Kalarippayattu - The Complete Guide To Kerala's Ancient Martial Art by Chirakkal T. Sreedharan Nair >> Book review


Non-Fiction, Martial Arts, Kalarippayattu

Westland Books

The Book
Kalarippayattu is amongst the most ancient martial arts in the world. It is believed to be the mother of most martial art systems that exist globally, especially the ones in Asia. The book is a detailed guide-book on Kalarippayattu.

The book starts with an introduction of Kalaripayyattu, before moving into an overview of the styles, commands and practice of the art. The next section covers the body exercises to help reach the level of physical fitness required.

After this we get straight into the martial arts training, with chapters on:

  1. Kolethaarippayattu: Exercises with wooden weapons
    1. Kettukaarippayattu: Exercises with the long staff
    2. Muchaan Payattu: Exercises with the short staff
    3. Otta Payattu: Exercises with the Otta baton
  2. Angathaari: Exercises with sharp weapons
    1. Valppayattu: Exercises with the sword and the shield
    2. Mara Pitichu Kuntha Payattu: Exercises with sword-shield and spear
  3. Verumkai: Techniques of bare-handed defence and attack

The book does not cover Varma Kalai/Marma vidya.

The book is basically a conversion of the author's notes into a publishable form. It is simple, easy to read, decently structured. Gets a Green because it gives just the right weightage to the history of the art, requirements for it, overview on how to practice, and, finally the moves for practice.

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