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AN ANCIENT TRADITION OF MARTIAL TRAINING AND PHYSICAL CULTURE
E.N.S KALARI NETTOOR
NARAYANAN EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL
www.enskalari.org.in firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
KALARIPPAYAT, THE TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ART
‘Oh Great Godess, Who protects the Kalari tradition, Long Life’ Kalarippayat is one of the oldest living traditions of Martial training, Physical culture and self defence method in the World. The Kalarippayat is derived from two words in Malayalam, Kalari and Payatt. Kalari means the place, where any particular art form is taught. Payatt literally means practice or exercise. In the present context it means in the traditional style of combat. It is the Martial Art form of Kerala, the Southern most state of INDIA. KERALA, THE MOTHER LAND OF KALARIPPAYAT
Kerala is the beautiful piece of land in the Southern end of India, facing the Arabian Sea on the western side. Throughout history, it was famous for its spices. Culturally and socially it stands apart from all other India State. It is one of the thickly populated states in India. According to the 1991 census the population was 29,632,828. The density was also very high
747 per sq. km. While the land area is only 1.03% of the whole country. The total land area of the Kerala is only 38863 sq. kms. Kalarippayat is the only form of the most ancient traditional systems of physical culture, self-defense and Martial techniques still in existence. The epic hero, LORD PARASURAMA [the incarnation of LORD VISHNU] retrieved Kerala from the sea. The Origin of Kalarippayat: The ancient scholars have divided the various art forms into 64 different categories. The art of fighting with weapons is considered to be one among those 64 art forms. Our ancient culture contains very valuable treasures of knowledge dealt with in VEDAS and UPANISHAD. The Dhanurveda, a branch of Yajurveda, described various techniques of Martial art, which is considered to be an integrated science for defense and attack. The basic science of Kalarippayat is based on Dhanurveda. Hence historians say that the Kalarippayat must have originated even before 2000B.C.
The elder generations still believe that the Kalari Guru is the sage Parasurama himself, who after creating the land of Kerala, taught Kalarippayatt to 21 disciples in order to protect and maintain peace. Lord SIVA is considered to be the father of Kalarippayatt. Parasurama has propagated in Northern style and Sage Agasthya in Southern style. Parasurama [he was a Brahmin] commanded the ocean [the Arabian Sea] to move back by hurling a battle-axe and brought into being the land of Kerala. On the east of that land lie the mountain ranges, the Western Ghats, and on the west is the Arabian Sea. Hence the land was termed MALAYALAM, Mala meaning mountain and Alam referring to AZHAM or depth, meaning the deep sea.
The creation of a new land necessitated peopling it. So Parasurama brought in BRAHMINS who were aristocrats in the old days and entrusted the administration and security to them. They are the responsibility of the ruling class everywhere. The king came from the clan known as KSHATHRIYAS in this country. Parasurama had a life-long enmity with the Kshathriyas and hence entrusted the sovereignty of the new land to the Brahmins, who were priests by heredity. It is believed that he hand-picked four of the most aristocratic Brahmins, and the four Brahmins families named: ONAMBILLY, VATTETHIRUP, PILLATHANGHI, and ARAPUKAI. They became the four styles and they trained others in the use of various weapons and picked 21experts from among those trained as warriors and established 21 Kalaris in order to popularize KALARIPPAYATT. These 21 Gurus propagated the art of Kalarippayatt far and wide in Kerala and established 108 Kalaris at different centres. HISTORY OF KALARIPPAYAT The institution of Kalari is generally traced to the period immediately after the disintegration of the Perumals of Kodungallur in the first quarter of 12th century AD. It was an integral part of the socio-political system of medieval Kerala. Politically the land of Kerala was divided into a number of principalities and minor chieftaincies. The alignment and enmities of these power centres resulted in constant warfare. Small scale skirmishes and large scale fighting were-not uncommon among these local and regional authorities. In such a setup each power centre was forced to maintain a body of fighters at its beck and call. Systematic training and strict rules of discipline for fighters were indispensable for an effective working of the system. It was in such circumstances that the Kalaris
