Sikh Martial Art Becoming Popular in the West

July 27, 2006

Source: Sikh Sangat

On July 27, 2006 Sikh Sangat reported, "The traditional Sikh martial art of `Gakta' is finding many takers in U.S.A., U.K., France and Germany where it is being taught as a science of combat for self-defence. So much is its popularity that last year, 60 Sikh men, women and children performed `Gatka' at the American Independence Day parade in Washington D.C. Teams from across Britain took part in this traditional Sikh martial art tournament in Oldbury in March this year. Gatka is an ancient martial art which has been thoroughly battle-tested and has existed in northern India for many thousands of years. Although it uses the sword as its primary weapon, many other weapons are available to the Gatka master. Today, this art exists exclusively amongst the Sikhs who have passed down the flamboyant techniques through generations, since their sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind wore the two swords of Miri (temporal, worldly) and Piri (spiritual, transcendental). The Sikhs have been responsible for the revival of this early art ensuring it's survival despite mass persecution of the native population in India by foreign invaders like the Mughals and others for many hundreds of years. Gatka is a complete martial system which uses spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal portions to help one fully competent in defending themselves and others. It is a system that can only be used in defence as per: 'When all other means have failed, it is proper to take the sword in one’s hand,' Guru Gobind Singh in Zafarnama In addition to giving the student defensive skills, it also helps the individual with other aspects of their life: makes the mind alert and responsive, maintains the body in a near perfect condition and makes soul fearless, compassionate and tranquil."