Kalaripayattu - Kerala's warriors
Kalaripayattu is widely considered the oldest martial art still practiced in the world today and the forefather to other popular systems such as Kung-fu and Karate. It originates from the tropical, south-Indian state of Kerala where, in ancient times, the warriors' responsibility was to protect the priestly caste from invaders. The art is practiced with authentic weapons and without any protective gear. Injuries are common and many generations of experience have made the Kalaripayattu practitioners experts at treating various ailments. The popularity of Kalaripayattu has steadily declined as India has modernized and people are left with less time to practice the traditional arts. These days many Kalaripayattu teachers simultaneously scrape out a living by running ayurvedic clinics in the towns where they treat their patients with massage, herbal remedies, and other traditional techniques passed on to them by their ancestors.
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