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Meet the students
- Will Loughrin, USA
Kalari Science Blog
Il faut cultiver notre jardin. (Translation: We must cultivate our garden)
At KalariLab HQ, on Koh Phangan island (Thailand), we (Adam, pi) train daily.
Thailand has however responded vigorously to the CoViD19 outbreak, laying out a set of ground-rules. While these strict measures are laudable, one of them prohibits the use of public training spaces, which includes the yoga studio we have been using. Read about our innovative response.
At the age of 19 I went to Acting school in London, to pursue what I thought would be a preparation to Act on the London stage. I had never considered myself good enough to be an Actor, however at school received very high marks for a monologue and duologue I performed at the completion of my A-level studies and my Director said to me 'You didn't surprise me, you amazed me.
Meet the Team
Gurukkal C.M Sherif
Gurukkal C.M Sherif has over 60 years experience in Kalari and has been teaching westerners since the 1970s. He is one of those most responsible for the recent revival of the art and his school (KKA) represents India annually at the World MA Federation Conference in South Korea.
He is the teacher of both Adam Phillips and Caoru Osani as well as many other students from around the world. Together with his sons he receives patients for treatment in Kannur and in Dubai.
A masterclass is planned for later in 2019/2020 on Koh Phangan, where he shall lead a series of mixed theoretical and practical sessions on Kalari Chikitsa with some reference to Marma science.
Adam has been practising Kalari for almost 20 years, first encountering the practice as an actor in training. In 2001, he visited India and became a student of Gurukkal CM Sherif at Kerala Kalarippayattu Academy (KKA) in Kerala. Since then he has become a senior teacher of the school, and is now one of the most experienced non-Indian practitioners of the art, leading workshops in UK, Poland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Russia, Greece and Italy.
Alongside his practice of Kalarippayat and the healing art Kalari Chikitsa, he has trained as both an actor and physiotherapist and has used Kalari in both disciplines to gain deeper understanding of the psyche-physical process involved in body conditioning and re-education.
In 2016 he moved to Thailand and founded KalariLAB on the tropical island of Koh Phangan as a centre for training, teaching and research into the martial and healing art of Kalari. He uses a combination of Kalari and Physio to treat clients and runs courses and classes for international students, as well as providing free training to local people.
Dr Caoru Osani
Dr Caoru Osani (MD,BAMS,PGDYN) is a fully qualified Ayurvedic Doctor who trained in Rajasthan, India. She is also a student of Kalarippayattu since 2003, also of KKA in Kannur.
As a member of KalariLAB she offers Ayurvedic consultation and prescription of medicines and diet/lifestyle indications to all students partaking in the immersion courses. She also offers consultation to clients outside of these courses, on request.
Later in 2019 and 2020 she shall be leading the Masterclass : An introduction to Ayurveda, with both theory and practical classes on Koh Phangan.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is of course no substitute for face-to-face learning however there is a lot you can learn from solo practice that will prepare you for working with a partner. All the attributes of the warrior: Balance, flow, power, flexibility, confidence, humility, focus; all these are attainable through daily practice. In Kalari there is a precise set of physical exercises that work to achieve these attributes.
The forms of Kalari consist of Vadivu (postures) and Chuvadu (linking sequences). These are joined together to make forms. Traditionally Kalari is paractised in a 7x14m space however, it is possible to adapt almost all the forms into a much smaller area. We have done this throughout the course, to make it possible for you to train at home, whilst still teaching the forms as they were done traditionally.
The first steps are the most important. The first postures and movements lay the groundwork for your practice and so this is where we start. Over the beginners course of 2 months, you will learn a full set of warm-up exercises (LOHAR), the first 4 leg exercises/kicks (KALUGAL), the first 5 postures (VADIVU) and 3 different forms from Northern-style Kalari to balance your body and begin to develop flow and dynamism in your movement.
Yes of course. In some ways it can be an advantage to have no previous experience as your body is open to learn without having to unlearn anything. Saying that, experience in other MAs, dance, yoga or anything physical, will very likely make it easier for you to pick up many of the techniques. Certainly being already flexible can make starting Kalari easier but don’t worry if this isn’t you; many of our students report gaining hugely in their flexibility after just a week or two of Kalari.
Almost certainly but we cannot say 100%. If you are concerned about this, please send us an email and we can arrange a consultation. A free service to those serious about doing an Immersion course with us. Within our team we have both an Ayurvedic Doctor as well as several Physiotherapists and are able to make a solid assessment before you travel to Thailand as to what you would and wouldn’t be able to do on the course. Chances are though, you’ll be fine!
There are many ways to try to clear the mind,. To bring it into balance and focus. In Kalari we work to attain EKAGRATA (natural single-pointed focus). This is achieved through deliberate focus on the physical actions. Over time this process of repetition with complete attention , leads to a movement of the focus from the external to the internal. In this moment the mind becomes silent. It happens simultaneously and almost effortlessly.
We have introduced the Pay-as-you-go SILVER membership to allow you to choose your own training schedule. You receive the first 6 video classes for free (3 training and 3 science); thereafter you can pay separately for individual classes or for a bundle of classes. Whatever you pay for, you will have lifetime access to and can watch as many times as needed.
You will learn all the basics of Kalarippayattu: the warm-ups, the first kicks, postures and forms. You will feel change in the body after the week and you will gain an understanding through the theory and treatment classes as to what is changing and how. You will finish the course with your own 45 minute training program to continue independently and with treatment skills to help yourself and others.
With the extra weeks we are able to go much deeper. You will learn more advanced warm-up exercises, strengthening exercises, postures, kicks and forms, including weapons training with the first weapon: long stick. You will learn the Siva and Sakti forms, used to balance the temperament through releasing energy in an explosive powerful way (Siva) and then in a soft and controlled way (Sakti). You will learn a 90 minute massage sequence to perform independently and for which you can charge your clients for. You will complete the month with a firm foundation of Kalari and a 90 minute personalised practice.
Not at the moment. We have morning and evening training at Labracadabra, treatment and theory classes are taken at the Kalarilab clinic. If you are able to get around by yourself, you are welcome to. If not we can arrange transport for you.
The advertised price does not include accommodation, though this can be arranged for you. Approximate price is €20 per night (or €300 for one month).
Breakfast and fruit are provided as part of the course fee. Breakfast will be big ! When it comes to other meals, you are just walking distance from Srithanu village, where you can find many restaurants (thai, western and vegan)
In Kalari it is very important you eat well as you shall be working hard physically (and mentally). We want you to be happy with what you are eating and if you are not, we will go out of our way to make changes to what you get for breakfast.
Labracadabra is near to Hin Kong village and it’s best you stay either here or nearer Srithanu village. Both are along the central west coast of the island and within minutes of the beach (as well as jungle hikes and waterfalls).
A scooter is an option but we would not advise it unless you have previous experience as the roads can be very dangerous here. An accident, however minor, may mean you having to miss classes and so we provide free transport to anyone on the immersion courses. Beyond that, you will find most restaurants and amenities needed are just a short walk away.