Americans, Doug Anderson, Iraqi war vet and bodyguard from New Jersey and Jimmy Smith, a professional MMA fighter and former maths teacher from Los Angeles, journey to the southern state of Kerala, India. Here, they are introduced to and undergo an intensive 5-day program in traditional and urban Kalarippayattu forms and techniques to prepare them for a weapon demonstration and full-contact hand-to-hand battle.
Kalaripayattu is the ancient martial art of South India based on the science of Yoga for its forms and exercises, and its medical treatments are based on the science of Ayurveda. It is practiced in Kerala and contiguous parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well as northeastern Sri Lanka and among the Malayalee community of Malaysia. Considered one of the oldest—if not the oldest—martial art, kalaripayattu is marked by high-flying acrobatics, fluid movements and weaponry.