Arifa , warrior of Kalaripayattu

One daughter is equal to ten sons. The same merits is attained by begetting a single daughter alone rather than those ten sons.

This line is proved again by a Kerala Muslim girl, Arifa Kodiyil who has set her feet in the traditional martial art form of Kerala , Kalaripayattu.   She has jumped over this art form platform in her early childhood.

Life of Arifa


Our history has been given us many examples that how a girl from early age face so many discrimination and inequality.

And when she want to start work for her existence ,she is stopped by  the members of this so called patriarchal society.

The same thing happened with Arifa .

Arifa was born in the small village Malapuram, which is in Kerala. 

In this village the native men used to practice this traditional art form.

 When she was, 5 year old her curiosity developed while seeing those men practising but the same incident happened with her, this society  did not allow her to to practice this art form. They claimed that this is meant for men only.

But with the support of her family, she shut the mouth of these people.

She was given the training by a Kalari trainer, Hamzathali Gurukkal .

She followed the legendary warrior Arackkal Ayesha.

She was the first girl from her village who was learning this art form . But the problem was with whom she did practising, but this problem was sorted

out . She practiced with her brother Ashif, which resulted in to the introduction of a five-time National Champion from  the Malapuram.

Self Defense Techniques

Arifa realised that this art form should be taught to every girl and women. 

As we can see, nowadays bad incidents, i.e. sexual violence, eve-teasing are just some of the atrocities done to women. In the midst of all these, this art form can build self-confidence in girls. If they will be aware of these techniques they can fight against these mishappenings without taking anyone’s help.

Arifa mastered the use of various weapons such as Urumi, Vaal, Paricha, Katara, Kathi, Kuntham, Kuruvadi and many more.

She gives training to the children, women and girls in her area along with the help of her family. She claims that her students are also doing well with this art form.

Even during this time of the pandemic, she hasn’t stopped imparting her knowledge. She gives online training to her students.

A new initiative by Government.

After understanding the value of Kalaripayattu, the Government has also decided to shift this art form to a higher level. In the view of defense techniques, this art form is very useful to every citizen in the way of self-defense.

I want to add a line here :

Arifa’s curiosity led her into the field of Kalari. Her courage was appreciable.

The same can be done by any girl, who wants to see a change in this society. Never forget that you will have to face so many challenges on your way but if you want to change this society’s thinking you should have the courage to better yourself first.


Written by:

Miss. Srishti Uniyal
18 years old
From: Teri Garhwal
(Uttarakhand)

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