The Mother of All Martial Arts : Kalari or Kalarippayattu

Kalari or Kalaripayattu of ancient India is the world’s oldest martial arts. Infact, it is the mother of all martial arts in the world. Ancient buddhist monks who travelled from India to China to spread buddhism are said to have taught these martial arts to the Chinese.

For instance, one of the buddhist monks Bodhi Dharma who founded the Zen buddhism and is called Chan in China was a Kalarippayattu master himself! From his native Kancheepuram in South Indian state of Tamilnadu, he went to China in 522 AD to the court of Chinese emperor Liang Nuti. He taught Kalarippayattu at the Shaolin monastery to the buddhist monks to defend themselves from the frequent attacks by local bandits and dacoits. It has to be noted that all far eastern martial arts are taught by Buddhist monks. In China it is Kung Fu, Karate. In Japan the Samurai warriors are Zen Buddhists.

The Shaolin temple itself was founded by an Indian Dhyana master Buddhabhadra. On one of the walls of the Shaolin temple a fresco can be seen, showing south Indian dark-skinned monks, teaching the light-skinned Chinese the art of bare-handed fighting. On this painting (see image below) are inscribed: Tenjiku Naranokaku which means: the fighting techniques to train the body (which come) from India.

Please note that Buddhism was born in India and then spread to rest of the world including China, Japan, Thailand, Srilanka, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia etc.

As a Chinese Ambassador to USA, Hu Shih once said India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.. He was referring to the spread of Buddhism into China.

Kalaripayattu means Practicing the arts of the battlefield. Kalari means battlefield. Kalaripayattu is sometimes in short called as Kalari . It is today more prevalent in the south Indian state of Kerala. This art is said to have had its origin in the Rishi Agastya and in Parashurama. Agastya is a great name in Ayurveda – the main Indian medical system. Parashurama is also said to have reclaimed the submerged Kerala from the Arabian Sea (Will write on this aspect of Kerala someday)

The oldest reference to this martial art is found in the Rigveda and Atharvaveda. In Rigveda it is mentioned that lord Indra defeated the daemon Vritasura using one of the marmam techniques of Kalari. Marmam are pressure points in the human body and experienced practitioners can disable or kill their opponents by a mere touch of the opponent’s Marmam. This technique is taught only to the promising and level headed persons, to prevent its misuse. For Indian movie fans, this technique is used in the famous Indian movie Indian of Kamal Hassan by the aged but still energetic hero who fights against corruption.

Sushruta, one of the famous Indian ayurvedic medical practitioner and researcher who lived in 6th century BC identified and defined 107 vital points of the human body in his book Sushruta Samhita. Of these 107 points, 64 were classified as being lethal if properly struck with a fist or stick.

Students start with unarmed kicks and punches, then would graduate to sticks, swords, spears and daggers and finally study the marmas.

The Discovery Channel says Possibly the oldest martial art in the world, Kalarippayattu is still being practiced widely today in the Indian state of Kerala. Shaolin chuan is said to have evolved from Kalarippayattu.

Additional Information added on May 26, 2013

Yijin Jing, a Chinese text written during the times of Ming dynasty, talks about 12 exercises attributed to 12 animals that Bodhidharma studied for 9 years and taught at Shaolin. This is also the root of the most animal based martial arts developed in China. The entire institutionalization of Martial arts and the roots of modern Kung Fu are from this Shaolin.

The Okinawan martial arts and the Korean martial arts have their roots in the book Ji Xiao Xin Shu written by the Ming General Qi Jiguang who based it on Shaolin Quan Fa, the first principles from Shaolin.

The Origins of Indian martial arts can be traced back to the Dhanur Veda of the ancient Indian Vedic Civilization. Vishnu Purana considers these martial arts as one of the 18 branches of knowledge. It is said that Parashurama who recovered the land of Kerala from the seas established 42 kalari training schools and trained 21 masters to protect the land he created.

 

  • RazorChain

    Wait…what? What about Pankration and Roman gladiatoral combat? What about ancient Egyptian wrestling, stick fighting and boxing? I have also a hard time fathoming how Kalaripayattu influenced the ancient nordic martial art of Glíma.

