Different type of Kalarippayattu  

There are two systems of Kalarippayattu, the Northern and the Southern system. Rudra Kalari conduct the Southern system, so we will give an account of its methods. The Southern system heavily concentrates on the focus of striking the pressure points, known as marma. The Southern Kalarippayattu has strong emphasis on open hand skills, that cover marama strike, locking techniques, kick and throwns.

The style of Kalarippayattu prevalent in Travancore, its border area known as Thekkan Sampradayam, belongs to the Southern system. It's believed that the Sage Agasthya was its exponent. The code of command or Vaytari for its practice is more or less in Tamil. This particular system gives more importance to the physical exercises and to the knowledge of vital point striking than the skill in weaponry. Communities like Ezhava, Kurup, Nadars, and Maravar had been the patrons of the style through the centuries. The folk tradition and ballads of this region depict the exploits of several heroes who had mastered the southern style of Kalarippayatt. Such aspects had not been properly analyzed by experts. At the heart of the Southern system is the complex forms, there are 18 forms to study. The first is the salutation form called Kalari Vandanam.

There are two types of forms in the Southern system, non moving (Otta Chuvadu) as above and moving (Kootta Chuvadu). In the moving forms, all manner of shapes are taken into account, from square, triangle, circle, etc. Within the Southern Kalarippayatt, like its Northern counterpart are the animal postures within the forms. Though taught in a different manner, both practise the snake, cock, boar, fish and many more, each having a different purpose either in application of exercise. Locking skills in Kalarippayatt are called Verum Kai Prayogam or unarmed fighting techniques. This is a unique method of offense and defense. In this technique various holds, grips and locks are combined with knuckle and elbow hits directed at the Marama or vital points of the opponents body. Through practice and understanding the bodies mechanics one can easily apply these locks that would disable an enemy completely. Usually, knowledge of this kind is not passed on indiscriminately to any one, but only those with a disciplined life who guarantees that the knowledge will not be misused.

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