Lifestyle Viral and Trending 18 May 2016 Age has not withered ...

Age has not withered this woman Kalari trainer

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RUBEESA AKBAR
Published May 18, 2016, 6:55 am IST
Updated May 18, 2016, 6:59 am IST
Meenakshiyamma imparts training at her Kalari at Vadakara, Kozhikode. (Photo: DC)
 Meenakshiyamma imparts training at her Kalari at Vadakara, Kozhikode. (Photo: DC)

KOZHIKODE: Age has not withered Meenakshiyamma, 73, an expert in martial arts, hailing from Vadakara. She is called  Unniarcha, the brave woman of the past, by the locals.  Meenakshiyamma is believed to be the oldest female Kalari teacher in the state and one of the few women who have mastered the art.   

She is the Kalarigurukkal (Kalari trainer) for  102 students aged from four to 40 years. Her body flexibility, steady practice, randomness and fierceness have helped her continue as a master of the martial arts form even at this age. Meenakshiyamma, who started practising Kalari at the age of four at the Kadathanadan Kalari group here, was charmed  by the versatility of the martial arts form. “I still don’t know what prompted my father to send me for the training, but I am forever thankful to that unknown reason,” she says.

She realised that Kalari was more than an art form or means of attack, but a form of life.  It provided her a new insight about love, life and everything in the world.  “I was so much inspired and every time I practised, I felt immense  strength and energy inside me, which is irresistible even at this age,” she explains.

She is  married to Raghavan Master, who was her Kalari gurukkal earlier. “Like most women, I too had dilemmas during my pregnancy and delivery, and was not sure about continuing Kalari. But I survived only because of my husband’s support,” says Meenakshiyamma.

She has been teaching Kalari for the past 50 years and over half the number of her students are girls. “The main reason why women have to face atrocities is due to their lack of courage. Practising martial arts can make them both mentally and physically strong, which might help in reducing these crimes to a great extent,” she added.

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