Gatka – Martial Art of Punjab

Sikh Gurus Founded Gatka Martial Art

Gatka martial art was founded by the Sikh Gurus to defy the Mughal treats in order to save their community generations. Guru Nanak was born in Kshatriya family and founded Sikh religion. All his first disciples also belonged to Kshatriya family. So that besides of following the peaceful preachers of their Gurus, they also practise the martial art Gatka for self-protection, physical and mental perfection. Especially Guru Angad Dev encouraged his followers to train the body physically and mentally by practising martial arts. Generally, one believes that the Gurus asked their disciples to follow spiritual speeches. Even though in those days there was a need to protect the Sikh community from the attacks of Mughal rulers.

Contribution of Guru Hargobind Sahib

Later Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji turned as a warrior saint to become a shield to his community. He was the first Guru who completely encouraged the disciples to fight for self-defence. After the martyrdom of Guru Arjun dev Ji, Guru Hargobind Sahib called Sikh community took up the arms to protect the future generations and fight against the tyrant Aurangzeb. Once Mughal generals captured 52 princes, then Guru Hargobind Dev Ji assembled a group of warriors who were efficient in Martial arts and send them to free the prices and succeeded. This led to exchange the techniques among the Martial arts of Rajasthan and Punjab.

How the Khalsa Ritual helped Gatka evolution

At first, Guru Nanak founded the Sikh religion on the concept of peace and brotherhood. However, the Sikhs fought continuously against the Mughal rulers to protect their religion. In the year 1699, Guru Gobind Singh the master of Gatka martial arts founded Khalsa brotherhood. This was a ritual of baptising his disciples by dipping a sword in the Khalsa which filled with Nectar of immortality. At first, five of his disciples baptised and later all the community baptised and add ‘Sikh’ word at the end of their names. In the later years, the Sikhs formed as an army named Khalsa army and formed Sikh Empire. The main concept of Khalsa army was worshipping one God, fight against the evil and help the poor. This army practised the martial art of Gatka for hundreds of years and easily defy the conquerors of the enemies.

Techniques of Gatka

Gatka is based upon Single movements of body parts. Which is called ‘Panthra’ These movements are practised for long hours to develop the accuracy of foot work. This footwork balances the entire body while using the weapons. This Panthra can be practised in different directions. One who learned these different movements of footwork, they can easily perform using 18 different weapons. Now Gatka Martial art is very popular in the world.