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Kalaripayattu teaches five kinds of chuvadu or steps for the attack as well as defence:

  1. Aakka chuvadu
  2. Neekka chuvadu
  3. Chaatta chuvadu
  4. Vatta chuvadu and
  5. Neeta chuvadu

Aakka chuvadu involves placing one’s feet in certain specific positions to ensure stability. Neekka chuvadu implies planting one’s feet forward to confront an enemy or retreating for a successful escape. Chaatta chuvadu means jumping forward or backward quickly either to face the enemy or to flee. Vatta chuvadu entails lifting one’s feet towards the front or back and turning. Neeta chuvadu suggests stretching one’s feet to the maximum possible extent. As can be reasonably surmised, attacks are more effective when one leg is thrust forward and the body is stretched rather than when the legs are placed in their normal position. All the techniques of Kalaripayattu involve the permutations and combinations of the various chuvadu.

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