Introduction (Aṟimukam)

Kuttu Varisai Introduction

Kuttu Varisai Student TrainingsKai silambam ( lit. hand silambam ) is the unarmed component of silambam, also known as kuttu varisai ( Tamil தமிழ் : குத்துவரிசை ). First attested to in Sangam literature of the 2nd-1st centuries BC, the term translates as "punching sequence", from kuttu meaning punch and varisai meaning order. Techniques incorporate striking, grappling, throws and locks. Like many other Asian martial arts, patterns in kuttu varisai make use of animal-based sets including the tiger, snake, elephant, eagle and monkey forms. Advanced students are taught varma ati or the art of attacking pressure points.


History of Kuttu Varisai

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Kuttu varisai ( Tamil தமிழ் : குத்துவரிசை ) is the unarmed component of silambam ( Tamil தமிழ் : சிலம்பாட்டம் ) and Varma Kalai ( Tamil தமிழ் : வர்மக்கலை ) , a Dravidian martial art from Tamil Nadu in South India, also practiced by the Tamil people of Malaysia and northeast Sri Lanka. The term kuttu varisai means empty hand combat in Tamil and was first documented in Sangam Literature ( Tamil தமிழ் : சங்க இலக்கியங்கள் ) of the 2nd-1st centuries BC. It is also called kai silambam which means hand silambam. In Tamil, martial arts are known by the umbrella terms taṟkāppuk kalai ( Tamil தமிழ் : தற்காப்புக் கலை ) "art of self-defence".

The meaning of Kuttu Varisai is divided into two words. 'Kuttu' ( Tamil தமிழ் : குத்து ) means punch or hit and 'Varisai' ( Tamil தமிழ் : வரிசை )( Tamil Dictionary translation :கை முட்டியால் தாக்குதல் ) or hit and 'Varisai' means sequence or order. The words itself says using the punches in sequential order. Techniques incorporate striking, grappling, throws and locks. Strikes make use of almost every part of the body such as the fists, elbows, feet, knees, etc. Like many other Asian martial arts, patterns in kuttu varisai make use of animal-based sets utilizes stances and routines based on animal movements such as the monkey ( Tamil தமிழ் : குரங்கு ), snake ( Tamil தமிழ் : பாம்பு ), tiger ( Tamil தமிழ் : புலி ), elephant ( Tamil தமிழ் : யானை ) and eagle ( Tamil தமிழ் : கழுகு ) forms.

Advanced students are taught the art of pressure point fighting called varma kalai.

Kaaladi ( Tamil தமிழ் : காலடி ), or footwork patterns, are a fundamental aspect of both kuttu varisai and silambam. There are sixteen of them among which four are very important. Traditionally, beginners practice only kaaladi for many months before learning any techniques but this is not often done today. Training in kuttu varisai allows the practitioner to get a feel of silambam stick movements using their bare hands, that is, fighters have a preliminary training with bare hands before going to the stick.

Gradually, fighters study footwork to move precisely in conjunction with the stick movements. The ultimate goal of the training is to defend against multiple armed opponents. In both kuttu varisai and silambam, kaaladi is the key in deriving power for the blows. It teaches how to advance and retreat, to get in range of the opponent without lowering one's defence, aids in hitting and Blocking, and it strengthens the body immensely enabling the person to receive non-lethal blows and still continue the battle. The whole body is used to create power. In Kuttu Varisai, gymnastic, stretching ( yoga ), and breathing exercises are conducted before training. It is also said that Bodhidharma ( the founder of ZEN buddhism ) was very good at this art. And on his travelling way towards Nepal, Tibet and China he observed fights between monkeys, snakes and other animals. Than he implemented this to kuttu varisai and gave a start to the Chinese Martial Art which we now call as "Kung Fu". Kuttu Varisai is one of the ancient art of INDIA which is dying.

