I’m at the Kalari Gurukulam, in a village away from Bangalore city centre. To describe getting here at 3 am will require a much longer post to ponder why men are up sitting on chairs at the roadside, hanging out with friends or why 4 guys were crouched on a rug in front of a parked mini bus with its headlights on, gazing at what looked like a plaque or… get this one, a group in a car flagging my driver to ask where they can get African chicken…ummm ya, I gave up wondering! The Kalari gurukulam was no more than 30 Km from the airport but took about an hour through what seemed like a trek beyond middle earth along hardened mud trails. Jeez, and I thought Atado in kitchener was hard to find. The wifi seems limited here so not sure if I can post photos today.
Kalaripayattu is India’s martial art and is regarded as the backbone of all martial arts. ‘Kala’ means weeds and ‘ari’ means enemy. Figuratively it means to cleanse the body of toxins. Like all martial arts, it requires focus, strength and energy…none of which were available after a long flight. Yesterday’s practice was overwhelming, today, however, I was ready to kick some ass! I learnt the salutation, the warm-ups, how to align for the proper stance, the stances themselves, kicks, punches, chops (not even going to attempt the sanskrit word), 3 animal postures – boar, elephant and cat. I was dripping sweat just from the warm-ups! I then had the privilege of watching a super fast stick fight with no hold-back! These guys will be performing in Russia next week.
In addition to Kalari, I signed up for learning the basics of the Ayurvedic Marma points. Marma points are similar to the meridian points of Chinese medicine. Unlike the chakras, marmas can be physically located in the body to treat energy blockages (via corresponding chakras). These points can also be used by martial artist to cause pain, disable or kill (immediate or slow death). Yup! I’m now unarmed and dangerous!
Your badass yogi 😉