With 39 medals, Isha Samskriti makes a clean sweep of the first Tamil Nadu Kalaripayattu Championship held in Coimbatore on July 13.

18 students from Isha Samskriti participated in Tamil Nadu’s first Kalaripayattu Championship, winning a total of 39 medals – 23 Gold, 8 Silver and 8 Bronze. The children also won the state rolling trophy for the year 2014, participating in three different categories: sub-juniors, juniors, and seniors, and in six different disciplines that tested their flexibility, speed, strength and balance.

The children won 5 golds in Meipayattu, 3 golds in Chuvadugal or steps, 4 golds in Chavuti Pongi or high-kick, 4 golds in Kaipor or hand-fighting, 4 golds in Vaalum Parijayum (sword & shield), and 3 gold in the Urumi Veeshal (an Urumi is a five-foot-long flexible sword!).

Sai Sasmith, one of the students expresses how they went into the competition wanting to give their best. “As we went inside the competition hall, we saw a trophy and all of us were telling that the trophy was for us, whatever happens, it was for us. As the competitions were happening, I was always reminding myself to do my best.”

Rushmita explains how though a few of the students were nervous, they were still confident of winning. “The competitions progressed one after the other. The balls were flying, Urumis sparkling, swords clashing against the shields and applause all over. In the evening, as the prize distribution started, our names were repeatedly called one after the other. People were really surprised as more than half the medals were for Samskriti. The final count was 39 medals. Then there was only thing left – the championship trophy. When the announcement came, “Isha Samskriti,” all of us jumped out of the chairs and ran to get the trophy!”

The championship was held in Coimbatore on July 13, 2014, and was conducted by Tamil Nadu Kalaripayattu Association, an affiliate of the Indian Kalaripayattu Federation. Over 200 participants were present from six districts of Tamil Nadu.