Welcome to Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam
School of Kalaripayattu
The rich and ancient art of kalaripayattu is a way of life, balancing mind, body and soul. Set in the cool green mountains of Wayanad, Kerala, Kadathanadan Sangam is a traditional school with a long lineage teaching this unique form of Indian martial arts.
WHAT IS KALARIPAYATTU?
Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial arts form from Kerala, one of the southernmost states of India. It is a holistic art, with meditation, medicine, and massage as part of the practice together with the body movements and weapons training. The movements and exercises of kalaripayattu are from Yoga and the medical treatments are from Ayurveda, both ancient Vedic sciences from the early civilizations of India. It was banned by the British Raj during the colonial period, but has experienced a great revival since independence, a feat only made possible by the lineage holders who practiced in secret to maintain the knowledge of this powerful and culturally important art.
“Kalaripayattu is a modern system of education. By mastering the energy you attain self-control and overcome life’s difficulties. The student of Kalaripayattu is inculcated with moral responsibility. In this ancient martial art, effectiveness and physical strength are supported by respect, attention, and non-violence so that order is maintained in oneself and in society.“
Kalaripayattu literally means ‘training for battle’: ‘Kalari’ (Battlefield) and ‘Payattu’ (Training in the art of combat). Traditionally practiced by the Nair warrior caste of Kerala, it is a fierce and powerful martial art, and has its roots firmly in Indian spirituality and myth. Mythology credits Saint Parasurama as being the father of Kalaripayattu having learned it form God Shiva himself. 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.
To learn more about the stories of kalari, please see our History of Kalaripayattu page.
Explore the many stages of kalaripayattu training and the techniques that they require. From fighting with wooden sticks all the way through to training for battle with sword and shield and concocting home made healing potions this training regime will show you everything.
Kalari has a rich and ancient history, (and has experienced a strong revival following destruction by the British Raj). Deriving from the Sanskrit word for battlefield, this ferocious martial art was once a compulsory activity for all inhabitants of Kerala to keep them battle ready.
An essential aspect of Kalaripayattu, the massage is used in training to keep the body limber and to heal injury. Despite originating form the same place as the Ayurveda massage, there are crucial differences between Kalari and Ayurveda.
A wide range of weapons are used in training – from the muchan (short wooden stick), through the kettukari (long wooden stick) all the way to the highly advanced sword, urumi and other metal weapons. The training is intended to make all of these an extension of the body.
As well as intense physical training, Kalaripayattu also offers a training regime for the mind and soul. This aims to give the student a reverence for life and a start on the journey to untangle the mystery of human existence. This aspect of training helps to strengthen the bond between Master and student.
A key part of the spiritual training, Chakra meditation helps Kalaripayattu fighters to maintain mental balance and stamina. By aligning the Chakras one may achieve inner peace and limitless focus – attributes which are very useful both on and off the training floor.
It is a regrettable fact that women may need to know how to defend themselves against potential male attackers. Women taking part in training will be empowered by being taught special self defense techniques specifically for fending off larger, stronger attackers.
Marma are vital pressure points used for both attack and massage. From the Sanskrit for ‘hidden or secret’, these points of overlapping tissue cause extreme effects if attacked correctly ranging from intense pain to instant death.
Kalaripayattu and yoga is a fantastic combination. The yoga helps to maintain the body flexibility and strength required for Kalaripayattu as well as conditioning the mind for meditation. The schedule involves morning yoga with Kalari training and an evening Kalari session. The yoga classes are aimed at beginners.
The Yogic diet is more a way of life than a diet. Focusing on the consumption of fresh, homegrown foods and the absorption of cosmic energy (prana), this holistic approach to eating also incorporates meditation in its methods so the mind may be as healthy as the body. It is as useful to Kalaripayattu as it is to yoga.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US
My experience in Thomas’ School has been truly amazing. Thomas picked me up from Calicut airport which is about 120km from his house in Wayanad. Kalaripayattu is the mother of all martial arts… it is truly amazing. I have learned many new skills and my fitness, strength, stamina, balance, body and mind focus and coordination have all improved significantly…
John Fuster | Spain