• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Indian Martial Arts
India Martial art - Kalaripayattu

Just amazing .. check how this martial arts is linked to Marma medicine system,
Bhartanatyam, Vedic mantras, and strict secrecy of knowledge and rule based living.


Admins are free to move this to an existing thread.. sorry if I created an unwanted thread.


Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=His-mbxMpXM

Discovery channel 1: Kalaripayattu / Kalari

Here's a National Geographic documentary I uploaded. got it from bodhi.

Thanks Pandyan!

I have got a few more very interesting films. One is a 3 hour film in VCD format on Ayurveda. This is a wonderful joint narrative of 5 traditional Ayurveda medicine practiceners - one Siddha-vaidya from Coimbatore, one Marma-shatra nAdi-vaidya from Kerala, one vana-aushadhigya from the forests of tala-kaveri area in Karnataka, one rasa-vaidya from varanasi, and a sanskrit speaking greek physician - besides various other branch specialists pitching in. (one gets to hear that many languages in it, plus English.)

A lengthy, but very impressive documentary on Ayurveda. The size of the file(s) is huge though... (>1000 MB) ... would you be willing to somehow convert and upload to youtube...? how to send it to you will also be an issue though...
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 22 2007, 10:06 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 22 2007, 10:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thanks Pandyan! 

I have got a few more very interesting films.  One is a 3 hour film in VCD format on Ayurveda.  This is a wonderful joint narrative of 5 traditional Ayurveda medicine practiceners - one Siddha-vaidya from Coimbatore, one Marma-shatra nAdi-vaidya from Kerala, one vana-aushadhigya from the forests of tala-kaveri area in Karnataka, one rasa-vaidya from varanasi, and a sanskrit speaking greek physician - besides various other branch specialists pitching in.  (one gets to hear that many languages in it, plus English.)

A lengthy, but very impressive documentary on Ayurveda.  The size of the file(s) is huge though... (>1000 MB) ... would you be willing to somehow convert and upload to youtube...? how to send it to you will also be an issue though...

Yeah, that definitely sounds interesting. I'll be willing to edit (split) and upload it onto youtube, but we have to find something for you to host it on that allows >1000MB sized files. I'll be looking for something.
Not martial arts, but part of Indian physical culture.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Mallakhamb is an ancient traditional Indian sport. 'Malla' means gymnast, and 'khamb' means pole. Thus, the name 'Mallakhamb' stands for 'a  ... all » gymnast's pole'. The origin of Mallakhamb can be traced to the 12th century, where it is mentioned in Manas-Olhas - a classic by Chalukya in 1135 A.D. For seven centuries, the art lay dormant, till it was revived by Balambhatta Dada Deodhar, the sports and fitness instructor to Peshwa Bajirao II, who reigned during the first half of the 19th century. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Indian wrestling:
Hey Bodhi, how large is the Ayurveda file exactly and what kind of file is it?
Indian wrestling and physical culture.

Movie trailers: http://www.createspace.com/Store/Trailer.j...ker01?id=207195


Throughout the various ages of India's history there has been a growth of interest in Physical Culture. As far back as the 1100s there were detailed descriptions of diet, training & lifestyle for the more famous proponents. Weightlifting was achieved using stone and sacks of sand. Press-ups and squats were common exercises. By the 1500s Bodybuilding had become a national passion.

One of the most popular forms of weight that was used through the centuries was the Nal, made of rough stone with a hole through the centre and very often with a handle.

<b>It is often considered that the British Rule in India started a period of decline in Physical Culture and general health amongst the Indian population.</b>

In 1905 there was a revival of interest, mainly in strand pulling. This was due to a great extent to Sandow's highly successful visit to India in 1904.

Muscle Control was introduced to India in the 1920s by Chit Tun, a Burmese man who settled in Calcutta.

Despite the influence of Sandow and others 'Western' style bodybuilding did not take off in a big way until the 1930s. The most important instructor at that time being Prof. K.V. Iyer who founded the Hercules Gymnasium in Bangalore. He also started India's first postal course in Bodybuilding.