where provided the institutional base for the body building and training in combat became not only necessary but also essential. Medieval principalities and chieftain familes maintained a military group of their own. This practice of maintaining trained local militia can be traced back to the period of NADU formation in Kerala during the Perumal rule. Nadu chieftains had hundreds of organizations – MUNNURUVAR the 300, ANJUTTUVAR the 500, ARUNUTTUVAR the 600 and ELUNUTTUVAR the 700. These bands of soldiers must have developed into landed aristocracy supporting the established order with military power. Here it is specially noted that the Kalarippayat training was undergone by every youth of the NAIR CASTE, the Kerala warrior caste that is like the SAMURAI of Japan. But Kalarippayat was not the sole prerogative of Nairs for there were many MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, EZHAVAS and even Brahmins [a sub-caste of Hindu religion] who practiced and mastered the techniques of Kalarippayat. KALARI In Sanskrit, the word KHALOORIKA denotes a place where weapon training is practiced. It is believed that it was from the Sanskrit term Khaloorika, that the word KALARI came into use in Malayalam for similar institution imparting training in Martial Arts. The term KALARI denotes a gymnasium [where] for proper training or exercise, but in the present context it means training in the traditional style of combat. This was the first educational centre in Kerala. Till the middle of this century, KALARI was the place for all sorts of education. It was the next important establishment in any Place in Kerala, next to the temple. The master of Kalari, better known as ASAN or GURUKKAL was one of most respected man of the society. Apart from physical training, he taught them LANGUAGES, SCIENCE and ART. He was the local doctor, especially for the treatments for nerves and bones. Kalari has a separate system of
MEDICINE&TREATMENT of itself. This is the only Martial Art that contains RITUALS, EDUCATION & TRE ATMENT. The Rituals contain, we worshiping the God inside the Kalari. The arena has to be in the area of God. Inside the arena, in the southwest corner, an altar is built for the presiding deity – a solemn concept. Alongside, a platform is constructed for GANAPATHY, the remover of obstacles. The divine serpents also find their place in the arena. One seat is arranged for four traditional masters and twenty-one subsidiary teachers. In addition, deities like VEERA BHADRA, BHADRA KALI, and VETTAKK ORU MAKAN are also invoked in astrologically designated corners like those of Meena [Pisces], Dhabi [Sagittarius] and Methuna [Gemini]. There aren’t assigned any individual seats. For the sanctity and safety of the Kalari, on an auspicious day, purificatory rituals such as VASTHU HOMA, SUDARSHANA HOMA, and GANAPATHY HOMA etc. are carried out. Outside the Kalari, sacrificial offerings are made to the horde of LORD SHIVA, in the eight directions, starting from the east. Next follows installation of the presiding deity, and worship at the altar. Then the master enters the arena paying his obeisance, lording the scene. This god –figure should clean the arena every dawn and worship. The lamp is lit before the altar, flowers beautify the scene, on a plantain –leaf, rice, betel nut, betel–nut leaves, beaten rice flakes, puffed rice, jigger, banana etc. are kept as offerings. Then with acceptance of the customary fees from the novices, the training commences. Before stepping on the arena, the learners turn their eye eastward in a symbolic obeisance to the traditional customs and rituals that have been incorporated for moulding mature minds- a generation who will grow up well– acquainted with traditions. Devotion, discipline, veneration and faith are all integral to Kalari.
