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Thread: Indian Martial Arts

  1. #106
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    See our latest issue

    Indian Martial Arts Kung Fu's Ancestor? By Harjit Singh Sagoo
    May/June 2013
    Gene Ching
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  2. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Vajramusti View Post
    __________________________________________
    Spme years ago there were a couple of good articles on the art in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts.
    Back issues may still be available.I wrote a book review on the art.

    Phillip Zarilli hasa book and articles on the art.

    I have not yet received the current copy of Kung Fu magazine- hope it gets here soon.

  3. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by SKM View Post
    An excellent website I found with a lot of information: Actualizing Power(s) and Crafting a Self In Kalarippayattu.

    Also an additional section entitled, Papers, which has information about Mammam/Varman.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Zarilli's writing is good. I have reviewed his work for the now gone Journal of Asian Martial Arts
    some years ago.

    I am interested in seeing the current issue of Kung Fu but for some reason it has not arrived yet.

    joy chaudhuri

  4. #109
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    Vidyut is the new Akki

    Vidyut Jammwal to open martial arts university in Kerala
    New Delhi,Cinema/Showbiz, Fri, 26 Apr 2013 IANS

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Not many know that Bollywood actor Vidyut Jammwal started learning an Indian martial art form, Kalaripayattu, when he was just three years old. Now, the 34-year-old actor is planning to open a university in Kerala where martial arts aspirants can seek expert training.

    "People know about world martial art forms like Kung fu and Karate. But they are not aware of Indian martial art forms like Kalaripayattu. Also, we don't have many schools here that teach the art. I am working on opening a university in Kerala," Vidyut said in a group interaction here.

    That's what he is looking forward to do apart from films.

    The actor, who has worked in action thrillers like "Commando", "Force" and "Shakti", said his mother inspired him to be a martial artist.

    "We are Rajputs. My father was in the army. He passed away many years back. I have always been taught to be strong and determined. While practicing martial arts or while doing stunts, whenever I get injuries, my mother tells me not to worry. She says 'You are not a loser'," explained Vidyut, who recently had to get a stitch on his chest for an injury he suffered during a stunt scene.

    He admits he was confused about his professional life.

    "I was always kind of confused with the career options. Before joining films, I had got good job opportunity to teach martial arts across the world. They were paying me a huge amount. But I wanted to be here and do something for the people. Also, my mother advised me that I should do what my heart says. That's how I became an actor," said the actor.

    So far, Vidyut has shown an inclination towards the action genre, but he says he likes watching romantic movies.

    "I like doing action films. But I can't watch them. I like watching romantic or comedy movies. I am also open to do action-drama," he said.

    Vidyut is now busy shooting Tigmanshu Dhulia's "Bullet Raja" and Vipul Amrutlal Shah's "Commando 2".

    Bollywood's 'khiladi' Akshay Kumar is said to be supervising Vidyut in "Commando 2". Vidyut said he has immense respect for Akshay's work and talent.

    Vidyut says he doesn't have "any godfather".

    "I have worked with John Abraham also in 'Force'. He is a fabulous actor. But my godfather is (Lord) Hanumanji," he added.
    Commando 1 & 2.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #110
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    Kushti

    Interesting article.

    An Ancient Form of Wrestling Fades in Mumbai
    By UDIT THAKUR
    June 9, 2014 9:53 am


    In Mumbai, wrestlers practiced the traditional Indian sport of Kushti, which is a type of wrestling on earthen floors. The sport's fan base is eroding, which has fueled a push to modernize the centuries-old athletic tradition.Udit ThakurIn Mumbai, wrestlers practiced the traditional Indian sport of Kushti, which is a type of wrestling on earthen floors. The sport’s fan base is eroding, which has fueled a push to modernize the centuries-old athletic tradition.

    MUMBAI — At 5 a.m. five days a week, 15 traditional Indian wrestlers, known as pehlwan, meet at Mahatma Phule Akhara, one of the largest gyms dedicated to the sport left in Mumbai.

    The wrestlers, ranging in age from 16 to 25, start the day with a two- to three-mile run, followed by a weight-lifting session, and then a bout of Kushti. A form of traditional wrestling, Kushti plays out in earthen pits, where the soil is mixed in with special spices and ghee, or clarified butter, to keep the earth soft on the skin.