B.C. Ghosh credits Chit Tun with inspiring him to take up Muscle Control and he and his partner K.C. Sen Gupta opened a Gymnasium in Calcutta in the 1930s. Ghosh & Sengupta were credited with the early training of both Monotosh Roy and Monohar Aich, both World Class bodybuilders in the 50s.

<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Sep 5 2007, 11:13 PM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Sep 5 2007, 11:13 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hey Bodhi, how large is the Ayurveda file exactly and what kind of file is it?
Pandyan, file is .avi, size is 1.36 gb. Needs divx to view.
Bodhi has the Ayurveda file been uploaded? Can you send me a DVD of it?
<!--QuoteBegin-Jaggu+Sep 10 2007, 04:11 AM-->QUOTE(Jaggu @ Sep 10 2007, 04:11 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bodhi has the Ayurveda file been uploaded? Can you send me a DVD of it?
No it's not. He needs to find a place to upload it.

Bodhi perhaps you can create a torrent?


Great for sharing large files.
Better still i can mail u the dvd. are u in india? email me shandilyabodhi yahoo com
No, I'm not in India.

But I uploaded a video that I got, onto Google Video. It's pretty good.

In the above video, there is an old woman who handles child births at 20 mins, i wanna know what lang she is speaking, normally I can make out bits in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada, but in this only one or two words are understandable, anyone has a clue?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Yoga knocks judo off Kremlin</b>

Moscow: The ancient Indian yoga, once banished from the country by a Communist leader, is all set to make a home in the Kremlin next month when the new Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, who practises the art, takes over.

Prodded by his wife Svetlana, <b>President-elect Medvedev had joined the thousands of Russians eager to learn the Indian art of yoga. He now takes pride in his ability to perform ‘shirshasana’, a headstand pose.</b>

Tennis revolution

The former President Boris Yeltsin’s tennis revolution had resulted in the birth of a whole constellation of Russian superstars like Kournikova and Sharapova.

His successor, a judo black-belt holder and mountain skier Vladimir Putin gave boost to oriental martial arts and mountain skiing and if the trend continues, Russia will soon be standing on its head, Centre TV (CTV) said in its weekend analytical programme ‘Post Scriptum’.

“And if this trend is to continue <b>under Medvedev, Russia will soon have more yoga schools than India</b>,” CTV observed.

In an interview to the Itogi magazine last year, Mr. Medvedev, the then First Deputy Prime Minister looking after major social and health reforms, said: “Little by little, I am mastering yoga.”

Yoga, he explained, helped him relax from the stress of work. “I can even stand on my head,” Mr. Medvedev told a glossy magazine Tainy Zvyozd (Secrets of the Stars) last month.

<b>In the late 1960s under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev the only Indian professor of yoga at the Moscow-based Institute of Physical Culture was asked to quit and the yoga department was closed due to its connection with Hindu religious practices.</b> However, after the Soviet Union’s collapse yoga has gained popularity in Russia.Scores of private yoga centres have sprung up not only in Moscow, but also in faraway cities and towns.According to Khatuna Kobiashvili of Yoga Journal Russia, at least 100,000 people regularly practice yoga in Russia. The journal, published by the media group along with the Moscow Times and business daily Vedomosti, sells 55,000 copies a month nationwide, she said. — PTI


The word malla or jatti frequently occurs in literature and inscriptions, which indicates that wrestling was popular with the royalty as well as the masses. The kings glorified themselves with titles like ahavamalla (warrior-wrestler) and tribhuvanamalla (wrestler of three worlds). The term malla, in course of time, came to indicate strength (Fig. 171). The Akhyanakamanikosa refers to fighting with fists (mushti-yuddha) (Fig.172) and to wrestling as malla-yuddha [3]. Mallakalaga or jattikalaga is the term used for combat of wrestlers (Fig. 173). In the Kathasaritsagara, there is reference to a wrestler from the Deccan who defeated all the local wrestlers in a contest held at Varanasi on the occasion of a religious festival or devayatra [4]. Wrestling bouts formed part of everyday life of the people and sculptures provide ample illustrations. In a school of wrestling, youngsters were taught the technique of various grips (Fig. 174). There were women wrestlers (Fig. 175) who must have provided much entertainment to male audiences. There were professional wrestlers who gave performances before nobles and officials and earned a living (Fig. 176).

