10 Traditional Indian Martial Arts – भारतीय मार्शल आर्ट

Indian martial art भारतीय मार्शल आर्ट and forms has list of different fighting systems used in the Indian subcontinent during ancient time. Among the most common types of Indian Martial Arts and Forms are listed below and used to learnt and practiced in the traditional Akharas.

Kalaripayattu – कलरीपायट्टु

  • Origin: Kerala
  • Highlights: Considered one of the oldest martial arts in the world, Kalaripayattu combines strikes, kicks, grappling, and weaponry. It also includes healing techniques and practices.
  • Distinctive Features: High emphasis on flexibility and agility, use of weapons like swords, spears, and shields, and rigorous physical training.

Silambam – सिलंबम

  • Origin: Tamil Nadu
  • Highlights: A martial art focusing primarily on the use of sticks, Silambam emphasizes swift and precise movements.
  • Distinctive Features: Use of bamboo staff (Silambam), spinning techniques, and agility.

Gatka – गटका

  • Origin: Punjab
  • Highlights: A Sikh martial art that uses swords, sticks, and other weapons, Gatka is both a form of self-defense and a way to promote spiritual well-being.
  • Distinctive Features: Fluid weapon movements, combination of offensive and defensive techniques, and religious significance.

Thang Ta – हुइयेन लाललोंग/Huiyen Lallong

  • Origin: Manipur
  • Highlights: A Manipuri martial art that combines sword and spear fighting with physical exercises and dance-like movements.
  • Distinctive Features: Use of swords and spears, synchronized movements, and incorporation of ritualistic dance.

Mardani Khel – मर्दानी खेल

  • Origin: Maharashtra
  • Highlights: A traditional martial art from Maharashtra, Mardani Khel focuses on the use of weapons such as swords, shields, and lathis (long sticks).
  • Distinctive Features: Emphasis on weapon-based combat, horseback fighting techniques, and regional historical significance.

Lathi Khela – लाठी खेला

  • Origin: Bengal
  • Highlights: A martial art centered around the use of lathis, or bamboo sticks, Lathi Khela is known for its powerful and precise strikes.
  • Distinctive Features: Use of long sticks for combat, focus on speed and power, and rural self-defense applications.

Musti Yuddha – मुष्टियुद्ध

  • Origin: Uttar Pradesh
  • Highlights: An ancient form of Indian boxing, Musti Yuddha emphasizes striking with fists and has a rich tradition in Varanasi.
  • Distinctive Features: Emphasis on bare-knuckle fighting, quick reflexes, and traditional combat techniques.

Pari-Khanda – परी-खंडा

  • Origin: Bihar
  • Highlights: A martial art that involves fighting with swords and shields, Pari-Khanda is part of the folk traditions of Bihar.
  • Distinctive Features: Use of both offensive and defensive techniques with swords and shields, and incorporation of traditional Bihari dances.

Kathi Samuकाठी सामू

  • Origin: Andhra Pradesh
  • Highlights: A weapon-based martial art, Kathi Samu involves the use of swords and focuses on quick, precise strikes.
  • Distinctive Features: Sword fighting techniques, agility, and the integration of acrobatic movements.

Kuttu Varisaiकुट्टू वारिसाई

  • Origin: Tamil Nadu
  • Highlights: A Dravidian martial art that includes a variety of strikes, kicks, grappling, and joint locks, often considered a precursor to modern-day Silambam.
  • Distinctive Features: Emphasis on hand-to-hand combat, integration of body movements with mental discipline, and use of various weapons.

The oldest form of different fighting systems of the Indian subcontinent are Spearplay, Archery (धनुर्विद्या), Swordsmanship (खड्गविद्या), Mace-fighting (गदायुद्ध),Wrestling (मल्लयुद्ध) and Boxing (मुष्टियुद्ध).

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