    Most societies developed their own system of martial arts, both armed and unarmed. To imagine for example that Native Americans had no form of hand to hand combat or armed combat before coming into contact with some obscure Indian martial arts is doubtful.

    • mahiram

      but kalari was very old arts 5000 years ago

  • Anonymous

    YOU ARE WRONG…!!! The Fairy Tale of Parashurama recovering Kerala from Sea IS NOT IN THE VEDAS. IT IS WRITTEN IN KERALOLPATTI BY NAMBOOTHIRIS AFTER NOV 1 – 1956. Bodhidharma did not come from China to Kerala, Bodhidharma was born and
    brought up in Kanchipuram, Tamil nadu. Bodhidharma had nothing to do
    with Kalaripayattu. The most earliest form of Kalaripayattu
    (Thekkan/Southern kalari) was developed between the 11th and 12th
    Century AD; whereas, Bodhidharma lived between the 5th and 6th Centuries
    AD. The Secret Art of Varma Kalai was practiced in the then Tamilagam,
    now Tamil Nadu was practiced among the Royal families. Bodhidharma was
    the 3rd son of the Pallava King Suganda. Kanchipuram city was the
    capital of Pallava Kingdom during those days. Varma Kalai consists of
    Meditation (Vaasi yoga), Martial Art (Adi Murai) and Varma Vaithyam
    (Healing art using the Art of Pressure Points) and Siddha Medicine.
    These arts were given by Siddhars like Agasthyar, Bohar, Thirumoolar
    etc., in the Pandya Kingdom, today’s Tamil Nadu. The Thekkan kalari was
    developed from Adi Murai component of Varma Kalai by incorporating much
    rituals in them. Thekkan Kalari was the earliest form of Kalari
    developed between 12th and 13th Centuries AD. The Vadakkan/Northern
    style is a counterfeit of Thekkan style, which trains in the weapons
    first, and then bare hands; while, Thekkan Kalari trains with bare hands
    first and then weapons. Vadakkan/Northern style was developed from
    Thekkan style with negligible difference. And the youngest form Central
    Kalari is a combination of the Northern and Southern styles that came
    into existence only during the 15th Century AD. Besides Varma Kalai,
    there were Silambam and Kuthu Varisai, Malyutham, Adi Thadi were also
    practiced during the days of Bodhidharma. Since Bodhidharma was a King’s
    son, it was then necessary for them to undergo training in these arts.
    He had a good knowledge in Tamil Martial Arts which are the parent arts
    of Kalaripayattu. Kerala became a separate state only in 1956, how then
    would have Bodhidharma, during his lifetime have gone to Kerala in the
    5th Century…??? The malayalam language of Kerala itself was formed as a
    combination of Sanskrit and Tamil when the Namboothiri Brahmins from
    the North India (whose mother tongue was Sanskrit) came and settled in
    the West coast of the then Tamilagam (Todays whole land of Tamil Nadu,
    Kerala, and Southern parts of Andhra and Karnataka) in the late 9th
    Century AD. The malayalam language was formed by the Namboothiris during
    the late-11th Century AD…!!!

