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KALARIPPAYAT: INDIA'S ANCIENT MARTIAL ART
Author: D.H. Luijendijk
Publisher: PALADIN PRESS, Feb 2009
Reveals the hidden treasures of this exotic art to the outside world. Offers a rare glimpse into the concepts, stances, footwork, forms, techniques, weaponry & martial applications of each of the art's three main traditions. Photos, illus; 8.5x11 inches, 120 pgs.
Although most of India's martial arts have been lost over time, the southwestern state of Kerala maintains a rich martial tradition in the ancient art of kalarippayat, a complete system that incorporates empty-hand fighting, weaponcraft and a sophisticated method of massage and healing. After 10 years of intensive study, author D.H. Luijendijk is one of a handful of Westerners to reach the instructor level in the northern, central and southern branches of this obscure art, which traces its origins back to at least the 9th century BC. Brutal and effective, kalarippayat thrived for centuries until the British colonial government banned it in 1804 in response to a series of revolts. After that, it was practiced in secret, passed down mostly within certain families, until nationalists began promoting it as an expression of Keralan culture early in the 20th century.
With this book, Luijendijk reveals the hidden treasures of this exotic art to the outside world. Against the colorful backdrop of kalarippayat's historical and religious underpinnings, he offers a rare glimpse into the concepts, stances, footwork, forms, techniques, weaponry and martial applications of each of the art's three main traditions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
D.H. Luijendijk is a native of Holland who studied judo and kung fu in his youth and became interested in the functional aspects of kalarippayat while studying at the university in Sri Lanka. A visit to Kerala led to his studying full time under Grandmaster Sherif, whose ancestors trained the army and bodyguard of the raja of Chirakkal. He trained full time in Kerala for several years and then returned for months of intensive training each year. In 2003 he earned the title of asan, or master. He also lived in Iran for a number of years, studying that country's indiginous martial arts.