Martial Art from Kerala, South India


Kalarippayat is the authentic martial art of South India. Kalari is practiced in Kerala for centuries and is deeply rooted in South Indian culture. Kalarippayat is an art form, in which dynamic, flexibility und development of body awareness are focussed.

If you had the rare chance to watch Kalari-practicioners during their training or participated in such a training, you might have had the impression of watching a rapid war dance or very dynamic Yoga flw exercises due to the dynamic movements, turns and jumps. Besides training your strength, flexibility and endurance, you will improve your body awareness, self-awareness and concentration and even memory. The whole body is trained in awareness and alertness. IN old texts, they talk about the body that becomes all eyes. Union of body and mind - this is Kalarippayat.

Kalaripayattu is for everybody: Gents and ladies, adults, youths and kids!


the mother of all martial arts


In its true sense, Kalarippayat means exercise in the fight arena. Originally, Kalari was not a sport or civilian art form but it meant the training of the warriors of the coast of Malabar in Kerala, South India. The Kalari-system knows many different styles, forms and weapons to be learned. Typical for Kalarippayat are the hand- and leg-techniques in the form of hits, thrusts, blocks and kicks, often combined with jumps. All this will be combined in body-forms, comparable to Katas in Karate. Unique to Kalari are the low stances, which will energize you system.


To prepare your body for the dynamic movements, you will first train your leg- and hip muscles. Thus, you gain good balance, stability, reflexes, mobility and build up musles, especially in the lower body.

Meyapayattu are body forms that are already practiced in the inital state of training.  But also the more advanced practicioners will continue with these forms, more complicated, more strenuous though. They help them to understand the energy balance in the body and to influence the flow of energy in the body.


After having mastered the first body forms, you can start your weapons' training. Usually, you train with a partner forms of attack and defense.

The second level of Kalarippayat is called Koltharippayattu or training with wooden weaposn. Koltharippayattu consists of a series of exercises with all kinds of different wooden weaposn of different length, size and shape. There are: Pandirujan, Kettukari, Muchan, Otta, Marmakol and Gada.


Verumkai or free-hand-techniques are the fourth and most advanced level of Kalarippayat training. Verumkai means, somebody without a weapon faces somebody with or without a weapon. Every part of the body of a Kalari practicioner  can be used as a weapon: fist, knee, ellbow, head and so on. In this technique, hits, kicks, locks and holding and blocking-techniques are combined as defense and offense technique. Hits and kicks against marma or vital points are directed to the opponents' body very effectively.

Different styles

Kalarippayat is known for its different styles. Most known is the Northern style.

In Basel, we practice Northern and Southern style, as well as some forms from Silambam.

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