Trainings Covered

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Basics learning , consist of:

Salutation ( MARIYATHAI SELUTTUTHAL மரியாதை செலுத்துதல் )
- Saluting to pay homage to their respective God
- Saluting to show reverence to the pedagogue or preceptor ( Guru ) from whom one has learnt the art
- Saluting to indicate the sportman's code of healthy rivalry to the opponent at the ring to prove his mettle through fair play
- Saluting to the anxious gathering ( audience ) who have congregated to witness and enjoy the chivalrous contest

Punches ( KUTTU குத்து )

Kicks ( YETTU / KAAL UTHAI காலால் உதை / UTHAIYAL )

Pattern of Defensive Stances ( NILAY KATTU நிலை கட்டு )

Basic Pattern ( SALA-VARISAI சலவரிசை )
Notes
Pattern 1 ( Sala-Varisai ) also known as Guru Sala-varisai
Pattern 2 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 3 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 4 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 5 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 6 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 7 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 8 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 9 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 10 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 11 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 12 ( Sala-Varisai ) -
Pattern 13 ( Sala-Varisai ) -

Advanced Pattern ( TANI SALA-VARISAI தணி சலவரிசை )
Notes
Advanced Pattern 1 ( Tani Sala-Varisai ) -
Advanced Pattern 2 ( Tani Sala-Varisai ) -
Advanced Pattern 3 ( Tani Sala-Varisai ) -
Advanced Pattern 4 ( Tani Sala-Varisai ) -
Advanced Pattern 5 ( Tani Sala-Varisai ) -

*** Below this ALL practised with partners ( as opponent ) ***

Punch & Blocking / Locks ( KUTTU KATTU தடுத்தல் - குத்து கட்டு )
Notes
Punch & Blocks 1 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 2 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 3 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 4 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 5 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 6 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 7 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 8 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 9 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -
Punch & Blocks 10 ( Kuttu Kattu ) -

( continue steps from above Kuttu Kattu sequence )
Blocking followed with Pidi & Tani Pidi,

Basic Grappling ( Grips & Locks) ( PIDI பிடி ) , consist of :

♦ Basic Grappling 1 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 2 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 3 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 4 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 5 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 6 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 7 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 8 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 9 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)
♦ Basic Grappling 10 ( Grips & Locks) (Pidi)

Advanced Grappling ( Grips & Locks) ( TANI PIDI தணி பிடி ) , consist of :

♦ Advanced Grappling 1 ( Grips & Locks) (Tani Pidi)
♦ Advanced Grappling 2 ( Grips & Locks) (Tani Pidi)
♦ Advanced Grappling 3 ( Grips & Locks) (Tani Pidi)
♦ Advanced Grappling 4 ( Grips & Locks) (Tani Pidi)
♦ Advanced Grappling 5 ( Grips & Locks) (Tani Pidi)

Defensive / Evade Attacks ( OTHEKKUM ஒதுக்கம் ) , consist of :

♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 1 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 2 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 3 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 4 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 5 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 6 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 7 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 8 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 9 ( Othekum )
♦ Defensive / Evade Attacks 10 ( Othekum )

Offensive / Attacking ( ADI VARISAI அடி வரிசை - திருப்பித் தாக்குதல் ) , consist of :

♦ Offensive / Attacking 1 ( Adi Varisai )
♦ Offensive / Attacking 2 ( Adi Varisai )
♦ Offensive / Attacking 3 ( Adi Varisai )
♦ Offensive / Attacking 4 ( Adi Varisai )
♦ Offensive / Attacking 5 ( Adi Varisai )

Close Combat - Locking / Locks ( KORUVAI கோர்வை ) , consist of :

♦ Close Combat - Locks 1 ( Koruvai )
♦ Close Combat - Locks 2 ( Koruvai )
♦ Close Combat - Locks 3 ( Koruvai )
♦ Close Combat - Locks 4 ( Koruvai )
♦ Close Combat - Locks 5 ( Koruvai )

Full Contact Fight ( KAI SANDAI கை சண்டை ) , consist of :

♦ Empty hand vs Empty Hand
♦ Empty hand vs Long-Staff ( Silambam ) - Advance Level
♦ Empty hand vs Short-Staff ( Sedi Kuchi / Muchan ) - Advance Level
♦ Empty hand vs Knife ( Katti ) - Advance Level