Kalaripayattu - An Ancient Indian Martial Art

Kalaripayattu Indian Martial Arts

Kalaripayattu is an ancient traditional indigenous martial art that originates from Kerala in South India. The Kalari or arena is a sunken pit packed with red mud. Early scriptures state that in the 6th Century A.D, the Buddhist Monk, Bodhidharma, introduced Kalaripayattu into China which then later formed into Shaolin Kung-Fu, Karate and other Asian martial arts.

According to Indian mythology, Parashuama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, established Kalaripayattu in Kerala to protect the state and provide a service to the community. Used in combination with the Kalari healing system, this allowed practitioners to develop mastery of the mind, body and healing skills, using traditional Indian medicine.  Parashurama was a master in the art of weaponry, he developed northern kalaripayattu (vadakkan kalari), with an emphasis on weapons and flowing movement forms and animal postures ‘vadivu’. Southern kalaripayattu was developed by the sage Agastya and emphasizes body combat, footwork, striking vital points and the use of weapons.

Kalaripayattu Origins

With a focus on discipline, Kalaripayattu training involves warm-up and flexibility exercises, strength and stamina training, step work, traditional forms as well as unarmed and armed combat techniques. Training is always under the supervision of a Guru or instructor, and only through dedication can one hope to become a Kalari master.  Advanced students are guided through ‘marma’ : vital energy point combat and sharp weapons training.

Students can begin Kalaripayattu at any level and at any age above seven. Kalari Healing  are currently conducting individual and group classes in basic/intermediate and advanced Kalaripayattu training. 

Visit Workshops/Events and the Kalari Online pages for our updated class and mentoring programs.  

Benefits of Training

– Increase stamina, flexibility, body awareness

– Develop core and full body strength

– Build and maintain general fitness

– Self-defence

– Develop fast and dynamic movements

– Improve concentration,

– Increase detoxification processes

Kalar is beneficial for everyone and particularly suited for yogis, athletes, martial artists, actors, dancers and movement practitioners from all walks of life and ages over 7 years.

The beginners adults classes provide a basic understanding of Kalaripayattu techniques and practices. They are open to all fitness levels. 

Studio J Dance

1/147 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121

Kalaripayattu Syllabus

Our Kalaripayattu syllabus consists of different levels and even after completing these levels it takes years of regular practice with discipline, dedication, and devotion to master the art. Each level deals with perfecting the previous levels and the introduction of new elements. Contact us to find out more about our syllabus.

Basic Introduction Level

In the basic level, the student learns unarmed techniques that allow mastery over body movements and balance. Warm ups, Forms, combinations and techniques include:

  • Loha – warm up exercises to energise/strengthen/prepare the mind and body, and build core strength

  •  Kalugal (leg swings or kicks to balance/ground),

  • Vadivu (postures as whole body Mudras which awaken the energy of the particular form, creating focus and steadfastness)

  • Chuvadu (Salutation Vinyasa or form where we acknowledge the lineage and tradition of Kalari and energise/align/ground the subtle/physical body and mind))

  • Adithada (Unarmed Combat)

  • Pootu (Locks)

  • Valivu (Throws)

  • Basic Hand combinations

Kid's Kalaripayattu

Children's classes are designed to give a basic understanding of traditional Kalari exercises and forms. They are fun, yet challenging and instil a greater sense of discipline. They are open to children aged 7-15 and of all fitness levels. Kid's classes are currently combined with the adults, please contact us for more information.


Some of the benefits for children include:


- Increased stamina, flexibility, body awareness

- Build discipline and focus

- Build and maintain general fitness

- Self-defence

- Improve concentration

Kalari Ayurvedic Massage.......

"The best massage and treatment you could ever have, Ramona is magic. I leave her feeling so energized and fantastic, I highly recommend Ramona". 

- Sally Frenkiel


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Kalari Healing