Gatka – India: meaning: “a three-hand span stick, a club, an Indian club or a mace” Gatka is the martial art of the Sikhs, and is tied in with the religion Sikhism. It's a weapons-based martial art, which was imparted to the Sikhs in the time of Guru Hargobind Ji (the sixth Guru of the Sikhs) by the Rajputs (Hindu warriors of northern India) in the 16th century, in gratitude for their release from imprisonment by the fledgling Sikh army of that time. The Sikhs at that time opposed the Mughal Empire, which violently oppressed both Sikhs and Hindus in the name of Islam.
With its strong link to the Sikh faith, gatka groups may train in a religious or semi-religious situation, such as in a gurdwara (Sikh temple). Akharas, usually associated with pehlwani, have also been founded with the exclusive purpose of teaching gatka. Gatka emphasizes having something in both hands, e.g. two sticks, a stick and a sword, a sword and a shield or any other combination. Training with "both hands full" is believed to be an excellent exercise for coordinating the two halves of the body, a concept also found in Filipino kali. The individual's preference for weapons, combination of weapons, and movement patterns leads to the development of individual fighting methods.
The foundation of the art is a movement methodology for the use of the feet, body, arms and weapons in unison. Gatka favors rhythmic movement, without hesitation, doubt or anxiety. The attacking and defense methods are based upon the positions of the hands, feet and weapon(s) during the dexterity regimen. Chanting holy verses may accompany these exercises. The three-beat-per-cycle played by a drummer adds to the coordination during practice.
Please refer to our references as we have used a few different sources for the basic explanation of each martial art discipline. Many of our direct links, images and text will be from the site Wikipedia which is not known for the most accurate information when it comes to doing a thesis or studying for ones P.H.D. but does have a large collection of data that is well organized. Much of the text regarding martial arts styles on Wikipedia seems to generally sum up each discipline as good as many other sources. We do not intend to re-invent the wheel, but we do want to roll you in a good direction in order to get a glimps of each style.