For a small band of Kalari students from Isha, the day after Mahashivratri was a day of competition – the National Kalari Championships.

This year, the students of Isha Samskriti and Isha Home School made Tamil Nadu the second overall champion at the National Kalaripayattu Championships that were held on February 25–26 at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. Athletes from 15 states participated in the competition, which was conducted by the Indian Kalaripayattu Federation.

16 students from Isha, aged 10-21 years participated under three different categories (Sub-juniors, Juniors and Seniors). They took part in three kinds of events – Meypayattu, Chuvadugal and High kick – and won a total of 17 medals.

Isha Samskriti Medals

  • Gold – 3
  • Silver – 5
  • Bronze – 7

Isha Home School Medals

  • Gold – 1
  • Bronze – 1

“It was nice to participate in this competition and also win a medal. I also enjoyed watching so many people from different states doing Kalaripayattu.” shared one of the participants. Another participant recalled how close the competition was even among the younger age groups. “I didn’t have any idea that I would win or lose but I wanted to participate to my best. After the final scores I had a tie with another participant. We had a tie breaker round and in the end it was announced that I got the second place. I was very happy that I did my best.”

Some of the participants were happy with how their performance had improved in the last year. “Last time, when I went for the championship I didn’t get a prize though I practiced a lot. This year it was even more challenging as we had very little time to practice due to other events, but I was determined to get at least one prize. I was so excited when I got two first prizes,” said the young Kalari champ!