adavu = technique), which form the base of the Vadakkan or northern style of Kalarippayattu.

Kalarippayattu is considered as the most comprehensive of all the martial art traditions because it has:

  • An excellent system of physical training.
  • Very effective self defense techniques - both armed and unarmed.
  • A great system of vital pressure points based system of fighting and treatment using the principles of Ayurveda.
  • A comprehensive guide to attaining the flexibility and desired physical and mental strength required to practice this martial art.
  • It incorporates and links with ayurveda and has developed its system of healing and treatment for injuries that may arise as a result of the practice of Kalari.
  • A great philosophy based on the Vedic culture of India.
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INDIAN SCIENCES KALARI, YOGA AND AYURVEDA and their connection -

Since the martial art primarily dealt with warfare, injuries and wounds were inevitable and hence the science of kalari incorporated effective treatments from ayurveda for cure of wounds, burses, dislocations and fractures. Healing has always been an important part of martial arts. You cannot be a fighter without knowing how to heal your wounds. Treatments in Kalari make use of Ayurvedic herbs and herbal preparations and provide instant relief.
In addition, the practice of this martial art requires great deal of body flexibility, physical strength, extremely high levels of mental concentration and a synergy of the mind, body and soul to be able to attack and defend the body with extremely fast reflexes. The requisite physical fitness is acquired by making use of a disciplined regimen of yoga techniques. These yoga asanas being used for improving the flexibility have come to be called the “Kalari yoga”. The body is prepared for improving the flexibility by making use of Uzhichil or massages with specially prepared oils (herbal extracts are added) which also provides an effective treatment for rheumatic complaints and nervous disorders. The mental strength, focus and concentration are improved by means of meditation, pranayama and yoga practice.  Hence, Kalari has incorporated kalari yoga and Kalari ayurvedic treatments (including massages) too.
Kalarickal Ayurveda provides Kalari yoga and Kalari treatments including marma chikitsa.

 

Marma Chikitsa – part of Kalari treatments

Marma shastra, is a part of the ancient Indian martial art form that manipulates vital points in the body, can be used both for self-defense and healing. The knowledge attained by the sages and yogies of ancient India, about the 107 vital points led to the development of this unique treatment method.

Marmas are conjuction points of consciousness in the body. Their most common application is in Ayurvedic massage. They also play a very important role in Yoga asana and meditation. Marma knowledge along with the knowledge of ayurveda, has the potential to treat all physical and mental diseases.

There are 107 major marmas in the body where Purusha (consciousness) is brought into Prakritti (body) to give life to the living being (both humans and animals have these points).
This information on Marmas is found in a proper translation of Shushrut Samhita. It was used extensively by ancient surgeons who would not cut energy channels when they would operate. This would ensure proper healing after the surgery.

kalari-marma
Figure : Showing some vital marma points of the body
 
Ayurvedic - Kalari Massage
 
Kalari massage blends the body, mind and spirit. In doing so, it harmonizes the biological system of the body.  It enhances the circulation of the body fluids and activates the lymphatic system of the body, thus working as a cleansing agent of the body.  Kalari massage revitalizes the body by relaxing and opening up energy pathways, stimulates and improves blood circulation in nerve endings and muscles and awakens the self-healing mechanism of the body which eventually leads to a healthy life.  It is a positive approach to good health. Even if you do not suffer from any disease, you can use it to promote and rejuvenate the body and mind.
 
Features of Kalari massage
  • Combines with yoga, pranayama and meditation.
  • Improves blood and lymphatic circulation.
  • Allows life-energy to flow freely.
  • Provides full relaxation and releases emotional stress.
  • Balances the sapta dhatu (seven tissues of human body; plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bone, bone-marrow and semen).
  • Stimulates nadi-sutra (Ayurvedic acu-pressure).
  • Stimulates marmas.
  • Stimulates foot points (foot reflexology).
 
THREE FORMS OF MASSAGE

1. Sukha thirummu: For physical comfort.
2. Katcha thirummu: For physical endurance and flexibility. Helpful for those involved in sports, Martial arts and dance.
3. Raksha thirummu: For Holistic healing

All of the above make use of  a special massage with foot called Chavittithirummu.

Patients suffering from ailments like Rheumatism, Paralysis, Back pain, Slip disc, Blood pressure, Muscular problems, Headache, Nervous weakness, Stomach trouble, Asthma, Anxiety, Weakness, Irritability, Obesity, Feelings of insecurity, Agitation etc get relief with massage. Useful to promote sleep, for calming psychotic individuals, to give rest and relief to depressed patients, and for persons withdrawing from drugs, alcohol and heroin. Massage can improve the self-defense mechanism of the body and increase immunity from environmental changes and give self-confidence and will power.

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