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Kalariyappat - Photo: Kerala Tourism
Jasmine Simhalan bei einer Darbietung
Kalariyappat Schule in Ernakulam

Learning Kalarippayat martial arts in Kerala/South India 

Kalarippayat is a south-Indian martial art or „art of war“, which is originally from Kerala and which is still actively being taught nowadays in South India. The martial art had a large impact on Ayurveda and yoga due to its understanding as a holistic teaching. Kalarippayat does not only target at body strengthening or training of fighting movements and defense methods, but is a doctrine for the whole body, the soul and the sensuous perception, so for the human being in its entirety.
Existing for over 5000 year, Kalarippayat is the origin of various other if not all Asian martial arts, such as judo or karate. Kalarippayat actually is meant for self-defense and is not an aggressive weapon-related technique intending battle on the first hand. In principal, Kalarippayat is practised without any weapons, but it is possible to use knives, sticks and other objects as simple extensions of the body. Kalarippayat is taught in a traditional „Kalari“, which is partly a kind of school, temple and sports hall. Its construction is follows certain traditions: it needs to be aligned east-west and in every corner of the rectangular building, a Hindu God needs to be placed. 

The Kalarippayat scholar needs to train and develop four basic qualities. These are „Manakarutha“, the mental power which develops the desired inner tranquility, self-confidence and thus the goal of self-control and non-violence, „Maikaruth“, which is speed, elegance and power as mental and physical qualities, „Ayudakarutha“ which gives a fair knowledge of weapons and their use, and „Anakakruth“ which targets at precision in defense and attack. 

The martial art also includes elements of the Indian art of yoga, just with a completely different focus: The Kalarippayat scholar shall not focus on contemplation as it is taught in classic yoga, but use it to extend his sensuous perception to a maximum. Furthermore, Kalarippayat does not teach any static positions, but consists of extremely dynamic movements. Training of the sensual perception besides physical training is of utmost importance in the tradition of Kalarippayat due to the understanding that the maximum knowledge of the own body and total self-perception are the basics for every martial art. „Fighters“ are trained to handle their own as well as other's aggressions and to absolutely control their emotions. This is due to the traditional understanding of the Kalarippayat as a training to gain complete non-violence and balance.
The actual historical origin of the fighting movements goes back to the imitation of animal movements, which people adopted for self-defense 5000 years ago. That is why many of the training movements in the Kalarippayat art refer to animal postures.

Since it is regarded as an art of movement and owed to the concentration on body awareness and precision, Kalarippayat is also used for the training of dancers for instance at the Kathakali theatre. Kathakali is an Indian dance and theatre tradition, which aims at expressing dramaturgical themes and myths by dance, gestures, facial expressions and movements, supported by meaningful costumes and facial paintings, and which requires a disciplined and high body consciousness.

Info box:

Costs for the months of May-August (off-season):

1 week 220 € (1 Person); 180 € p.p. (if 2 persons)
2 weeks 330 € (1 Person); 250 € p.p. (if 2 persons)
4 weeks 540 € (1 Person); 400 € p.p. (if 2 persons)

All other months:

Surcharge 20 €/Person/Week

This includes:

* Lessons 5 x week for 2 hours with private tutor

* Accommodation at single room in guest house in Fort Kochi without meals; in the case of 2 persons double-room accommodation. Rooms iwith en-suite bathroom and ceiling fans 

* Pick-up at Cochin International Airport (COK) on arrival and airport transfer for departure 

Surcharge: Room with AC 60 €/week per room 

For stays of longer than 4 weeks, larger group sizes or accommodation at higher standard, please contact us.

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