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                         Since Antiquity, different traditions of martial arts existed in South Asian subcontinent.  Of these by historical references, Kalarippayat of southern India can be one of the oldest with a history of more than 3000 years.  The tradition of Kalarippayat not only was a scientific and comprehensive system of martial training, but also played a very important role in the social life of the societies in its various stages of evolution in the fields of health and treatment of deceases and injuries.


                         The training to become a master or Gurukkal involves many years of teaching of young and senior students in the Kalari and the learning of various advanced Kalarippayat  techniques  and the whole body massage system known as Uzhichil. Gaining experience from assisting the master in treatments and everyday Kalari activities in a Gurukula system of training was considered very important in the learning process of the student.

                         The specialized branch of treatments done by the kalari Gurukkals is known as Kalarichikilsa or Marmachikilsa having its foundation in Ayurveda, with special emphasis on treatment of orthopaedic injuries and ailments.  It is the Kerala Equivalent of modern day sports medicine with Ayurvedic treatments for fracture, dislocations, sprains and different types of Neuro-muscular disorders and injuries.          
                          A person training to become a Kalari Gurukkal has to study under his master the basic Ayurvedic texts like Ashatangahridayam etc and also have to study the traditional palm leaf manuscripts in possession of the masters dealing with the science of Marmas and formulas for preparation of special medications which are unique to the Kalari tradition.  The palm leaf manuscripts also contain specials advises like Mantras and methods of identification and treatment of injuries to Marmas.  In the advanced stages of studies the students will also be taught special techniques of applications and counter applications to Marmas and hands on treatment methods handed down from the past generations of Kalarippayat masters perfected through many years of practice.

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