The Varma Kalai is a martial art coming from Southeast India, more exactly from Tamil Nadu. Literally, “Varma Kalai” means “the art of vital points”. This art is composed of hand-to-hand fighting, fighting with weapons, and also martial gymnastics. The study of this art goes beyond learning fighting techniques.
The points where life force resides and flows in the human body are known as varmam. Varmam also means where breathing enery resides in the body. Varmam are scattered over various parts of body like in nerves, nerve joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and inner organs.
Based on where varmam is located in the body, it has gathered various names like Vasi, Puravi, Kaalam, Uyir, Mayakkam, Pranan, Kalai, Suvaasam, Saram, Yogam, Param and Sivam.
In Varma Kalai, the respect of the body is essential. All training is done in order to prevent the body from suffering any shock or traumatism which could damage it. The teaching is an accumulation of several generations of masters.
The warm-up and exercise undergoing varma training,
The stretching, the muscular reinforcement, the breathing exercises, the meditation exercises to awake Kundalini energy in the body , the exercises for the spinal column, we focus on breathing circulation (a way of pranayam yoga),. In a general way, the movements and postures of Varma Kalai stretch, strengthen the Limbs, Mussels, Bones and to the Internal organs with oil “massage”. In that way, repeating series of movements and martial techniques, the students are doing an internal and external Varma training to release the blocked points and to learn locating the points exactly with knowing of this master presence.
After this intence training e very part of the body is used for training how to use the art to block varma and to injure the opponent based on the animal (tiger, monkey, elephant, eagle, crane, snake, etc.). movements and free style movements. (open or closed hands, elbows, knees, feet, shoulders, etc.).
There are several kinds of exercises :
The Thattu padom : exercises alone, or practiced with others
The Adi-varisaï : series practiced alone
The Kuttu-varisaï : series practiced in pair, then with more people (from the simplest to the most complex, codified at the beginning, and progressing to more and more free movements, the counter-attacks linked together endlessly, in perpetual movement)
The Padom (lessons) : series of lessons practiced alone, bare hand or with arms
The Tode : whirling lessons in pair