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INTRODUCTION

Gatka is the name of an Indian traditional Sikh martial art associated with the Sikhs history of India and an integral part of an array of Sikh Shastar Vidiya. The present form that further developed in later 19th century, out of sword practice, is divided in two sub-styles, called Rasmi (traditional) and Khel (sport) from the 1920s in the undivided Punjab.

It is generally at public display during religious processions but Punjab Gatka Association (PGA) and Gatka Federation of India (GFI), both registered bodies, have taken major initiatives to implement this martial art as a sport in the India and worldwide. It’s a humble effort to revive this forgotten and dying art having a historical significance. The Gatka Federation is managing, standardizing, promoting and reviving Gatka as a game in India that was in vogue for self-defence since times immemorial. In order to preserve, promote and showcase the rare Sikh martial art at national & international level, the GFI & PGA is producing a documentary film on Gatka.

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The GFI, under the aegis of World Gatka Federation has, for the first time, formulated and standardized the in-depth Gatka rules and regulations for playing of Gatka game and providing training to the budding Gatkebaaz through workshops, seminars and camps under the new Gatka rules. The Department of Education, Govt. of Punjab has also incorporated the Gatka game into the Punjab schools, colleges and universities sports calendars on the persistent appeals of GFI & PGA. We are passionately longing from all the States as well as Central Government to award due gradations of Gatka game certificates at par with the certificates of other games.

It is a style of stick fighting between two or more practitioners, with wooden sticks (called soti) intended to simulate swords. In Gatka, the “Stick” and “Farri” are also used to substitute the sword and shield respectively for practice and safety purposes. When one exponent attacks, the opponent blocks it and then counter-attacks the player. It is a unique art to defend, display fighting skills and exercise self-control which is the best part of the martial art Gatka. It is also meant to enable youth to stay healthy and agile by keeping them away from the menace of drug abuse and other intoxicants to lead a disciplined and pious life.