Skip to comments.The only living master of a dying martial art
Posted on 11/07/2011 6:03:09 AM PST by Renfield
A former factory worker from the British Midlands may be the last living master of the centuries-old Sikh battlefield art of shastar vidya. The father of four is now engaged in a full-time search for a successor.
The basis of shastar vidya, the "science of weapons" is a five-step movement: advance on the opponent, hit his flank, deflect incoming blows, take a commanding position and strike.
It was developed by Sikhs in the 17th Century as the young religion came under attack from hostile Muslim and Hindu neighbours, and has been known to a dwindling band since the British forced Sikhs to give up arms in the 19th Century.
Nidar Singh, a 44-year-old former food packer from Wolverhampton, is now thought to be the only remaining master. He has many students, but shastar vidya takes years to learn and a commitment in time and energy that doesn't suit modern lifestyles...
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
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Ooohhh... I love the war shoes with blades! Do they come in a size 8?!!!
He looks like a Scottish Highlander - so many weapons, its hard to know which one to use first!
Are matchlocks still legal in the U.K.? Can you do this with rubber swords?
Source article is well worth a read. Fascinating stuff!
Why would one need to fight full of peace and tolerance muslims?
Ceremonial gear will be mandatory for those taking the class.
I think the idea of “martial race” is plain nonsensical. The Sikhs empire was actually defeated by Caranatic Pandey soldiers serving in the British army who weren’t a martial race at all. Never had any martial tradition or history of warfare.
I’m actually searching for a serious cane-centered martial arts discipline. Have reviewed “Cane Fu” from Canemasters (for people more generally impaired than I am)and the British guy’s stuff from the turn of last century (still evaluating), but I think you’re right: any discipline of this sort must be practiced and honed on a daily basis, and “these kids today” don’t have the patience, discipline or farsightedness to become truly competent.
Hope I will.
An uneducated guess is that the ‘martial race’ concept was an H.R practise of the medieval era for the Brits to boost their colonial military. A community with a culture of sending men to combat had the military as a prime occupation and trained up its youth for the role.
Many of the ethnic groups which were thus designated-Gurkhas and other hill communities, Jats, Sikhs and Pathans still figure prominently as far as numbers go in their respective armed forces.
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It does! Thanks Renfield. Basically a modern history topic, but since it's about hand to hand combat (which is as old as, well, hands probably), it is pingworthy.
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