The earliest formalized martial arts systems come from India. It' s sometimes boasted that one art is "the oldest MA" (as in thios web site). The boast is a bit of a misrepresentation though. Martial Arts, when understood more loosely (and paradoxically more literally), is actually older than huamninty. As for kalaripayattu being the mother of all MA's this is probably false. Even though it is most probably the oldest formalized system of martial arts, and is also probably the historic basis for many asian martial arts, there is good evidence to suggest that different martial arts evolved independently of one another all over the world. Greek Pankras and wrestling, although younger than kalaripayattu, are probably not derived from it . I say probably, but that's cuz my research is only just getting off the ground and there are some waky but respectable historians (in the minority)who may have something different top say.