In no other system imparting
training as self-defense or martial arts is seen a similar combination of
weapon training as in kalaripayat and it is this system of scientifically
arranged and well-graded series of exercises for achieving maximum
physical agility makes kalarippayat unique.
This is a cane about five feet long. This is a
training for eye to understand the movements of the opponent, looking at
his face. It is also a training to use a long
staff as a powerful weapon of offence and defense. This exercise really
forms a preliminary to the art of lighting with a
This is a short staff of 3 spans and requires more care and precision in wielding. The movements are more
rapid and blows are delivered in quicker succession. The practice of
Cheruvadi calls for great agility of movement and an idea of quickness
with which it is practiced, can be formed when you are told that about a
hundred blows can be dealt in about a minute.
This is a short staff about 18 to 20 inches long.
Allthe attacks with this is aimed at the "Marmas" or vital spots of
the body. this is the initial training for scientific bare hand combat.Otta practiced to perfection calls for a lot of stamina and
The dagger has a length of
about one-foot and is sharp on both sides and is pointed at the end. The
principle uses are slashing, cutting and prevention of attack. No shield
is used, cuts and thrusts are made on all sides and the slightest
in-attention on the part if the combatant would find his opponent's dagger
deep into his body.
The pupils of gigantic
structure and great muscular strength prefer the use of this weapon.
Though body strength is considered to be very essential, still agility and
dexterity are counted much for the successful handling of this
The spear is a deadly weapon and was
generally used in ancient war-fare. In, this, it is difficult to fight
at close quarter. Cuts, thrusts, whirling
and several kinds of locks are made with it and they are parried and
returned with the spear itself.
The use of the sword and shield in an efficient manner is considered to be the peak of perfection in armed combat. An extraordinary control over the body, agility, a quick eye and a keen presence of mind are necessary for the mastery of sword fight. The combatants have to turn and twist their body in all possible ways and to leap and jump with surprising ease and agility.
In this Combat, one is armed with sword and shield and the other with spear unlike in other combats where the opponents face each other with identical weapons. In this, the weapons are different and due to the length of the spear the spearman can keep his enemy at a certain distance. At the same time the swordman has a sword for offence and shield for defense but the spearman has only a spear for offence as well as defense.both tries to exploit the disadvantage of the opponent.
Kathiyum Thalaym involves the most crucial techniques in the art of self-defence. One person attack with a knife and the other defends him-self with the aid of a six cubit long piece of cloth held by both hands in a peculiar way. The offence and defence techniques are very interesting to watch.
This is long flexible sword measuring about 5 feet in length and sharp at both sides. One cannot handle this unless he has thorough mastery over the body-control exercises. Warrior in mass attack uses this weapon if the wielding is not perfect, it may cause wounds on the user itself.
This is the training for defence without using any weapon against an armed or unarmed person. Secret techniques of defence against the attacks on the vital spots ( "marma" ) is also practiced in this.
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