Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gatka - an ancient Sikh martial art

The exact beginnings of Gatka are not clear. What is clear is that it emerged formally from its original birthplace in northern India during the times of the 6th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Sahib (early 1600s), who learnt and instructed his Sikhs to learn the martial art. However, Gatka existing long before then. Some have said that Gatka is the original grandparent of all modern martial arts which came out of northern India towards China.
The Sikhs mastered Gatka and perfected its use in battle. Many hundreds, if not thousands, of battles were decisively won by the Sikhs, despite almost always numbering far fewer than the opposing forces. The techniques within Gatka were combined with the spiritual practices of the Sikhs to create a perfect fighting system. Opposing forces are documented to have cursed the awesome Warrior Saints that the Sikhs were!
The Sikhs actively used Gatka in warfare for over 200 years, until they finally enjoyed peace under their own rule, free from persecution from the power-hungry Mughals who rested only when they were defeated. Since then, Gatka has been passed down as a tradition amongst the Sikh generations. With the emigration of Sikhs to western countries such as the UK, Gatka has grown again in the hearts and minds of the new generation of Sikhs. Now, in the 21st century, western martial artists are slowly beginning to recognise and enquire about Gatka. Such interest has forced the need for websites such as to educate the world about the formidable art of Gatka.