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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
 
Why is literature on Indian martial arts so rare?
 
There are countless books on Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts, but probably only about 5 Kalaripayattu books, and only 4 Gatka books (two in English and two in Punjabi). The first Gatka book was published in 1936 by K. S. Akali. He refers to Gatka as a ‘sport’ and exponents as ‘players’. No association to Sikh warriorhood, etc. And the pentra doesn’t seem correct. Also, it only covers the soti; no dhal talvar, barcha, etc.
 
Then there is Nanak Dev Singh Khalsa’s Gatka book written in the 1980s. It’s mixed with H3O-style yoga. I remember emailing the author directly back in 2000 to obtain his book, which I had read about in an old online Gatka article. He told me to forget about the book and gave me the mobile number of his new Ustad, named… Nidar Singh!
 
In 2000, I travelled to India specifically to obtain books on Indian martial arts (previously could only find brief mentions of IMA in desi magazines and newspapers). In India, I came across large book markets. They had tons of books on school education, poetry, religion, but no Gatka books. Fortunately, though, as I was about to leave from a small store, the shopkeeper pointed to a dusty old book. He said it was titled “Lathi Shiksha”. It was an illustrated manual on quarterstaff fighting written in deep Hindi. Includes some mystical-seeming geometrical patterns. I assume they are the directions of stick-fighting forms. It was so fragile that the pages would break off if bended. No date on it, but could be from the 1940s or 50s.
 
There is a short booklet called Shastar vidya, by Baba Gian Singh (published by Budha Dal). I believe it was first published decades ago. Most of it is full of warrior philosophy and martial verses from the Dasam Granth. There are some dagger-fighting descriptions towards the end.
 
Then there is a 2017 book called “Shastra vidya: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas”. It’s got textual evidence (from Hindu scriptures, epics and treatises) and includes illustrations to go with the descriptions. It covers weapons like bhindipal, vajr, trishul, gada, mayukhi, dhanush, etc. But it’s not by Nidar Singh! I’m surprised Nidar Singh hasn’t brought out a book yet on Shastar vidya.
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probably because like most arts in the east there was a master disciple relationship between the two before transmission of the arts this also included martial arts. The treatise that were written were done by vele monks or masters in noblemen's households who could afford the luxuryof  time not people out fighting fullscale battles for existence like us.

There is also the question of secrecy to maintain the edge of your particular style so important documents were kept under lock and key if ever made and only revealed to the deserving. Remember the furore when Bruce Lee wrote his treatise on Jeet Kun-do

Nidar is not a researcher really that's why he had to partner up with Madra

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Waheguru ji ka khalsa

waheguru ji ki fateh

 

Nidar Singh Nihang wrote a book on shastarvidiya in the 90s which is very interesting. Please see this link. http://www.sikhawareness.com/topic/18314-the-fighting-traditions-and-fighting-arts-of-the-traditional-sikh-warriors-the-beloved-of-guru-gobind-singh-ji-the-akali-nihangs-edition-2-1998/

Chatka Vidiya is composed of the following three ele-ments

(shown in order of importance and priority):

1. Bbeck-abbeck dee katha - The paradoxical philosophy

which grants mokhsh (salvation).

2. Ithaasak shatria maryada - Historical martial traditions

which harness martial spirit and give the context to battle

(before fighting it is important to know what to fight for).

3. Dao pech - Traditional Sikh martial techniques com-prising

both platha-baji (unarmed combat) and ayudh

vidiya (hand-to-hand weapon combat)

The hallmark of a true warrior is he who recognises Katcha and Paka (Chatka) Hath . Meaning the Katcheh Gatkabaj by not appreciating Katch Paka . Go for strikes which are Katcheh and thus stand a good chance getting themselves killed . By not appreciating Katch and Paka they can not properly anticipate (Tar) correctly an opponents intentions . Thus they become defensively weak . Both the warriors know the duel can only end in one of their deaths . Chatka Gatka can only be done with the mind fully focused on Kal meaning death meaning Chatka meaning Nishchet Jeet meaning a complete victory . Thus unlike in Jahir Kach Gatka in Chatkabaji when indulging in challenges (Mukablas ) , Chatka Gatka can not be play fully shown . It can only be done.

 

The reason why I am saturating this chapter in traditional Chatka Gatka terminology is to show Jahir Gatkabaj how rich is their traditional true fighting system . Jahir Gatkabaj being a impostor Sikh fighting art has no such richness of martial terminology , technique , traditions or Pentra .

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

probably because like most arts in the east there was a master disciple relationship between the two before transmission of the arts this also included martial arts. The treatise that were written were done by vele monks or masters in noblemen's households who could afford the luxuryof  time not people out fighting fullscale battles for existence like us.

There is also the question of secrecy to maintain the edge of your particular style so important documents were kept under lock and key if ever made and only revealed to the deserving. Remember the furore when Bruce Lee wrote his treatise on Jeet Kun-do

Nidar is not a researcher really that's why he had to partner up with Madra

Thanks for your response, lkvlondon.