The novice enters the Kalari putting his right foot forward, he bows and touches the sacred earth respectfully and prays to the presiding deities. He touches the master’s feet reverentially. These routine customs are followed both before and after the practice. The present generation, used to superfluous teacher-taught relationships in modern society may marvel the strong and sincere master-disciple bonds in the Kalari system. In today hi-tech educational scenario, the teachers guides only in specialised areas, merely works on a contract basis–a contract valid only till the completion of the period, when the teacher–learner bondage also expires. In contrast, the master–disciple reciprocates a lifetime, but across generation. The education contain, that Kalari is the physical & mental training centre. A Martial Art unique to Kerala, it reigns above all other martial traditions in its scientific discipline. A graded daily practice results, not only in blooming physical health, but also in excellence in an outstanding martial style. It ensures the defense of oneself and of the nation. The practice of yoga, another contribution by India, has caught the imagination of the world. The supreme physical flexibility and concentration attained thereby [attained] can be internalized by training in Kalari. Gradual control of breath is made possible through the “CHUVADUKKAL” [literally measured footsteps], the basic factor of this discipline forming the foot-hood for the rest of the activities. As rhythm is to music, are the “chuvadus” to Kalari. They are scientifically evolved special positions that help a Kalari practitioner to achieve physical ease, deftness of action, attention-focus etc. The consequent excellence helps an artist to steal the limelight in the other ethnic art forms like KATHAKALI, OTTAM THULLAL, KOLKALI POORAKKALI, and PARICHAMUTTUKALI etc. It is believed that this most ancient martial culture evolved from Dhanur Veda, a subsection of Yajur Veda. Its roots are widespread in the Agnipuran [the fire scripture], Natya shastra, Hastanga shastra, Ayurveda [the science of life] etc. Kalari was an inevitable part of the medieval socio-political scene in Kerala where the
provincial rulers patronised this for self-defence. Well-trained Kalari youths formed the commandos of each principality. Kalarippayatt is structured with rituals and tradition. An integral part of the Vedas, it mirrors the ancient Indian vision. Reflecting super human strength and brilliance, it is rooted in deep faith. The treatment contains: Kalari has come a long way since the times when it was used defensively to the modern perception that it is conducive to an individual’s physical and mental growth. Modern man is a prey to many diseases, thanks to libertine life style. Diabetes, blood pressure, heart and abdominal diseases are all common. Despite the strides in science and technology there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for many diseases mostly precipitated by intense mental tension, the primary causative factor. Here Kalari comes to our rescue, whereby we can control the mind and keep the diseases at bay to a great extent. The scientifically structured arena is as sacred as a place of worship. Manners and customs are solemnly adhered to and physical purity is a pre-requisite for entering the Kalari. A certain diet and lifestyle are essential. Intoxication is to be avoided –as also extreme feeling like desire and anger. The training is imparted in two phases’ basic exercises forming the bulk of the first-a combination of pranayama and different yogi postures. The various steps and movements are all attuned to the various body parts. The excess fat can be removed and blood- circulation regulated through this. The perfection attained herein forms the take off points for the second phase when dangerous weapons [like the sword, the knife etc.] are wielded. Intense concentration, swiftness, muscular strength and exactitude can be developed by this art. A moment out of focus may Cost one’s very life. The limbs must move along with the eyes. A firm mind in a firm body enhances our defence system. This is only one side of the coin. The other aspect of the treatment of the diseases affecting our vital parts fractures bruises wounds etc. can be easily attended to. The extent and degree of damage is determined. Treatment using different kinds of oils
is imparted for three days or four days or seven days or 41 days in that order. Diseases deserted by the allopathic stream have been treated successfully. It is pertinent to remember that the contemporary ideal ‘Health for all’ can be fulfilled to a great extent through Kalari. The initiation usually starts at the age of SEVEN. The most important teaching method of Kalarippayatt is by verbal comments. In Malayalam it is known as VAYTHARI [Vay –means mouth, Thari – means telling]. The golden age of Kalarippayatt was from 13th century to 18th century AD. It was with the arrival of the British that this traditional military practice was forbidden by law and gradually become virtually extinct. STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF KALARIPPAYATT Uniqueness of the institution of the Kalari is clearly evident in its specialized architecture and the elaborate rituals associated with the process of learning. The Kalari is always build East – West in direction about 4 feet below ground level, closed on all sides except for a small door on the Eastern side. The system of physical and weapon training imparted within the Kalari came to be called ‘KALARIPPAYATT’ [Kalari being the institution where, Payatt, the exercises for martial training are practiced. Kalaris were primarily two types: the first being smaller known as ‘CHERUKALARI’ [Cheru – means small size in Malayalam] ‘KUZHIKALARI’ [Kuzhi – means the portion formed by caving in the earth’s surface] and the second one known as ‘ANKAKALARI’ [ANKAM – means fight and these Kalari were built specifically for conducting duels. Cherukalari or Kuzhikalari was built for the purpose of imparting physical and weapon training and had the resemblance of a temple or worship-place. It was in this Kalari the systematic training in scientific exercises in Kalarippayatt was imparted.
