We have been talking about karlakattai for at least 2 years. Our pahlavandle XL was the first club we produced inspired by this club swinging practice. So it was about time more people discovered the traditions of this ancient practice.
We were lucky to talk to Karthik Vilwanathan who is studying under Sir Jothi Senthil Kannan, his “guru”, or “the one who helps remove ignorance”. Sir Jothi resides in Tamil Nadu, where he is keeping the traditions well alive with his school, workshops and book on the subject.
For those who still do not know what karlakattai is, and how different to Persian meels and British club swinging, here’s a quick breadown.
Karlakattai is a holistic health practice based on swinging wooden clubs. there are 5 types of clubs, plus one specifically for women.
The designs of clubs are based on their purpose, and shaped to the morphology of the practitioner.
Clubs are swung as single club with 1 or 2 hands, and also swung in pairs.
Out of the 64 types of Karlakattai suttrus (swings or rotations), only 4 are done with double clubs. 10 of those swings are done with both hand on a single club. The rest are done single handed, often time switching hands from side to side as 1 repetition.
And now, we leave it to Karthik to tell us more.
If you’d rather just listen to it than watch the whole thing, Click here to listen or save the mp3 file.
Our discussion with Karthik covers many subjects:
- 3:10 How common place are karklakattai in India
- 5:20 Influence of western culture in Indian
- 6:50 How did you re-discover karlakattai
- 10:15 Your first set of Indian clubs
- 12:00 Sir Jothi Senthil Kannan
- 13:20 Cultural identity
- 18:55 What did you notice since you started karlakattai practice
- 23:05 Learning process & preparation
- 25:20 Traditional Indian club exercises
- 27:35 Daily practice
- 29:00 How do other people react to karlakattai
- 33:48 Six different types of karlakattai, starting weight & progressions
- 47:50 Heavy clubs practice versus competition aspects
- 50:00 The reasons behind barefoot training
- 52:55 Favorite suttrus/ swings
- 55:50 Training philosophy & guidelines
- 58:48 Kusthi training versus karlakattai
- 1:00:10 Breathing
- 1:04:35 Workshops
Get in touch with Karthik:
The 2 videos below show examples of karlakattai suttrus.