Gatka is a traditional martial art form associated with the Sikh gurus.
It imbibes sword and sticks fighting skills and self-control.
Gatka is believed to have originated when the 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind adopted ‘Kirpan’ for self-defence during the Mughal era.
A style of stick fighting between two or more practitioners, Gatka is a toned-down version of the deadlier Shastar Vidya. The sharp swords of Shastar Vidya have been replaced by wooden sticks (soti) and shields (farri) in Gatka.
It is considered as a battle technique.
10th Guru Gobind Singh made it compulsory for everyone to use the weapons for self-defence.
It was earlier confined to gurudwaras, nagar kirtans and akharas, but now it finds presence in the sports category after the formation of the Gatka Federation of India (GFI) in 2008.
Today, it is used to showcase self-defence and fighting skills and is open to people of all faiths and communities.