• It is a traditional martial art associated with Sikhism
  • The Punjabi name gatka properly refers to the wooden stick used.
  • It is a traditional South Asian form of combat-training in which wooden sticks are used to simulate swords
  • Gatka can be practiced either as a sport (khela) or ritual (rasmi). The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka. These sticks may be paired with a shield
  • It is believed to have originated when sixth Sikh guru Hargobind adopted ‘Kirpan’ for self defense during Mughal era and tenth Guru Gobind Singh made it compulsory for everyone to use the weapons for self defense


Students performing Gatka during the opening of 61st National School Games 2015 – 16 (Cricket under 19 girls) organised by the Department of Education UT at Government Model School in Sector 26 of Chandigarh on Thursday, October 08 2015. Express Photo by Sahil Walia

Traditional Combats in other states:

  • Huyen langlon – Manipur
  • Kalaripayatu – Kerala
  • Khomlainai (Bodo wrestling) – Assam
  • Mukna – Manipur
  • Silambam – Tamil Nadu

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