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Varma Kalai


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This article gives you information about our amazing martial art Varma Kalai, What is Varma Kalai , Origin of Varma Kalai, History of Varma Kalai, Weapons used in Varma Kalai, Types of Training given in Varma Kalai, Techniques in Varma Kalai, Books on Varma Kalai, Varma Kalai for Treatment of diseases, pressure points in Varma Kalai and many more.



• This is a very famous martial art of Tamil Nadu
• A very highest form of Martial art dealing with pressure points.
• Its called “The art of Vital points”

Guessed the Art form ?.....Not getting it ?

• There was even a serial made by Naaga on this art ……….

Must have surely got it now……. Its Varma Kalai.


Varma Kalai as said earlier is a martial art that originated in TamilNadu, India . Varmam means Vital points and thus varma kalai is the Art of vital points. This art comprises of attacking the Pressure points of our body to immediately paralyses the enemy.



Varma Kalai Practicing Still 1Varma Kalai Practicing Still 2



History of Varmakalai


According to legends, the art of Varma Kalai was a martial art that was passed on to humans from lord Shiva. Agastya Munivar who received this martial art from lord Shiva, passed it among humans. In ancient days this martial art was used as the primary form of protection against enemy human beings and even animals. Varma Kalai was initially used as a healing art called Varma Cuttiram which later on began being practiced as a martial art for self defense purposes. Varma Kalai was traditionally practiced by Nadars and Devars.
During early days of the Pandiyas and cholas, varma kalai was practiced as experiments on slaves and captured warriors, to discover the weakness in the human body. Thousands of Warriors gave up their life to develop this martial art. This martial art also spread from South india to China where they developed their own martial art which had its essence only from Varma kalai.

Lord shiva and Varma Kalai


Types of Varma Kalai


There are three types of Varmam based on attacks
• Padu varmam
• Thodu varmam
• Nokku varmam


Qualities Required for Varma kalai


Varma kalai slokas

Meaning :
Who is the worthy one to be taught? Keeping for years twelve, under you, And if you find in him the quality desired, My son, spare the secret knowledge to him, But, who the one to be taught by you? None, none, but a Saint! - a Shiva Yogi Beware it be not given to the unjust of this world, Lest thou be fallen into the pits of hell-fire


Presuure points in Varma Kalai


According to Varma Kalai aasans our body has 350 therapeutic Varma points and 108 lethal varma points which can be attacked. These points are also called Marma. Application of pressure or insertion of needles on the Marma points which are on the body surface will affect the flow of vital energy or Pranam along our Nadis. An attack on these points can render the receiver immobile after the attack. Results can vary from person to person. It can also depend on the force and velocity used to strike.


Pressure points in our body

Catagories of Marma points



• Maasa Marma
• Asthi Marma
• Snayu Marma
• Dhamani Marma
• Sandhi Marma
• Shira Marma


Maasa Marma deals with the pressure points on the skin , Asthi Marma at the bones , Snayu Marma at the nerves, Dhamani Marma at the arteries, Sandhi Marma at the joints, Shira Marma at the veins.

Number of Marma points in different parts of our body


• From Top of the Head till Neck which forms the first unit one has 25 Marma or pressure points.
• From Neck till Naval Point which forms the second unit one has 45 Marma or pressure points.
• From Naval Point till Anus which forms the third unit one has 9 Marma or pressure points.
• Both Hands Anus which forms the fourth unit one has 14 Marma or pressure points.
• Both Legs forming the fifth unit has 15 Marma or pressure points.
If we total all these we will get 108 points.

Training techniques in Varma Kalai for self Defense


Philosophy of Varma Kalai is to use every part of your body for learning this art. The training starts with Gymnastics in Varma kalai. Gymnastics deals with bringing flexibility to parts of our body. It involves Stretching, concentration on breathing patterns and warm up exercises. Next is the Hand to Hand combat. This involves practicing alone and with an opponent the art of hitting, throws, locking. Different exercises taught here are ondi padom, adi-varisai, kuttu-varisaï , padom , tode .

Kuttu Varisaï


Kuttu Varisaï is all about series of attacks and counter-attacks from both the opponents, always in motion. They are neither “defender” nor “attacker” but just two opponents countering the attacks of the other through movements. Here the techniques learned alone are used by the opponents


Adi Varisai


Adi Varisai are series of exercises which are practiced alone by the students. This is used for linking movements together, the piston and the rebound effect, the dissociation of limbs, the moving in space, fluidity, the muscular reinforcement, etc.


Tode Varisai


Tode Varisai are exercises practiced in pairs. The opponents will have simultaneous linking movements which are very fast. This does not involve interruption of attacks or counter attacks.





Kuttu varisaiAdi varisaiTode varisai


Varmam for treatment of Diseses


Varma Kalai has also been used to treat patients suffering from different problems. Diseases treated include Asthma, Diabetes , Hair fall , kidney problems, obesity, paralysis, neuro problems and many more.

Techniques applied to cure Ailments



• Marukaalam
• Thirumal Murai
• Adangal Murai
• Thiravukol Murai
• Thadaval Murai
• Marunthu Murai
• Vayu Nilai Amarthal
• Kattu Murai


Books on Varma Kalai


Few known books on Varma Kalai are listed below

• Varma Suthram
• Varma Beerangi
• Naalu Maathirai
• Naramparai
• Narambu Suthram 100
• Narambu Suthram 400
• Varma Odivu Murivu Sara Suthram 1500
• Panchakarnapinnal
• Alavunool Piramaanam
• Varma Odivu Murivu Kandasaari 300
• Varma Thoondamani
• Aksakkural Venba 300

Weapons used in Varma Kalai


There are wide variety of weapons used in Varma Kalai. Some of them are kuttu Katai, tirusulam, Latti, Val, Surul patt, kuttuval.


Varma kalai sloka

Lets preserve thisart form of Tamil Nadu and spread it to the nook and corners of the world.
Related Resources:


Read related articles: Varma Kalai    Martial Arts    Tamilnadu Kalai    Marma Points    Tamilnadu arts    

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Responses to "Varma Kalai"
Author: Ezhilan Ramarajan    14 Jul 2011Member Level: Bronze   Points : 0
where can we buy those books listed above?


Author: sudhan    19 Nov 2011Member Level: Gold   Points : 1
I think this is a very much needed art to seek so as to protect ourselves. But these practices were made by our ancestors and they have not passed them for the next generations as they feared that it could provide more harm to mankind rather than usefulness. I have heard more about it but it is the first time I am reading them in detail.


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