Recently, I had the privilege to witness State Gatka Championship held at Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib. Their fluency, skill and alertness was a treat for the eyes. This made me write the blog enlightening people all across the world about Gatka.
I wish to share some significant aspects of Gatka which make it more than just a martial arts.
Take a look –
Gatka originated from the times of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib who kept two swords – Miri and Piri. But it was our Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who emphasized on the use of weapons for self defense.
Gatka is a a spiritual as well as a physical exercise. Gatka requires spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal proportions and enables a person to defend himself as well as others.
Gatka is a battle-tested technique and Sikh warriors used it extensively during any battles against Mughals and other invaders of north India.
One can notice a variety of weapons used during Gatka play ranging from swords to bamboo rods called lathi, whips, chains, and throwing weapons called chakram.
Even though many people believe Gatka to be a martial art exclusive of Sikhs, yet, one can see Gatka transcending religious divides. Young boys and even girls of other religions, Hindus, Christians and Muslims are also learning Gatka.
Many significant festivals in Punjab like Hola Mohalla, Shaheedi Jod Mela and Baisakhi are considered incomplete without Gatka. Especially in Hola Mohalla, one can witness the awe-inspiring performances by Gatka players.
In 2016, Gatka was recognized as a sport nationwide, thanks to the efforts put in by Gatka Federation of India.