Style Highlight: Kalaripattayu

Today I have a video clip with related commentary for you. I spend a lot of time watching forms and training videos on Youtube, and there’s certainly a wealth of information to be found and shared. Hope you enjoy a little something different!

As always, *please* do not to attempt to imitate anything from this site, all of its pages, or from anything we link to/from.

This video showcases Kalaripayattu, an Indian martial art. What I like is that Kalaripayattu utilizes the attacker’s momentum against them in a very fluid manner. I can also see movements that are very similar to some of our Arnis techniques, which shows the probable influence of Kalaripayattu on the rest of southeast Asia.

A lot of people consider Chinese Kung Fu the beginning of martial arts, but in reality, there were all kinds of arts all over the world, including southeast Asia.

Ancient empires such as Persia or the Greeks practiced a variety of martial arts like wrestling and archery. Korean subak and taekkyeon existed before karate influenced them; Europeans dueled with swords; African nations have various stick fighting arts; Russia has its own boxing style.

Basically, martial arts exist wherever there is combat. And of course, they weren’t always arts–they were also necessary survival skills and systems of military combative tactics.

One big reason we have different styles today is due in part to the topography, fighting conditions, and body types of the peoples who developed them. You probably wouldn’t use the same techniques in tight urban quarters and in an open rural space. What if the environment is boggy? Forested? Mountainous? Desert? Hot? Cold? What if the people doing the art are tall? Thin? Stocky? Short? Wear heavy armor? What’s the traditional clothing like? What techniques and range of combat do they prefer? Are the opponents mounted? What is the average age of the combatants (the older I get, the more I prefer inside-tension stances)? Are they acting as soldiers or bodyguards? Etc.

I believe strongly that there is value in all martial arts systems. Our role is to discover that value and adapt it for our own bodies and lifestyles.

About Sensei/YDN Caitlin

Sensei Yudanjanim Caitlin is a 2nd degree black belt, senior instructor, administrative assistant, and student of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Arnis at Northwest School of Martial Arts.
Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Style Highlight: Kalaripattayu

  1. helen says:

    Thanks I always like to read your post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *