Adithada (‘Adi’ means hitting and ‘thada’ means block) is a martial art originating from Tamil Nadu in southern India that is similar to Kickboxing and Muay Thai. It is often referred to as the southern style of Kalari Payattu.
It is largely practiced in southern Kerala, southern Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka. It has both grappling 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.