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Adithada, Adi means hitting and thada means block) is a martial art originating from erstwhile Travancore regions in South India comprising southern Kerala and the Kanyakumari district which was later ceded toTamil Nadu. Adithada is similar to Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Karate. It is often referred to as the southernstyle of Kalari Payattu.
This art is very similar to Muay Thai Kickboxing. Fighter make use of their feet, hand, knees, elbows, and forehead to land strikes. Grappling is incorporated as part of this art and take downs are allowed.Pressure points are also targeted during combat. “Adi” stands for hitting and “thada” means block.
It is largely practiced in southern Kerala, southern Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka. It has bothgrappling and striking concepts, and a detailed study of pressure points. Disciples of Adithada are trained in using bare knuckles, feet, knees, elbows and forehead.
Alex Doss, President of the Tamil Sangam at San Diego State University, claims that Adithada later evolved into Muay Thai and various forms of kickboxing in other countries of Indochina, such as Cambodia, Laos and Burma. The art was one of many martial arts supressed to obscurity by the British Raj during it’s occupation of India.

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