STYLES of Kalaripayattu :Mathew Gurukkal - Bali Kalari, East of Iron-bridge, Kollam, Kerala,S.India- Martial arts,self defence, Weapon training, VCDs,DVDs,Interactive, Marma-sastra & Marma-chikitsa DVDs, Yoga classes, Ayurvedic Body Massage, stage demos, etc.
1. Thekkan or Southern style
2. Vadakkan or Northern style
and 3. Madhya-Keralam or Medevial Kerala style
, which is a combination of the above two.
The Thekkan Style and the Vadakkan Styles mainly differs in their steps or chevidukal and dodges or Ozhivu. Thekkan style is famous for its hand and leg techniques like locks and throws etc, where as Vadakkan style is popular for its flexibility techniques or Meitari which are kata like forms of a premeditated nature.Different variations of kicks, quick leaps and diving techniques like Flick-flacks, rolls, etc or what is know as gymnastic techniques is also a speciality of the style.Among Vadakkan styles also other styles like Tulunadan, Kadathanadan, Vattanthiruppu Sambradayam etc are also there which are now a days becoming more over extinct.
Mainly the Thekkan Style was followed by the Masters of south kerala like Kollam, Trivandrum, and Tamilnadu districts like Nagarcoil and Kanyakumari. The scriptures of Thekkan or southern style was mainly from the Sage Agasthya and it was written in Tamil Language.This style was followed by many muslim masters as well. The Vadakkan Style followed the scriptures in Sanskrit and was followed by Hindus in olden days, though now a days we cannot classify the style based on a religious or geographical aspect because all religions practice kalarippayat in all places. In olden days basically Vadakkan Sambradayam or Northern style, was practiced in Kannore or Cannanore, Kozhikode, Badakara, Malappuram, parts of Cochin, etc But now a days all styles are practiced almost in all districts of kerala. People of Tamil-Nadu are very skillful in stick-fighting techniques known as Silambam which means Bamboo from the hills.Using the stick an expert artist could defend against any weapon or animal attack.
SHIVA SCHOOL & VISHNU SCHOOLS
Also their is difference in the school of teachings like the 'Shiva School' or the 'Vishnu school'. Shiva and Vishnu are Indian Gods of the Hindus. In other words, in terms of kalari they are Hard and Soft schools. The Lord shiva is considered to be the destroyer or Samhara Moorthi and hence Shiva school enforces the destruction of the opponent, and as Lord Vishnu represents the preserver,existence or sthithi of the Universe, the Vishnu school has a softer approach, and it preserves the enemy or shows kindness to the enemy, just disabling him, instead of making a kill. If a person attacks a kalaripayat artist of the Vishnu approach, he defends himself more. On the contrary the Shiva school of practice takes an attacking or offensive nature. The vishnu school yields and takes the force of the opponent to his advantage there by misbalancing his opponent and bring him under control without major destruction. Here it is not the defender who turns to offence, but the attackers force itself brings destruction to himself. The defender yields to the force of the opponent and uses the opponents force and brings him to his control using the skill of kalaripayat techniques. Basically Kalari has in it the yielding technique as well as the techniques using Force. So Kalaripayat is not only based on force theory alone like other martial-arts. It explains how minimum force can be applied to overcome a mighty opponent with ease. So one need not be surprised if one finds in Kalaripayat, the blend of all the martial-art styles and forms of world. Due to this fact any type of martial-art trainee or trainer will find that Kalaripayat is similar to the art form he learned.
CLASSIFICATION OF FIGHTING SKILLS OR WEAPONERY BASED ON
PURANAS or Epics like MAHABHARATHA & RAMAYANA
Based on the Epics, the techniques of Kalarippayat is again classified in to Arjuna-Tari or the way of Arjuna, Bhiman-Tari or Fighting technique or way of Bheema - one of the 5 pandava prince, Bali-Tari or the yielding technique used by Bali who was a monkey and brother of Sugriva, Hanuman-Tarior Monkey-god Hanuman's technique and so on. Arjuna Tari is complete concentration to a single point, where as Bhiman-Tari referes to use of force or strength with the opponent like wrestling, lifting, and throwing. Hanuman-Tari or Monkey technique, includes evading or escaping the opponent through surprising leaps, springs, flick-flacks, different kinds of rolling techniques, etc. Bali-Tari uses the invinsible and invisible fighting technique like fighting with the opponent while remaining at his back or in other words in a hiding way or yielding way. In the epic Ramayana it is stated that half of the strength of any opponent who came against Bali, goes to Bali or in other words, Bali's strength increases every minute of the fight. Bali uses the yielding technique to overcome his opponent. So as per different schools of practice both using force theory and also not using force or energy saving technique were practiced. A Good master has both the combination in a real fight. A greatmaster always use simple techniques and minimal techniques that are powerful and faster to execute without making mistakes.