    Kalaripayattu includes the rituals of the Brahmins like Vaastu which
    itself shows the influence of Brahmins in this Art. Some rituals of
    Vaastu are – The student should place his right leg inside the Kalari
    first, the entrance door of the Kalari should be east facing, the
    student should touch the ground, worship the poothara and touch the
    Gurus feet… to name a few. There were no Kalaris in Tamil Nadu during
    the period of Bodhidharma, but there were other Martial Arts that were
    parent Arts to Kalaripayattu. For example, The Thekkan Kalari which was
    developed by the NADARS (a Tamil community) of Travancore Kingdom
    distinguishes itself from Vadakkan style. The Thekkan Kalari is a
    combination of Adi Murai (excuse me for a while; some people claim that
    Adi Murai is Thekkan Kalari. IT IS NOT;) Thekkan Kalari is a combination
    of Adi Murai, Malyutham and Adi Thadi (which were Tamil Martial Arts).
    The Nadars who are the Royal Warrior Caste of Tamil Nadu are trained in
    ALL TAMIL MARTIAL ARTS namely, Silambam and Kuthu Varisai (Generally ALL
    Tamil people train in these arts), Varma Kalai (The Martial Art of
    Thevar, Kallar and Nadars), Adi Murai (The Secret Art of the Nadars),
    Adi Thadi, Ayudha Murai, which is the Mother of Vadakkan and Madhya
    Kerala Kalaripayattu (The weapons used in Ayudha Murai like Sword and
    Shield, Surul Vazl, Deer Horn, Bullwhip, Horsewhip , Dagger etc., were
    in use even before Kalaripayattu was formed). They have blent all these
    Tamil Martial Arts into one Single Art into the name of Thekkan Kalari.
    (IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT MOST OF TODAY’S THEKKAN KALARI SANGAM LIKE JAI
    HIND KALARI, NAVA BHARATHA KALARI, AGASTHYA KALARI, CSK KALARI HAVE
    TEACHERS WHOISE ASANS WERE NADARS, AND SURAJ KALARI OF BANGALORE IS RUN
    BY THE NADARS) They call it Thekkan Southern Kalari because the Nadars
    of Tamil Nadu live in the Southern regions like Tirunelveli,
    Tuiticourin, Kanniyakumari, Madurai, Sivakasi regions of Tamil Nadu and
    Trivandrum, Kollam, Ernakulam regions of Kerala

    In Tamil, the word Kazhari was used in Sangam Literature to learn the
    Martial Arts (Kazham – battlefield ; Ari {Arindukozl/ Arivial} to know
    the science) In Tamil Kazhari means To Learn the Science of Battlefield
    Combat, which was without any rituals; whereas, the Malayalam word
    Kalaripayattu was derived from Sanskrit words (Kaloorika – place for
    training physic or gym and Payattu means practice). The Kalaripayattu is
    a COUNTERFEIT of KAZHARI

    Since Kalaripayattu became a dying Martial Art during the 19th Century
    the CULTS called Kalari Gurukkals of those period started to spread the
    RUMOR that Kalaripayattu is the mother of all martial arts. This is a
    LIE. There were martial arts in China even before Bodhidharma went to
    China. In Kalaripayattu, you have a concept called “Cheena Ati” meaning
    “Chinese Hit”. Gunavarmar, a warrior of Tamil Martial Art of Varma Kalai
    (those who were expert in Varma Kalai, in those days had the suffix as
    Varmar to their names in those days. Some examples are, Sadaiyavarman,
    Jayavarman, Rajendravarman, Narasimhavarman etc.) went to China in 320
    AD to spread these Martial Arts and Healing Arts (because there was a
    great plague in China those days, which never had any remedy, so the
    Tamil warriors were sent from Tamil Nadu to China for the purpose of
    Healing them with their knowledge in Varma Vaithyam (which has today
    resulted in Accu-pressure, Accu-punchture, Tai Chi).

    In China there is a FRESCO in one of the Shaolin Temples, which shows a
    dark-skinned monk, teaching their fighting skills to light-skinned
    people. This itself shows that Martial Arts were taken from Tamil Nadu
    to China. The picture did not show light skinned people teaching their
    fighting skills to light skinned people. In India, ONLY the TAMIL PEOPLE
    are dark-skinned people with only upto 10% of exception with some
    people from Northern states of Bihar amd Jharkhand. ALL Malayalees or
    people from Kerala are light-skinned people. The Fresco does not show
    them. The Kerala race are 80% Namboothiris, so there are ULTIMATELY NO
    DARK SKINNED KERALITE. This CLEARLY PROVES THAT MARTIAL ART WAS NOT
    TAKEN FROM KERALA TO CHINA. Also, the dark-skinned monk shown in the
    Fresco, is very very similar to Karikala Cholan statue in
    Ekambareshwarar Temple in Kanchipuram.

    More for proof, Bodhidharma is portrayed in the Shaolin Temples as the
    Founder of SHAOLIN Kung-Fu. When Bodhidharma went to China, he was in
    deep meditation for 9 full years. He learnt Vaasi Yoga (generally used
    to open the 3rd eye), which was a part of Varma Kalai. This is the
    reason why people who practice SHAOLIN Kung Fu can easily guess the very
    next attack of the opponent, before the opponent even thinks of how and
    where to attack. This is why the Shaolin Kung-Fu meditation is more
    powerful than any other form of Kung-Fu. Practitioners are taught this
    meditation in the way that it should be taught before starting the
    Shaolin classes.

