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The Kalari combat

Those who practice kalaripayattu are left with no doubt over its historic status. Considered the mother of all martial arts...

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
July 30, 2009 4:05:39 am

Those who practice kalaripayattu are left with no doubt over its historic status. Considered the mother of all martial arts,kalari artistes proudly stake claim to this status – legend traces the 3,000-year-old art form to Sage Parasurama. And to reestablish the status of kalaripayattu,guru Belraj Soni will be in the city to hold a workshop organised by Sangeet Seva Pratishthan from August 3. “Kalaripayattu originated in ancient south India. Kung-fu,popularised by the monks of the Shoaling Temple,traces its origin to Bodhi Dharma — an Indian Buddhist monk and kalaripayattu master,” informs Soni,who has been touring India as well as the globe to popularise and impart training in the martial art form.

It demands extensive training and regular practice and,according to Soni,makes a better human being out of an individual. Presenting one with the reins to control once own physical movement,the regular practice of kalaripayattu bestows one with the power to control one’s own senses. “Practicising the various items in kalaripayattu and training in the methods of defence and attacks with the traditional weapons used in the kalari will enhance physical fitness and cultivate abilities such as absolute physical control ,endowing unbelievable speed in physical movements,leaps and jumps and also would help the trainee achieve perfect neuro-muscular co-ordination,” he says.

Theatre artistes,doyens of dance and actors to tame their physical movements,have embraced the age-old physical cum-martial art of Kerala. “ Kalari was in the limelight because actor Asin wanted to learn it for her next film. Actors,dancers and theatre artistes know how to use the form to their benefit,” Soni says. According to him,kalarippayattu is a rare combination of martial training,physical culture,self- defence practice and physiotherapic treatment. “The approach of the training is aimed at ultimate coordination and control over mind and body. The weapons become an extension of the body,controlled by the mind to achieve high degree of perfection in both offensive and defensive combats. In the workshop,we will be teaching the primary levels,” he says.

In the 10-day workshop,Soni will be training the participants in basic leg movements,mayepayattu (body movements),various body postures and verumkai prayogam(bare hand fighting movements) to acquaint them with kalaripayattu.

(The workshop will be hel d from August 3 to 12. Those interested can contact 98811 48850,98220 86998 )

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