Three categories of wrestlers - jyeshthaka, antarjyeshthaka and govala - are mentioned [5]. These roughly resemble heavy, middle and bantam weight wrestlers of the present times. The Kannada poet Janna, who appears to have been a good sportsman, refers to jattis, govalas and jagajettis (world-wrestlers) getting ready for a fight [6]. According to their skill, efficiency and stamina, they were classified into ten groups. Up to twenty years of age, a wrestler was called bhavishnu and up to thirty years, he was known as prarudha. After thirty years, he was considered unfit for wrestling. Wrestlers known for powerful and tall build (mahakaya and mahaprana) were given maintenance allowance by the state. Bhavishnu and prarudha wrestlers were fed on a special diet comprising black gram, meat, curd and flour mixed with milk and clarified butter. The wrestlers, especially the bhavishnus, were forbidden from visiting women. They were to practice different exercises to build their bodies. Known as samasthanas, sthanakas and vijnanas, these consisted of various postures and grips (Fig. 177) and were practiced early in the morning. Bharashrama or weight-lifting (Fig. 178) was recommended along with long walk of one krosa (three miles) a day. They practiced swimming as well. In the evening, the wrestlers practiced bahupellanaka-srama or the exercise of lifting and clasping hands with a firm grip (Fig. 179). It is interesting to find that they practiced mallakhamb or pillar exercise called sthambhasrama. There was a supervisor over these wrestlers known as malladhyaksha [7].

According to the Manasollasa, there was a type of wrestling, for which the king personally selected wrestlers from among equals (Fig. 180) and heard them taking oath after saluting. The wrestling bouts took place in specially constructed arenas called akkhadakas (modern akhadas). They wore short and tight breeches (challana) or tight loin-cloth (dridhakachha) with their hair tied. After saluting the king and worshipping the idol of Sri Krishna which was installed beside the arena, the wrestlers started fighting. Various grips and clasps were tried. In the end, the one who did not tire out and who was able to break one of the limbs of his opponent, was declared the champion [8]. Poet Pampa refers to one such mallakalaga, witnessed by king Virata, in which the wrestler sent by Duryodhana kills all the famous wrestlers of Virata [9]. This type of wrestling, which was violent, subsequently went out of vogue.

These state-patronized wrestlers seem to have attended to other duties also. The priest Sribhuti, who was found guilty of breach of trust, was given choice of three punishments by the king, one of which was to receive thirty-three blows administered by powerful wrestlers [10].


Anka (dueling) has been widely prevalent throughout the world, through the ages. Duels were fought with fists (boxing) and also with different weapons. The Agni Purana testified to state control over duels and gambling, with five per cent of the fine to be received by the king [11]. The Manasollasa confirms strict state control over dueling [12]. Ankakalaga or duel was fought between men for specific reasons [13]. The king was advised to discourage such combats and to allow them only in exceptional cases [14]. This is in sharp contrast to gladiators who were sacrificed to provide a Roman holiday.

The reasons for single combats were rivalry for women (paribhuta), greed or jealousy (matsara), land (bhumi), exhibition of prowess (vidya), revenge (vaira) and penitence for crime, redeemed by death (prayaschitta). Strange was birudanka or the challenge thrown by a swaggering desperado who rode a buffalo carrying a torch in broad daylight [15].

