Years of Kalarippayattu, Kalari Marma & Ayurveda Tradition with Unmatched Excellence
Sri. K Narayanan Gurukkal established the prestigious institution named CVN Kalari Nadakav, Calicut in the year 1950. In the beginning, it was a very humble facility, and over the years the CVN Kalari Nadakav has grown multifold and become world-class in its performances and achievements. Sri. K Narayanan Gurukkal in his days had already done everything to promote and popularize the ancient traditional and cultural martial art of Kalarippayattu. The CVN Kalari Nadakav founded by Sri K Narayanan Gurukkal is situated in the heart of the Calicut city, Nadakav, where the traditional and indigenous martial art of Kalarippayattu has been treasured, practiced, and performed for more than 70 years now. Sri. Kumman Narayanan Gurukkal has three sons, Sri. Anil Gurukkal, Sri. Sunil Gurukkal and Sri. Gopakumar Gurukkal who all trained and educated themselves extensively in the field of Kalarippayattu and Kalari Marma Chikitsa/Treatment under Sri. K Narayanan Gurukkal starting at the age of 5. They all became very successful and great Kalari Gurukkals/Masters of the current Era.
The work of Sri. K Narayanan Gurukkal & towards Kalarippayattu, along with the righteous reputation, tradition, and lineage has attracted many athletes and celebrities from all around the world to date. The team has performed Kalarippayattu before presidents, prime ministers, and many distinguished guests from different nations. Russian President Sri. Vladimir Putin, U.A.E president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sri. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Smti. Indira Gandhi, Sri. Rajiv Gandhi, Sri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sri. L.K Advani, Sri. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Sri. Giani Zail Singh, Sri. K.R Narayanan are some of them. The CVN Kalari Nadakav team has represented India in many national and International events. The CVN Kalari Nadakav team has traveled to many countries like U.K, France, US, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, China, Japan, U.A.E, etc. for Kalarippayattu performances, workshops, theatre shows and for Cinema stunt choreographies.
Sri Anil Gurukkal, Sri Sunil Gurukkal & Sri Gopakumar Gurukkal together are currently running the well-established and renowned CVN Kalari Nadakav, Calicut & their sub-centers in India and abroad. They have earned and achieved many awards and recognitions from many institutions and even private and government organizations. They are currently committed to perpetuate and propagate Kalarippayattu & Ayurveda Kalari Marma Treatment for the benefit of the world community. Aside from this, the group additionally leads activity movements and theater shows.
Guru Sri K. Narayanan Gurukkal, the Founder of CVN Kalari Nadakav. The man behind the revival and revitalization of Kalaripayattu in malabar. His great soul has departed us on 24th Dec 2000. The guru who taught more comprehensively, The guru who taught more directly & with a great measure of support.
Born in the year 1927, son of Sri Kumman Gopalan & Smt Kalyani Gopalan. Guru Sri Narayanan Gurukkal was born in a village called Azhikode in Kannur District in a family where Ayurveda, Sanskrit & Kalarippyattu were hereditary. Young Narayanan imbibed this culture & started learning kalarippayattu & Ayurveda at the age of 8 and became a renowned master by the age of 20. His father was a true guiding star and Narayanan was trained poignantly the basics of Kalaripayattu. Having learned the basics, young Narayanan migrated to calicut with his family. He became the disciple of Sri Gopalan Gurukkal, Sri Kumaran Gurukkal & Sri Ayyappan Pillai Gurukkal who were disciples of Veera Sree CV Narayanan Nair Gurukkal. His relation with Sri Govindan kutty Nair Gurukkal, Son of CV Narayanan Nair Gurukkal opened new wisdom. Their perseverance changed the face of Kalaripayattu in the world. Guru CV Narayanan Nair's brother Sri CV Balan Nair Gurukkal collided much needed help and guidance. New doors were opened to Narayanan Gurukkal. The Pioneer Sri Narayanan Gurukkal modestly began CVN Kalari Nadakav in 1950. He was destined not only to popularise Kalaripayattu, but also to make a union of different kalaris to spread around. He was instrumental for the formation of Kalaripayattu association in malabar and in the state level under the Sports Council Govt of kerala. Narayanan Gurukkal and his CVN team has travelled around the world with a mission of popularising Kalaripayattu and succeeded to greater extent. They performed of many platforms in different lands. World leader, Presidents, Prime ministers and the public has admired their relentless efforts. Gurukkal's wife Smt Leela (niece of Ayyappan Pillai Gurukkal) gave him unconditional support in all his endeavours, his three sons Anil Gurukkal, Sunil Gurukkal & Gopakumar Gurukkal are the true successors. This trio carried on the big root to martial arts, ayurveda and Marma treatment. They continued to bring up this tradition with their family- Jeeva Anil, Sishira Sunil, Reena Gopan, Dr. Aiswarya, Dr. Sidhanth Kumman, Dr. Arjun Anil, Shivdath Kumman, Vyshnav Kumman, Soorya Narayanan. The perseverance of the gifted disciples has widened the activity span of CVN Kalari Nadakav. The CVN Team has been performing stage shows, theatre shows, choreography and action sequences for Indian as well as foreign films. This esteemed martial arts academy has scaled heights only because Guru Sri Narayanan Gurukkal's and his heir's visionary perceived. He made himself immortal in own inimitable contributions to Kalaripayattu and Marma treatment. The world today realises the depth of this artform. Narayanan Gurukkal lived his entire life providing new dimensions to the divine martial art of Kerala. He has audacious to carry forward the mission and vision of Kalaripayattu.
