Kalarippayattu stick-fighting

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Stick fighting in kalaripayattu, a martial art of India, makes use of several kinds of sticks. They are taught in the kolthari stage of the northern kalaripayattu style.

  • The muchan (also called kurunthadi, cheruvadi) is a cudgel or short stick made from the wood of the tamarind tree. The name refers to its length of 3 chan (2.5 feet or 76 cm). It is taught in the second stage of kolthari as preliminary training for the dagger, also the related term often refers to stick-fighting of muchan or sedikuchi[1] in silambam martial arts. The basic posture has a low stance, with the weapon held in both hands.
  • The otta (Malayalam: ഒട്ട) is a wooden stick with an S-shaped curve, representing an elephant's trunk. It used to be the foundation for an advanced weapon called kaduthala. The rounded tip is used to strike the marma (vital points) of the opponent's body. Otta training consists of 18 sequences. Of the first three weapons that kalari payat students learn are introduced to, the otta is considered the most difficult to master. In practice, the otta is held in reverse grip by one practitioner and in a forward grip by the other. This gives the sparring partners training in both ways of holding any kind of weapon, thus the saying "An otta expert can handle any weapon". The equivalent in the southern style of Kalaripayattu is the "idi kambu" (punching stick) which is one and a half spans long and is used to attack the pressure points of the opponent.
  • The shariravadi (Malayalam: ശരീരവടി śarīravaḍi) is a long rattan staff ideally measuring the same length as the distance from the wielder's neck to the feet. It is practiced as the basics of using a spear, and the commands used for the shariravadi are the same as the spear commands.


  1. ^ Master Murugan, Chillayah (20 October 2012). "Short staff of sedi kuchi in silambam fencing". Silambam. Retrieved 31 May 2013.