Gatka


 


Gatka is a very basic and practical art. It is all based upon a single movement called the "Panthra". The Panthra is practised initially for hours (using no weapons) to help develop the accuracy of footwork needed to keep the body in balance when using weaponry. It can be practised in all different ways, circular motions, simple forward and backward motions and also more complex motions such as star shapes using a range of 18 different weapons.

Gatka is based on the use of three kinds of weapons :
- A stick from one to three meters in length.
- Flexible weapons, such as a chain, rope, belt, whip and so on.
- The Sword. Both saber (Kirpan) and dagger (Khanda) can be used.

Gatka is a martial art originating from Punjab (North West of India). Its development started in the 17th century and it was practiced by the Sikhs, to defend themselves against the Mogul invaders. The effectiveness of Gatka has been proved for centuries, not just by the Sikhs but also the earlier practitioners of this art. It is said that in 1984 when the Golden Temple was attacked by the Indian Army, four Singhs stood at each of the doors of the temple, swinging their Shasters (full length swords) in a basic movement from the Gatka and nobody could come within a ten-metre range of them.

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