    Afterward, the wrestlers prepare their morning meal, a simple breakfast of dry fruits, almonds, milk and roti. By 8 a.m., the men quickly head off to their day jobs as security guards or factory workers, only to return to the gym right after their shifts for the final practice of the day, dedicated to honing their technique.

    The demands of Kushti set it apart from most contemporary sports in India, as its practitioners lead an ascetic lifestyle defined by training, careful dieting and strict abstinence from alcohol, drugs and sex — practices that can be traced back through the sport’s more than 2,000-year-old history in the subcontinent.

    “I want to make my family proud, and I want to honor my coaches and myself,” said Sachin Sawan, 22, who had moved to Mumbai from a village in the south of Maharashtra State, in the west of India, to find a job to support his training.

    For all of their devotion to the sport, the wrestlers’ prospects for either glory or financial rewards are meager. Though still popular in pockets of rural India, the traditional sport’s fan base at the national level continues to shrink as more Indians flock to the cities and turn toward sports that are more TV-friendly, like cricket, whose fast action makes it ideal for broadcasts.

    Kushti’s eroding support has in turn fueled a push to modernize the norms of competition. In place of the earthen pits, emphasis has shifted to training and competing on foam mats, wearing spandex uniforms, donning rubber wrestling shoes and adopting a format of time limits for each bout, all to familiarize competitors with the international styles of wrestling. But Joseph S. Alter, a professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, said India’s wrestling culture is undergoing a far more significant transformation than just a simple shift in rules.

    “In the past, pehlwans clearly had to be successful in competitions, but they weren’t just athletes who were champions; they were individuals who embodied a whole lifestyle,” he said.

    That shifting lifestyle, Dr. Alter explained, says something about the clashing conceptions of masculinity in India today, and specifically of Mumbai, the center of the Bollywood film industry.

    “I think that the focus on the Bollywood hero as the archetype of masculinity sort of represents, from the standpoint of critics, a certain kind of consumer-oriented desire for very superficial kinds of things,” he said, while the traditional Indian pehlwan has typically been idealized “ as somebody who represents a kind of grounded, textured, ethically encompassing masculinity.”

    Dr. Alter said both ideals are somewhat “fantasies of the imagination,” but his characterization resonates with many members of Mumbai’s wrestling community.
    Wrestlers participating in a tournament in an outdoor park in Mumbai in March. Wrestlers who are successful usually earn $170 to $500 in prize money at such competitions.


    Courtesy of Maharashtra Labour Welfare BoardWrestlers participating in a tournament in an outdoor park in Mumbai in March. Wrestlers who are successful usually earn $170 to $500 in prize money at such competitions.

    Narendra Singh Nagbhire, the commissioner of the Maharashtra State Labor Welfare Board, said he saw Kushti not just as a sport but as a valuable cultural asset. He said he believed in Kushti’s ability to keep young men “positive, friendly, healthy and distant from social evils, so they can lead a good life.”

    For this reason, Mr. Nagbhire and the board recently organized the Kumar and Kamdar Kesari Tournament, in which Mr. Sawan, the wrestler, competed. The tournament is now Mumbai’s largest annual wrestling competition, with a top prize of 100,000 rupees, or $1,700, and drew over 200 participants from across Maharashtra.

    “Kushti displays India’s culture; it encourages the youth to have good physique and lead a healthy life, and it teaches them to compete without violence,” said Mr. Nagbhire.

    Dr. Alter said these “embodied ethics” of fair play, courage and respect are part of the lifestyle that holds Mumbai’s traditional wrestlers together despite the socioeconomic pressures that threaten to break them apart.

    Wrestlers who are successful usually earn $170 to $500 per competition in prize money. But, as traditional sponsors drift away from Kushti, wrestlers are lucky if they are able to attend two or three prize tournaments a year. Most have to work a day job just to pay for the costs of living.

    Ramchandra Patil, the head coach at the gym Mahatma Phule Akhara, said he found it increasingly difficult to draw patrons and provide for his wrestlers.

    In the past, wrestlers from rural Maharashtra and other regions could train and compete in Mumbai, which offered work in textile mills along with the prize tournaments. A successful wrestler might even one day earn himself a job at the Railway Ministry or the state police department through a government quota reserved for athletes.

