Indian martial arts Kalaripayattu
Kadathanadan kalari sangam


Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial arts form from Kerala. The movements and exercises are based on the science of Yoga and the medical treatment is based on the science of Ayurveda.

“Kalari is a holistic approach integrating body, mind and spirit.”

Mythology credits Saint Parasurama as being the father of Kalaripayattu having learned it form God Shiva himself. Kalaripayattu means the fighting art of the Kalari. In ancient South India the Kalari (yard for practicing Kalaripayattu) was a place of learning for subjects such as medicine, philosophy, astrology, architecture, and geometry, in addition to combat art and yoga.

Another definition is ‘Kalari’ (Battlefield) and ‘Payattu’ (Training in the art of combat). Kalaripayattu includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods.

kalaripayattu Indian martial arts
Kalaripayattu classes
kalaripayattu training Wayanad , Kerala

Spiritual Aspect of Kalari Training

When the student steps foot on the kalari, they touch the earth(Mother) first and then their Ajna(third eye) chakra followed by their Anahata(heart) chakra. These movements are followed with a circular hand striking technique to salute and receive the blessings of the Universe and salute to Mother Earth to receive her Grace. Following this movement, the student approaches the tiered Puthara altar(representing the 7 chakras)at the head of the kalari. Once again, the touching the altar is followed by the touching of the Third Eye and Heart Chakras. This process is repeated at thge completion of the training. This instills in the aspiring student, the proper spiritual mindset and respect necessary to acheive a connection between mind and body.

Kalaripayattu herbal oil

Kalaripayattu Herbal Oil

Before training begins, the kalaripayattu student applies special herbal oil, made by the master, to the entire body. It is used to enhance the flexibility for the dynamic movements, to alleviate the aches and pains in muscle and joint which often accompany vigorous physical exercise, and to help cool down the body temperature. As an added benefit, this herbal oil will promote soft, smooth skin. This multi-purpose oil is also used for Kalari marma massage which is normally performed with the foot.