Kalaripayat, or more formally kalari payattu, is a Dravidian martial art from Kerala in south India. Possibly one of the oldest fighting systems in existence, it is. The book was launched on 12th Oct by Anita Nair, the author of many bestselling books such as the Satyr of the Subway, The Better Man, Ladies Coupe. As far as I know there are no Kalari instructors doing that presently. You could however get the basics from the following books: Kalarippayattu.
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Bernie Gourley Top Contributor: This is one of the few books on the Indian martial art of Kalaripayattu–particularly written in English. This will be a quick review because this is a pictorial book–i.
While there is text throughout, the book kalaripayatu seeks to convey the feel of the martial art through photographs. In that regard the book succeeds tremendously. The photos, often full page format, are vivid, engaging, and bring Kalaripayattu to life. The photographer, Arabind Govind, did an excellent job, as did all of the practitioners who served as demonstrators for the photos.
There is pleasing kalaripayattu of natural lighting for both the photos taken in the kalari and outdoors. The acrobatics are awe-inspiring.
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The text is well-written and concise. There were a couple tiny typos that didn’t detract from the meaning in any way.
It’s a first edition and a photo book, so I don’t grade hard there. The text is most extensive and useful toward the front of the book in the discussions of history, philosophy, and mythos of the art.
Throughout most of the rest of the book the text consists of sparse paragraphs used to give a little additional information on the weapons and techniques–including the massage style.
The book starts with background, then it delves into the physical exercises that are used to build fitness, then the unarmed fighting approach, followed by the arsenal of weapons employed in the art, and it concludes kalaripayaattu a discussion of vital point massage. I’d recommend this book for students of the martial arts who are interested in Indian martial arts, or who are just interested in martial arts generally.
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