    Mr. Patil estimated that the city had over 30 wrestling centers when Kushti was at its peak in Mumbai, and that each gym had a roster of at least 20 dedicated wrestlers. Now, he said, fewer than 10 centers exist in the city, and only half have 10 or more wrestlers.

    The lack of funds has pushed India’s wrestlers to aspire to reach the international level more than ever with success on the world stage being the only way to secure funding as full-time athletes. However, these ambitions often put them at odds with modest traditions of their forebearers, who emphasized community over individual achievement.

    Depending on their levels of success, wrestlers will start practicing regularly from the age of 12 or 13, and continue well into their late 30s. But the strength of the wrestling community’s ties often outlive the competitive life-span of the individual, as retired wrestlers with full-time jobs still frequent the gyms during off hours to help train their younger peers.

    It’s this community-centered ethic that drives Mr. Patil to advise his pupils to keep their eye on what really matters.

    “Here we don’t care where you are from, or what your religion is,” he tells them. “As long as you train well, your life will be good. That’s all there is to it.”

    Udit Thakur is a freelance writer and researcher. Follow him on Twitter at @uditthakur_
    Gene Ching
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  6. #111
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    Short Fightland piece

    The Styles of Indian Martial Arts
    Fightland Blog

    By Pedro Olavarria


    Photo via Flickr user Michal Svec

    India is a country with more than one billion people and more than one hundred, often mutually unintelligible, spoken languages. It is a country of cold snowcapped mountains, tropical jungles, deserts and beaches. It is a religiously diverse country, being home to ancient and medieval Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. India is also home to several martial arts, more than can be adequately written about in this article but I will share two and the first in Kalarippayattu.

    Kalarippayatu is from Kerala, India, a small region on the southwest tip of the subcontinent. Kalarippayatu is very different from one might expect from Asian and Western martial arts. One unique feature is the nature of the training facility, the kalari. Part of the gym is dedicated as a shrine to various Hindu gods and patron saints. When one joins a kalari, one must first undergo a ritual initiation. Part of this initiation involves praying to the Hindu gods, touching the instructor’s feet as a sign of deep respect and being wrapped in the fighter’s loin cloth. Some kalaris also require new students to undergo an extensive massage, sometimes for several weeks, performed by the master, using only his feet. This is supposed to loosen the muscles, so as to prepare the martial artist for future training.

    Kalarippayatu training has essentially four levels: meithari, kolthari, ankathari and verumkai. Meithari involves stretching, yogic stances, jumping, twisting and other callisthenic exercises which focus on flexibility and speed. After a modicum of fitness is attained, the student begins training with wooden weapons, kolthari. Unlike Escrima, which focuses on single, slender, one handed sticks; Kalarippayatu uses thicker two handed wooden weapons such as the mace and club. Weapons training usually take the form of two man forms and not live sparring sessions. After proficiency has been attained in wooden weapons comes ankathari, bladed weapons. Kalarippayatu blades range from daggers, swords and brass knuckle type, Wolverine looking, punch knives called “katar”. Though sparring takes the form of two man sets, where practitioners take turns striking each other’s shields, Kalarippayatu practitioners use dangerously sharp blades. The weapons strikes in this style involve wide circular movements and sometimes accidents do happen. The final stage of Kalarippayatu training is verumkai, hand to hand combat.

    Kalarippayatu hand to hand techniques are theorized by some to be a major influence on “northern styles” of Chinese Kung Fu, because of their long range, circular, attacks. Kalarippayatu hand to hand techniques derive power not from physical strength or body weight but from spinning. The propensity for spinning attacks involve crescent kicks, sidekicks and palm strikes. Some of Kalarippayatu techniques seem to be for demonstration purposes only, as some of the throws land the opponent on all fours, as opposed to judo were one throws the opponent on their back, assuming they know how to break their fall. Though once outlawed during British rule, Kalarippayatu is making a comeback; it is in some ways a martial art frozen in time. Another Indian martial art is Kushti wrestling.