The ways for challenging to a duel are noteworthy. Some heaped abuses, others beat their opponents or cut their hair or otherwise incited them to demand satisfaction. Marco Polo gives a description of throwing a challenge in the Southern region, 'If it is an object with any man to affront another in the grossest and most contemptuous manner, he spits the juice of his masticated leaf on his face. Thus insulted, the injured party hastens to the presence of the king, states the circumstances of his grievance and declares his willingness to decide the quarrel by combat. The king thereupon furnishes them with arms, consisting of a sword and small shield; and all the people assemble to be spectators of the conflict, which lasts till one of them remains dead on the field [16].

The combatants took oath and the fight commenced on the following day. The king attended the arena with his retinue. The blowing of trumpet (kahala) was a special feature of the occasion. The rivals came dressed in gorgeous colors like green, yellow and black with belts of yellow metal and wore necklaces of conches. They paid homage to the king, sitting in the position of a tortoise and after getting the signal, started the fight. The winner was rewarded with dress, gold and ornaments, life pension (jivitam vrittim) and villages. Relatives of the deceased were also protected and helped by monetary grants. Since this was a fight engendered by personal hostility of private parties, no stigma was attached to the king, who merely permitted and supervised the combat (papam napnoti tesham) [17].

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Vajramushti The Ancient Vale Tudo of India

Prior to his training in Brazil in the late 80’s, author and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, John Will, travelled to and trained in some of the most exotic places in Asia and the sub-continent. It was during those travels, that he sought out and trained with the notorious Jyesthimalla clan in the desert state of Gujarat in India.Vajramushti is an ancient, grappling-based fighting art that had one main difference from it’s modern day equivalent … the contestants wore knuckledusters on their right hands to add a devastating power to their blows. – blows that could maim – even kill!The Jyesthimallas are the keepers of this ancient and formidable art; an art in which a knuckleduster is tied onto the wrestlers right hand and used in ways that would make the hardest UFC veteran, wince in disbelief. This art form is by no means, a modern day adaptation of the wrestling and striking arts; it has a history, a lineage and traditions that take us back to the middle ages and possibly beyond.The MallapuranasIndian culture has produced a plethora of Puranas, (ancient texts), ranging from writings on ancient ayurvedic medicine, classical architecture, from warfare to lovemaking – and these collections of ancient wisdom have been written, re-written and handed down from generation to generation till modern day.
One such Purana, the Mallapurana is kept at the Oriental research Institute in Poona, India. It is written in the Devangari script and dates back to the year 1731 A.D. It describes many of the practises and traditions of the Vajramushti wrestlers in particular; some of which will be described in this article. It also mentions the Jyesthimalla’s or Jyesthi clan of fighters, who still carried on the practice of this art into recent times. The term Jyesthi translates as ‘the best’ and comes from the word Jyestha meaning most prominent or senior most. The Jyesthimallas still inhabit the Gujarat region of India till this day – two renowned Jyesthimalla’s were Shri Sitaram and Laxminarayana Sagar, both pictured in this article.
This ancient Mallapurana text contains eighteen chapters, describing everything from the diet, training practices and stages of the fight in detail. From the syntax and spelling of certain words contained therein, there is evidence enough to suggest that it was copied in the 1700’s from another, even older source that may have dated back to even centuries earlier.
The word Mallapurana is a term derived from two words; Malla – meaning wrestler or fighter and Purana – denoting ‘ancient or old story’. Hence, Mallapurana, refers to the ancient works denoting the practices of fighters or wrestlers.

