ShastarVidiya - Indian Swordsmanship

MahaKaal

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Hi All


I would like to share a video of my martial arts school demonstrating at the Martial Arts Festival in Leicester UK in April 2009. ShastarVidiya is the traditional battlefield art of Northern India and is currently being taught by Nihang Niddar Singh in the UK.

Enjoy


Comments are welcomed.​
 
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MahaKaal

MahaKaal

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Thanks all for the replies, the style itself predates Sikhism and has its roots within Hindu Kshatriya (warrior clan) history, who can predate their skills to ascetic orders, sadhus and yogis, going back further the Kapilkas and Pasupatis, who ultimately got their influence from the god of destruction Shiva. The art has been passed down to various orders over centuries, and currently the Nihang Singhs (Sikh warrior clans) are the custodians of this art.

The more ancient influence of this art is kept, with forms and techniques deriving from various Hindu Gods and Goddesses, to Varha, the first form of Vishnu who manifests as a wild boar, Sheshnaag the thousand headed cobra of Vishnu, Grur the chariot mythical bird of Vishnu, Narsingha, the lion incarnation of Vishnu, Nandi the bull of Shiva, Hanumaan langur monkey general of King Rama. These 6 form the basic levels of the art, which incorporate various fighting styles and ranges, from close combat strikers, to long distance strikers, others are grappling styles which prevent takedowns, and others which aim to take the opponent to the ground and stay up. Higher levels of the art are seen in the forms which take feminin inspiration from the Goddess Durga and Kalika, and the masculine inspiration is taken from Shiva and Mahakaal. All the above will be blended into an amalgamation of strategies, techniques, and styles which make up the purest of forms, Adhnarishwar or Sarbkaal, which blend the feminin and masculine together.

So even though the art is with the Sikhs, we acknowledge and accept its ancient roots, with the various forms taking seat alongside the Gurdevs (Masters) of the art.
 
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MahaKaal

MahaKaal

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If by "Sikh Style" you mean its only open to sikhs to learn, that is incorrect. The trainnig school is open to anyone who wishes to learn, we have been having people of all backgrounds and cultures attend to learn for a number of years. Classes are free, and there is no signing up, direct debits or contracts to sign. :p
 

lklawson

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If by "Sikh Style" you mean its only open to sikhs to learn, that is incorrect. The trainnig school is open to anyone who wishes to learn, we have been having people of all backgrounds and cultures attend to learn for a number of years. Classes are free, and there is no signing up, direct debits or contracts to sign. :p
I commend your charity, openness, and willingness to share this art. Thank you.

Just out of curiosity, was the decision to teach at no cost prompted by the desire to promote the art, as an expression of pious charity according to the tenets of Sikhism, or for some other consideration?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Ken Morgan

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Interesting.
How is it taught? Coming from iaido and kenjitsu myself, Im assuming for safety purposes there are sets of kata taught?
 
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MahaKaal

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Traditionally, a Gurdev (Master) will take 5 students to who he will teach the art to, who in turn when they become capable of teaching will also take on 5 students and so on. In return for this teachings, the students will do tasks for the teacher, ie cleaning, chores etc, if the students can afford to they may offer money towards the Gurdev to cover certain costs, traditionally food or the horses if the teacher travels away from home, food for the teacher, clothes/uniform, general running of the house, however there is no obligation to offer anything.

For this reason, the main Akhara (Training School) has a strict policy of not taking any money as it is more or less on the teachers doorstep, but where the teacher travels up and down the country, the students may give money if they wish. This money is then collected by a nominated student, who may keep the money aside to buy weapons for the training school, towards a charitable cause, or put towards other projects which are in the interests of universal dharam (law of righteousness).

This does come from a relgious perspective, because as money is key neccessity in todays world, it is also the biggest corrupter. So when a student steps onto the path of learning he must pledge 3 things, not to sell the art, not to abuse the art, and not to teach it to anyone who doesnt agree to the previous two pledges. This keeps the art strong and only those who practise it for the love of swordsmanship will do it, and never in the business form.

There are no set katas, only principles, strategies and forms, as the student develops his skill and knowledge, he is encouraged to meditate on the science of warfare and express his skill through his bhavna (emotion), a free form of kata you could say, honing his mind to the thousands of variables that can happen during a fight and developing a state of Sutheya Sidh, where you can "do it in your sleep".

Feel free to ask anything else, or pop along to the classes if your nearby.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Great stuff and thank you for sharing!
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rocksham

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Thanks all for the replies, the style itself predates Sikhism and has its roots within Hindu Kshatriya (warrior clan) history, who can predate their skills to ascetic orders, sadhus and yogis, going back further the Kapilkas and Pasupatis, who ultimately got their influence from the god of destruction Shiva. The art has been passed down to various orders over centuries, and currently the Nihang Singhs (Sikh warrior clans) are the custodians of this art.

The more ancient influence of this art is kept, with forms and techniques deriving from various Hindu Gods and Goddesses, to Varha, the first form of Vishnu who manifests as a wild boar, Sheshnaag the thousand headed cobra of Vishnu, Grur the chariot mythical bird of Vishnu, Narsingha, the lion incarnation of Vishnu, Nandi the bull of Shiva, Hanumaan langur monkey general of King Rama. These 6 form the basic levels of the art, which incorporate various fighting styles and ranges, from close combat strikers, to long distance strikers, others are grappling styles which prevent takedowns, and others which aim to take the opponent to the ground and stay up. Higher levels of the art are seen in the forms which take feminin inspiration from the Goddess Durga and Kalika, and the masculine inspiration is taken from Shiva and Mahakaal. All the above will be blended into an amalgamation of strategies, techniques, and styles which make up the purest of forms, Adhnarishwar or Sarbkaal, which blend the feminin and masculine together.

So even though the art is with the Sikhs, we acknowledge and accept its ancient roots, with the various forms taking seat alongside the Gurdevs (Masters) of the art.

They did an episode of Fight Quest on cable on this style, and it is coolness, definately something to check if there's ever a demo or something in your neighborhood.
 

Jimi

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Very cool. The Instructor seems very well rounded, weapons, empty hand and ground fighting/grappling and it all can be inter-twined. I saw some movements that were cousin to some Filipino stick work (Not saying this man borrowed it, just movements were similar) I like how when he was in the cicrle (Circle of death as we used to call it) he engaged the nearest opponent and angled/circled out behind him to use him as a shield then engage the others from a better position than being surounded.

I even saw what looked like a Silat Puter Kepala twisting head takedown. I believe near the end I saw some Khukri work. It did not look anything like the ABA (American Bando Association) Khukri work, it looked more flowing like Filipino blade work with Khukris. I am sure there are a lot of systems that have principle and technique crossover that explains why some things look similar to others.

Again, VERY COOL to see. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed watching that very much. PEACE
 
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