    At first glance, Kushti looks like Olympic Freestyle wrestling, in a sand pit and without wrestling shoes. Kushti wrestling is also called Pehlwani and its training methods are thought to have their origin in Persia. Unlike Kalarippayatu, conditioning focuses on strength and not acrobatic agility. Interestingly, the mace Josh Barnett sometimes uses in his strength training comes from this art, something he learned from the late great Karl Gotch. Like sumo wrestlers, many Kushti wrestlers live in stables were a regimented diet and lifestyle are enforced. When competing, wrestlers wear nothing but thick under wear like trunks, which can be grabbed for a handle. Matches are won by pin fall. These are only two of a myriad of martial arts that come from India, other forms of wrestling, weapons fighting and even a style performed on horseback could be described. With such an ancient and diverse culture there are probably even more that have gone into extinction and perhaps others yet to be developed.

    Written by: Pedro Olavarria
    Jan 8 2015
    There's a Kalari vid too if you follow the link.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #112
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    Jayalalithaa's birthday crucifixion

    I sort of wish there was this kind of conviction in American politics.

    Jayalalithaa's martial arts fan crucifies himself for over 6 minutes
    PTI | Feb 24, 2015, 02.19 PM IST


    Jayalalithaa's martial arts fan crucifies himself for over 6 minutes
    Celebrations on Jayalalithaa's b'day. (TOI pic by K Antony Xavier)

    CHENNAI: Martial arts expert Shihan Hussaini, an ardent fan of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, on Monday crucified himself for six minutes and seven seconds to celebrate the birthday of the AIADMK chief who turned 67 on Tuesday.

    "There is no Indian who has crucified himself for some cause. There is no one across the globe who has done this. I love Madam and whenever we went to her, she had always helped us. I just did this for her long life and for her to come back as the chief minister," Hussaini said.

    "I am big admirer of her (Jayalalithaa). I was laughed at for this event. I was told it was an AIADMK stunt. No AIADMK minister was here when I crucified myself," he said.

    On why he undertook the act, Hussain said he is an expert in karate, a martial art form where pain, tolerance and self-control are major components of training.

    "I strongly feel prayers are heard and the Cross is a powerful symbol," he said.

    Hussaini who did his schooling in Christian institutions, said his family did not support him when he informed them about the event.

    "My wife was apprehensive and my sister said she would even file a police complaint. But I know my body and went ahead with my proposal," he said.

    Doctors from Global Hospitals and Fortis Malar accompanied Hussaini during the event.

    "I was taken to the hospital and now I am alright. There is no major injury to nerves or bones," he said.

    Gene Ching
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  8. #113
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    Interesting and cool.
    Seems to be an affirmation about the weekly massage and teaching it.
    (Not the crucifiction part. That's his own thing)
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  9. #114
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    Matadatah Scroll 01 Broader than a Border

    M.I.A. had me GENER8ION + M.I.A. - The New International Sound Pt. II (Official music video) above. Now she's just toying with me.

    MIA's New Video Elevates Badass South Asian Warrior Women
    Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
    7/15/15 9:05am



    Though MIA’s 2013 album, Matangi, was generally well received, it was not well understood. This was, in part, because of many Western music critics’ lack of curiosity about cultures outside their own, and specifically the music within; Matangi was an assertion of MIA’s globality, but also centered specifically on a spectrum of Hinduism that went beyond the gesture of spirituality most (white) critics seemed to grasp. She purposely made the internet the locus of her spiritual exploration, an artistic statement that cobbled together and curated goddesses in the decoupaged way she records her music.

    On Monday, MIA (Maya Arulpragasam) released “Matadatah Scroll 01 Broader than a Border,” a new video shot in Western India and Cote d’Ivoire, viewable on Apple or Tumblr if, in her words, you “don’t fux with Apple.” (The woman who predicted that our government is monitoring us certainly would have a sensitivity to an aversion to the company, though that did not stop her from releasing it on the Apple Music video platform exclusively.) It’s an MIA-directed video element synced to two songs, the new track “Swords” and Matangi’s “Warriors,” which sampled a cacophony of djembes and Spanish mákina as she repeats the refrain “warriors in the dance.”

    Those warriors are embodied here, MIA herself appearing only intermittently among groups of physically strong brown women working in tandem, awe-inspiring at their agility and fortitude as a crew. “Swords” begins by sampling the clink of sword upon sword and metal shield, featuring a nimble-footed crew of what could be kalaripayattu dancers and women spinning the staffs of silambam, two Tamil martial arts whose quick choreography is “bangin’ like Bangalore.” (The goddess Matangi is sometimes depicted with a sword and a goad.) On the outro, the camera focuses on MIA seated on a temple pier with a bowl of incense as she hums a a sacred “Om,” like she did so much on Matangi. Om signifies the moment of creation, an explicit suggestion that she sees music-making itself as a spiritual act, that artistic creation and the quintessence of living are not mutually exclusive.



