When someone speculates on the origins of martial arts the average westerner will think of the monks of China diligently practicing different fighting styles. If not China, perhaps the ninjas of Japan capture the imagination. But if you think that is where martial arts started, you would be wrong.
At least if you bother to look at history books. The martial art of Kalaripayattu is the oldest recorded fighting style. It encompasses hand to hand combat as well as various types of weapons from blades to staffs and it is a very bad ass, and dare I say it, elegant art form.
In the video below the “Guru” of Kalaripayattu goes over the history and struggle to keep this martial art alive so that new people can learn and practice it. It’s very informative, fun to watch, and once again proves that when it comes to history it never hurts to go a little deeper.