Kalarippayat (Malayalam for "exercises on the battle ground") or Kalarippayattu, short: Kalari, is an ancient martial art that orignates from Kerala, South India.
It is typical for Kalarippayat training that new and advanced students train together. Every training starts with warm up, strength and fexibility exercises followed by different leg exercises, kicks and bodypositions. Body movements (Meyappayat), are another element of every training session.
Kalarippayat is very good for children, because it strengthens concentration, endurance and self-confidence. Kalarippayat is the ideal compensatin for stress from school and develops joy of exercising.As well, adults get good profit from the training, even if learning a martial art is not you main focus: Of course, you learn self defense and attack techniques, your fitness, strength and endurance, but you also train your awareness, self confidence, will power, your coordinative skills and breath control.
Meyapayattu - bodyforms
You learn all kinds of leg exercises, different kicks, junps, turns and low positions. As you progress, these meyapayattus become more complex and difficult.
But already the first meyapayattus include most of the important elements and train body and mind holistically.
Koltari - wooden weapon
The second level of Kalari is koltharippayattu or training with wooden weapons. Koltharippayattu knows a serie of exercises and forms with wooden weapons of different forms and lengths. There are: Pandirujan, Kettukari, Muchan, Otta,
Marmakol and Gada.
You do the training of attacks and defenses with weapons in pairs.
Verumkai - freehand technique
In kalari every part of the body is considered a weapon: fist, knee, elbow etc.
Verumkai means that you being unarmed face somebody with or without a weapon. This is the fourth and most advanced level of kalari training.
Here you use hits, pushes, kicks and locksas techniques for attack and defense. Hits and kicks are directed towards the marmas (vital points) on the body of the opponent.