    “Broader Than a Border” is also in profound contrast to other Western music video takes on India—Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” a perfect song marred with its video’s othering qualities or, infinitely worse, Iggy Azalea’s “Bounce,” both of which place gleaming white women at the center of the Indian women dancing in the background. (It’s pretty ironic that MIA claimed her label made her hold back her video for “cultural appropriation,” though she’s been reasonably accused of that before, most notably with the “Bad Girls” video.) In “Matadatah Scroll 01,” as with many of her other videos, MIA re-centers these Indian women and girls, emphasizes they’re not your back-up chicks, nor exotic props to be put on film for Western eyes to consume as pretty flowers, but in fact real women with real lives that are not to be erased simply because they may live in a developing nation.



    MIA’s always been reflective of both her culture—she salt and peppered her mango on her first-ever track—and her cultural multitudes. But as she gets older, she takes deeper dives into the essence of what that means. “Broader Than a Border” is just the first Matadatah track to receive a video; in an official statement released via her label promises this will be yet another globally-traversing, globally-created project:
    I directed and edited my first music video for “Warriors” for my last album, MATANGI, and I held it back until now, because it inspired me to make a whole series of songs and videos on the concept of borders. Making songs and videos at the same time out of a suitcase on location is something I did on my album KALA, but it’s video, as well as music, made by me in a very ARULAR way. [...] There’s ten more of these countries coming and I haven’t chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me.
    Borders are what were theoretically obliterated once the internet began to explode; a lack of borders is what helped create the genre-blind “global bass” music that MIA makes and, indeed, helped create. As a refugee and a world traveler, borders are something she’s uniquely primed to understand, as no one knows the chasm between arbitrary cultural and national land divisions better than a person who is forced to leave their homeland due to war, poverty, or other unlivable concerns. (Famously, she was supposed to have been unable to enter the States during the recording of Kala due to visa troubles. “I’m locked out! They wont let me in!” she wrote in 2006 on her MySpace page. “Now I’m strictly making my album outside the borders!!!!”)

    Presently, borders are perhaps a more volatile and important topic to explore since the time she’s been making music, with immigration-policy tensions bubbling in the US, UK, and across Europe, as countries like Libya, México, and Syria are less stable by the day. It’s interesting that after a childhood defined by displacement, MIA’s chosen to lead her adult life rather nomadically, traveling to parts of the global South that rarely receive a tourist spotlight in the Times when she’s not on tour, working with peoples who (She discovered the Cote d’Ivoire dancer in the latter, “Warriors” half of “Broader than a Boarder” in a YouTube video and, she says, spent two years searching for him.)

    Of course, it’s easy to ascribe MIA with the kind of topics we want to be talking about in pop culture but often don’t, to project our social, political, and personal aspirations onto her. We do that because that is what we do with all pop stars—and particularly with MIA, because she is truly one of perhaps three current English-language pop stars who are migrants and/or refugees (Rihanna, Pitbull) and the only South Asian pop star in the US, a segment of people who very rarely see themselves represented in Western pop culture. If it seems like some fans elevate MIA into a political superhero, it’s churlish to cast blame; she’s not perfect, but as with Beyoncé up in front of that “FEMINIST” sign, her mere existence is giving agency to women of color who don’t always feel they have it.

    “We dem gyals say, holla holla holla,” she chants, “we hold (/hope?) the world say holla holla holla,” as the LED-buzzed, tabla-juiced dancehall riddim of “Swords” cuts out into chimes and a bhangra sample. That’s when the video shows this:



    It’s a feat, laying still while someone you must trust very much chops a gourd right on your neck. Showing it not only lets MIA’s non-Indian fanbase in to a tiny aspect of these women’s lives when, even in 2015, the going narrative remains a Slumdoggian, feel-good, third-world fantasy, but also represents the danger and bravery women the world over have to embody just to get through the day to day. It’s also a scene leading into a darkened, woman-only space in the temple she filmed; the staffs are lit up with fire and an image of the Om symbol (stylized as MIA’s name in lowercase) is in flames.

