Kalari units open to a new zest post-lockdown

Students engaging in Kalarippayattu drills at the Wayanadan Kayikabhyasa Kalari Sanghom at Kalpetta in Wayanad district.  

Kalari units that impart Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial artform, are getting back on track in the State after an interval of two and a half years.

More than 10,000 Kalari units in the State stopped functioning abruptly after the outbreak of COVID19 in the country.

Most of the Kalari units, except those in containment zones, in the State started operation by the second week of November adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, A.K. Ibrahim Gurukkal, vice president, Kalaripayattu Federation of India (KFI), told The Hindu.

“Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial art that originated in the country as a part of military training for warriors. There are 400 Kalari units in the State under the organisation and close to 4,500 students are learning the basics of the martial art form,” Mr. Gurukkal, who runs three Kalari units in Bengaluru, Koodathai in Kozhikode district, and here, said.

The KFI also opened its chapters in Lakshadweep, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, France, and Dubai.

“Today, it is used for everything from self-defence and becoming self-aware and alert, to a way of losing weight and flexibility training,” he said. He had been an instructor of Vadakkan Kalaripayattu for the past 34 years. Close to 200 new learners enrolled in his Kalari units in a week, he said.

“I have a lot of disciples in Italy, Russia, Ukraine, and South Africa. Every year, till the outbreak of the pandemic, they used to come here with new learners and spend a few weeks with me to learn the new techniques,” he said.

Kalaripayattu has complex movements. But Mr. Gurukkal maintained that it was one of the easiest martial art forms to learn. “All you need is a determined mind,” he said.

When the KFI had organised a national event held at Mysore in 2019, as many as 800 participants from 22 States in the country took part in the programme, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:22:32 PM |

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