Learning The Ancient Art of Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu is not just a martial art; it's a holistic lifestyle that offers physical fitness, self-defence skills, cultural preservation, and mental well-being. Learn how UR.Life’s Kalaripayattu classes have the potential to tranform your life.

By URLife Team
07 Sep 2023

By practising Kalaripayattu, you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich and centuries-old culture. You'll learn about the philosophy, rituals, and customs that have been passed down through generations.


With people being more conscious of their health and lifestyle, it's always refreshing to explore exercises, which are unique and deeply rooted in history. Kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial art, offers a perfect blend of physical conditioning, self-defence techniques, and holistic well-being.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


In the lush landscapes of Kerala, India, there exists a martial art form that is as old as time itself, yet still maintains its vitality and relevance in the modern world. Kalaripayattu is often referred to as the "Mother of All Martial Arts," and is a captivating blend of combat techniques, physical fitness, and traditional healing practices.


It is a comprehensive martial art system that seeks to harmonise the mind, body, and spirit. It incorporates dynamic movements, graceful postures, and precise strikes that not only empower individuals with self-defence skills but also promote overall well-being. Not only combat techniques, but Kalaripayattu also encompasses healing therapies, meditation, and an intimate connection with nature, making it a holistic and transformative journey.


Related story: Mix Up Your Workout Routine With Martial Arts


Benefits of Practising Kalaripayattu

1. Coordination Between Mind and Body

One of the core principles of Kalaripayattu is promoting coordination between the mind and body. This martial art places a strong emphasis on the integration of physical movements with mental focus and awareness. Here's how Kalaripayattu achieves this synchronisation:


Mental Concentration

Practitioners are taught to maintain a high level of mental concentration during training. Whether executing precise strikes, defending against an opponent, or performing complex sequences, a sharp and focused mind is essential.


Breath Control

Controlled breathing is a vital aspect of Kalaripayattu. Proper breath control not only enhances physical performance but also helps calm the mind and improve concentration.


Mindful Movements

The intricate and flowing movements in Kalaripayattu require practitioners to be fully present in the moment. This mindfulness cultivates a strong mind-body connection, enhancing coordination.



Visualisation techniques are often employed in Kalaripayattu. Practitioners mentally rehearse movements and scenarios, reinforcing the connection between their intentions and physical actions.

Meditation: Many Kalaripayattu practitioners incorporate meditation into their training routines. Meditation not only aids in relaxation and stress reduction but also enhances mental clarity and focus.


Related story: Beginners Full Body Barbell Workout


2. Learn Self Defence

While Kalaripayattu has deep historical and cultural roots, it also is a highly effective system of self-defence. The techniques you learn are not just for show; they can be applied in real-life situations. Whether it's unarmed combat, weaponry, or self-defence tactics, Kalaripayattu equips you with practical skills that can help you protect yourself and others. It involves a combination of mental preparedness, awareness, and physical techniques. 



Effective self-defence techniques prioritise simplicity and practicality. They are designed to be easy to learn and apply, especially in high-stress situations where fine motor skills may be compromised.



self-defence techniques aim to incapacitate or disengage an attacker swiftly and decisively, minimising the risk of harm to oneself. They typically target vulnerable areas of an assailant, such as the eyes, throat, or joints.



Being aware of one's surroundings and potential threats is a fundamental aspect of self-defence. Situational awareness helps individuals avoid dangerous situations whenever possible and make informed decisions in emergencies.


3. Physical Fitness and Conditioning

Kalaripayattu is renowned for its rigorous physical training, which results in exceptional fitness levels. Practitioners engage in dynamic exercises that improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. The intricate movements, stances, and strikes enhance overall coordination and balance. Regular practice of Kalaripayattu helps individuals attain peak physical fitness while promoting a lean and toned physique.


Strength Development

Kalaripayattu training involves a variety of exercises and movements that target different muscle groups. These exercises help build overall body strength. For example, stances and postures in Kalaripayattu require significant leg and core strength, while striking techniques develop upper body strength.


Enhanced Flexibility

The martial art incorporates a wide range of movements that require flexibility and joint mobility. Kalaripayattu's dynamic stretches and body movements help practitioners improve their flexibility over time, making them more agile and less prone to injuries.


Improved Endurance

Kalaripayattu training sessions can be intense and physically demanding. Consistent practice builds cardiovascular endurance, allowing practitioners to perform strenuous activities for more extended periods without fatigue.


Kalaripayattu is more than just a martial art; it's a cultural journey. Originating in Kerala, India, over 3,000 years ago, it is deeply intertwined with the heritage and traditions of the region.


Related story: A Home Cardio Workout That's Safe For Your Knees


Kalaripayattu Training

Kalaripayattu training takes a holistic approach, focusing on both the mind and the body. It aims to help individuals gain control over their physical abilities, treating weapons as mere extensions of their bodies. This control is essential for achieving excellence in both offence and defence during combat.


Surprisingly, Kalaripayattu training is not aggressive as one might expect from a martial art. Instead, it takes on a meditative quality. Before beginning their routines, students kneel and offer prayers to honor both the deities and the training space, making it a deeply spiritual experience.


Who Can Practise Kalaripayattu?

Kalaripayattu is a versatile martial art that can be practised by anyone as it is beginner friendly and equipment free form of martial art. Whether you're in your teens or beyond, you can start and progress at your own pace. It can be performed easily at the comfort of your place.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Take Kalaripayattu Classes with UR.Life

Embark on a transformative journey with "The Ancient Warrior" Kalaripayattu training program, offered by UR.Life. Immerse yourself in the ancient Indian martial art of Kalaripayattu and discover the profound mind-body connection it offers. Under the expert guidance of Manoj Kumar,  who has got 20 + years of experience, you'll develop physical strength, mental focus, and self-defence skills, all while paying homage to the rich heritage of Kerala.


This program isn't just about combat; it's an exploration of a centuries-old culture and a path to holistic well-being. Join us and become a modern-day "Ancient Warrior" as you learn the art of Kalaripayattu, unlock your potential, and experience personal growth like never before.



Follow Us On Instagram