Sri. Narayanan Gurukkal
Kalarippayattu is a martial art form that originated in the Indian state of Kerala and is believed to be one of the oldest surviving martial arts in the world. The history and journey of Kalarippayattu date back over 3000 years ago. The origin of Kalarippayattu can be traced back to the Dhanur Veda, one of the four Vedas in ancient Indian scriptures, which deals with warfare and archery. It is believed that the practice of Kalarippayattu was initially developed as a means of self-defense against wild animals and invading armies. Over time, Kalarippayattu evolved into a system of physical training that included hand-to-hand combat techniques, weapons training, and conditioning exercises. It also became a way of life, with a focus on discipline, mental agility, and spiritual development. The development of Kalarippayattu was greatly influenced by the various invasions and conquests that Kerala experienced throughout its history. The art form was passed down through generations of warrior families and was kept alive by masters who trained their students in secret. Today, Kalarippayattu has gained international recognition and has become popular all over the world as a form of fitness, self-defense, and cultural heritage. It has also influenced other martial arts styles such as karate, Kung Fu, and Capoeira. The journey of Kalarippayattu has been one of evolution and adaptation. From being a form of defense and warfare, it has transformed into a performing art, a fitness regime, and a way of life. Its techniques, which include strikes, kicks, locks, throws, and grappling, are still relevant and effective in modern-day combat situations.
The CVN team has performed Kalarippayattu on various venues both in India & foreign countries. They have received recognitions & awards from huge personalities---
Kalarippayattu having achieved the status of scientific method of training as early as in 4th century contributed largely to the development of socio-political setup and cultural fronts, of Kerala. The contemporary performing arts and those originated in the later years one way or other are closely knit with this tradition and have imbibed its exercises for physical agility, flexibility and ,movements. A close observation of Theyyam, Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Parichamuttukali, Velakkali, Kanniyarkali and even Mohiniyattam will prove the tremendous impact of this physical art on the performing and classical art forms of Kerala and those in neighbouring states. The Katchathirimmu of kalari tradition normally used for attaining highest flexibility of limbs is today used widely in all art forms both traditional and classical.
Presently, even the European theaters have evinced keen interest in this art for its body movements, steps, expressions and flexibility of limbs and apply the same in their balle, ball rooms and theatre performances. Legends say that around 525 AD an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharama traveled to China and preached at the Shaolin temple. On finding the monks weak and listless, Bodhidharama taught them the eighteen hands of Buddha - a special set of exercises and from this evolved the Chinese art of Shaolin Boxing. These eighteen hands of Buddha were said to be derived from the eighteen adavukal (adavu = technique), which form the base of the Vadakkan or northern style of Kalarippayattu.
The CVN Team is renowned for their exceptional expertise in Kalarippayattu and has been actively involved in captivating performances and movie projects, both in India and abroad. Their journey began with their involvement in the iconic movie "Thacholi Othenan," featuring the legendary actor Sathyan. This film served as a platform for the team to showcase their skills in stage shows, theatre performances, choreography, and action sequences, not only in Indian cinema but also in the international film industry.
