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Kalarippayat Paperback – August 22, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (August 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409226263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409226260
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,498,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By K. Frankel on June 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Kalarippayat is an ancient martial arts system which originated in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, where it is still practiced today. It includes empty hand forms, and an impressive arsenal of weapons including staff, short stick, spear, hatchet, a brutal-looking heavy club called a gedda, and a variety of swords. Some of the swords have wave-like blades, similar to those used in Indonesian martial arts, and another, called an urumi, has a long, flexible whip-like blade.

The foundation of kalarippayat is rooted in the same conceptual approach to the body as Ayurvedic medicine. Many of these concepts are similar to those found in classical Chinese medicine, such as Shiva/Shakti (like Yin/Yang), the five elements, the Nadis (energetic meridians) and the Marmas (acupoints). There has been some conjecture about the possible influence of kalari on Chinese martial arts (for example, Bodhidharma coming from India), but many of the stances used appear to be quite different.

The art is practiced in three different regional variations, Northern, Central, and Southern, which differ in their approach to footwork and training emphasis. D.H. Luijendijk studied the three traditions over a ten year period and is qualified as an instructor in all of them. He provides a good explanation of the historical and political environments that led to the development of these differences. However, the focus of this book is on practice, and many forms and applications are illustrated with photographs. Therefore it makes a good companion volume to the excellent "When the Body Becomes All Eyes" by Zarrilli, which focuses on the history and sociology of the art, but not so much on the techniques.
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This is an excellent book of one of the original, if not the original, martial art. The book describes the art, the history and applications. It includes pressure points, identified by the Chinese acupuncture meridian points. The points are known by various names in Indian systems. I was looking for more in regard to pressure points, but for a single book covering the entire art of karalippayat I cannot complain. The book was very interesting and filled a gap in my knowledge of Indian martial arts.
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A great guide to India's heritage and some new techniques that make use of a different beginning.
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NOTE: this is linked as the paper edition of the book "Kalarippayat: India's ancient martial art" which is by the same author. The two books are totally different. This one is the author's dissertation on the subject. The book "Kalarippayat: India's ancient martial art' is a book of practice with illustrations and forms. . The book shown as the paper edition is a history and philosophy of the art. It has no illustrations and has nothing about practice. I was not careful and assumed the link was valid.
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