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Centre for Traditional Arts

Centre for Traditional Arts teaches Karlakattai & Silambam by Master Jothi who has 25 years of his teaching career and travelled to over 35 countries and trained close to a million students from various fields like fitness, competitive sports, modern and traditional martial arts, combat and defense forces, modern contemporary dance and ancient healing therapies.

History of Karlakattai

Karlakattai is an ancient warrior conditioning system dating back to prehistoric times, approximately 60000 years ago. It was named after a Bhuta Gana (elemental warrior) in lord Bhairava’s army called Karalan. Karalan is said to have had the habit of uprooting fully grown trees and using them to train his body for war. 

By imitating the movements given by Karalan, the tradition of swinging the Karlakattai has given superhuman strength and grace to countless Tamil warriors and common folk like farmers and women over the centuries. When the British came they were very threatened by the power of the ordinary Tamil citizen. So they systematically found, attacked and persecuted the Gurus who taught Karlakattai. The Gurukulams were closed and so the gurus secretly taught in thinai pallis or “courtyard schools” in their own homes. Pretty soon the British shut that down too. 

Aasan Jothi Senthil
Aasan Jothi Senthil

Master Jothi Senthil Kannan
A 7th generation warrior art Guru from an ancient lineage of Pallava kings of south India, an international performer and a referee, having 25 years of teaching experience in training close to a million students from over 35 countries in various fields like fitness, competitive sports, modern and traditional martial arts, combat and defence techniques, modern contemporary dance and ancient healing therapies. 

Grandmaster Jothi Kannan was trained since the age of 5 by his paternal grandfather, a warrior guru himself in ancient traditional Indian warrior arts like Silambam (weapons training), Karlakattai (Indian Club rotations), archery, Malyutham (grappling), Varmakalai (warrior art discipline involving vital body points) and Kuthuvarisai (hand-to-hand combat). He was also thoroughly trained in an ancient medicinal practice called Siddha Medicine by his maternal grandfather.  As of today, Grandmaster Jothi Kannan runs probably the only Kshakthiriya Gurukulam (Warrior School) in India to preserve and spread the art of ancient Indian warriors.

Asan Jothi is the founder of the International Karlakattai Sports Federation and the author of the book Karlakattai, which is internationally considered the encyclopedia of karlakattai.

Humble and generous, Asan Jothi is always thinking about how to serve the common people. He realised that people nowadays do not have the strength and fitness to directly start on karlakattai training so he created Karlakattai Yoga which is a combination of Karlakattai practice and Siddha Yoga. For this purpose, he decided to invent a new karlakattai called eratti kai karalai or two hand karlakattai. 

This karlakattai is unique because it has a handle at both ends and looks like a large rolling pin. The advantage is that you can do Siddha yoga postures and movements with the added weight of the karlakattai which gently stretches and strengthens the body.

For women’s Karlakattai Yoga he has incorporated Padi karalai which is a karalakattai shaped like a padi vessel designed exclusively for women. 

What is Karlakattai Yoga

The biggest skill that we can learn by practising karlakattai yoga is the skill of understanding ourselves through our body. Each of us has a unique body which is meant for some unique destiny unknown to us. But by constant practise, we learn the strengths and capabilities of our body and understand what it is meant for. Slowly our destiny starts to reveal itself, the reason we were born becomes clear.

The first step of karlakattai yoga is to achieve nervous balance and calm. Because stress is the biggest threat to our life and destiny. Within a few days of practising karlakattai yoga we have observed that people become less anxious and calmer and develop more courage to face life. This leads to better productivity.

On prolonged practice karlakattai yoga heals all injuries and restores vitality and youthfulness. It also heals digestion issues by killing pathogens in the body. Back and neck issues and other repetitive strain injuries vanish as the muscles become strong in a holistic manner.

These kinds of results cannot be achieved with any other form of exercise.

The one-hour session is divided into 


  1. 25 minutes of Mei Padam which helps a person to progressively understand their body, release            tensions and calm stress.

  2. 25 minutes of sitting stretches with the karlakattai 

which is based on movements like grinding, cutting the grass and other physical labour which used to keep our ancestors healthy and fit. 

These movements work on the gut bacteria, killing off the pathogenic ones and restoring the balance of the symbiotic ones. 

All diseases are said to originate in the gut and can be removed from the gut. 
There are a total of 64 movement sequences
The movement sequences include breathing patterns for vitality called kshakthriya pranayama
It restores the balance of vata, pittha and khapha the three arms of metabolism in Siddha therapy.
There are 12 different types of body types and you can realise which one you are in the class
It corrects all structural issues, hip and pelvic issues and pains of the body

10 minutes of deep relaxation and restoration

Karlakattai Yoga has 3 main components, Mei-padam, Karlakattai and Siddha Yoga.

Mei-Padam (understanding your body)

This is a set of dynamic movement sequences with many astounding effects. Mei-padam makes you realise the strengths in your body and helps you to develop it. It also creates flexibility and mobility by progressive and repeated movements. There are over 1500 sequences of mei-padam and the right sequence is chosen for the students by the teacher. Everyday the sequence is different and so it is mentally engaging and always fresh. Mei-padam unites body, mind and soul so the person can know who they really are through their body.



Karlakattai practice creates an engine of endurance in the body and bestows extraordinary strength on the practitioner in a short time. It strengthens the joints of the fingers which is essentially for gripping strength while lifting things. It activates the wrist 360° and it cures repetitive stress injuries from typing and using the mouse. It works on all the sites of common modern injuries due to desk work and cures conditions such as elbow pain, frozen shoulder and neck and spin injuries.

Additionally it acts on the lungs and cures diseases of the lungs. It also balances the hormonal activity of the thymus gland which is essential for immunity and it regulates the pituitary gland which is the master gland for all hormones in the body. So it cures the symptoms of many modern chronic illnesses like thyroid dysfunction, diabetes,metabolic syndrome etc. It also improves circulation and regulates the thickness of the blood thereby cleaning blockages in the arteries. This strengthens the heart, reduces and eventually eliminates risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The practitioners of karlakattai reverse age over time and develop a youthful body even when they are old.

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