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.