(Last Updated on : 07/01/2015)
Fari Gatka is an ancient Indian fencing-combat form that incorporates the use of swords and shields. India is home to a variety of fighting and combat techniques. India deeply influenced the development of various modern martial arts
, particularly within the countries that have been influenced by Indian culture and religion
and one such game is Fari Gatka. It is a bladeless armed combat technique developed by the Sikhs of Punjab
, in North-Western India. It is practiced like sword-fighting, but with wooden sticks and leather shields. This martial art was conceived as an offensive, as well as defensive combat form, which focuses on developing the physical state along with strengthening the mental and spiritual aspects as well.
History of Fari Gatka
says that this martial art dates back to the Mughal era. It is said that initially it was practiced by the Sikh inhabitants of Punjab to protect themselves from Mughal invasion. It is also believed that a form of this art involving the use of sword and shield was practiced by Akbar
Practice of Fari Gatka
It is practiced with a cane stick which is used as a Gatka or sword along with a small leather shield called Fari. The word Gatka is derived from the Sanskrit
word "Gada", meaning Mace. The sword is usually around 3 foot, where as the shield is 9 inches in diameter. The Fari is made with sturdy leather and weighs around 1lbs. Fari Gatka is practiced in a 20 foot quadrangle arena. The sport involves the use of weapons by both hands, for it is believed that proper co-ordination of the two sides of the body is necessary for balanced development. The fighters could score points only when their swords would come in contact with vital pressure points on the opponent's body. The match ends when one of the participants has received 5 strikes in the body.
Benefits of Practicing Fari Gatka
Fari Gatka was mainly used as preliminary training to advanced sword fighting. However, this ancient art ensures various benefits to the practitioners. It ensures individual development by making the body agile and flexible. It also alerts the mind and the soul tranquil.
Popularity of Fari Gatka
This traditional sport
is popular in the eastern regions of Pakistan, and in Punjab and Haryana
. It is also practiced in several countries of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Owing to its growing popularity, the sport has become a part of several festivals. Fari Gatka is performed during national celebrations like the Republic Day
and the Independence Day