Art & Culture


India is not only the land of seasons and flavours but also of fighting skills and techniques. Yes, India too has her indigenous fighting techniques which are classified as her martial arts. Martial arts of any nation are the indigenous art forms of that particular nation. Here is a list of few of the Indian martial arts:


krishna in a mall yuddh with kansa
Lord Krishna wrestling with Kans.

It is the traditional style wrestling mostly popular in northern India. Kushti and pehalwaani come under Mall Yuddh. This fighting technique includes two opponents at a time without any weapons with them. This, dates back to the Ramayan and Mahabharat era since Lord Hanuman is considered as the founder of Kushti. In every Akhara, (which are the groups where people learn various skills and techniques), before every match, Hanuman ji is worshipped.

According to the scriptures, Lord Krishna killed Kans in a Mall Yuddh with a blow of his fist. Due to its popularity, with some changed rules, it has been included into the Olympic games.


kalaripayattu- armed indian martial art
Two men performing kalari skills.

Kalaripayattu, also known as Kalari is a daunting Indian Martial Art which is totally opposite of Mall Yuddh. Unlike Mall Yuddh, the two persons included have to use either sticks, swords, spears, shield, bows and arrows or daggers to fight. Lord Parshuram is its founder.

Ancient and medieval Indian kings used this art to train their armies in Guerrilla warfare.



Quite weird to digest but yes, the modern Shaolin Kung Fu finds its roots in India. According to the Indian and Chinese traditions, Bodhidharma, a Southern prince turned monk once went to Shaolin and there, he taught his followers some regular exercises including some attacking and self-defensive techniques which laid the foundation of modern day Kung Fu !

monk from india,bodhidharma
Bodhidharma depicted in Japanese culture.

Some of the people also believe that Kalaripayattu inspired Shaolin Kung Fu. However there is no exact proof to support this claim. But since Bodhidharma was a Southern prince, so a link could be there between him and Kalaripayattu. Many people give this reason in their support.

Shashwat Malasi

2 thoughts on “INDIAN MARTIAL ARTS:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *