martial art styles in India
Gatka (Punjabi: ਗਤਕਾ gatkā) is a traditional South Asian form of combat training in which wooden sticks are used to simulate swords in sparring matches. In modern usage, it commonly refers to the weapon-based northern Indian martial arts, which should more properly be called shastar vidiyā (ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਵਿਦਿਆ, from Sanskrit sastravidya or "knowledge of the sword"). In English, the terms gatka and shastar vidya are very often used specifically in relation to the Panjabi-Sikh method of fighting. A traditional form of combat throughout north India and Pakistan since as far back as the Mughal era, it has evolved through various ethno-cultural generations. Attacks and counterattacks vary from one community to another but the basic techniques are the same.
Sikh gatka can be practiced either as a sport (khela) or ritual (rasmi). It is practiced by both men and women. The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka. These sticks may be paired with a shield. Points are scored for touches on vital spots. The other weapons are not used for sparring, but their techniques are taught through preset routines. Although primarily weapon-based, gatka usually incorporates kushti as its unarmed component. The Mughal style called fari gatka uses a sword and shield. The Manipuri style, known as cheibi gatka, is usually practiced with a 2-foot leather-encased cudgel which may be paired with a leather shield measuring one metre in diameter. The ritual form is purely for demonstration and is performed to music during occasions such as weddings.
Kalarippayat literally means 'acquired skill' of art. "Kalari" means school or arena, and "payat" is skill training, exercise or practice. It is the most comprehensive personal combat training shceme anywhere in the world.
(Nerve Center Strikes)