After opening one of my favorite books this morning ...
The Mallapurana - thought I'd share a quick story.
It is a rare book, the Mallapurana - one I obtained in India some 35 years ago. After obtaining a copy of the book in Delhi - I decided to track down the person who had written it some 40 years earlier. This adventure resulted in me training with the last remaining member of this fighting family - it was a singular experience.
I headed south from Delhi, to Baroda (town of 6 million people) - went to a shitty area that was near the oldest Hindu temple in town, thinking I'll start asking questions there (figuring old priests might give me a lead) ..
I knocked on the door of a house opposite the temple - as the temple seemed devoid of people at that time of day - and yep - you guessed it - HE OPENED IT! The author!!!
The odds - 1 in maybe 2 million. I nearly fell down! I recognized him immediately from the photos in the old book - and I ended up spending a week with him.
The Jyesthimalla caste/family were professional Bodyguards for more than 1400 years … That was their vocation - the men at least - the women were professional ‘healers’.
Their family art - Vajramushti - to describe it in the briefest of terms - a submission-grappling based art with the addition of using a carved-bone knuckleduster to bolster effectiveness of striking. Hard core!!
I have an amazing story (too long to tell here) about how I came to connect up with the last patriarch of the Jyesthimalla family. See pictures here of me with him during his 80’s - just before our training session that day - and others of him in battle in his youth.
Fortunately for me, as a novice, I trained with a cloth - stained with red paint - woven around my right knuckles, rather than the actual weapon itself. Hard core training. Note Omoplata in action in one of the pics. This battle-scarred monster of a man was one of the most formidable warriors I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I can only imagine his reputation at the height of his powers … but sadly, this art is now all but extinct.