If I say Martial Arts, you might probably start remembering Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee fighting their villains off by flying. It is indeed true that Martial arts are often associated with South East Asian countries like China, Japan, etc.
Kalarippayattu, ever heard of this word? The answer â€œNoâ€ is definitely a common answer that we receive since this is not all that popular like Karate, Kung Fu, etc. Born from God’s own country, Kerala, Kalarippayattu is the most ancient Martial art form.
The person trained with Kalarippayattu can achieve an ultimate coordination of body and mind. Kalarippayattu is not only a fantastic physical exercise but also gives immense Mind level benefits. It increases body flexibility, Strength, immunity and overall health. Other than these physical benefits, it helps you improve concentration, patience, self awareness, discipline, receptivity and a stress buster too.
There is a Folklore associated with this ancient art form that it is founded by Parasurama, who was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Word Kalarippayattu is the combination of â€œKalariâ€ and â€œPayattuâ€, here Kalari means the place where we fight and Payattu means â€œexercising a trickâ€.
Back to 14th Century, Kalari was first mentioned in historical literature as an acceptedÂ art form though its original traces were way back of 15,000 BCE. Sangam Literature Era (300 BC and 300 AD) has its first references of being it as a form of martial arts and warfare.
Sage Agastya, who have lived around 15,000 BCE is one of the ancient Saptarshis. It was considered that he was the one who fathered the ancient form of warfare which is the parent form of Kalarippayattu. Do you still doubt whether this Kalarippayattu is the motherÂ Of All existing Martial Arts?
Bodhidharma,Â the Buddhist monk who lived around 5th or 6th Century AD. He was a trained practitioner of this Dravidian Martial art form. He has traveled to Shaolin temples and trained the monks in the art form that he practiced in southern India which is now called as Shaolin Kung Fu.
Bodhidharma is thought to have born to a King in Kanchipuram. His teacher, Prajnatara’s last wish was that Bodhidharma has to go to China and spread the teaching. As per his Guru’s wish, Bodhidharma traveled and initiated a training program. Soon, he realized that the monks where weak and needed a body and mind strengthening lessons. Hence, he taught them breathing exercises and Indian fighting exercise Kalarippayattu.
This oldest art form is safe to practice now and involves much rigorous training. The Beginning stage is called as Meithari which involves body sequences involving complex movements. Kolthari, the second stage involves in fighting with long wooden weapons.Â Next comes, Ankathari, the war training with metal weapons and the final stage being Verumkai wherein they fight with bare hands.