Segments in this Video

Traditional Martial Art (02:02)


Kalaripayattu dates back over 2,500 years. Bernard Fontanille travels to the village of Aruvaayi and discovers a training gym; Vinod Kumar is a Kalaripayattu Master.

Kalaripayattu (03:24)

Kastenayar warriors were the first to practice the traditional martial art; the English banned it until 1947. Boys and girls of all castes can learn Kalaripayattu. Vinod explains that Kalaripayattu is good for the whole body; he trains every day.

Kalari Massage (02:50)

In the kalari, trainees learn to fight and treat others. Vinod performs a massage with medicinal oils to treat the nervous system.

Kumar Healer (02:07)

During monsoon season, Kerala residents receive 80% of the yearly rainfall in two months. Vinay Kumar prepares traditional remedies. The Indian government promotes traditional medicines.

Medicinal Plants (03:34)

Vinay and Fontanille visit an herb shop to purchase herbs that do not grow in the region; Vinay learned from his father.

Traditional Remedy (02:45)

Vinay teaches Fontanille how to prepare kashayam. They combine the kashayam with sesame oil.

Traditional Treatments (03:26)

Vinay and Vinod work together on a trainee, but Fontanille senses a distance between them. Kalaripayattu warriors provide care to the community; Vinod treats a man with rheumatism.

Healing Methods (05:15)

Every day, Vinay prays to the divinities, asking for their presence in the kalari. The Brahman developed an expertise in healing without surgery. Vinay prepares a "plaster-like" bandage that Vinod uses on a woman's wrist.

Credits: India I: The Healers Warriors—World Medicine (00:22)

Credits: India I: The Healers Warriors—World Medicine

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India I: The Healers Warriors—World Medicine

Part of the Series : World Medicine
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Varma kalai, the art of vital points, is a Tamil martial arts discipline that draws on Siddha science and medicines. The particularity of the practice involves an in-depth knowledge of the vulnerable parts of the body, from the joints to the vital organs. In the village of Kovalam, emergency doctor Bernard Fontanille meets a master of this unique form of combat. Young disciples learn to detect and manipulate body parts for fighting and healing purposes. In India, varma kalai siddhars have a reputation for prolonging or ending life as they please.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL120535

ISBN: 978-1-63521-624-0

Copyright date: ©2013

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