    In the controversial case of Kalaripayattu, they do not learn Vaasi Yoga, they learn Katina Yoga.

    Some Kalari CULTS in order to revive their art and to gain money from
    foreigners started to publicize and advertise Kalaripayattu as the
    mother o all martial arts. Since they were not able to prove it, now
    they are trying their best to prove that Bodhidharma was born in kerala
    and spoke Malayalam. Some say, Bodhidharma was born in Calicut, some say
    in Ernakulam or Cochin, some say, Kodungallur. But in Tamil Nadu it
    mentions only one place, the Kanchipuram city which was The Capital City
    of The Pallava Kingdom during the period of Suganda King of Pallava
    Dynasty between the 3rd Century and 9th Century AD

    The pronunciation of the Chinese characters 香至 as Kang-zhi, meaning “fragrance extreme”

    Tsutomu Kambe identifies 香至 to be Kanchipuram an old capital town in the state Tamil-Nadu

    Kanchi means ‘a radiant jewel’ or ‘a luxury belt with jewels’ and puram
    means a town or a state in the sense of earlier times. Thus, it is
    understood that the ‘香至-Kingdom’ corresponds to the old capital
    ‘Kanchipuram. Even today, Kanchipuram is the HUB of Silk sarees, Luxury
    items Perfumes etc., in Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram, was also a place of
    Pilgrimage for Buddhists during the time of Bodhidharma.

    As I said before, the Malayalam language consists of 80% Sanskrit, it is
    because of the influence of the Namboothiris (whose mother tongue was
    Sanskrit) who came to the then Tamilagam during the late-9th Century AD,
    and learnt the local language Tamil, and used 20% of Tamil words to
    form a new language called malayalam. The malayalm language was formed
    only by the late-11th Century AD.

    THUS, THERE WAS NO KERALA, NO MALAYALAM, NO KALARIPAYATTU TILL 3
    CENTURIES AFTER THE DEATH OF BODHIDHARMA, (AS HE DIED AT 670 AD)

    THUS, THE CONCEPT OF BODHIDHARMA GOING FROM CHINA TO KERALA TO LEARN
    KALARIPAYATTU IS AN ULTIMATE BULLSHIT…!!! BODHIDHARMA WAS FROM
    KANCHIPURAM, TAMIL NADU, WHO SPOKE TAMIL LANGUAGE (THE ONLY LANGUAGE OF
    THE THEN TAMILAGAM) AND LEARNT VARMA KALAI, SILAMBAM, KUTHU VARISAI,
    MALYUTHAM, ADI THAI (TAMIL MARTIAL ARTS) AND TAUGHT THEM TO THE SHAOLIN
    MONKS…!!!

    • zack mike

      yes you are right kung fu did came from china and its truly WRONG that it came from india and i think some of the kalari practioners are too arrogant of their art and kept on saying that their martial art created everything and we will say THATS BULLSHIT

      • H.BHOWMICK

        YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY. YOUR HISTORY SAID THAT KUNG FU CAME FROM INDIA, KALARI IS MOTHER OF ALL MARTIAL ART IN THE WORLD.

        • zack mike

          go and study more you delusional freak its already proven false and how do you explain these

          1.) chang quan(long fist) a shaolin style martial art created by a chinese emperor(song taizu) who study chinese martial arts,wreslting and acrobatics

          2.) huang gar/5 animal fist created by 3 shaolin monks who were chinese warriors before they became buddhist monks(names are bai yu feng,jue yuan and li sou)

          3.) shou bo (a barehand combat that became modern san shou) it was created in the shang dynasty(1700bc) and it was practiced by the terracotta warriors in the qin dynasty(221bc) and there are taolu forms of hand to hand combat and wreslting

          4.) jiao di/shuai jiao a pressure point,joint locks and knee and elbow striking martial art came from the yellow emperor about 5000 years ago his warriors created shou bo and xiang bo(a combat form of fighting filled with high and fast kicks and punches along with take downs and submissions)

