24 Jan A simple stroke of a trained finger can be lethal, according to practitioners of Varmakalai, which translates into English as “art of vital points. Ishen Fighting Arts International Federation teaches Martial Arts, Varma Kalai at the “Indian Martial Arts Varmakalai” Training/Coaching/Tuition Course in. Compare Varma Kalai Courses & Classes in Tamil Nadu from Varma Kalai Institutes, Tutors & Colleges. Learn about fees, syllabus, schedule, phone numbers.

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Over the years, the knowledge being passed to some criminals and miscreants made the Assans Masters of Varma Kalai even more protective of this deadly ancient wisdom and the transmission of knowledge has decreased so much its going from obscurity to extinction. Gopalakrishnan learned the art from his forebears, and says some Asans are descended from the masters who once protected royalty. Paradoxically, it offers therapeutic techniques that can cure ailments.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Pandyas were fierce warriors. While the practice of Varmakalai as taining martial kalqi is dwindling, it continues to be used to cure certain kinds of ailments including paralysis, sprains, fractures and nervous disorders.

Sieler says that while practitioners are reluctant to share their secrets and often live secluded lives, in Kanyamuari he has witnessed both sides of what Varmakalai can do. Bodhidharma settled in the Shaolin Temple of Henan province but found that the Chinese monks under him were frail and weak. His teaching to monks later evolved into different Chinese martial arts which can be seen to contain the advance component of Dim Mak or dim hsueh containing the same varma points which originated from his knowledge of Varma Kalai.

The early Pandyan dynasty was revived under Kadungon in the early 6th century, but again went into decline with aklai rise of the Cholas in the 9th century and were in constant conflict with them. All this underscores the assertions of practitioners that Varmakalai must consist of both medical and martial practices. I saw a patient who had a fall from a rooftop brought to the Asan.

The Asan used the varma points in his foot to revive the patient. So much severe oalai incredible are the effects of application of Varma Kalai and that much, even more, are the quality, patience and character required to maintain, preserve and handle such an Art.

A German Cultural Anthropologist from Heidelberg University who studies non-codified medical practices in India, Roman Sieler undertook an apprenticeship with Velayudhan Asan in the south of India to learn how medicine and martial art garma intertwined. Bodhidharma had his childhood in Kanchipuram and became one of the most brilliant students of the Vedas, Siddha medicine, meditation and philosophy and as a prince he was taught by different masters and experts the deadly art of Varma Kalai along with other arts.


Legend has it that during the development period of Varma Kalai, experiments were done on slaves and captured warriors to discover the weakness in the human body.

Varma Kalai Courses in Tamil Nadu

It is also believed that when the Tamil prince-turned-monk Daruma Bodhidarma moved to China in the sixth century, he carried the technique with him and taught it to kalak Shaolin monks — and trining this later evolved into different Chinese martial arts.

Bodhidharma later played a pioneer role in the root and history of formalized Martial Arts. The Pandyan kingdom of southern India was founded around BC and was considered by historians as the richest kingdom in the world.

Some experts fear that some of the only few living masters maybe the last generation of the authentic masters of Varma Kalai who, with their passing, will end the passing of authentic knowledge of this great combat traiing. The Pandyan Kingdom finally became extinct after the establishment of the Madurai Sultanate in the 16th century. Gradually some of those palm were revealed to public over the years, but still most remain secret.

It is only to be used for defense and not offense, even under provocation. The ancient tradition of transmission of knowledge of Varma Kalai went underground and was only passed through family lineage and rarely to very dedicated disciples, and this number became very few due to its use in war decreased.


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He formulated a physical fitness and martial arts training guideline for the monks from his knowledge of Yoga, Varma Kalai, Vajramushti. The art of varma kalai travelled from India to China through Bodhidharma and later to other areas, but the complete authentic knowledge remained back in India which slowly decreased in existence due to lack of patronization and use due to end of the war eras and introduction of firearms and advanced warfare weapons.

Another reason for decreasing the study and practice of Varma Kalai is that it is a highly comprehensive and knowledge rich martial art and takes considerable amount of time to learn the healing and combat aspect which varmx stymied the popularity of this martial art with the youth who choose to study less time-consuming martial arts.

The deadly unarmed art of Varma Kalai only remained in the minds of some Great Assans and some written in some palm leaf manuscripts kept in secret.


The art of Varma Kalai originally evolved from the Tamil science of SIddha medicine into a martial art and is called the art of healing and killing.

Martial Arts Varma Kalai Category: At the turn of the 6th century A. On the premises of Gopalakrishnan Asan mastera man delivers a single blow that apparently paralyzes his opponent. It was developed by gurus and vafma of siddha during the Pandyan dynasty and nourished and promoted by the Cholas. Today, only a handful of Asans in the southern tip of Tamil Nadu — around Kanyakumari, Rameswaram and Kovipatti — and in parts of Kerala are keeping the tradition alive.

In the course of training, both physical strength and mental progression of students vrma and traininh a kind of psychosomatic intuition — the medical and martial competence of masters.

Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox. Varma Kalai is one of the deadliest form of martial art in history.

Varma Kalai is also known by following names: Soon, the opponent is back on his feet, ready to face the next exchange. Photo courtesy of Varmakalai Asan Gopalakrishnan.

Patience and discipline is crucial here as it may even take decades to reach the heart of the art.

Chennai, Kolathur Head Office: Today this extremely powerful art is losing much of its heritage and is slowly fading away due to lack of transmission of knowledge and deceasing of authentic masters. The Pandyas, along with Chola and Chera, were the three ancient kingdoms which ruled the Kaalai country until the end of the 15th century. With the arrivals of firearms, the art witnessed a wane, and as the modern era dawned, the transmission of Varmakalai knowledge went underground: Daruma Bodhidharma became the 28th patriarch and founder of Chan or Zen doctrine and went to China to spread Buddism according to the wishes of his master Prajnatara.

Usually, practiced and taught by monks and sages, this art is a culture in itself that combines religious ways of life and trains the practitioners to follow a spiritual path to wisdom and goodness. Gopalakrishnan warns, however, that this should not be separated from the discipline as a whole, otherwise the traditional wisdom and the culture it is associated with may be lost.

Blows, kicks, blocks and handling of weapons require physical stamina, and the same is true for administering massages var,a vital spots manipulations.