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Kalari, the Indian Way 3:4

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You should use this art only when your life is in danger and even then you should use only half a hand and not a full hand to protect yourself. Do you understand? This art has a long tradition and has been practised over a long time. So you should not use full hand at all? No. You should never use full hand. When I say full hand, I mean the whole length of the arm. When I say half hand, you use only half the arm. If there is no other way of escape, you should look carefully around to make sure that no one is watching, then use the half hand and escape. - You should use only half hand? - Yes. - So, should you ever use the full hand? - No. If you do, it will lead to death. - It will be death. - Yes, it will lead to death. We need not become murderers. We have no right to kill anyone. Besides that, another important thing is that you should not reveal to anyone that you know this art. You hit like this. I'll come that side. I keep my hand here. - I hold this hand like this. - That leg. I keep that leg in front and hit him thus. The deep roots of Kalari in Southern Indian culture are demonstrated by the way that movements from the fighting techniques are found in their dances. The Indian classical dance style, Barathanatya, is known to date from at least the 2nd century AD. Second speed. The dances tell the stories of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Each posture, each movement has a meaning. The dancers perform a language of gesture. Since the postures of the dance were set at least 2,000 years ago, it follows that any fighting postures in the dances were used at that time. After their exercises, they move on to the actual dances. They match their dance to the words that Master Lakshani sings. This is a fighting stance used throughout the Far East and called "tiger hands". Some postures are obviously martial, like drawing an arrow. When Kalari fighters pull back from an attack, this is their movement, followed by a swift attack forward. Some gestures are obvious, like angry shaking hands. But what is not obvious is the following hand movement, which is the same as a fighting backhand cut. Finally they move into the warrior god Krishna's classic posture. The right leg kicks, the hands block attacks from high and low. There are many unsolved mysteries about the history and background of martial arts. It's impossible to be certain of where the techniques started. There are possibilities that they existed about 3,000 BC in the Middle East, and then traveled to both India and China. It is most likely that the skills were developed by Buddhist monks and merchants who traveled regularly on the dangerous trade routes between the two countries. The warrior class in India would also have been involved in the thinking and practice needed to reach the levels of skill that are now used in Kalari. A race of famous warriors, the Nayas, practise the different Northern style of Kalari. They live in the Northern half of Kerala. And although they still speak the same language, there is a difference in racial background. Fighters of the Northern style traditionally attire lengths of cloth for protection around their loins before practising. Kalari develops the whole physique in a balanced way, aiming for bodies that are tough, but light and fast, rather than heavyweight. The standard of physical fitness developed by the masters and their students is remarkable. Spinning jump to the right. Repeat to the left. Low strike to the front. Jump again. Like the Southern master, the Northern master, Master Vasudevan, is also a well known doctor. Though these exercises are practised regularly, there is still a strong element of danger. A mistake in timing can be serious. They practise fiercely, with the energy and passion of a genuine fight. Their master encourages them to use their skill to the limit, though he is always ready to step in if they get too excited and tip over the edge into real violence. Tilak Moses has traveled to study with Master Vasudevan, especially to increase his understanding of the vital point techniques. The relationship between these and the very ancient Chinese medical system of acupuncture is further confirmation that contacts existed between the fighting masters of both countries in the past. The hand should come like this. The hand should always be close in. That hand can move from here to this place but should not go further. Keep the legs bent. Let's do the second one. Do it once again, and stay up. The master dives forward and uses his head to butt the ribs. - Shall we do the legs again? - Strikes and blocks with the legs? Next strike on the leg and hold like this. A concealed stick makes the techniques even more effective. But the backbone of Kalari is contained not in the exercises, but in an attitude to life. - There are many different Mantras. - How many prayers are there? There are many. When I start teaching a student with a stick or anything, I pray in my mind that he should not use this stick for any evil purpose, and he should never suffer misfortune because of this stick, 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.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 16 seconds
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Views: 135
Posted by: halfleaf on May 1, 2010

Kalari, the Indian Way 3:4

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