Ankakalari was Kalari constructed temporarily for the purpose of fighting duels to decide any quarrel between the local rulers or for a cause of revenge for some reason or other. The conventional measurement of the Ankakalari was 64ft length and 32ft width. The day-to-day practice in Kalarippayatt was, as already mentioned, given in the Cherukalari or Kuzhikalari. The training in this scientifically arranged system was given in an atmosphere of sanctity and privacy and the Kalari building was constructed accordingly. The Kuzhikalari is the floor of the Kalari and is built at a level lower than the surrounding land by removing soil to achieve the necessary depth. According to the measurements of the ground plan there are five Kalari structures. They are AIMPATTHERATI KALARI [52ft], NALPAATTERATI KALARI [42ft], MUPPATTERATI KALARI [32ft], PATHNETTERATI KALARI [18ft], and PANTEERATI KALARI [12ft]. SITE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE KALARI Certain conventions have been observed from time immemorial while selecting the site for the construction of the Kalari. The most acceptable location for this purpose is the southwest portion of the land ‘EASAKHANDAM’. If there is no residential house in the northeast portion, shown as ‘MAANUSHAKHANDUM’, the Kalari can be constructed there also. These are age-old conventions. Such conventions apply to all buildings including residential house as detailed in ‘THACHU SAASTHRA’ [the ancient science of construction of all buildings]. In the old days, Kalaris used to be constructed on land on which there were aristocratic houses. The ANKACHEKAVANMAR [those who dedicated and lived to fighting duels on behalf of the local ruler] belonged to the aristocracy and had their Kalari’s established in the same compound as the house in which they lived.
A WAY OF LIFE
In the medieval period of Kerala, this art was the way of life for warriors. In the way of CHAVER PADA [the suicidal death army], ANKA CHEKOR [one who is trained for duels], and for GURUKKALS [masters]. The fighter’s function was not in the rivalry among political authorities alone. Often they were invited for settling disputes between ordinary people. This practice of using fighters for judicial purposes gave rise to the local and regional political authorities. Regular income to the treasury during the rule of he princely states in Kerala included the fees levied on ANKAM combats were to be collected from the disputing parties. Thus the martial spirit of Kerala was actively participating in the social and political life of Kerala in the middle age. It is in this socio-political context that the institution of Kalari becomes important as a centre for imparting military of the local militia. AIM OF KALARIPPAYATT The development of physical culture is an important part of the social-political-economical life. In physical culture, the strength of mind is more important. The aim of Kalarippayatt is not only self-defense and offence, but also the strength of the mind through physical exercises. The strength of the mind is the strength of body. It enables on the standup to challenges in life and disciplines both mind and body. So it helps to develop a better citizen for the nation.
