Kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. Training in combat is given at the kalari (training school). The principles of kalari education stipulate that training in martial art begins with an oil massage of the body which goes on until the body is agile and supple. Feats like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault), etc., are then taught, followed by lessons in the use of weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, the bow and arrow, and so on.
Kalaripayattu training is aimed at the ultimate coordination of the mind and body. The traditional training in a kalari includes specialization in indigenous medical practice too. Kalaris are also centers of religious worship. The general guidelines to be followed in kalaripayattu demand that once the course is complete, a person should undergo oil massage and engage in the practice of the feats regularly to help him keep in shape.