Klarippayattu is a martial art.
MEYTHARI (mei-tha-ri)is the first stage in which a student learns the first body exercise sequence, including a vast array of poses, steps, jumps, kicks and leg exercises performed in increasingly complex combinations back and forth across the Kalari Floor. Meythari is basically very importent and helps to have full health and congruous articulation.KOLTHARI is the next step of training which includes paired fights with long staff, short sticks and Otta. Otta is a curved wood stick wich is most importent in Kolthari and used for short distance fighting and for cautiousness of the eyes , the speed of the hands and strength of the steps.'ANKATHARI', dagger, spear, 'sword and shield' and Urumi are used. Urumi is a five feet long flexible sword sharpened on both sides and coiled at the waist which is used for mass combat. The sword and shield being the paramount weopens is the most attractive feature of the 'Ankathari'.'VERUMKAI' (verum-kai).It means use only bare hands against armed attacks. Mastery of the above three stages enables a student to use his empty hands. 'Verumkai' is most advanced part of the total Kalarippayattu training, which eventually culminates when the student learns MARMAS (location of the body's vital spots).It is incredible that a person who knows Marmas is able to make a person still by using his forefinger.
The Kerala originated martial arts Kalarippayattu has a rich and a wonderful history. It is the oldwst form of all martial arts. It had gone through many reforms, new styles and versions. Now as a scintific self defence method klarippayattu is popular since 12th century AD. It is also a cultural perfomance of power and practice.
In Malabar, northernpart of Kerala, several gurukkals (masters) had given so many contributions to popularize this art and modern Kalarippayattu as one mode of cultural praxis through which bodies, knowledhe, powers, and agency have been and are repositioned through practice.
'Kalari' means place, open space, threshing floor, battlefield where martialexercises are taught. 'Pyattu' means, to exercise in arms. The guidence of a gurukkal is a must for training this art in a spiritual atmosphere. The religious rituals and practice of exercises make kalari safe from inadvertent injury, help develop a devotional attitude and contribute to a student's interior transformation.
Normally Kalarippayattu can be started at the age of seven, when the body is not stiff, less chance to damage. But it can be practised at any age under the supervision of a well experienced Gurukkal.
The system of practice in Kalari is mainly devided into four catagories.
In the third category
The fourth and final stage of the martial exercise is