Martial art Gatka is an integral part of 600 year old Sikh history, traditions and Indian culture. It is an important part of ‘Sikh Shahshtar Vidiya’ (skills to use various weapons) and a basic form of weapons training. Actually ‘Gatka’ is a small wooden stick used for self-defence, and is also called ‘stick fight’.
The history of different martial arts reveals that they developed independently from one another but their basic application was to defend oneself from the opponent. Though the origin of Gatka is not definitely known, yet some evidences show that stick-fighting existed in India in ancient times upon which Gatka is based.
This zealous, daring and unique indigenous martial art descended from Sikh Guru Sahibaan and had been tried and tested in battles and wars during ancient times. This self-defensive art was preserved for centuries by Nihang Singhs-often called ‘Guru Ki Laadli Fauj’ besides countless Gatka players which is precise reason that today’s generation can see its breath taking display.
Efforts for expansion
To preserve and promote this cultural as well as martial sport and also to expand its base to various countries, the National Gatka Association of India (NGAI), World Gatka Federation (WGF), Asian Gatka Federation (AGF) and International Sikh Martial Art Academy (ISMAA) besides Gatka Akharas along with admirers of this sport are making great efforts. To streamline its functioning and play this sport in line with some structural format, a set of rules have also framed and published by the NGAI.
All out and untiring efforts are being made by NGAI president Harjeet Singh Grewal and his team of dedicated comrades not only to get Gatka its due place amongst sports but also to make it acquire numero uno status.
NGAI and ISMAA had decided to setup a residential Gatka training and research academy in Punjab to make further advancements from scientific and technological point of view and to facilitate its study as a subject. It is a sincere endeavour of these Gatka organizations to make this sport acquire place of pride amongst world sport and also inspire people to take it up as self-defence.
Besides this, other top priority areas of academy are to produce top players and coaches of this novel sport, organize workshops, seminars and training camps sensitizing people about this sport, hold Gatka exhibitions and traditional tournaments. The NGAI and ISMAA also publishes annual calendar, pamphlets, brochure, literature and other publicity material free of cost in order to ensure awareness and popularization of this great sport.
All office bearers of NGAI and ISMAA have only one cause uppermost in their minds and that is to consistently make efforts to publicize and popularize this ancient sport, but for that to fructify wholehearted co-operation of general public is needed.
It seems a task of gigantic proportions at first to accomplish mission of taking Gatka to greater heights but with co-operation and wholehearted support of Gatka lovers, this holy task can surely be completed with resounding success.