Kalaripayattu () is an Indian martial art which originated in the state of Kerala. It is considered to be the oldest fighting system in existence. It is now practiced in Kerala, in contiguous parts of Tamil Nadu and among the Malayali community of Malaysia. It was originally practiced in northern and central parts of Kerala and the Tulunadu region of Karnataka. Kalaripayattu includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods. Regional variants are classified according to geographical position in Kerala; these are the Northern style from Malabar region in north Kerala, the Central style from inner Kerala and the southern style from Travancore region of south Kerala. The southern Payattu system is now extinct and the Tamil style of “Adi Murai” is classified as the southern kalaripayattu. Legends like Unni aarcha, Aromal Chekavar and legendary kalari trainers like Narayan Gurukkal belonged to Ezhavas clan. The kalaripayattu was spread across to Chinese borders by Bodhidharma, who was a Buddhist monk. The original style was practiced in Kerala primarily by the Ezhavas, the kalari has Buddhist origins related to Ezhava community, who where believers of Shaivism and Buddhism. Other castes like Nairs learned the trade from ezhavas. The southern style, called Adi Murai, was practiced largely by the Nadars and has features distinguishing it from its other regional counterparts. Northern kalaripayattu is based on elegant and flexible movements, evasions, jumps and weapons training, while the southern “Adi Murai” style primarily follows the hard impact based techniques with priority on empty hand fighting and pressure point strikes. Both systems make use of internal and external concepts. Some of the flexibility training methods in northern Kalaripayattu are applied in Keralan dance forms and kathakali dancers who knew martial arts were believed to be markedly better than the other performers. Some traditional Indian dance schools still incorporate kalaripayattu as part of their exercise regimen.