ADVANTAGES OF KALARIPPAYAT
The ritualistic and spiritual atmosphere in the Kalari plays an important role in forming character and moral attitude of the students. The present age is very much polluted by Greed, lust and aggression. Media’s spreading these unhealthy messages are also spreading in great speed. Youngsters especially are drawn down easily to hopeless future, vague and unhealthy ideals, horrible diseases, sexual mania, desertness, depression, aggression, usage of nicotine & alcohol, brown sugar and such drugs are also increasing heavily. In such a hopeless world the Kalarippayatt stands as a hope to the future generation showering forth the light of ancient wisdom, peace, love, compassion, self- improvement, self-realization, dedication, regroups and hard work and universal brotherhood. KALARIPPAYATT & OTHER MARTIAL ARTS Most of the Martial arts from the present day like KARATE, KUNG–FU, CHINESE KUNG-FU, TAK KWAN DO, KENDO, JUDO is highly indebted to Kalarippayatt. Kalarippayatt can be explained as the mother of all these Martial Arts. You can find the basics of this Martial art from Kalarippayatt. Let us trace them back to find how Kalarippayat became Mother of all these. BODHIDHARMA, whom the Japanese call DARUMA, was an Indian patriarch; the twenty-eight is the line of succession from SHAKYAMUNI – BUDDHA, the founder of Buddhism. Bodhidharma left India to china, arriving there in 520AD. and he established himself at SHOALING monastery, which had been founded by the Indian monk Batuo some there decades earlier. Bodhidharma passed on his physical training techniques to the monks at shoaling, who integrated them into their spiritual training. These techniques were also used to defend the monastery against bandits who roamed the desolate Chinese countryside. Buddhism is well established by the third century BC and continued to flourish it flourished throughout South India till the fourth Century AD, and began to decline due to the revival of Hinduism and great Aryan Culture. During this period the
pallavas were KANCHIPURAM [also Conjeevaram] near Madras, at present the capital of Tamil Nadu State. The BODHIDHARMAN was the son of King SIMHAVARMAN of the Pallava dynasty who ruled from 436-460 AD. It must be true that being a Kshathriya [one who belongs to warrior community], the Bodhidharman must have learned the fighting techniques. Inevitable, in the Royal family has to undergo the training for Martial Arts. It is must for every Kshathriya to study the Martial Arts natural that Bodhidharma also learned Kalarippyatt. Furthermore, there was a catastrophic flood during that time which forced all the citizens of Kanchipuram, which was hit badly by the flood, to move to VANCHINAD [i.e.The southern part of Kerala]. Naturally Bodhidharma must have further studied the Kalarippayatt of the ‘THEKKAN’ [Southern style of Kalarippayat], which is prevalent in that area. Incidentally, the movements and steps of Karate and Kung fu are closer to the Thekkan style than the VADAKKAN [Northern style of Kalarippayat]. Before the arrival of Bodhidharma, Buddhism was gaining more acceptances in CHINA. Many buddhist missionaries went to China and they carried with them the tradition of INDIAN Art, and it is possible that Indian artists and craftsmen also went. Even before the death of CHRIST, India and China had business connections. Due to the decline of the Buddhism in India following widespread opposition and aggressive attitude of HINDUISM most of the prominent Buddhists fled to neighboring countries. China was one of the countries which has is welcomed Buddhism and within no time it was widely accepted. Bodhidharma was an ordinary priest. He was esteemed among the Buddhists as the 28 patriarch of the church, as a legitimate practitioner of the fist Apostles of SAKYAMUNI, the rightful occupant of the chair in which the MAHAKASHYAPA sat during the first council immediately after the master’s death. Troubles occurred in India and undoubtedly had something to do with Bodhidharma’s visit to China but apart from that, he had undoubtedly also come to fulfill a mission of reform. From the above, we can conclude that most of
the Martial Arts originated from Kalarippayat and it can be considered as the MOTHER of all the Martial Arts developed in Orient. THE SYSTEMS The Kalari training is based on an elaborate system of physical exercises. The practical experience of the body movements strengthens the knowledge of the discipline. The constant practice makes the body an eye and adds to agility and strength. At age seven the student is recruited for his training under a GURUKKAL. Oil massage or Uzhichil is an essential part of training. The verbal commands of the Gurukkal known as VAYTTHARI are obeyed and repeated to grasp the body movement. Each of them helps to recollect memory and leads to correct movements. Before practice, the student covers their bodies with oil prepared by the Gurukkal. This specially prepared oil gives strength and flexibility, warms up the muscles and prevents muscle strain. Kalarippayatt comprises two major styles which being divided geographically, are consequently known as the NORTHERN STYLE and SOUTHERN STYLE. The Northern Style is practiced mainly by the NAYARS, a Malayalam – speaking people who are part of the ARYAN CULTURAL tradition of North INDIA. Tamil – speaking people who are a part of DRAVIDIAN CULTURAL descendents of the area’s ancient inhabitants, who practice the Southern style, occupies the Southern most part of India. A few Malayalam speakers also practice the Southern style in their area. Although the Northern and Southern style are obviously closely related, and Kalarippayatt generally is quite different from the other Martial Arts, significant distinctions can be made between the two styles. At the geographical boundary between the two cultural groups and fighting styles there is some overlap.
