Kalarippayat • Kids Fight Club • Kerala Martial Arts • INDIA • Kannur

The Ancient Fight Club: Kalarippayat

Kalarippayat is a Malayalam word that puts two meanings together. “Kalari” means gymnasium or school and “Payat” is physical exercise. Guru Prasad runs the small Payat on the outskirts of Kannur in India. After he retired from business, he chose to spend his time teaching neighborhood children the fighting art which he learned from his father. Kalarippayat is famous in Kerala, in India’s south-western coast. The building – the actually fight club – itself isn’t much to look at, however. it’s just a small, concrete building with a hard, mud floor.

The Exercises

All ages are trained in Kannur. The first set of exercises emphasize flexibility. Later, students learn to use a range of weapons – from swords to sticks as well as moves for hand-to-hand combat. All of the moves are choreographed for training purposes.
Once there were multiple styles and forms of Kalari all throughout Kerala. They are now dying out as new generations take to other recreational activities or martial arts, like karate.Kalari-SNAP-2
You can watch a full interview with Guru Prasad here: https://youtu.be/_VwpbtdNBoA
Here is a good list of other Kalarippayat in Kerala: http://sangamjp.web.fc2.com/kerala/kannur.htm
Kanpur, February 2014

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