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.
I hope he at least writes a book.
“Im actually searching for a serious cane-centered martial arts discipline.”
You should start with fencing as practiced at every modern Olympics.
The only change reguired for transition from saber to cane would be a little more strength in the hand and wrist.
Fencing, of course, is superior not only to all other martial arts, but to all other sports and games. If you can fence, you can use a cane.
Fencing has several characteristics that prevent it from gaining popularity in the states. One is that it takes a lot of time and work before results are seen. More importantly, it will never be a spectator sport because (a) if a person is significantly better than you are, you can’t see what he’s doing; and (b) watching people who aren’t better than you are isn’t very interesting.
The fastest object in sport is the bullet coming from a marksman’s barrel; the second fastest is the tip of a fencing sword. Most people have a reaction time of around a tenth of a second. Fencers tend to have a reaction time of around one thirty-second of a second. The principles of timing and distance are about the same as boxing or karate. A 90-mph fastball doesn’t look very fast to a fencer.
Ennyhoo, if you want to learn to use a cane as a weapon, that’s a good place to start.
He has a website: http://www.shastarvidiya.org/index2.jsp
Check out Filipino 'stick fighting' (don't know it's correct name). MY SIL and his two brothers are taking it up. It's not as uncommon as it may seem. There's Clubs all over I'm told.
btw I use a Cane at times too, depending on my arthritis pain factor. I pity the fool who comes after me thinking I'm easy prey. (Everything is a weapon)
Adaptable to the longer, single cane that most folks (myself included, depending on the day) use for walking?
It would seem the Brits love disarming people so they can beat them up.
We were lucky to have gotten our freedom before they perfected their skill in that direction, and to have a sizable cache of our own arms and the ability to use them.
Welsh, Scots, Irish, American colonists, Sikhs, Zulus, and Boers have had to battle these imperialists for too long.
I guess we succeeded in part because WE were THEM!!