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The students receiving greetings from the audience
Kalaripayattu is the oldest living martial art in the world. It originated in
Kerala, the southern state of India, more than 1,500 years ago. Impressed by its unarmed
self-defence techniques, Budhist monk Bodhi Dharma took it to China, from where the present day Karate, Kung Fu and Tae-kwon-do evolved. The IGNCA hosted a Kalaripayattu lecture-demonstration on June 7, 2004, as part of its activities to promote Indian arts.
The Sword Fight
The fracture treatment system developed as a corollary of the rough and tumble world of martial art, does away with X-rays and plaster-cast. The Kalaripayttu system is divided into four sections :
It is the most comprehensive personal combat training skill anywhere in the world. The training includes exercise to develop sharp reflexes for unarmed combat and techniques of combat using mace, spears, daggers, sword and shield etc. There is also unique Kerala weapon -- the lethal flexible sword called the
Urumi which can be concealed as a waist belt. In olden days of kingship in Kerala, the kings patronized various
Kalaris or gyms. Rivalry between kings were sought to be settled with a match between two schools. The Nair community of Kerala considered it their preserve and prestige to be experts in Kalaripayattu. Now, of course, the form is open to all. Twenty four students of the Folkland International Centre participated in the lec-dem, flying about in the lawns of the IGNCA with stunningly controlled body movements.
Copyright IGNCA© 2004