    With “Warriors,” MIA shifts from the womanly paradise into a heavily male-centric video, focusing mostly on the twitchy-legged, Ivorian dancer’s astounding moves, his legs jittering almost independently of his torso, which remains taut the whole way through. (He must have an incredible core, I thought, my Americanness spooging all over itself.) Top dog even though I didn’t speak no English, MIA raps in “Warriors,” both an acknowledgement and validation of a huge part of the immigrant experience that is often rendered invisible. That she said it as a point of pride in a verse about swag is even more important.

    As he dances, his feet look as though they’re ghostriding the whip. He’s clad in a green iridescent track suit embellished with raffia wrists and ankles; it matches MIA’s manicure.



    Between moves, she cuts to archival shots of the green-skinned goddess Matangi, regal in her prayer stance, surrounded by drums as is her domain as the protector of music. “He is a spiritual warrior and communicates through dancing,” said MIA in a press release. “It’s a lifelong commitment for him to be the designated spiritual body that channels that dance.”

    “Gangsters bangers, we’re putting em in a trance,” she raps. Two years later, the double entendres are still exciting. So is her vision.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  10. #115
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    National Thang-Ta Championship

    Manipur hosts ‘National Thang-Ta Championship’ to promote martial arts



    Thang-Ta or the art of sword and spear is a traditional Manipuri martial art, which is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.

    Manipur recently invited some 170 players of Under 14 and Under 17 age groups from 9 states to showcase their Thang-Ta skills at the 61st National School Games at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Manipur.

    The four-day long championship was organised by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (DYAS) Khuman Lampak under the aegis of School Games Federation of India.

    After a tough competition, Manipur won the overall championship bagging a total of 23 medals while Delhi was placed second in the medal tally with 20 medals.

    Such events provide an opportunity to young players to showcase their skills and prepare them to participate at the higher level tournament. With Thang-Ta gaining national and international popularity, there are many who would like to see the martial arts as part of Olympics in the future.

    (Agencies)

    Featured Image: E-Pao
    Thang-Ta in the Olympics? Good luck with that.
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  11. #116
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    Silambam at National Games

    I wonder if Thang-Ta is at the national games...

    Tamil Nadu's martial art silambam wades into legal tangle
    A Subramani
    Jan 11, 2016, 02.39 PM IST

    CHENNAI: With just five days to go for the 61st national school games to begin, Tamil Nadu's popular martial arts - Silambam - has become a bone of contention between two associations promoting the game.
    Sillambam is an ancient defensive martial art where participants exhibit swift foot work, attack and movement with stick.
    Indian Silambam Federation secretary-general S Kesavan moved the high court for an order directing the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) to conduct the sports according to the rules framed by the federation and recognised by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT).
    The national school games are scheduled to be held from January 16 to 20.
    Justice M M Sundresh issued the notices after additional government pleader P Sanjai Gandhi opposed any interim orders saying the petitioner-association had come to court at the eleventh hour
    This is the art that is indigenous to Tamilnadu. Began with cattle/ goat grazers keeping away wild animals and hustlers.
    The federation said though it was formed first and obtained recognition from SDAT as well as the Tamil Nadu unit of Indian Olympic Association, the national school games authority had involved another association - Amateur Silambam Federation of India, based in Jharkhand -- in the tournament.
    Noting that there were differences between the rules being followed by SGFI and the one framed by SDAT and Indian Olympic Association's Tamil Nadu unit, the petitioner said it would adversely affect the interests of Tamil Nadu students whose academic prospects depended on the inclusion of the sports at school, university, state and national level events. The petitioner sought to restrain the SGFI from holding the silambam event according to its rules.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #117
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    Kalari in Dubai

    I'm going to have to watch out for Bajirao Mastani. I love Deepika Padukone.

    Ancient martial arts at Global Village
    Artists behind Bajirao Mastani fight scenes stun visitors with ‘deadly’ skills


    No quarter given. Exponents of the ancient martial art – Kalaripayattu – demonstrate their skills at Global Vi Image Credit: Abdel Krim-Kallouche/XPRESS


    No quarter given. Exponents of the ancient martial art – Kalaripayattu – demonstrate their skills at Global Vi
    Image Credit: Abdel Krim-Kallouche/XPRESS


    Proud tradition. Gopa Kumar owner of the CVN Kalari centre inKerala.
    Image Credit: Abdul Krim-Kallouche


    A Kalaripayattu fight at the Global Village
    Image Credit: Abdel Krim-Kallouche

    Published: 18:23 January 20, 2016
    ANJANA KUMAR, STAFF REPORTER

    DUBAI Global Village visitors were left spellbound on Friday by a stunning display of what’s claimed to be the oldest form of martial arts – Kalaripayattu of Kerala.

