Intro to Kalaripayattu

Intro to Kalaripayattu Intro to Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu is a modernly practiced martial art centered in Kerala India. Its lineage derives from the study of martial arts by the Nayars of the medieval kingdoms in this region and their use of training spaces called "Kalaris". The art is a system of training encompassing bodily exercises, hand to hand, weapons forms and healing techniques that build from the Ayurvedic system of medicine. In practice, the art is unarmored, unmounted combat used in either one on one or small group fights.

In this class we'll cover a quick introduction to what we know about the history of this art and some resources for the study of the precedents for this art in India.

The majority of the class will be taking a look at some of the introductory concepts and body exercises used to build skill in this art form. Our primary focus will be the exercises that can be done solo to build core skills and movement vocabulary in ways that combine strength, flexibility and balance, as well as a short demo into how these skills can be combined into sequences, and/or used with stick weapons.

This is a great form for building strength and flexibility simultaneously. Due to the rigor and combination of movements used in these exercises, it's a great way to build core strength and control for both dance and other styles of movement. These days, many classical Indian dancers will cross-train in this style to increase their dance abilities as well as by martial artists looking to challenge themselves.

This is a vigorous style. Students are recommended to:
- have a free and open area for practice - at least 10'X10', but a wider space in at least one dimension is recommended.
- wear clothing that allows you to squat deeply, jump, turn quickly, and kick high. Traditional clothing is a short dhoti drape or sewn pants, with or without a vest, and tight sash at the waist. Tie back long hair.
- have bare feet and a space you can be barefoot in safely. As a fall back, jazz shoes or martial arts sneakers may be workable.
- this is a tricky form to make adjustments in - please tell me if at any time you are having pain or if you have been previously injured, and we'll figure out what we can. I may advise abstinence from certain movements.