Top 5 most famous martial arts in India

Indian martial arts

India has a long history of martial arts. Shaolin kung fu, a term which includes a huge variety of Chinese
martial arts, follows its lineage to Bodhidharma, the Indian monk who, according to a well-known legend,
presented Buddhism to China during the 6th century AD. Monks at the Shaolin Temple (located in
Henan area), still study a mixture of martial arts and Buddhist teaching today. Sadly, while Chinese and
Japanese fighting forms such as kung fu and ju-jitsu have become national institutions, many of India’s
ancient fighting techniques languish as forgotten art forms.

1. Kalaripayattu

Originated: In the state of Kerala in 4th century A.D.
About it:- Kalari is a Malayalam word which means training hall/school/gymnasium where Martial arts are educated and practised. Kalaripayattu was presented as a martial art by a legend, sage Parasurama. This art is used as a method of unarmed self-defence and a way to achieve physical wellness today. Also used in traditional rituals and functions.

2. Thang-ta and Sarit Sarak

Originated: This art was made by the Meitei people of Manipur.
About it: Thang refers to a ‘sword’ while Ta refers to a ‘skewer’ and is an armed martial art whereas Sarit Sarak is an unarmed art form that uses hand to hand battle. In the 17th century, this art was used by Manipuri kings against Britishers later on when Britishers captured the area this technique was banned. Thang-Ta is also known as HuyenLallong, which is a famous ancient martial art which uses different weapons including an axe and a shield.

3. Gatka

Originated: Punjab
About it: Gatka is a weapon-based martial art expression performed by Sikhs of Punjab. Gatka means whose
freedom belongs to grace. Others say that ‘Gatka’ comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Gadha’ means mace. This art utilizes weapons like Kirpan, Talwar and Katara. It is displayed on various occasions, celebrations in the state including fairs.

4. Lathi

Originated: Majorly practised in Punjab and Bengal.
About it: Lathi is one of the oldest weapon utilized in martial arts. Lathi refers to a ‘stick’ mainly cane sticks which is commonly 6 to 8 feet long and sometimes metal-tipped. It is also a common sport in various towns of
the country.

5. Inbuan Wrestling

Originated: Mizoram, believed to have its beginning in 1750 A.D. in Duntland town.
About it: This art consists of extremely strict principles that prohibit stepping out the circle, kicking and knee bending. It also includes catching of the belt worn around their waist by the wrestlers. When people relocated from Burma to Lushai hills then this art form was regarded as a sport.

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