Kalaripayattu is a martial art, which originated in Kerala around 1400 C.E. It was developed as a technique to protect humans from animals, and later used in villages to settle disputes and arguments. The loser would die and the winner would survive.
The Cochin Cultural Centre is one of the remaining six places in Kerala that practices and performs this type of martial art. It involves many gymnastic-like movements: flips, front walkovers, back walkovers, tumbles and more. A variety of weapons are used as well: swords, knives and bamboo sticks. We were fortunate enough to see a demonstration. My favourite part was the sword fight because I found it really cool how when the swords hit sparks were created. Another aspect of the sword fighting that I enjoyed was how fast the performers could move and block. I also really liked the hand-to-hand combat, as it was amazing to see how fast the performers could get out of some tricky situations. Overall, I found this martial art to be amazingly precise and well timed.