I'm sure Nidar Singh has the backing of loads of people, like weapons collectors and historian Davinder Singh Toor as well as Paramjeet Singh.

Also, I wonder if Ravi Singh (of Khalsa Aid) is Nidar Singh's brother. If you Google their pics, you'll see they look so alike.

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2 minutes ago, Ashtabhuja said:

Thanks for your response, lkvlondon.

I'm sure Nidar Singh has the backing of loads of people, like weapons collectors and historian Davinder Singh Toor as well as Paramjeet Singh.

Also, I wonder if Ravi Singh (of Khalsa Aid) is Nidar Singh's brother. If you Google their pics, you'll see they look so alike.

why so salty ? I meant his skillset is not for sitting trawling through old tomes, doing paper searches and meticulously cataloguing  sources. Each to their own strengths

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19 hours ago, Destruction said:

 

Waheguru ji ka khalsa

waheguru ji ki fateh

 

Nidar Singh Nihang wrote a book on shastarvidiya in the 90s which is very interesting. Please see this link. http://www.sikhawareness.com/topic/18314-the-fighting-traditions-and-fighting-arts-of-the-traditional-sikh-warriors-the-beloved-of-guru-gobind-singh-ji-the-akali-nihangs-edition-2-1998/

Chatka Vidiya is composed of the following three ele-ments

(shown in order of importance and priority):

1. Bbeck-abbeck dee katha - The paradoxical philosophy

which grants mokhsh (salvation).

2. Ithaasak shatria maryada - Historical martial traditions

which harness martial spirit and give the context to battle

(before fighting it is important to know what to fight for).

3. Dao pech - Traditional Sikh martial techniques com-prising

both platha-baji (unarmed combat) and ayudh

vidiya (hand-to-hand weapon combat)

The hallmark of a true warrior is he who recognises Katcha and Paka (Chatka) Hath . Meaning the Katcheh Gatkabaj by not appreciating Katch Paka . Go for strikes which are Katcheh and thus stand a good chance getting themselves killed . By not appreciating Katch and Paka they can not properly anticipate (Tar) correctly an opponents intentions . Thus they become defensively weak . Both the warriors know the duel can only end in one of their deaths . Chatka Gatka can only be done with the mind fully focused on Kal meaning death meaning Chatka meaning Nishchet Jeet meaning a complete victory . Thus unlike in Jahir Kach Gatka in Chatkabaji when indulging in challenges (Mukablas ) , Chatka Gatka can not be play fully shown . It can only be done.

 

The reason why I am saturating this chapter in traditional Chatka Gatka terminology is to show Jahir Gatkabaj how rich is their traditional true fighting system . Jahir Gatkabaj being a impostor Sikh fighting art has no such richness of martial terminology , technique , traditions or Pentra .

 

 

 

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Thanks for your response, Destruction.

I've actually read that book. Printed it out and keep it in my cupboard. It is indeed interesting. But it contains more info on history and philosophy than technique. Wish it was the other way around (though it gives a valuable insight into old school Nihang culture, which you don't find in other books). 

Nidar's book mentions the animal- and deity-based styles which he teaches today. However, in the new book, "Shastra vidya: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas”, there's boxing, grappling, and weapon techniques backed by textual sources, but no mention of the animal and god/goddess styles.

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21 minutes ago, Ashtabhuja said:

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Thanks for your response, Destruction.

I've actually read that book. Printed it out and keep it in my cupboard. It is indeed interesting. But it contains more info on history and philosophy than technique. Wish it was the other way around (though it gives a valuable insight into old school Nihang culture, which you don't find in other books). 

Nidar's book mentions the animal- and deity-based styles which he teaches today. However, in the new book, "Shastra vidya: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas”, there's boxing, grappling, and weapon techniques backed by textual sources, but no mention of the animal and god/goddess styles.

the SV book mentioned is the one by Harjit Singh Sagoo?

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2 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

have you read the  other one on ancient Indian warfare? I think includes section on chankaya in practical use , strategy etc . He wrote it with a gora called Cummings I think

You mean The Lost Warfare of India. I've got that and the SV book. The warfare book is actually largely based on Chanakya's treatise, Arthashastra (all the sections on warfare, spying and assassination). It's like Ninja stuff, except ancient Indians were doing this sort of thing long before the Ninjas. Have you read it? I wish people (Indian and non-Indian) would write more books like this on ancient Indian martial culture and arts. It helps to have those silhouette images. Not really a fan of text-only books.

Yeah, he wrote it with Cummins. He's a Youtuber and author famous for separating fact from fiction when it comes to the Ninja and Samurai. A lot of what we know about Ninjas comes from Masaaki Hatsumi, but not everything Hatsumi says is true. But Cummins uses textual evidence (when you have that, you cant make anything up).

Also, Sagoo was actually the second person to interview Nidar Singh years ago for MAI (Krishna Godhania was the first) but his SV book doesn't seem to be linked with Nidar's SV (like no mention of Chandi Yudhan, etc.). There's a YouTube trailer of it. Again, the illustrations of Kshatriyas that accompany the text helps.

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