Kuttu Varisai

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Kuttu Varisai (Empty Hand Combat) (Tamil: ???????????) is an Indian martial art practiced in Tamil Nadu, South India and in Northeastern Sri Lanka. It is a form of hand to hand combat similar to Kung Fu and Karate. This Tamil martial art was first documented in the Tamil Sangam literature (c. 2nd-1st centuries BC).

Both Kuttu Varisai and Varma Kalai combined make up a deadly fighting art. In Kuttu Varisai, gymnastic, stretching (yoga), and breathing exercises are conducted before training. In combat, almost every part of the body is used such as the fists, elbow, feet, knees, etc. Various different animal styles such as the tiger, elephant, snake, eagle and monkey are used. All these styles include posture, grappling, throws, hits, and locks.

There are a huge variety of weapons used in this fighting system which can easily be seen in many Chola bronze statues of various deities. Weapons include the trident, sticks (kali or kaji) (short, long, or double sticks), swords (val) and shield, double swords, daggers (kuttuval) (simple or double), knuckle duster (kuttu katai), and whips with several flexible and metallic blades (surul pattai).