New Delhi: The Indian Kalarippayattu Federation (IKF) was recognised as a Regional Sports Federation by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports today. This move comes as a means of promoting and giving due acknowledgement and importance to sports having regional spread.
The recognition places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the IKF for the promotion and development of Kalarippayattu sport in India.
Kalaraippayattu is a martial art style originated in Kerala during 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD. It is considered to be one of the oldest fighting system in existence. Originally it was practiced in northern and central parts of Kerala and the Tulunada region of Karnataka. Now it is practiced in Kerala and adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu.
The rejuvenation of public interest in Kalarippayattu began in the 1920s in Thalassery, a commercial town on the Malabar District in Kerala, in a bid to recoup traditional arts throughout south India. It continued through the 1970s with a surge in the general worldwide interest in various martial arts.
In popular culture, Kalarippayattu martial art form was picturised in various movies. This gave the art form a new lease of life as it took off from a tiny region of India to the international cinema, watched by a big population across nations. Some of the movies that included the ancient art form include – Indian (1996), Asoka (2001),Ondanondu Kaladalli (Kannada), The Myth (2005), Commando (2013), and The Last Legion (2007).
Here is a video about Kalaripayuttu from Kerala Toursim:
Martial art has always been an art that kept our jaws dropped; the swift hand movements, graceful yet tricky foot works and the journey to find inner peace. Tai chi is a form of martial arts that circles in the philosophy of yin and yang to increase the qi or chi (which means life force of an entity) through gentle and graceful movements. That’s right, no breaking of bones or repeated punching of the opponents. Although it originated as a martial art, now Tai Chi for health is being exercised by over 2 billion people worldwide.
Since the global promotion of the health benefits of Tai Chi in the early 20th century, the majority interest has shown inclinations more towards personal wellness rather than defense training.
Philosophy of Tai Chi
Its principles are drawn to softness, patience, yielding, balance, tranquility and centeredness. The manifestation of all these aspects allows one to master Tai Chi.
The philosophy of Tai Chi martial art is centered on the attitude that by using hardness to resist a force, the injury is done on both sides. Instead, one should meet the opponent in its softness and follow its motion until the incoming force is exhausted. Surprisingly the lesson is to defeat strong with pliable.
Tai Chi for health institutes the same philosophy towards the wellness of the body.
Why is Tai Chi practiced for a healthy life?
This ancient Chinese art is based on three aspects: body (jing), energy (chi) and spirit (Shen). You are not practicing on body alone but on energy too, a well-combined exercise of meditation and movement. In China, people believe that Tai Chi can delay aging and prolong longevity. This exercise is adaptable to any age groups.
People are turning to Tai Chi to improve their health for its gentle and non-strenuous applications which has shown a positive effect on balance, flexibility, muscle strength and relieving stress. It has also significantly reduced pain and minimised the degree of depression in some cases.
More balance: We do not always fall because we stumble on something, but our body normally stays out of balance when we are not mindful. Tai Chi can help in reducing falls by correcting our posture. This is potentially beneficial to help in reducing elderly people from falling and tripping often.
Chronic heart failures: Though there are no definite conclusions that this therapy acts as a preventive measure against cardiovascular diseases it is evident that practicing Tai Chi is an advantage in keeping checks on one’s blood pressure and heart rates.
Reduction of chronic pain: A significant impact has been recorded to improve chronic pain by arthritis. A twelve-week course demonstrated bettering the stiffness and pain symptoms of the knee caused by osteoarthritis.
Reduced signs of fibromyalgia: Adhering to its philosophy of tranquility the practice of Tai Chi helps to calm the mind inducing a sound sleep to sleep-deprived fibromyalgia patients. This therapy also improves other symptoms like anxiety, numbness, headaches, fatigue, concentration and memory problems.
Stress buster: Stress is one of the most common and deadliest silent killers regardless of age. Practicing Tai Chi has been found to make stress go away. There is no direct record of reduction of stress, but subject studies have shown that mental control helped in distracting the mind to give attention elsewhere.
Seated Tai Chi: Good news for those who cannot exercise because they are confined to wheelchairs and also for those who are bound to work chairs. Without getting up, you can relieve yourself from stress, improve oxygen intake, balance blood pressure and build muscle strength. This technique involves stretching the upper body gently along with slow and graceful movement of the arms.
If your strength is perseverance, then you are already halfway through the course because this is a slow and challenging exercise. It may take years for you to get into the principles of healing through this therapy completely.
And if you are impatient, you could start looking forward to attaining one of Tai Chi’s principles which are ‘patience’ and move forward in completing the full course.
One can always have faith in this ancient practice because there is a plausible explanation as to why it still has a profound impact on human well being. The Tai Chi for Health Institute offers a good place to learn and teach Tai Chi martial arts therapy.