Sage Parasurama was the Master of Northern style Kalarippayat. The Northern style Kalarippayat is divided into four part of training. They are Maithari, Kolthari, Ankkathari, and Verum kaithary. MAITHARI [Body control Training] This involves 12 graded body exercise sequence, which includes twists and turn of the body, leaps and poses. A single sequence constitutes a Payatt. In advance stages, one attains various ‘SIDHIS’ [Skills], Viz. Speed, Accuracy, Force, Stamina, co-ordination, Mastering balance, Flexibility and Principles of movement in space as well as understanding the continuous flow of energy in the body. KOL- THARI [Kol – means stick] This is the second stage of Kalarippayatt. It involves training in wooden weapons like ‘KETTUKARI’ [12 span staff], ‘MUCHAN’ [ 3span stick], and ‘OTTAKOL’ [‘S’ curved stick]. Training in Ottakol is a stepping-stone towards to proper execution of advanced Kalarippayatt. Long practice with this stage enables a student to gain control over the weapon. Even a small wooden staff can become a weapon in the hands of a practitioner with dazzling power even against a heavily armed adversary. ANKATHARI [Metallic weapon fights] It involves combat training in weapons like the DAGGER [kadaras], the SWORD&SHIELD [udaval & paricha], the SPEAR [kuntham], the MACE [gatha], the AXE [mazhu], the KNIFE [kathi] and the LONG FLEXIBLE SWORD [urummi]. VERUM KAITHARI [bare and fights]
Bare hand fights are a post-graduate course in Kalaripayat. Here an unarmed combatant fights with an armed enemy and puts him down. Various activities like OZHIVUKAL [skipping], IRRAKKAM [stepping back], KAYATTAM [stepping forward], THADA [blocking], PIDUTHAM [catching] and blows and hitting at the VITAL POINTS [Marmmam – of the body are the main features to this practice]. THE SOUTHERN STYLE This system gives more importance to footwork [Chuvadukal] and attack with hands. The special feature of the southern system is ADIMURA – 64 [64types of attacking blows & locks]. The bare hand has more importance in Adimura, Thattumura, Pidimura, Marmmamura, and Marmma Adi. Locks and release of locks are also important. In the foot work systems there are 84 types of movements. They are ANKACHERY CHUVAD [basic footwork], BALIVAZHI [monkey type footwork], ANNKAM VETT CHUVAD [bare handfootwork], NAALANNI CHUVAD[heavyfootwork], KARINADA CHUVAD[elephant footwork], CHEENA YADI CHUVAD[drunken monkey footwork], and THATTUMARMA CHUVAD [movement with hitting vital points]. Ner-Chuvad, PrivuChuvad, Vatta-Chuvad, Chariv- Chuvad, Otta-Chuvad, and Panchavarna –Chuvad are also included in the 84types of movements. ACHARAM [Rituals] The Kalari is an empty space, for a student the space has all the meaning of life and supernature. It is an abode of deities and of the several generations of gurus who has initiated the disciples into training from generation to generation. The student makes a ritual touch of the earth with right hand and propitiates the goddess of earth. The touch of his forehead with right hand shows his reverence to the deities of knowledge. KANNIMOOLA, the southwestern corner of the Kalari ground is considered to be sacred to the KALARI PARADEVATHA. This is demarcated by the POOTHARA [seven
mothers who look after the world] BHAMANI, MAHESWARI, KAWMARI, VAISHNAVI, VARAHI, INDRANI, and CHAMUNDI with varying numbers of steps in semi-circular shape narrowing towards the top. A place for the GURU, preceptor, also is demarcated and this called GURU THARA. The deities like seven mothers at POOTHARA and gods like SHIVA are also propitiated. Both peace and destruction are symbolized in the Kalari space. The training of the student in the Kalari begins at a very early of 7 years with an initiation ritual performed by the Gurukkal. Attendance in the Kalari is made a part of a daily routine of the Kalari and he goes through a series of symbolic rituals everyday, before and after practice, to acquire discipline and concentration. To be admitted to the Kalari, ‘GURUDAKSHINA’ must be given. Betel leaf, with an Arrack Nut and Coin placed on it, must be placed in the Guru’s hands. The Sisyas [student] then, must touch the Guru’s feet and for his blessings. He must them