Karlakattai selection guide

Identify the best clubs for you (+ free PDF chart download)




Choose the best Karlakattai-style clubs for your goals. Read on to learn more, or click below to go straight to the selection chart.

Karlakattai is an ancient form of training that began thousands of years ago in Southern India. It is an incredibly holistic practice, which includes bodyweight movements and breathing techniques as well as club exercises, all designed to strengthen and condition the whole body and leave you feeling energised and focussed in everyday life.

Traditionally, there are 7 key club shapes used within the practice. Each with a unique character, feel and purpose. Use this page and the chart below to compare each of our Karlakattai-style clubs and identify the best shape for you.

Here are the Karlakattai-style clubs we’ve launched so far. We are always exploring and developing new shapes and designs, so check our shop page for new releases.

Karlakattai clubs with handwritten labels of club names

Selecting your Karlakattai clubs

As with all types of exercise, your fitness goals and current level of strength and stamina should play a key role in the equipment you choose to work with.

We hope this guide will help you identify the best type of clubs for your individual needs and ability. If you are short on time, I’d highly recommend having a quick look at the chart below, otherwise keep reading for plenty of information and guidance!

Click here to view or print the full PDF guide. Feel free to share with your club-swinging friends.

Printable karlakattai selection guide PDF link
What karlakattai Indian club is most suitable for me?

*The clubs listed above with an asterisk are not strictly traditional Karlakattai clubs. However, they have been included as their performance dynamics closely mirror the movements and benefits of the traditional single/double handed Karlakattai-style clubs.

Range of different Karlakattai Indian clubs

Top tips

  • An ideal club for beginners: 1 to 2.5kg Kai Karlai
  • An ideal club for active & strong individuals new to Indian clubs: 2 to 3.5kg Kai Karlai
  • An ideal club for active & strong individuals with prior experience of Indian club swinging but new to Karlakattai: 2.5 to 3.5kg Kai Karlai
  • Remember that Karlakattai is traditionally a high-rep practice. Start light.
  • There is a lot more to Karlakattai than swinging clubs. A traditional Karlakattai workout involves pranayama (breathwork) & mei paadam (bodyweight exercises) as well as club swinging, and these are all wonderful components of the practice to explore.
  • There are over 14,000 mei paadam exercises and 64 club movements (with each of these having 5 levels of complexity) within Karlakattai so I would highly recommend learning from a teacher if you are new to this discipline in order to build a varied library of movements, technique & philosophy.
A wide range of karlakattai Indian clubs including: kai karlai, padi

The traditional karlakattai selection equation is for men is to divide their bodyweight by 16 (eg 64kg bodyweight = 4kg club). For women, it is to divide your bodyweight by 8 then by 3 (eg 56kg bodyweight = 2.3kg club). However, this is often too heavy for most practitioners. Generally, a 2.5 to 3.5kg kai karlai is suitable for men new to Karlakattai, and 1.5 to 2.5kg Padi karlai for most women. Keep in mind, Karlakattai involves high repetitions, so it is worth starting light.


Karlakattai-style clubs for beginners




Choosing your first pair of Karlakattai-style Indian clubs…









Karlakattai club training traditionally begins with the Kai Karlai  (hand club)  to build a strong foundation of strength and endurance fitness. Generally speaking, if you are new to Karlakattai style club swinging, it is recommended that men consider starting with a 2.5 to 3kg Kai Karlai, and women consider starting with 1 to 2kg Kai Karlai or Padi Karlai. Of course, this is a generalisation based on average muscle architecture so please take this recommendation as a rough guideline and remember that this is a high-rep style of Indian club swinging, so it is no bad thing to begin with a lighter weight that you may be used to.

Once you have built a solid & strong foundation with the Kai Karlai, you may be interested in other clubs within our Karlakattai collection. Each club has a very different feel, so I would recommend clicking the product titles linked above to explore them in further detail. It is worth mentioning that Karlakattai clubs have thicker grips than other clubs, which can make them feel more challenging to handle compared to other Indian clubs. For this reason, always choose the lighter option if you are between weights for a particular shape. 

Three different Kai Karlai style Karlakattai Indian clubs on a white background

Kai Karlai style single walnut club – 2.5 to 6kg
£95 – £130


Kushti Karlai style single walnut club – 6-9kg
£170 – £180

Photo of a Buja Karlai wooden club on a white background

Buja Karlai style single walnut club – 3-6kg
£110 – £135

More BMF selection guides

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