Chuvadu pizhachaal ellam pizhakkum
Learn Kalaripayattu to strengthen your roots with the planet! It provides strength and stability on both a mental and physical plane.
For example, the basic Gaja Vadivu deals with hip-opening and hip-abduction (thighs moving away from medial). The spine is lengthened and emphasis is given on pelvis tuck (tucking the tailbone in) in order to activate the core, glutes (buttocks), and inner thigh muscles. The inner thigh muscles (hip abductors) and hamstrings are parallel to the floor and are strengthened in this pose. The arms and shoulders also get a thorough lengthening in this pose and help in keeping the spine aligned and parallel to the floor. They also help runners to strengthen their legs, especially sprinters who run short distances.
Learn Gaja Vadivu and other fundamentals of Kalaripayattu through offline classes. This will be your first step to understanding this vast martial art form.
Two batch options,
1. Morning 6 am - 7 pm
2. Evening 5 pm - 6 pm
7 am to 8 am
This is a special class by Lakshmanan Gurukkal.
We provide drop-in classes for people to experience kalarippayattu for a day or two as a taster.
Levels of Kalaripyattu
Traditionally Kalaripayattu has four levels of competence which one acquires as part of the training process:
Meiabhyasam / Meipayattu (Basic Exercises)
The initial training involves exercises that build strength, agility, flexibility and balance in the student. These exercises involve the vandanam (Salutation), Surya Namaskar (Salutation to the sun), Ashta Vadivu (the eight animal poses) and other movement exercises that strengthen the core muscles, enhance flexibility of the body, and help develop greater balance.
At this stage, the student also learn chuvadu (steps) and Adavu (sequence of steps). These are sequences of movements which have a repetitive nature and help in building stamina, while also working on a core set of muscles for each type of exercise. These exercises, apart from developing specific sets of muscles also enable students build a rhythmic movement and increase their memory and mind-body coordination.
Kolthaari (Wooden weapons)
When the student has progressed sufficiently under the watchful guidance of the teacher, they become eligible to learn to use the wooden weapons. These include the long stick (Pantheeran – to indicate 12 spans), the short staff (mucchan), Otta (the curved stick).
Each of these weapons are accompanied by a sequence of steps (vaithari). The students learn these sequences of steps and their variations, and in time their movement becomes fluent, and the stick becomes an extension of their arms. These movements apart from teaching the student to defend themselves, also builds on mind-body coordination, and higher degree of awareness, and an ability to bring their focus to a single point.
Angkathaari (Metal Weapons)
The metal weapons form the next set of lessons for the student and consist of weapons like the dagger (Kadaram), sword and shield (Vaal and Parichaya), spear (kuntham) and the flexible sword (Urmi). As with the wooden weapons, these weapons are also learned with a specific sequence of movements. As the students become fluent with the weapons, they also learn the different variations and combinations in movements. The metal weapons require a high level of focus and concentration in order to avoid physical injury. The student subconsciously learns to become highly focused.
VerumKai (Bare-handed combat)
This is the final stage of learning where the student learns to defend himself without any weapons. In this section, the student learns to defend himself from any attacker carrying weapons with his bare hands. The sequence of steps involves learning to evade an attack by jumping, feinting, tumbles, blocking with arms and legs, disarm the opponent using holds and locks. This training calls for a high degree of agility and flexibility, and also awareness of the surroundings. A student at this level needs to be in a state where the body is all eyes, indicating the level of awareness of himself and the environment.
Rukmini, Kalari Student
A practice that goes beyond the physical. With a psycho-somatic approach, one can overcome not external enemies but also the enemies that lie within us like anger, lust, and greed.