(Last Updated on : 07/11/2011)
Musti Yuddha, also known as Mukki Boxing, is an ancient unarmed north Indian martial art form. It was supposedly developed during the 3rd Century AD in Benares (Varanasi
). Musti Yuddha has several similarities with the Southeast Asian kickboxing formats, particularly with Muay Thai. It makes proper utilization of punches and elbow strikes; kicks and knee strikes are comparatively less used in Musti Yuddha, as punches mostly dominate the fight. Musti Yuddha tournaments were mostly held in Benares on a regular basis, but due to increased agitation and fights amongst the supporters of the Musti Yuddha boxers, the sport was eventually banned.
Rules of Musti Yuddha
Musti Yuddha is a vicious form of bare handed fist-fighting that was practiced for almost 350 years. The matches were fought without the use of any weapons or tools and with minimal use of kicks and other leg techniques and grappling moves. Various types of punches and elbow strikes are mostly used to counter and defeat the opponent. Individual fights, as well as multiple opponent fights were often conducted. The matches of Musti Yuddha comprised of minimal rules. The boxers may target and hit any part of the opponent's body, except for the groin area and the use of weapons was strictly forbidden. The fights between the Mukki boxers were violent and deaths of participants in the arena were quite common.
Training of Musti Yuddha
The martial art form of Musti Yuddha was considered as way to develop the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the practitioner. The boxers underwent rigorous physical training on a regular basis for extreme conditioning of the arm and fists. The training sessions included punching or kicking hard and rough objects like coconut or palm trees, stones and bricks etc. strength and stamina training, as well as spiritual and internal energy training was also incorporated to improve the condition of the Musti Yuddha fighters. It was widely believed that an expert Musti Yuddha boxer could even smash a coconut shell with a punch or a hit with the elbow, as a show of strength
Decline of Musti Yuddha
After Musti Yuddha was banned in the country due to death of fighters and agitation among spectators, illegal matches were held in underground tournaments. But the martial art form became mostly extinct by the late 1960s.