pay obeisance to the KALARI GODS, the Kalari and the Guru. While picking up the various items like sticks or weapons, obeisance should be paid to them. In the practice time the Sisyas wear the LANGOTI or Loincloth and smearing the body with oil, the student after prostrating before the deities and Gurukkal begins his initial training with Meithari. PHYSICAL TREATMENT The main treatment is UZHICHIL [massage]. Massage has been in vogue all over the world since time immemorial. Massage is being used of curing diseases in Kerala. But this science and art has not developed enough in this present age. Even today there are experts who massage the nerves and veins of patients for curing diseases and people do regard them highly. In olden time warriors used to get initiates into the Martial Arts after massage, which used to continue through out life. In kerala even now, before practicing Kalarippayat it is customary to massage the whole body and make it ready. Massage helps to attain a compact physique and to easily and to easily bend or turn any part
of the body. Once you become a warrior, massage is necessary to shed physical fatigue. Exercises and massage are essential to build a healthy body. In Kalari, massage is done by the GURUKKAL. UZHICHIL is a system of full-body massage to improve muscle tone, flexibility, stimulate the circulation of blood and to give long life. Kalari massage can also provide benefits in relation to headaches, depression, sexual functioning, and back pain. It is intended to cure Kalari – related orthopaedic injuries and spasmodic diseases. For the students of Kalarippayat who with to take up the position of GURU, they should become well versed in the ART of treatment. Massage has one more important benefit, which concerns the flow of lymph in the body. Lymph is a vital fluid, which purifies the blood, thereby enhancing the health and beauty of the body. As massage givens an equal effect, it helps those who cannot do or are not able to do exercises E.N.S. KALARI ENS Kalari Centre was established in 1954 at Nettoor, Ernakulam Dist., Kerala, South India by E.N. SREEPATHY EMBRNTHIRI GURUKKAL. This Kalari gives training in both Northern and the Southern systems of Kalarippayat. This may perhaps be only Kalari of this type in Kerala blending both systems. Here, training is given in a Kalari constructed according to the time honored principles of the Kalari traditions and according to accepted methods of worshipping the Kalari Gods and Guru, and performing the necessary rituals. Now ENS Kalari is a charitable institution run by well-known people from the community in Kerala. This institute, affiliated to the Kerala Kalarippayat Association [govt. of Kerala], is the only one of its kind to authorize by Enakulam District Tourism Promotion Council. ENS Kalari collects and systematically arranges [for the benefit of students both Indian & Foreign] printed book, videocassettes etc. More and more foreigners visit ENS Kalari for studying and for seeing Kalarippayat. Lately South Africa for demonstrating and teaching Kalarippayat sponsored two of the scholars of ENS Kalari. Every day there is a demonstration from 7 pm to 8pm. The special visit to Kalari is allowed between 3pm to 7pm every Sunday evening. Those who are
interested in watching Kalarippayat can make use of this opportunity. This Kalari started new certificate courses ranging from ONE WEEK to ONE YEAR and Various SPECIAL COURSES also. E.N. SREEPATHY EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL [GRAND MASTER][1929-2000] Familiarly known as MANI SWAMI, Sri.SREEPATHY EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL hails from a Tulu Brahmin family of Mangalore. Born to Sri NarayananRao and Smt.Kamala Rao in 1929, at Padubidri in Mangalore, he came to Nettoor at Ernakulam along with his paternal aunt at the age of two. After completing his preliminary education, he started taking lessons in the Traditional Martial Arts called Kalarippayat at the age of 14. As Kalari instruction was against of his community there was vehement disapproval from all sides. Yet Sreepathy Embranthiri pursued it with determination. For 11 years he practiced rigorously the Northern style