History of Kalarippayatt  

As far as a person is concerned among his invaluable wealths, the first place goes to his own body. Therefore it is his duty to confront the attacks towards his body. We can hinder the attack of diseases through our way of life, through medicines or through rejuvenation by Ayurvedic treatment. But we can confront the attack from enemies or ferocious animals only through scientific and systematic martial arts. Each nation has its own kind of martial arts. But Kerala's martial art 'Kalaripayattu' is different from all these. This is because Kalaripayattu which contains the rules of counter attack not only help us to resist the attacks from enemies but they also help us to resist the attack from diseases.

The reasons are:-

1.   In Kalaripayattu, there is both physical exercise and meditation to bring the body under our       total control.

2.   There is complete training to counter the attacks by using weapons as well as bare hands.

3.   Through Kalaripayattu we will be able to build a healthy body and firm state of mind.

4.   Kalaripayattu is a visual art which anyone can enjoy.

The word 'Kalari' means the centre for training and the word 'Payattu' means training to use weapons. From this the term Kalaripayattu originated.

In Kerala, today mostly two systems of Kalaripayattu are in existence.They are the southern system and the northern system.

In northern system, importance is given to control over the bodily organs as well as to the martial use of weapons.

But the southern system gives importance to the exact use of weapons and to the energetic rules of counter attacks. In southern system more importance is given to applications in the vital spots of the body and applications using bare hands. Southern system is more ancient than the northern system. The Guru of southern system is Agastyan.

In Kalaripayattu there are two arts of warfare which are not so widely used and which has a secret nature. It has a relation with the southern system. They are the 'Naalumatra' and the 'Bheeman vazhi'. They give importance to the application in the vulnerable spots of the body and 'Pootukal' (Lock system).

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