Weapons in Gatka
The Gatka | Introduction to Gatka | History of Gatka | Origins of Gatka | Gatka Techniques | Gatka Early Development | Meaning of Gatka | Gatka Requirements | Gatka Shastar Weapons | Weapons in Gatka | Gatka Vidyaa
There are many different weapons that a Gatka student can use. The primary weapon is the long sword, which is approximately 3 feet in length, sharp on the outer-curved edge with the mid-weight point centering just above the hilt. The sword is traditionally known as a Talvaar or Kirpaan.
A short sword is also a very common weapon. It is easy to carry around and is similarly shaped to the long sword although its use is obviously applied differently. Most Gatka students will begin learning Gatka with a wooden or bamboo stick (traditionally known as a Soti). Many of the set exercises are practiced with the stick before a sword is even picked up.
Most students will fight each other with sticks rather than swords. Hand-guards seem to be appearing more on sticks nowadays, although it is essential for students to learn how to fight without the hand-guards.
Shields are also used alongside both sticks and swords. The shield taht accompanies a stick is called a Farhi and is usually made from a soft padded material. The shield that accompanies the sword is larger in size and usually made from metal – its traditionally known as a Dhaal.
Long wooden staffs (known as Lathi) are also a common weapon. They are about 6 to 7 feet in length often used to fight large crowds of opponents as well as single opponents.
A relative of the Lathi is a Marathi, which can be described as a Lathi with two padded balls attached to both ends. The Marathi is not so much a weapon, but more of a practice aid. The Marathi is an ingenious device for any student who wishes to gain balance and coordination. The Marathi is often pre-requisite before the sword is picked up.
A Chakar is quoit which can be further described as thin length of metal which has been joined together at both ends to form a circular disc. The outer edge is the sharp one. The quoit was invented by the Sikhs and is used as a throwing weapon which is otherwise worn around the Dumalla (Turban).
A double-edged sword (Khanda) is also a weapon used within Gatka. Unlike the usual long sword, it is not curved but rather straight bladed. It is a difficult weapon to handle but the double-edge makes is a powerful and feared weapon on the battlefield.
There are numerous other weapons that are used by Gatka practioners such as bow and arrows (Teer), spears (Barsha), arrow catchers (Chakri) which all have their own styles and uses. Gatka can also be used without any weapons, although use of weapons in Gatka is more common.You might also like: