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Indar
5th May 2009, 05:57
Banned by the Raj, the world's original martial art is being revived by British Asians. Jerome Taylor reports

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ancient-but-deadly-the-return-of-shastar-vidiya-1679002.html

niten ninja
5th May 2009, 13:46
It's really suprising how many versions of "The original martial art" there are...

Freedom
5th May 2009, 19:05
there were a lot of kingdoms in what is now known as India and every kingdom had its own army/fighting systems. This is the style/art of the Sikh kingdom based in Punjab. Shastar or Shastra = weapons and vidya = knowledge.

DDATFUS
5th May 2009, 19:15
This seems very interesting, but I'm a bit skeptical. I've seen people who claimed to be teaching the ancient martial art of the x-region but who were actually just re-creating something based on their own fantasies. Anyone know if this guy is the real deal?

Freedom
5th May 2009, 19:30
FWIW I am Indian (raised in India) and growing up we never heard of anyone teaching an Indian martial art. India had a long history of warring kingdoms so we knew there had to be martial arts but I guess they didn't survive. Hand to hand combat (kushti/pehelwani) is alive, however kids nowadays are not interested in it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pehlwani

Joseph Svinth
6th May 2009, 02:43
Gatka (the Sikh art) definitely survived. Kushti (wrestling) was always more popular with Muslims and Sikhs than with Hindus. There are some Tamil arts such as kalaripayyatu that are probably pre-Mughul.

As for the early modern period (that is, Mughul and pre-Mutiny days), there were lots of armed ascetics (naja). After 1857, the British (the Raj) decided to put an end to that. After Partition in 1947, Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangledeshi were in no hurry to restart that; the Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi governments sponsor Olympic boxing, wrestling, and fencing, but I don't see them really encouraging religious zealots to run around with bombs -- the zealots already do that just fine on their own.

As for ancient systems, same as everywhere else? What are the source documents? I'm pretty sure they exist, but they'd be written in dozens of languages and stored in archives all over India, and there aren't many people with that kind of linguistic and research ability whose singleminded passion is researching ancient martial art systems. Most of the texts I've seen (in translation) are sixteenth century or later, or really old texts that archaeologists found and published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Chuck.Gordon
6th May 2009, 03:54
I have nothing to comment on the OP topic, but just gotta say that Joe Svinth freaking ROCKS. Seriously. I am always amazed at the massive encyclopedia that is your mind ...

paul browne
6th May 2009, 12:56
Hi,

I can't vouch for whether or not the art is genuine, but the gentleman in question appeared on a History Channel program (I think it's called Weaponmaster) about the Chakram, a Sikh throwing ring and certainly seemed a very competent martial artist. He demonstrated group manouvers (ie: a group of warriors approaching an enemy in formation and unleashing the chakram) the use of the heavy sabre and some close quarter combat that involved using the sikh bangle to apply pressure to an opponents joints when he grabbed you, and strike with it both whilst on the wrist or slipped off to form a 'knuckleduster'. All in all it was a good demo.
Regards
Paul

Freedom
6th May 2009, 22:48
Gatka (the Sikh art) definitely survived. Kushti (wrestling) was always more popular with Muslims and Sikhs than with Hindus. There are some Tamil arts such as kalaripayyatu that are probably pre-Mughul.

As for the early modern period (that is, Mughul and pre-Mutiny days), there were lots of armed ascetics (naja). After 1857, the British (the Raj) decided to put an end to that. After Partition in 1947, Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangledeshi were in no hurry to restart that; the Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi governments sponsor Olympic boxing, wrestling, and fencing, but I don't see them really encouraging religious zealots to run around with bombs -- the zealots already do that just fine on their own.

As for ancient systems, same as everywhere else? What are the source documents? I'm pretty sure they exist, but they'd be written in dozens of languages and stored in archives all over India, and there aren't many people with that kind of linguistic and research ability whose singleminded passion is researching ancient martial art systems. Most of the texts I've seen (in translation) are sixteenth century or later, or really old texts that archaeologists found and published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Kalaripayattu is more associated with Kerala than Tamil Nadu.

Kushti is alive and well and dates back many centuries.

Indar
7th May 2009, 07:11
Hi,

I can't vouch for whether or not the art is genuine, but the gentleman in question appeared on a History Channel program (I think it's called Weaponmaster) about the Chakram, a Sikh throwing ring and certainly seemed a very competent martial artist.
Regards
Paul

In contrast to many other faiths, Sikhs believe that when all other means to achieve justice are exhausted, then it is just to wield the sword.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

niten ninja
7th May 2009, 18:08
Which faiths would these be?

Indar
7th May 2009, 18:18
Which faiths would these be?

a very good question. :)

maybe fundamental atheism.

JasonW
25th July 2011, 23:45
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but rather than post a new one on the same topic, I'll add it here.

More information on Nihang Nidar Singh's art is now available here

http://www.facebook.com/video/?oid=26608290120 Public page) There are some very cool videos.

Speaking with a Sikh friend who is familiar with the man and his art, it seems he is the real deal and is quite an anomaly.

cheers,