from Sri KRISHNAN GURUKKAL and the Southern style from Sri. NARAYANAN GURUKKAL and hence is capable of using both the styles with ability. Whilst high priest of Nettoor Mahadeva Temple he used to render free service using “UZHICHIL, PIZHICHIL” and ‘MARMMACHIKILSA’ unceasing service to society. He served as a Kalari instructor for about 10 years, from 1960 onwards at Shoranur High School and from 1974 onwards at Ernakulam Gymnasium. Later, from 1982 onwards he was the instructor at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan. Meanwhile he initiated E.N.S.KALARI at Nettoor in 1954. It was thanks to his inspiration that the normal three-month syllabus was expanded into a regular daily and weekly cycle designed to operate throughout the year, not just during the rainy season. This has become the normal present–day Kalari syllabus. As a direct result of his spiritual practice linking him with Ganapathy and Hanuman, he created a new application of Marmma by following the normal Kalari training
with precise application of Marmma vital points. E.N.SREEPATHY EMBRANTHIRI GUKKUAL was expired on 11-07-2000. This institute, affiliated to Kerala Kalarippayat Association and only one of its kind to be authorised by Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council. Married to Smt. PADMAVTHY, he has three children: E.S.NARAYANAN EMBRANTHIRI, E.S.JAYASREE EMBRANTHIRI, and E.S.VIJAYASREE EMBRANTHIRI. They too, like the great masters, have achieved recognition in this field. At present, the Kalari Demonstration and the Marma Chikilsa are conducted by his successor NARAYANAN EMBRANTHIRI E.S.NARAYANAN EMBRANTHIRI E.S. NARAYANAN EMBRANTIRI, born in 1970 at Ernakulam district, received his primary Education from his mother, a teacher. His secondary education was at Panangad High School. He started taking lessons from his father E.S. SREEPATHY EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL at the age of 14. His training at the time started at 3.00 am till 5.00 am and in the evenings form 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm. After completing Pre-Degree Education he devoted himself entirely to the study of Kalari. . He established Kalarippayatt as a regular subject. In 1992 he went to South Africa for the purpose of teaching and demonstrating Kalarippatt by the invitation of World Seido Karate Association. He initiated daily Kalari demonstration from 1992. His global knowledge of the overall structure of Kalarippayatt made it possible for him to innovate modular Course, special units of varying length appreciated by visitors from abroad. In 1998 he choreographed Music and Kalari in Delhi Doordarshan [All India Television]. He and disciples demonstrated Kalarippatt for the documentry called Homing Pigeons by A RA Vision for Ministry of External Affairs Govt. Of India. In 2001 he choreographed Fight situations for the Greek drama Media and the same year he also choreographed Kalarippayatt with Yoga and Classical Dance. He is thus continuing to devote himself full-time to the instruction and development of KALARIPPAYATT.
E.S. VIJAYASREE EMBRANTHIRI VIJAYASREE EMBRANTHIRI was born in 1975 at Ernakulam dist, received her primary education from her mother, a teacher. Her secondary education was at st. mary;s upper primary school Maradu, high school study at govt. place school, Tripunithura. Her pre-degree education was at Aquinas collage in Edakochi and she took B.Sc maths at St.Paul’s collage in Kalamassary. Both her B.PEd. [ Bachelor of Physical Education] and her M.PEd [Master of Physical Education] orginated from Sree Sarada collage at Salem. She took Y.T.T.C [Yoga Teacher’s Training Course] in Sivananda arsam at Neyar Dam. She started Kalari training at the age of 11 with her father E.N. SREEPATHY EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL. She practised with her brother. She is the assistant teacher at E.N.S Kalari. She is the spokes woman of E.N.S.Kalari. By E.S.NARAYANAN EMBRANTHIRI GURUKKAL ENS KALARI & MARMMACHIKILSA KENDRUM NETTOOR POST, ERNAKULAM DIST,KERALA INDIA Mail : email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.enskalari.org.in
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