India is a land of diversity. It boasts of different religions, cultures, languages, cuisines, festivals etc. Along with these, one can also witness the diversity in the martial art forms in the country. Having their roots in the past, these art forms are now practised either as sports, celebrations, rituals or entertainment.
- Kalaripayattu (Oldest Martial Art in India)
Kalaripayattu originated around 4th centaury AD in Kerela. This armed martial art form emphasis on footwork like kicks and strikes. It is great form of self-defence and is also used in traditional ceremonies and rituals. Many people engage in this for attaining the highest form of physical fitness.
Silambam is an ancient yet modern martial art which finds its roots in Tamil Nadu. This art form incorporates swift movement techniques which can be excelled with practice. It has roots set deep down the Vedic age when young people were trained for defence and for rituals. This martial art has travelled to nations like Malaysia where it is practised as sport. This art form is great for self-defence.
- Thang-ta and Sarit Sarak
This martial art form was created by the Meitei people of Manipur. Thang-Ta, when translated, refers to ‘sword’ (Thang) while Ta means spear. It is an armed martial art and also uses weapons like axe and shield. Sarit Sarak, on the other hand, is an unarmed martial art form. Thang-Ta is practised as a fighting form, for rituals and for entertainment.
Gatka is the martial art form from the state of Punjab which incorporates the use of weapons. The different weapons used are Kirpan (knife), talwar (sword) and Kataar.This famous form is displayed on celebrations, fairs and festivals.
- Kuttu Vasisai
This famous martial art form from the southern part of the country incorporates the techniques of striking, grappling and locking. When translated, Kuttu Vasisai means ‘empty hand combat’. The art form dates back to first century BC and has significant mention in the Sangam Literature.
These ancient martial art forms are still practised with full vigour. However, the country also has adapted all the martial art forms which have come from the East and West parts of the world. From Karate, Kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) etc. all are practised in full swing across the nation. There are various training centres which provided the requisite training for these art forms. Sanshinkan is one such platform which offers martial arts training in Delhi and Gurgaon. Their state of the art centre is well equipped and training is imparted under the guidance of trainers and professionals.
Martial arts- ancient or the more practised foreign forms are a great way to inculcate physical fitness, learn the basics of self-defence and learn the art of fighting. They align you with your inner being and make you a better person. People nowadays are more open to introducing their children to the martial art forms at an early age and the results of which can be reflected in their overall personality.
However one should also take a step to make the local art forms popular by learning them and spreading awareness about them so that they also see the light they deserve. Taking these martial art forms a step further and incorporating their techniques with other forms will result in excellent mixed martial art forms which can be practised worldwide. Indian martial art forms have been a part of the culture of the country and fighting spirit it represents and with the right platform, they can manifold the vigour, enthusiasm, strength and vibe of India.