    Enthralling the crowds using daggers, swords and spears were none other than performers and stunt masters who enacted the famous fight and battle scenes in the recent Bollywood blockbuster Bajirao Mastani that starred Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.

    The performers are members of the CVN Kalari centre in Kerala, a 70-year-old training school that conducts lessons in the use of weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, bows and arrows.

    The men began the show with a warm-up routine involving a set of exercises to the beats of a drummer on stage. As curious visitors of diverse nationalities gathered before the revamped Global Village stage, the artists changed gear and went on to demonstrate their famed fighting skills using various weapons.

    Working first with sticks (ottakol), the Kalari artists had the crowd cheering them with every move they made.

    But it was when they pulled out the daggers and swords that people went silent, unsure of what to expect next. What followed was vigorous combat between supremely skilled martial arts exponents as they executed one deadly move after another in a brilliantly choreographed fight sequence.

    “What we have shown here at Global Village is just a glimpse of Kalaripayattu, the oldest martial arts form in the world dating back more than 2,000 years. It is the forerunner of Chinese martial arts. Unfortunately India had lost touch with this ancient art until it was revived 80 years ago by my grandfather by setting up the CVN Kalari centre in Kerala,” said Gopa Kumar, owner of the CVN Kalari centre.

    “Our masters have trained a number of enthusiasts from all over the world, taking the martial arts to an all new level,” said Kumar.

    “Performing at the Global Village is a huge opportunity for us, considering it is a melting pot of people of different cultures. The crowds loved our performance and we hope to come back next year with a bigger show.”

    Brush with celebs

    The CVN Kalari centre has gained fame after its association with a number of Indian and international movies. “We have trained celebs like Jackie Chan in The Myth, Shah Rukh Khan in Dil Se and Asoka, Ajay Devgn in Lajja, Abhishek Bachchan and Vikram in Ravan, and more recently Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani,” he said.

    Healing massage

    Kumar has set up a stall for a specialised Kalari massage called Marma Chikitsa. The massage, using medicated ayurvedic oils, is said to cure ailments such as backache, joint pains, spondylitis, arthritis and rheumatic diseases. “A lot of people from the Gulf region come to Kerala for treatment. Seeing such a huge response, we are planning to open a centre in Dubai soon.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #118
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    Meenakshi Gurrukkal

    Very impressive! What a treasure. RESPECT!

    Defying age with a sword: Meenakshi Gurrukkal, Kerala’s grand old Kalaripayattu dame
    At 74, she is possibly the oldest woman exponent of Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial arts from Kerala.
    Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 14:19



    By Supriya Unni Nair

    Meenakshi Gurukkal crouched low, sword poised; her eyes unblinking as she faced her opponent in the mud-paved 'kalari' or arena. From the tree tops, a mynah's call resonated in the silence. In a flash she moved to attack, twirling her sword; metal clashing loudly as it made contact with a shield.

    At 74, she is possibly the oldest woman exponent of Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial arts from Kerala. She has been practising Kalaripayattu for no less than sixty-eight years - training and teaching.

    Around 150 students learn Kalaripayattu in her school Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam, in a tiny hamlet in Vadakara, near Calicut, Kerala. From June to September every year, classes are held thrice a day teaching the Northern style of Kalaripayattu, including "uzhichil" or massages for aches and pains. Techniques have been passed down through generations, written in a palm ‘booklet’, grey and delicate with age. When school term is over, Meenakshi takes part in performances. “Nowadays, apart from teaching, I practise only when I have a show,” she says nonchalantly. This, from someone who on an average performs in 60 shows a year.

    More than a third of the students are girls, aged between six and twenty six. Meenakshi’s school welcomes children from all walks of life. "Gender and community are totally irrelevant. What matters is age. The earlier you start, the more proficient you are," she explains.

    The school runs on a 'no fees' principle. At the end of each year, students give her whatever guru dakshina they chose to. Today, some of her students are now Gurukkals or masters themselves.