          5.) chi you fist the miao chinese also have their own style of fighting created by a god called chi you who had battle the yellow emperor about 5000 years ago it is said that he created all the chinese weapons and the yellow emperor is the master of sword fighting,bamboo pole fighting and hand to hand combat

          6.) shaolin kung fu is created by the 3 monks of shaolin who were bai yu feng,li sou and jue yuan after they created huang gar and emperor taizu created chang quan there is a monk called fuju who invited 18 CHINESE martial artists from different parts of CHINA and then 3 years later shaolin kung fu is created by CHINESE buddhist monks who were WARRIORS

          bodhidharma only created shaolin style qigong after studying the 5 animals play created by a chinese doctor called hua tuo who were killed in the emperor cao cao palace in the 3 kingdoms (2000 years BEFORE shaolin) and then bodhidharma was inspired to created a form of workout poses NOT MARTIAL ARTS besides i research the history already so chinese martial arts came from china as there are fighting movements,kicks and acrobatic moves even taolu came from warriors and chinese families and even villages 4000 years BEFORE SHAOLIN so go and research more instead of telling people the wrong side of the historians explaination you blind freak

    • H.BHOWMICK

      YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY. YOUR HISTORY SAID THAT KUNG FU CAME FROM INDIA, KALARI IS MOTHER OF ALL MARTIAL ART IN THE WORLD. india is responsible for making martial art.

      • mahiram

        even kalari masters accepted that tamil martial arts was first agasthiyar

  • zack mike

    we chinese,have our own martial arts such as shuai jiao(wrestling),shou bo(kwon as sanda these days),martial dance,sword & spear play and also sun bin quan but its truly false that kung fu originate from india even my indian friends also disagree that chinese kung fu came from them and bodhidharma only teach the monks exericeses of kalari and chinese health exericese known as dao yin and five animals play but bodhihdarma study or learn the five animals play from the chinese and then he develop 2 books of exerises but then the shaolin/chinese monks learnt how to blend in the exerices made by bodhidharma and the five animals play by a chinese doctor(Hua Tuo) with the chinese martial arts by the warriors of china and thats how they create the fully develop chinese kung fu and its true that chinese kung fu came from the chinese people not the indians because they are different but they are similiar but its true that every historians already debunked(means expose the wrong things) this already but bodhidharma dont know chinese kung fu he is only the master of kalaripayattu and he only teach exericses not fighitng the shaolin monks learnt how to fight from nearby villages because some villagers are warriors or some monks are expert fighters before bodhidharma came or they invent the best warriors of china to teach them so yes chinese kung fu came from the chinese not indians…thank you for your time(need to be polite here online)

  • Shekhar P

    Hi Guru ,

    Please share your mail ID , I would like to repost your article related to martial arts in my website & mentioning source details. Before posting I would like to take your permission.Please advise asap

  • nandrimacha

    some indian websites claim that indians invented the wheels and radio and stuff…like how some african sites claim that africans invented paper making instead of the chinese… ohmmm…poor chinese people who have contributed so much to the world.

    • itzguru

      dont know about wheel. but Radio was invented by Indian – Jagadish Chandra Bose… and no, its not some Indian websites that “claim” this.. look at this MIT link which “proves” it :)
      http://web.mit.edu/varun_ag/www/bose.html

  • kumar

    i read your article on Kalaripayattu,it was a good one but one correction,Tenjiku Noranakaku is Japanese and not Chinese,the original Chinese fresco is quanpu bihua which means “boxing drills mural”.
    and can you please list out the historical evidences on origins of kung fu i know only two,Ying Jing and the painting.

  • Pradeep

    For Indian movie fans, this technique is used in the famous Indian movie Indian of Kamal Hassan by the aged but still energetic hero who fights against corruption.

    For Indian movie fans, an Indian Tamil Language film by the name “Ezhavathu Arivu” was released in 2012 is based on Bodhi Dharma, the person who took Martial Arts to China.

