Kalaripayattu, the ancient Indian martial art form, develops the body and mind through a powerful flowing practice. It is a comprehensive system that was originally designed to create an expert warrior.
Kalaripayattu can be learned at any age and any ability under the guidance of a Master. It’s a step by step process where the student learns to achieve new levels of movement and technique, gradually increasing in challenge and complexity.
There are four extensive stages of training in this ancient warrior tradition, each stage building on the skills developed previously.
First stage - Meithari (body conditioning training)
Meithari is the foundation training to establish the skills that are required to advance through the entire Kalaripayattu system.
This stage involves physical training to develop stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, agility and balance. Patience, self-discipline, self-awareness and focus are also developed.
The exercises include a vast range of postures, footwork patterns, stances, jumps and leaps, kicks, leg swings, techniques, linear and circular movement forms.
Each movement is learnt one by one, before combining them into flowing sequences which gradually become more demanding and intricate. Behind the fluid grace of these sequences is the strength and power of movements which can, when necessary, be applied with lightning-fast speed and precision to attack or defend.
Second stage - Kolthari (wooden weapons training)
Kolthari involves training with wooden weapons of different lengths and shapes. There are various techniques learnt in defending and attacking with these weapons. Progress in mastering these techniques is coupled with increasing speed.
Wooden weapons are introduced after extensive body preparation training, as correct weapon practice can only be mastered through perfect control over one’s body.
These weapons are taught in form sequences and further develop the skills already gained in the body training as well as confidence, alertness and concentration.
Third stage - Angathari (metal weapons training)
Metal weapons are taught to advanced students who have learnt to control their body with Meithari and control their wooden weapons with Kolthari.
Metal weapons are taught in form sequences. As in previous stages, this stage begins with simple techniques and systematically and gradually goes on to more strenuous, elaborate and powerful ones.
These techniques are designed to gain complete control over the weapon by making it an extension of the body. This training removes fear and further builds confidence and alertness and immediate reflex responses.
Fourth stage - Verumkai (empty hand techniques)
After learning to use the weapons, the student has to learn to do without them against an armed or unarmed opponent, or multiple opponents. This is the most advanced and technical part of the martial art form.
It consists of an array of blocks, attacks, kicks, locks and throws. Special application techniques to the Marma (pressure points) are also learnt. The student learns how, where and when to hit a Marma, how to block a Marma attack and how to heal injuries to the Marma.
The superior speed and accuracy needed to apply these techniques are created through constant practice. By this stage of the training, fear has been considerably removed, and confidence, alertness and doubtlessness are achieved.
Kalari Chikitsa (Kalari treatment)
See the FAQ page to find out what to expect in a Kalaripayattu class
Contact us for training or treatments
Australian School of Kalaripayattu is dedicated to teaching and sharing the warrior tradition of Kalaripayattu. We aim to impart the true depth of this martial art and preserve the great legacy of Kerala’s warriors.
Kalaripayattu class location
108 Granadilla Street, MacGregor
(In the hall next to DM Henderson Park)
Wednesdays - Children's class
6.30pm - 7.30pm
Thursdays - Adults' class
6.30pm - 8pm
Saturdays - Mixed class
8.30am - 10am
30-32 Nandala Drive,
Tanah Merah Qld