The Training

The Mallapurana describes the various types of exercises the wrestlers would undertake to condition themselves for the fight. Among these are:

The Rangasrama – refers to the actual wrestling and wrestling techniques. These include all manner of grappling techniques, such as takedowns, fighting from the bottom, fighting from the top, and striking techniques.
The Sthambhasrama - the set of exercises performed on a standing upright pole called a Sthamba. There are many kinds of Sthamba, although the most common is an upright pole, some eight to ten inches in diameter, planted into the ground. The wrestler performs various complex callisthenics on it to develop arm, leg and upper-body strength and stamina.
The Gonitaka – this refers to the training done with a large stone ring. This weight is lifted and swung in various ways, even worn around the neck to develop neck, back and leg strength.
The Pramada – is the set of exercises performed with the use of the Indian clubs – the Gada. These tools are still used by many Indian wrestling Akhada (wrestling schools) today.
The Kundakavartana – refers to the callisthenics performed without the use of equipment; tumbling, various styles of push-ups, squats, etc that are used to develop overall strength and stamina.
The Uhapohasrama – refers to the discussion of tactics and strategies and is considered an important part of the fighters training regime.

The training of boys did not begin till they were about ten or twelve years of age. Initially, they were taught just the callisthenics and exercises to develop both strength and stamina. Much importance was placed on Baithakas, or squats and Dandes, or Indian pushups.
Once the student has developed sufficient strength, flexibility and stamina, he is introduced to the Mallasthamba or wrestlers pole, where the power to grip, with both arms and legs is developed to a high degree. There are many ways in which the wrestler mounts, utilizes and dismounts this free-standing pillar. Alongside these main methods, practices such as swimming and running were also used to further prepare the fighter to train in actual wrestling techniques and eventually, competition.
The wrestling or fighting training was done in the Akhada, usually a circular or square area of some thirty feet across, filled with soft soil. The earth in the Akhada is kept soft by constant tilling and by the addition of various substances, such as ochre, buttermilk and oil. Water is usually sprinkled over the training area, about every third day.

The Vajramushti

In this fierce style of wrestling, the combatants wear the Ayudha or Vajramusti on their right hand. This weapon, commonly known today as the knuckleduster, is usually made out of buffalo horn or ivory. It has several small holes along it’s length, so that it may be tied onto the hand with thread, so as not to become dislodged during the fight.
A weapon similar to the Vajramushti, was also used in the ancient Greek and Roman world. It was used by boxers and Pancrationists, and was called the Cestus. It was a ring, usually made of bronze, worn around the knuckles, to add power to a blow. Many variations of this weapon have been described in both ancient Greek and Indian literature. The Vajramushti’s that were used in warfare had sharp spikes or blades extending from each end.
In training, the Vajramushti wrestlers are taught many ways to lock-up and immobilize the arm that holds the Vajramushti. These locks are applied with the arms, or legs and sometimes a combination of both. Various methods of striking and defending are also part of the mainstream training regimen. Takedowns, knees and elbows are also employed – although striking with the weapon to any target below the chest is considered an illegal technique.

The Vajramushti Match

On the day of the match, the combatants heads are shaved clean, except for a small tuft of hair on the crown of the head. Several Neem leaves are tied to this tuft of hair as a good luck omen. The wrestlers body is then rubbed down with red ochre, which is supposedly meant to keep the body cool during the fight.
Before leaving their family Akhada for the match, both fighters pray to their family Goddess, Limbaja. For this worship, a square altar is temporarily constructed in the middle of the wrestling pit, upon which a branch of the Neem tree is planted. To the east of this altar, a small platform is placed, upon which, the weapons of the wrestlers are placed.
After prayers and rituals are completed, the fighter is given the Vajramushti, which is tied to his right hand. Upon leaving their family’s place of training, the wrestlers make their way to the public arena, where they enter in a zig- zagging, jumping fashion.
The object of the match was to bring the other fighter to the point of submission; either by blows or a locking up of the Vajramushti-wielding arm. It is a limited-rules engagement, where knees, kicks and strikes are all legal techniques to be used in conjunction with grappling techniques .
Both fighters receive payment after the match, with the winner receiving double the amount of his defeated opponent. If the match was a draw, and neither fighter was submitted, then the prize was shared.

