Stages Of Kalaripayattu

The complete Kalaripayattu training is classified into four stages based on the usage and various exercises involved.

MEITHARI (Physical Exercises)

Meithari is the foundation to develop skills that are necessary for advanced Kalari training. it is popularly known as Meippayattu which aims at giving a dual benefit of defensive mechanism and physical strength. Thus, this sequence is referred to as physical discipline. Where the fight is with one’s own body to develop positive traits like control of the body, developing balance, sense of direction, agility, speed, alertness


The second part of the Kalari training is called Kolthari or wooden weapon training. The word ‘kolthari’ means the
practice with kol or stick with different lengths and shapes. There are various techniques learnt in defending and
attacking with these weapons, wooden weapons are introduced after extensive body preparation training, as
correct weapon practice can only be mastered through perfect control over one’s body.


Angathari is the use of sharp and lethal metal weapons, in the sequence of angathari training; the lethal weapons are graded and gradually introduced with advanced techniques in each level. Metal weapons are taught to students who have learnt to control their body with Meithari and control their wooden weapons with second stage in Kalaripayattu; these techniques are designed to gain complete control over the weapon by making it an extension of the body. This training removes fear and further builds confidence and alertness and immediate reflex responses.


In Kalarippayattu the most important part is the use of empty-hand. The name Verumkai means one without any weapon who faces an armed or unarmed opponent, or multiple opponents. The bare-hand technique sequences include both situations of attack and defence. It consists of an array of blocks, attacks, kicks, locks and throws. The moves for attack and defence are complex and can be handled only by the advanced student.