Kalaripayattu – The oldest martial arts form in India, has more art than war.

This fantastic martial technique was developed in a region of the world known for its mythological and mystical history. India is the birthplace of this unique fusion of performance, visual, and intellectual arts.

The traditional martial technique of Kalaripayattu incorporates yogic strength, posture refinement, and Ayurvedic medical practices. It also requires fluid water-like movements and weaponry along with the art of using the weapons.

Let’s learn more about how the exciting and deadly martial arts form of Kalaripayattu came into being!

What is Kalaripayattu?

The oldest Indian martial technique, known as kalarippayattu, was created in the state of Kerala over 2000 years ago. The phrases "Payattu" and "Kalari," which both mean "Training school," are combined to make the name "Kalaripayattu."

Kalaripayattu is largely focused on self-defense and is motivated by strength and natural fighting abilities. Kalaripayattu is frequently associated with Eastern Asian fighting techniques today.

However, its origins may be traced to European combat methods that were depicted in kalarippayattu artwork dating to as early as the 1550s. Many historians consider Kalarippayattu martial arts to be the origin of all Martial Arts due to the kalarippayattu pictures.

One of the most important aspects of martial arts is learning to use the body in every way possible. This goes beyond kicking, punching, and stabbing.

As seen in kalarippayattu images, the traditional martial art of Kalaripayattu integrates yogic power and posture refinement. Moreover, Kalaripayattu’s Ayurvedic medical practices support its healing techniques.


The practice of Kalaripayattu is said to have originated in ‘Dhanur Veda’. Dhanur Veda is an ancient Indian text which means the “science of archery”, it consisted of all the traditional fighting arts. The point of focus in Dhanur Veda texts is not on battlefield strategies, but on training in martial techniques.

Kalaripayattu training is very holistic. It attempts to develop both mental and physical control. In Kalaripayattu this mental and physical control is of utmost importance as the weapons serve solely as an extension of the fighter’s body.

The Kalaripayattu training requires the student to achieve a high level of proficiency in both offensive and defensive combats.

The disciplined training of Kalaripayattu includes learning the tricks of Ayurveda and locating the vital points of the body for corrective measures turning this form into the perfect synergy of art, science, and medicine.

The Kalaripayattu training is thought to be more of a meditative process than anything aggressive, which is what one may expect from learning a martial art style.

Kicks in Kalaripayattu: Power and Benefits

There are 4 styles of powerful kicks in Kalaripayattu:

1. Ner Kaal
Flexibility and strength are key requirements for this Kalaripayattu leg workout. The straight swing (ner kaal), where ner denotes straight and kal denotes leg, is one of the basic kicks in Kalaripayattu training. It is the first exercise while Kalaripayattu training is starting.

2. Kon Kaal
Kon kaal, sometimes referred to as the corner leg or the diagonal swing, is another potent Kalaripayattu martial arts kick. Kon kaal transition is called akam kaal, or inward press.

3. Veethu Kaal
Veethu kaal is another fantastic kick in the kalaripayattu training. It is commonly known as the round kick from the inside out.

4. Mumbil Chavitti Thirinju
Mumbil chavitti thirinju is the name of an advanced kalaripayattu martial arts kick that includes a straight swing with spins.

Benefits of Kalaripayattu Kicks -

  • This martial art helps you focus more readily and more comfortably.
  • You pick up a variety of flexible defense strategies that you can employ in combat.
    It also enhances flexibility and strength.
  • Throughout the Kalaripayattu process, several yoga asanas are taught, and they can greatly enhance your life and the way you see yourself.
  • As you develop a strong mental presence over time, you eventually start to create some moves on your own during the Kalaripayattu battle and the Kerala Kalaripayattu fight.
  • You can utilize Kalaripayattu techniques to win a battle when attacked.
  • Additionally, Kalaripayattu training helps you feel more self-confident


In conclusion,
What other forms of cultural expression can simultaneously make art of peace through war and a reward of self-improvement through the godlike transcendence of one's physical limitations — all with the grace and beauty of a dancer? What other forms of expression can claim to cure and kill or harm and heal with the opposite sides of the same hand?

When you travel to Kerala to study more about Kalaripayattu, the oldest, most noble, and most exquisite of martial arts, your trip can turn into a pilgrimage.

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