  • http://www.facebook.com/plsnt Pleasant Pillai

    A very good article. Thanks for the input. But it is still inconceivable that a civilization existed for over 2500 years without martial arts and waited for Bodhidharma to go and teach them Kalaripayattu. Certainly that is impossible. If that is the case, then the Yellow Emperor and many other famous warriors who lived centuries before Bodhidharma wouldn’t have made the war and conquests possible. Certainly there were several arts before Bodhidharma. Besides, Buddhism is not the only philosophy that Chinese martial arts use. There are other philosophies as well such as Taoism. I understand your feelings of nationalistic pride. Even I am a proud Indian. But for me claiming Kalaripayattu as the mother of all martial arts is plain arrogance. It simply means other civilizations were not wise enough to create their own martial arts, which is false. Bodhidharma may have taken Kalaripayattu to China but then their martial arts were already well established long before. He probably started another branch of it. That’s it. Peace. :)

    • itzguru

      Its like asking didn’t the west have any physical exercises before the introduction of Yoga from India? Of course they did. But it was not Yoga.

      Similarly it is not that Chinese didnt have any warfare arts before the introduction of Kalari. But the martial arts of present day China/Japan etc, the specific of this kind, have its root in Kalari of India.

      • http://www.iampleasant.com Pleasant

        Oh the Chinese didn’t have “any” warfare arts before the introduction of Kalari? So how did the ancient emperors unify war-torn China? If they didn’t fight their enemies in war, what did they do? Can you believe that an empire as big as this would exist without advanced martial arts over 2500 years and wait for Bodhidharma to introduce Kalari in the 6th century? Highly unlikely. If you can counter this logical argument, please do so with facts. Shoubó, Xiang Bo, juélì, xiangpu, Dao Yin, the older “Five Animals Play” etc. are some of the arts that existed centuries before Bodhidharma went to China. You can certainly check the references and see. You don’t have to believe me. Check the references and come to logical conclusions.

        • itzguru

          Read my reply again. Any warfare art is different from “martial” arts of the type currently popular like Kalari and its descendants. Warfare has been known to every human settlement and civilization ever since the dawn of humanity. We are here referring to specific art forms, which is why I gave the example of yoga and physical exercises. The ones you referred to are not related to the martial arts as they are known today.

          Yoga came to the west from India doesnt mean west didnt have physical exercises of other form before that. It only means the physical exercises related to yoga and its present derivatives came from India. Similarly its about the martial arts of China.

          Similarly study the case of Zen in Japan, which came from Chan in China, which in turn came from Dhyan of ancient India.

          • http://www.iampleasant.com Pleasant

            I am aware of the Zen and its origins and Bodhidharma’s contributions to its development. And I have fully acknowledged that in my blog on the origins of Chinese martial arts. But since you have spoken about specific arts, let’s talk about the Neijia category of martial arts. The best examples are the Taoist arts of Tai Chi Chuan and Baghazhang. They are not related to Shaolin and still are widely practiced across the world. What elements of Kalari do we find in these arts? I would say, none. Similarly the Okinawan martial arts were developed independently in the island of Okinawa and are still practiced. How can we claim Kalari’s influence in those arts? And even if you consider the Shaolin rooted arts, there are styles such as Praying Mantis. What elements of Kalari do we find in Praying Mantis? Praying Mantis is still practiced widely, isn’t it? There are some animal moves in Kalari but not like the ones we see in Wushu, which is very refined and elaborate and varied. Pankration is an art of ancient Greece, which is still practiced. Can we say that Pankration came from Kalaripayattu? Definitely not. So the bottom line is, Kalaripayattu cannot be considered mother of all martial arts, because it is a bit far fetched. We can however say that it may have inspired some techniques here and there. But if we compare today’s Chinese arts and Kalaripayattu, the refinement that we see is quite remarkable and cannot be attributed to Kalari.

            • itzguru

              Oh come on, almost every major knowledge in China has its roots in India. Just like the British introduced English education during the colonial rule to depict their world view of European dominance, and to thrust it in Indian minds denying the ancient Indian contribution to the world , the Chinese ever since the dawn of the communist rule have modified Chinese history texts and rejected almost every Indian roots of their knowledge and tradition.

