There is a systematic syllabus followed to teach the students. Starts with Meithari then Kolthari, Angathari and Verumkai.
Meithari : This is the initiating procedure which consists of 12 stages of basic physical exercises which makes a persons body very flexible and swift.
Kolthari (Stick) : Three types of sticks are used
- Cheruvadi : A small stick , about 1½ feet long. This includes seven stages.
- Kettukari : A long cane, about 1½ meter long.
- Otta : Usually made up of tamarind tree
barks is curved (some what like the tusk of an elephant) serves as a
training instrument is considered as very important.There are 18 stages in
otta, covers almost all major pressure points (marmas). To use otta one
should possess a keen concentration of mind, swift body movements,
courage, physical power, body flexibility etc which gets developed in the
previous stages .
Angathari: This includes using metal weapons such
as katari (Dagger), Mazhu(axe), Marapidichu-kundham
(spear vs sword and shield ),vaal (sword) and Urumi (double
edged spring sword).
Verumkai prayogam (Bare
Various types of chops, blocks, locks etc are taught in this session. After mastering this part, an empty handed person can boldily and easily able to face his enemy who is well equiped with weapons.
To master the art one should study :
Marma Vibhaga (pressure point portions) : Only selected students who are interested and efficient to become the masters are taught the Marma Shastram (vital points or pressure points). The art of attacking vital points based on Marma sutras ( "hymns"), describe in detail the exact location of 108 vital points of human body and the symptoms arising when these points are used or attacked. The sutras also devote many pages regarding the qualities required to become a master like the abolition of the ego, absolute control of anger, tranquility of mind. The true master does not use this art for personal use. He should teach this knowledge to the disciples whose honesty and sincerity have been proven and who have already gone through all stages of technical Kalaripayat.
To perform Kalari Uzhical (massage), treatment of any physical ailments etc thorough knowledge of marmas is essential. Marma Vibhaga deals with the above subject in great detail. There are 108 marmas in a human body of which 64 are mainly used during fights. Hitting these marmas with bare hands, elbows or even pressing with fingers can freeze or disable certain parts of the body, can make a man unconscious. There are many techniques to make it back normal, these are scientifically described in the kalari texts .
Chikthsa Vidhikal (treatments) : Includes a lot of study about body anatomy, Ayurveda Chikthsavidhikal , Pooja vidikal (doing homages to god), Mantra and tantra vidhikal along with many social and moral knowledge to handle different people including disciples.
Uzhichal (Massage) : This treatment gives a remarkable recovery to almost all physical ailments like low blood circulation, dwarfishness, respiratory and nerve disorders, poor physical strength, muscle pull, prolonged bone injury, constipation and illness related to liver, heart, large and small intestine. Under this treatment body is massaged with specially prepared herbal oils based according to age, disease, muscular strength etc.
Two types of Uzhichal are Sukha thirummu which will increase the body resistance power against disease (rejuvenation of body). Reksha and Shiksha concentrates only on particular parts of the body which are affected by muscular and bone injuries .
Massaging can be classified as:
- Massaging with hand : (Applicable for children below 12 years)
- Massaging with leg.
Both these massages can be either in a standing or in a lying pose. Usual duration is either 14 or 21 days, related to the hardness of the body. Only an expert having a thorough knowledge about human body and blessing from his guru can make this treatment a success.