    The kalari walls display weapons - fist daggers, shields, spears, thick wooden rods, tusk-shaped 'ottas' and 'urumis' - long flexible blades used in combat. Among them is a shield, polished, but old with use - one that Meenakshi herself had trained with as a young girl.

    She started learning Kalaripayattu at the age of six, when her father had taken her and her sister to a local kalari. "There were only a handful of girls in our class. But my father wasn't bothered. He was determined we learn Kalaripayattu," she says.

    Meenakshi turned out to be naturally gifted, and her father encouraged her to continue training even past puberty, when girls normally stopped.



    It was then that she met and married Raghavan Master, a school teacher with a passion for Kalaripayattu. Shunned from joining a local kalari because he was from the backward Thiyya/Ezhava community, Raghavan Master had built his own Kalaripayattu training school in defiance. Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam was set up in 1949; a place where anyone and everyone who had a passion for the martial art could join. "His goal was to make Kalaripayattu accessible to everyone. Today we have done that," explained Meenakshi, who started teaching Kalaripayattu at his training school at age 17.

    Oral folklore in north Kerala, known as Vadakkan Pattu or Northern Ballads, is rich with tales of Kalaripayattu champions. Among them are the Thiyya/Ezhava warriors of Puthooram tharavad in North Malabar- heroes and heroines such as Aromal Chekavar, an expert in 'ankam' (duelling) and Unniarcha, a women skilled in 'urumi' combat who singlehandedly took on vagabonds to ensure safe passage for women in that area. Ironically, Raghavan Master, from the same Thiyya/Ezhava community, had to fight discrimination in the late 1940s and set up a separate kalari to train and teach.

    Historians stress that Kalaripayattu was popular in medieval Kerala.

    "Each 'desam' or locality had a kalari or gymnasium with a guru at its head and both boys and girls received physical training in it," noted historian Prof A Sreedhara Menon in his work 'A Survey of Kerala History'.

    Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa, wrote of how he saw Kalaripayattu students in North Kerala in the early 1500s, who "...Learn twice a day as long as they are children... and they become so loose jointed and supple that they make them turn their bodies contrary to nature.." (exerpt from The Book of Duarte Barbosa, Volume II, Duarte Barbosa)

    Mythology credits Parasurama being the father of Kalaripayattu having learnt in from Shiva himself. Historically, it finds mention in early Sangam literature. Kerala historian, Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, in his book Studies in Kerala History, opined that the northern form Kalaripayattu practised today came into existence in 11 th century, in the wake of the strife between the Tamil Kingdoms of Cheras and Cholas.



    Later, colonial rulers were quick to ensure that locals did not pose a threat to them, and strongly discouraged Kalaripayattu. Their prudish sensibilities also prevented women from learning such skills. Prof Menon noted that after the 17 th century, interest in Kalaripayattu declined.

    Restrictions on carrying arms ensured that most Kalaripayattu weapons were kept in cold storage.

    Kalaripayattu was revived in the 1920s, but practitioners had to ask authorities for special licences to use weapons.

    “It was well past Independence that things really picked up. Now it's a way of life for us," says Meenakshi. Her children, two sons and two daughters, also started training in Kalaripayattu at six, and today her son Sajeev is a Gurukkal. "I will practise Kalaripayattu for as long as I physically can," she adds.

    This grand dame of Kalaripayattu is determined to prove the cliché that age is just a number.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #119
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    Meenakshiamma, a 76-year-old woman, and her Kalaripayattu

    You'll have to follow the link to see the vid. She's quick.

    This 76 YO Woman Uses A Stick And An Ancient Martial Art To Beat A Man In An Awe-Inspiring Duel
    Nitesh Raikwar
    June 22, 2016

    Meenakshiamma, a 76-year-old woman from Vadakara, is seen here in action mesmerising everyone with her Kalaripayattu skills. This ancient martial art,which many believe is the mother of Shaolin Kung fu - is also oldest living martial art in the world
    And what this Kalari teacher can do with a stick surely shows how effective it is for everyone.
    The video was posted on a Facebook page called 'India Arising' on 16 June since then it has been viewed over a million times. You don't wanna miss her amazing skills!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #120
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    Dec 1969
    Location
    South FL. Which is not to be confused with any part of the USA
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    9,297

    Indian Martial Arts

    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

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