              What is written in Yijin Jing, a Chinese text written during the times of Ming dynasty? It talks about 12 exercises attributed to 12 animals that Bodhidharma studied for 9 years and taught at Shaolin. This is also the root of the most animal based martial arts developed in China. The entire institutionalization of Martial arts and the roots of modern Kung Fu are from this Shaolin.

              The Okinawan martial arts and the Korean martial arts have their roots in the book Ji Xiao Xin Shu written by the Ming General Qi Jiguang who based it on Shaolin Quan Fa, the first principles from Shaolin.

              History is not what we read or what we are taught, it is what actually happened, and the mainstream versions are not the real history, they are always the biased versions promoted by the dominant powers of an era, to know real history read the suppressed versions and books.

              How different is the Tibetian Lion’s Roar from the opening form of a southern Kalari performer? It comes from the Theravada teaching which again has its roots in Buddhism brought from India.

              Even the Kalari that survives today is only a fraction of the original Indian art whose origins are traced back to the Dhanur Veda of the vedic age.

              Vishnu Purana considers these martial arts as one of the 18 branches of knowledg. It is said that Parashurama who recovered the land of Kerala from the seas established 42 kalaris and trained 21 masters to protect the land he created.

              • http://www.iampleasant.com Pleasant

                You haven’t explained the specific arts that I mentioned in my previous comment. Anyway, it appears we will never have a common ground of agreement. I am quitting this discussion. Nice talking to you. Bye.

        • zack mike

          hey pleasent its me again and yep its true that kung fu has existed before shaolin and i dont think kalaripayattu is the mother of all martial arts because i didnt see kung fu,karate,taekwodo,muay thai and silat inside

    • raul roxas jr.

      A simple body movements can be lethal

  • shiv om mishra

    kalari is the way of living.if your body is strong,your mind is peaceful than you must acheive your’s highest goal of life i.e.”"moksh”".
    kalari is the way of self worship.if u may understand his power ,u must acheive the power of god.

  • http://www.martial-art-info.com Martial Art Info

    Kalari payat is the oldest Martial Art in the world? A bit hard to digest for me. I was in search for Indian martial arts info for my website and land me on this article. A lot of the information on Kalari Payat in this article are new to me.

    It it wouldn’t be too much to ask, would you be kind enough to point me to the source of your info in this article.

    Thanks

  • nishanth

    Great work dude

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Is this a spam or a real comment? This comment was in spam list, however I thought it might not be so and marked it as not spam.

  • http://www.martialarts3000.com/ Tonny

    Wow!! really i dont know that “”Kalari or Kalaripayattu”" of ancient India is the worlds oldest martial arts and very happy to know these .I know that kerala is a place where we can get the information about some ancient Indian arts because it hold all the old information.Just i was in the search of Martial Arts Books, CD’s, DVD’s, Fitness / Weightloss, Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun etc…..Thank you for providing me such a kind of good information.

  • Nitin

    HI All Please visit http://www.hinduism.co.za for more info.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    You are welcome Che!

  • http://www.thinktoas.com Che

    I saw a documentary on kalari once and can’t find a copy of it — had to do with “”martial arts around the world”" programming on digital television (in the US). Thanks for this info.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Great to know that you are a black belt!

    So learning kalari should be even more easy..
    whenever you happen to be back in kerala, open the books again :)

  • Arun

    thanks dude for the inspiration…

    hunting for bread butter moved me out of kerala….
    still i didnt lost that taste at all… i learned karate and took a black belt in WADO.

    but still learning kalari remains a dream….
    will try to achieve it somehow…
    thanks and really cool info’s

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Dont leave your dream Arun. You can learn Kalari at any age as long as you are not really old :)
    Chase your dreams, never give up, when I was young I wanted to learn music, play songs, drums etc, but never was able to afford it.
    As soon as I became employed, within few months after that I bought a synthsiser and started learning and playing on my own. I never thought it was late. Today I can play any song and can even compose music…

    So dont give up on your dreams. Chase it and achieve it :)

  • dumparun

    was my dream to learn kalari
    being a mallu, i always dreamed about it..
    somehow didnt happened

    thanks for the article dude

  • Arun

    was my dream to learn kalari…
    being a mallu, i always dreamed about it..
    somehow didnt happened…

    thanks for the article dude…