Kalaripayattu: India's Oldest Martial Art Form

The Kedathanadan Kalari Centre has regular shows in the ancient martial art-form of Kalaripayattu for its visitors, who come from all over the world.

Kalaripayattu: India's Oldest Martial Art Form

An indoor show in a place like Thekaddy, with its naturally beautiful outdoors, understandably does not rank high on a traveller's must-see checklist. But this is not just any indoor show. This is the original Fight Club. Welcome to the Kedathanadan Kalari Centre.

Kalari, or Kalaripayattu, is India’s oldest martial art form. It is unique in that it also incorporates elements of yoga. It is rooted in the Ayurvedic studies and findings of ancient Indian sages. Especially in South India and parts of Southeast Asia, it was an integral part of combat and warfare.

The Kedathanadan Kalari Centre trains people and also puts on regular shows for its visitors. While the yoga-inspired postures that the artists perform are very impressive, the real fun begins when they start fighting. The students engage in different forms of combat like sword fighting, shield fighting and combat with quarterstaff. And if you are really into it, don't miss the unarmed combat- these poised movements are believed to have inspired the art of Kung-Fu all the way in China.

But they aren’t just fighting. The two combatants are also partners in a dance that is as graceful as it is deadly.
At the end of the show, the audience is encouraged to interact with the students. Witnessing a kalaripayattu performance in this centre in Thekaddy is truly a riveting experience.

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Location: 1 km drive from Sterling Thekkady