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The Martial Arts Tradition of India

By (author)  Patrick Denaud
Foreword by  Marie-Claire Restoux

ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-315-0
ISBN: 1-59477-315-7

Quality Paperback — 10/13/09

Page Count: 192; 6.00 (width) x 9.00 (height)

Includes 16-page color insert

Imprint: Destiny Books

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days.

Price: $16.95


About Kalaripayat

The first book in English on the Indian martial art that was the precursor to the Chinese and Japanese traditions

• A rigorous martial arts practice that also promotes harmonious self-development

• Provides practices for controlling the circulation of energy and vital forces throughout the body

Originating in the southern Indian province of Kerala, kalaripayat is the most ancient of the Eastern martial arts. Yet today it has been practically forgotten. Former CBS war correspondent Patrick Denaud looks at this neglected tradition, whose history spans millennia, from the time it was transmitted by the god Vishnu to the sage Parasurama and his twenty-one disciples, the original Gurukkals, to its present-day practice.

More than an art of combat, kalaripayat is a way of life and a spiritual discipline. Its martial techniques are designed to create states propitious for deep meditation. Long the jealously guarded art of the Nair warriors of southern India, kalaripayat was banned by the British East India Company in 1793 and was long believed by outside observers to be extinct. Several Gurukkals continued a clandestine practice and secretly trained the students who would transmit the teachings to today’s keepers of the art, such as Gurukkal Pratap S. Balachandrian.

Like other spiritual disciplines, kalaripayat draws from the science of breath. Focused, silent breathing creates highly concentrated trance states and helps control the inner circulation of vital energy. The practitioner learns not only how to be a capable fighter with or without weapons but also an accomplished healer. The emphasis of this practice on circulating energy throughout the body is not only of interest to martial arts practitioners but also to all those interested in the harmonious development of the self.

About the Author(s) of Kalaripayat

Patrick Denaud is a former war correspondent for CBS News and a documentary filmmaker. He lives in France.

Praise for Kalaripayat

“In order to grasp the common essence of the martial arts, or the original unity of mankind for that matter, it is necessary to understand the truth of history. Patrick Denaud’s Kalaripayat reveals many important pieces of this enigmatic and fascinating puzzle. It is an important book for serious students of all martial arts.”
William Gleason, author of Aikido and Words of Power and The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido

"Kalaripayat is a pick for any new age or martial arts library." The Midwest Book Review, Jan 2010

". . . the work [Kalaripayat] is a useful and detailed introduction to kalaripayat within its larger social, cultural, and religious context.  As the author rightfully states, kalaripayat deserves a place alongside the other, more well-known Asian martial arts traditions. . . [Kalaripayat] will bring kalaripayat to the attention of a wider audience and inspire further research and publication on this art."
Arthur Rosenfeld, Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol. 19, No.3, August 2010