In Hollywood, the CVN Kalari Nadakav team made a significant impact with their contribution to the movie "The Myth," starring the world-famous actor, Jackie Chan. The film's intense action sequences and breathtaking stunt choreography garnered a worldwide audience. Another Hollywood movie, "Sword and Sceptres," also featured the team's impressive Kalarippayattu skills. Their artistry has even graced the stages of leading Opera houses in Europe, where audiences were enthralled by their captivating displays.
The CVN artists and Gurus have taken their Kalari performances to various parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, and China, leaving a lasting impression with their grace, precision, and combat effectiveness. To promote the art of Kalarippayattu even further, a CVN group embarks on a 6-month trip every year, performing at diverse locations and sharing the beauty of this ancient martial art.
In the Bollywood film industry, the CVN Kalari Nadakav team has played pivotal roles in numerous projects, including the acclaimed movies "Rani Padmavati" featuring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and "Bajirao Mastani" starring Ranveer Singh, also directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. They have also contributed their talents to other notable films such as "Asoka" starring Shah Rukh Khan, "Dil Se" starring Shah Rukh Khan, "Lajja" starring Ajay Devgan, "Ravan" starring Abhishek Bachchan and Vikram, and "Lahu Ke Do Rang" starring Akshay Kumar, among others.
Their influence extends to the Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, and Tamil film industries as well, where they have left a mark in various projects, showcasing their versatility and dedication to their craft.
Kalarippayattu has garnered appreciation from a diverse range of individuals, including international athletes, actors, and dancers. Notable names like Tadanobu Asano, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Vikram, Nivin Pauly, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajal Aggarwal, Donovan Bailey, Iwan Thomas, Gareth Thomas, James Toseland, Deeksha Seth, and Lakshmi Gopalaswami, among many others, have embraced the transformative power of this ancient martial art through training under the guidance of the CVN Gurus.
The CVN Kalari Nadakav team's exceptional contribution to the world of performing arts has earned them global recognition and praise. From their humble beginnings with "Thacholi Othenan," they continue to inspire audiences worldwide with the beauty and power of Kalarippayattu on both the national and international stages.
The training of the student in the Kalari begins at a very early age of 7- years with an initiation ritual performed by the Gurukkal. Attendance in the Kalari is made a part of the daily routine and he goes through a series of symbolic rituals every day, before and after practice to acquire discipline and concentration. Kalarippayattu training is mainly divided into four parts called Meithari (body preparative exercises) Kolthari (training in wooden weapons),Ankathari (training in combat weapons), and Verum Kai Prayogam or Marma Prayogam.
Wearing a Katcha or loin cloth and smearing his body with oil, the student after prostrating before the deities and the Gurukkal begins his initial training with the Meithari system which forms the foundation for the entire repertoire of Kalarippayattu training. Meithari involves slow and controlled movements, focusing on developing body balance, coordination, and flexibility.
The second phase is known as Kolthari which involves training in wooden weapons like Kettukari 12 span staff and Cheruvati 3 span staff etc. Ottakkol is a special curved wooden weapon in the Kolthari repertoire which serves as a training instrument for coordinating the intricate movements of the body and feet and also as a stepping stone to the proper execution of the advanced Kalarippayattu techniques. Kolthari training involves basic strikes, blocks, and parries with weapons, as well as footwork and body movement. Various sequences of Kolthari lead one to the proper understanding of mind and body in action.
The third phase of training is Ankathari or combat training with weapons. This begins with Kattaram or dagger which is a knife-shaped metallic weapon for duels at close quarters which includes several locks and many elements of barehanded fighting techniques. Angathari involves more advanced techniques, including joint locks, throws, and grappling, using weapons. Swords and shields were the primary weapons of the medieval Kerala soldier. As the supreme combat weapon in the Kalarippayattu system, sword and shield training makes total use of the full range of body movements learned in the preliminary physical culture training. References to many of the present-day Kalarippayattu sword and shield techniques can be seen in the 4th-century texts of Agni Puranam and the Vedic works of Dhanur Veda. The techniques of Urumi or the flexible sword are an extension of the sequences learned in the sword and shield techniques to be used in mass combats.
The complex and rich repertoire of Kalarippayattu weaponry also includes highly accurate techniques of spear fighting and the classical sequences of the Mace, the weapon of the epic heroes. There is also the Marapitcha Kuntham, a duel between a swordsman and a man armed with a spear demanding distinct skills. Many advanced elements of empty-hand fighting is taught in the different sequences of Kathiyum Thalayum in which one learns to defend oneself with a common 2-meter-long cloth on one’s own shoulder called the Mundu.
