Martial Arts in India: Indian Art and Culture for Competitive Exams 2022

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Martial Arts in India : Indian Art and Culture
  • Martial arts is a part of India՚s ancient culture and a traditional games. Originally a traditional form of martial art that started in South India, and now it has different names and different forms in the culture of the regions in India
  • Translations of Indian martial arts
  • Term (in Sanskrit) Translation
  • Yuddha Kāla -warfare art
  • Āyudhavidyā- knowledge of arms
  • vīravidyā -science of being a warrior
  • Śastravidyā- science of weaponry
  • Dhanurveda- science of archery
  • svarakshākalā (in Sanskrit) - art of self-defense


  • Kerala
  • Specific type of school/gymnasium/training hall where martial arts are practiced and taught.
  • A kalari is the school or training hall where martial arts are taught
  • UPSC -2014


  • A kind of staff fencing
  • Modern and scientific martial arts of Tamil Nadu.

Thang-Ta-And Sarit Sarak

  • Created by Meitei people of Manipur.
  • Thang-ta: Armed martial art
  • Sarit Sarak: Unarmed arts

Kick Fighting – (Aki Kiti)

  • Preserve of tribes from Nagaland
  • Disputes among tribesmen and between tribes were settled with a solely kick-based form of unarmed fighting. The goal is to either drive the opponent to their knees or outside of the ring.

Cheibi Gad-Ga

  • Manipur
  • Fighting using sword and shield.
  • Contest takes place in a circle of 7 meter diameter, on flat surface.
  • ‘Cheibi’ stick is between 2 to 2.5 feet in length.
  • Victory achieved according to points earned during a duel.
  • Points are given based on skills and brute force.


  • Created by Rajputs from Bihar.
  • Involves fighting using sword and shield.


  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Mixture of martial arts, sports and culture
  • Take place during Baisakhi every year


  • Weapon based martial art form.
  • Performed by Sikhs of Punjab.
  • Gatka: Means the one whose freedom belongs to grace.
  • Skillful use of weapons, including stick, Kirpan, Talwar and Kataar.

Mardani Khel

  • Traditional Maharashtrian armed martial arts.
  • Practiced widely in district of Kolhapur.


  • Armed Martial arts of India.
  • World՚s oldest weapons
  • Refers to Stick – generally 6 to 8 feet in length

Inbuan Wrestling

  • Mizoram
  • Believed to have its genesis in 1750 A. D. in Dungtland village.

Kuttu Varisai

  • First mentioned in Sangam literature, Kuttu Varisai translates to ‘empty hand combat’ .
  • Popular in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

Musti Yuddha

  • Varanasi
  • Unarmed martial art form

Kushti Malla Yuddha

  • Kushti developed during the Mughal Empire by combining the native sport of Malla Yuddha (combat wrestling) with influences from Persian varzesh-e bastani (warrior athletics)
  • The Malla Yuddha (wrestling match) between Bhima and Jarasandha lasts 27 days. Similarly, the dwandwayudda between Parasurama and Bhishma lasts for 30 days, while that between Krishna and Jambavan lasts for 28 days. Likewise, the dwandwayudda between Bali and Dundubhi, a demon in the form of a water buffalo, lasts for 45 days.
  • Thoda martial art also known as the dance of archery from Himachal Pradesh. Varma Kalai is another popular Martial Arts of Tamil Nadu. Garadi mane is the fighting arts of Karnataka, taught exclusively for demonstrations at festivals. Pehlwani is the most popular form of wrestling from the Indian subcontinent. Kick-fighting (aki kiti) is the traditional art from of tribes from Nagaland.