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Kalari, the Indian Way 4:4

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and at the same time, let the stick protect him from all evil forces. Did you do that when you gave me the Marma stick? Yes, I prayed that no evil things should happen to you and the stick should protect you. - Hide it in your hand like this. - You have to hide it! This is the "Nada Thalarpan". It weakens the leg. If one is struck with this technique, the pain will dwell in the leg for a long time. - Oh, the pain won't go? - No, it goes on. Can the strike be aimed anywhere, to the legs or the chest? On the chest here one, two, three here four, five, then here. This is the breath blocking point. Here, I will show you. Punch me to my face. This one is in the arm pit. All are nerve centres and cause great pain. After you block an attack you can make contact wherever you want. This is how you must hit with your foot or hand. - You mean like this, in the eyes? - Yes. Not straight. Bent. This is the way. The relationship between fighting and medicine is more fundamental than a Western sports coach's concern with fractures, sprains and bruises. The masters study and practise a whole body medicine, designed to anticipate illness as much as to cure it. Master Vasudevan has a whole team of assistants to help him at his morning surgery. Many of them are also students of Kalari. This particular patient is having such a long thorough massage, that it is necessary to cool him during the process by pouring liquid onto his forehead. The aromatic vegetable oils used in this massage are especially mixed for his condition. Massage is only a small part of his treatment. The man who we massaged this morning is a man with "Pathiyan". That is, the patient must not smoke or drink or go in hot sunlight. There is a saying for that in Sanskrit. "The patient should not sleep" "during day time" "should not sit" "in a place too long" "not get angry" "not travel too much" "not talk too much." You must perform special celibacy rites. After that, you have to observe the "Pathiyan" and give massages like we were doing to that man. There are other massages for enjoyment. They can be given any time. When you look at somebody's body, you decide how much massage to give. You must repeat the massage every day in the same way. Basically we rub, rub, rub. Massage is a crucial part of Northern Kalari. Students are massaged regularly for flexibility. And a new student has a daily massage for a month before he is considered flexible enough to start training. The massage is designed both to make the movements easier and to protect against strained muscles and pulled tendons. Keep the hands straight. Kick the right leg. Straighten the right leg and kick to the right, repeat to the left. Kneeling down, take your hands and touch your shoulders. In the Northern style, the salutations to the Gods are very complex. When students salute the altar and the weapons on it, they are worshipping Kali, the Indian goddess of war and destruction. At the other side of the training hall, they salute Mother Earth. Instead of practising in the open, as in the Southern style, here they place a roof over a dug out pit. The dimensions of this fighting temple are precisely laid down by tradition. Stand up straight. Raise your arms and take your right leg to the left. The Northern style uses many high kicks and low crouching movements, designed to confuse an attacker. Turn to the right side and then to the left. To the right and left again. When the students spring up from the ground, they thrust with great force from an unexpected direction. There is ritual in everything. Even in the exchanges before a fight, which are in fact designed to avoid fighting if possible. When we face an enemy, the first thing we must remember is our Master and Kalari. When we think of them, we will get the strength. There is one symbol known as the "Veera Muthirai" or chivalry sign. First we bow to our enemy like this. It means I don't want to fight. Like this means whatever you want, I am ready to face. Let's not quarrel. Then the last symbol means, if you want to fight, I'm ready for that too. You must move your leg, mustn't you? Some fighting arts are taught and practised in an abstract way, the exercises seeming to have little relationship to actual fighting. This is not so in Kalari. In the early stages of learning a defence against a man with a stick, the master warns his young student where the next blow will strike. Move, move. Move your head from one side to the other. But with an older boy, the master strikes without warning, calmly concealing the intention and direction of the blows, stretching the young student's anticipation, courage and resistance to intimidation. The master gently tests his young student's reflexes, making sure that he is gaugeing the proper distance and defensive postures and is ready to accept a powerful terrifying attack. Slash and move at the same time. Cut. When you block, you must do it like this. Not like that, like this. Do the block and move. Most fighting arts don't use real weapons in training, but they do in Kalari. Their use increases the student's confidence and courage, as well as their fighting skill. It is the master's responsibility to put himself at risk when he teaches new techniques. Not like this. Like this. Do the cut. Do it to this side. Alright. Do the cut. Training in techniques like these come out of centuries of experience, thought and practice. Master Vasudevan works to the limits of his students' ability. In his arms, there are massive scars from his daring teaching. It is even more dangerous when he gives up his dagger. He is full of the spirit of Kalari, which for him, resolves the conflict between fighting and healing.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Views: 177
Posted by: halfleaf on May 1, 2010

Kalari, the Indian Way 4:4

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