The most ancient martial art of Kerala
Kalarippaayattu is the most ancient martial art, born in Kerala State, India. One form of it is practiced in Auroville by a few of the residents.
According to the legend, Bodhidharma went to China in 5th century A.D. and taught Buddhism and Kalarippayattu for self-defense.
Even now, we can see ancient images depicted on the walls of the Shaolin Temple of Indian masters teaching the Chinese hermits both Kalarippayattu and massage.
Swiftness and concentration
Kalarippayattu develops swiftness and concentration and leads to rightness of action.
Recognising that the Body is the bridge between Spirit and Matter, it is important to strengthen and develop physical consciousness.
As the Mother says:
"We want to come in contact with the supreme consciousness, the universal consciousness; we want to bring it down in ourselves and to manifest it. But for that we must have a very solid base; our base is our physical being, our body. Therefore we have to build up a body solid, healthy, enduring, skilful, agile and strong, ready for everything. There is no better way to prepare the body than physical exercise: sports, athletics, gymnastics, and all games are the best means to develop and strengthen the body."
There are 3 types of Kalarippayattu in Kerala: Northern, Southern, and Mid-Kerala. They all work from a 'Kalari' (gymnasium, dojo), which has
traditional measurements of 42 feet long by 21 feet wide. It must be built in the direction from East to West, with the entrance from the East. The prayer-place, consisting of 7 steps, is in the southwest corner. Before starting the classes, every student is required to bow and pray.
There are five stages in Kalarippayattu's northern style, which is practiced in Auroville. The first three cover extensive body fitness training, stick training and weapon training. The fourth gets into bare-hand training, and only those who have thoroughly studied and practiced the previous stages will be taught this 4th lesson, since it is the most secret part of the Kalarippayattu training. A student must be very obedient, trustworthy, good-tempered and master of himself to move to this stage.
The fifth stage deals with Ayurvedic treatment for body and mind. After successfully completing the first four stages, a student will get plenty of exercises and will have a good physical condition. He will then obtain the ability to treat others physically and mentally.
Here is tye first of the videos on Kalarippayattu I am posting :