The Jyethimallas

The Jyesthimalla’s are now found in the Indian states of Gujarat, Mysore, Hyderabad and Rajasthan. In Baroda, the capital of Gujarat, several of the better known Jyesthimalla’s have kept training Akhada’s right up to present day. The Jyesthi’s are a sub-caste of the Modha Brahmins, and as such worship the Indian deity, Krishna.
It is interesting to note that the Jyesthimalla’s have been referred to in ancient literature, as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. They have always had the distinction of being Ayudhajivi Brahmanas, that is Brahmins (the priest caste) living on arms.
The Jyesthi’s living in the 16th century were renowned athletes, and thought of as being synonomous with fighting. In fact, to this day, there is an expression in the state of Gujarat, ‘the Jyesthimallas are fighting’, and it is used to describe any serious duel between two combatants.
The Jyesthi’s have had a long tradition of working as bodyguards to marriage parties, and have been patronised by kings, princes and rulers for many centuries.
In the early 19th century, the Jyesthimallas were sponsored by the Gaekwads, and so, many were invited to Baroda from Dalmal and Hyderabad. Those that came from the Hyderabad continued to maintain their family’s fighting tradition right up until modern day; but sadly, by the late 1980’s there were only several surviving practitioners of this ancient art still living in Baroda. Even then, it was an art on the verge of extinction.[but don't worry, be happy, munch pakoras and play kirkit.]

In this the 21st century, we see ourselves at the very pinnacle of evolution in as far as the combative arts go. And this may well be the case – due not to the effort of any single individual, but rather to the advent of the information explosion. We simply have more information at our fingertips today, than we have ever had in the history of mankind. Via the internet and cable television, any 15 year old can keep abreast of what is happening at any given moment. The magazine racks are crammed with publications to cater for every taste. Martial arts schools flourish on every corner.
But it has not always been this way. To put things in context; only twenty years ago, nobody outside of Brazil had heard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Vale Tudo. Forty years ago, the term ‘Kickboxing’ hadn’t even been coined yet. Sixty years ago, no-one had ever heard the words ‘Karate’ or ‘Kung Fu’ outside of the Orient. In other words, our history of professional mixed martial arts is a very short one indeed; some would say, even non-existent.
It is worth the effort, at least in my opinion, to peer back into time, and examine arts such as those practised by the Vajramushti fighters, and marvel at the sheer wonder and history of it all. Over centuries, such arts were developed, who knows to what amazing degree; for no video cameras existed and no cable television networks were there to broadcast the struggles of these time-forgotten athletes.
It takes several decades, and the work of many, to develop an art to the point where it’s level of effectiveness outweighs it’s theoretical musings – but sadly, with the passing of only one generation it can all be forgotten as if it had never existed at all. The world is growing smaller; history and legends fade by the minute – but if we pay attention and keep our hearts open, much can still be preserved.
- John B Will

<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image002.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
The beginning of the no-rules Vajramushti match – complete with ivory-carved knuckledusters worn on the right hand of each combatant.

<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image003.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Vajramushti wrestling techniques included working from the bottom position – in recent times, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has brought similar strategies into mainstream focus.

<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image004.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
The victor has won the match by locking up his opponents weapon arm – note that the lock applied in this case is almost identical to the ‘Omoplata’ of modern day Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Vale Tudo = Brazil's all out bare knuckles fighting with minimal rules from which the more acceptable form of MMA for the moral police in North America developed (some states ban that too).
<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image005.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Here are some examples of the various Vajramushti – the two smaller weapons are used for the sporting aspect, whilst the larger, complete with spiked ends, were used in warfare.

<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image006.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
John Will in the mid 1980’s,alongside renowned Jyesthimalla wrestler, Shri Sitaram, wearing the Vajramushti.

<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image007.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
John Will with another Vajramushti wrestler, just prior to a training session in a renowned Jyesthimalla Akhada.
<img src='http://www.bjj.com.au/images/vajramushti_image008.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
The 1st page of the Mallapurana text preserved at the Oriental Research Institute in Poona.
Hindus don't seem to need any outside persecution to neglect their own traditions. Vajra Mushti is probably dead now, if there were only a handful of practitioners in the 80s.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)