Verumkai Prayoga (Marma Prayoga): Verumkai Prayoga is the stage of Kalarippayattu that involves unarmed combat and the application of pressure points or vital points in the body, known as Marma points. This stage emphasizes self-defense techniques and the practical application of Kalarippayattu for real-life situations.
Apart from these four stages, Kalarippayattu training also involves physical conditioning and mental preparation. Physical conditioning includes exercises such as yoga, strength training, and cardiovascular training. Mental preparation includes meditation and breath control, which are important aspects of Kalarippayattu training, as they help to develop focus, concentration, and control over one's mind and body.
Kalari is a special kind of gymnasium, where the martial art Kalarippayattu is practiced. Kalari is the special training in 'Marma', the art of knowing and activating all the 107 energy points in the human body. These vital points (called marmas) are used for correcting the body's energy flows and replenishing its resources. Kalari therefore makes the practitioner not just a warrior but a self-healer, who can also help others with his healing powers.
‘A sound Mind in a sound body’. Kalari training of course enables one to attain a sound mind and a sound body. At CVN Kalari Nadakav we offer various kinds of training to increase the stamina, strength and flexibility of your body depending on your physical nature.From CVN Kalari Nadakav you will be perfectly trained each and every aspect of this art form and for this we have several long term and short term courses to choose according to your requirement and convenience.
The Kalari training is normally started at the age of seven, when the body is most supple, receptive and sufficiently strong, at the same time less vulnerable. However this art can be learned at any age under the guidance of a Guru. The Kalari training is mainly divided into three stages named: Meythari, Kolthari and Ankathari.
. Kalari is the special training in 'Marma', the art of knowing and activating all the 107 energy points in the human body. These vital points (called marmas) are used for correcting the body's energy flows and replenishing its resources. Kalari therefore makes the practitioner not just a warrior but a self-healer, who can also help others with his healing powers.
‘A sound Mind in a sound body’. Kalari training of course enables one to attain a sound mind and a sound body. At CVN Kalari Nadakav we offer various kinds of training to increase the stamina, strength and flexibility of your body depending on your physical nature.From CVN Kalari Nadakav you will be perfectly trained each and every aspect of this art form and for this we have several long term and short term courses to choose according to your requirement and convenience. The Kalari training is normally started at the age of seven, when the body is most supple, receptive and sufficiently strong, at the same time less vulnerable. However this art can be learned at any age under the guidance of a Guru. The Kalari training is mainly divided into three stages named: Meythari, Kolthari and Ankathari.
Kalari Marma and Ayurveda Massage are traditional Indian therapeutic practices that involve massaging and manipulating specific pressure points on the body to promote physical and mental wellness. These techniques have been passed down through generations and are still widely practiced in India today. Our Gurus specialized in neurology and orthopedics to treat any such casualties. Apart from the Ayurvedic treatment, Kalari has a specialized method of treatment and massages called “Marma chikitsa”, treating the damage to vital parts of the body. Out of the 107 vital spots of the body 64 of them are fatal if injured, and this system of treatment cures injuries to any such parts. The training of a student to become a master includes training in Ayurveda and in locating the vital points of the body. The traditional orthopedic system of our Kalari is widely popular, especially for the setting of displaced bones.
CVN Nadakav is famous for the treatment of ortho, neuro, and muscular diseases such as arthritis, spinal injuries, sports injuries, bone fractures, and rheumatism.
CVN Nadakav follows the Ayurvedic Kalari system of Medicine which is mainly based on massage The specialized branch of treatments done by the Kalari Gurukkals is known as Kalarichikilsa or Marmachikilsa having its foundation in Ayurveda, with special emphasis on treatment of orthopedic injuries and ailments. It is the Kerala Equivalent of modern-day sports medicine with Ayurvedic treatments for fractures, dislocations, sprains and different types of Neuro-muscular disorders and injuries.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It is based on the principle of balance and harmony between the body, mind, and spirit. Ayurveda offers a wide range of treatments and massages that aim to restore balance and promote health and well-being.
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CVN Kalari Nadakav is a traditional Kalarippayattu institution established by Late Sri. K Narayanan Gurukkal. CVN Kalari Nadakav is situated in the heart of Calicut city, where the traditional martial arts and kalari marma tratment are practiced and performed since 1950.
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