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The only living master of a dying martial art
BBC News ^ | 10-29-2011 | Stephanie Hegarty

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 ...


TOPICS: History; Society
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; india; sikhs; warfare

1 posted on 11/07/2011 6:03:10 AM PST by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

This may interest you...


2 posted on 11/07/2011 6:03:33 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

Ooh! Shiney!


3 posted on 11/07/2011 6:06:27 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Renfield

BTTT


4 posted on 11/07/2011 6:07:45 AM PST by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: Renfield

Ooohhh... I love the war shoes with blades! Do they come in a size 8?!!!


5 posted on 11/07/2011 6:08:12 AM PST by momtothree
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To: Renfield

He looks like a Scottish Highlander - so many weapons, its hard to know which one to use first!


6 posted on 11/07/2011 6:09:12 AM PST by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Renfield

Indiana Jones: Sword vs. Gun
7 posted on 11/07/2011 6:12:34 AM PST by preacher (Communism has only killed 100 million people: Let's give it another chance!)
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To: Renfield

Are matchlocks still legal in the U.K.? Can you do this with rubber swords?


8 posted on 11/07/2011 6:15:41 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Renfield
Most of those weaponry and martial art aren't unique to Sikhs but are borrowed from their Rajput predecessors and are also used by Marathas and Jats.
9 posted on 11/07/2011 6:20:09 AM PST by ravager
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To: All

Source article is well worth a read. Fascinating stuff!


10 posted on 11/07/2011 6:20:09 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Renfield

Why would one need to fight full of peace and tolerance muslims?


11 posted on 11/07/2011 6:30:40 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Renfield
You watch, Shastar vidya will be coming to a university near you. Some liberal will write a grant to 'preserve' the centuries-old Sikh battlefield art of shastar vidya.

Ceremonial gear will be mandatory for those taking the class.

12 posted on 11/07/2011 6:46:20 AM PST by stars & stripes forever ( Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: Renfield
VEry much a story of the march of civilization. There was a time when knowledge of and ability to use the English long bow meant victory in war. Bow men practiced everyday of their lives and were capable of accurately firing 12 "cloth yard" shafts per minute at a range of 200 yards using the typical 150 lb bow. They developed bone spurs on their shoulders to accommodate the increased muscle mass required for the discipline . . . then came the cross bow which required no particular skill to aim and fire. Knowledge of the making and use of the long bow all but disappeared . . . then came the gun and both disciplines disappeared from the battle field.

Same for knowledge of how to use a long sword, the rapier and "maine gauche" and pretty much all other martial disciplines requiring extensive daily practice.

Unless they make movies about a martial art today or it is translated into a sport and it becomes trendy, it will disappear. Tradition and culture have been replaced largely today by fad and ease.
13 posted on 11/07/2011 6:48:34 AM PST by Sudetenland (There can be no freedom without God--What man gives, man can take away.)
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To: Renfield

Awesome.


14 posted on 11/07/2011 6:50:30 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Renfield

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.


15 posted on 11/07/2011 6:53:39 AM PST by ravager
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To: Sudetenland

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.

Colonel, USAFR


16 posted on 11/07/2011 7:28:25 AM PST by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: archy

ping!


17 posted on 11/07/2011 8:24:27 AM PST by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: ravager

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.


18 posted on 11/07/2011 10:50:08 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: All

Interesting stuff.


19 posted on 11/07/2011 12:43:50 PM PST by Maverick68
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
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.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


20 posted on 11/07/2011 5:47:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield

I hope he at least writes a book.


21 posted on 11/07/2011 6:05:14 PM PST by El Sordo (The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.)
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To: jagusafr

“I’m 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.


22 posted on 11/07/2011 6:47:20 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Renfield; El Sordo; SunkenCiv

He has a website: http://www.shastarvidiya.org/index2.jsp


23 posted on 11/07/2011 6:55:16 PM PST by decimon
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To: momtothree

LOL!


24 posted on 11/07/2011 7:03:43 PM PST by rabidralph
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To: preacher; Renfield
Photobucket
25 posted on 11/07/2011 7:27:22 PM PST by IYellAtMyTV (Je t'aime, faire du bruit comme le cochon.)
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To: momtothree
Only available in ladies' size 8 at ghetto speciatly boutiques outlets.
26 posted on 11/07/2011 9:20:51 PM PST by ApplegateRanch ("Public service" does NOT mean servicing the people, like a bull among heifers.)
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To: jagusafr
(first, sorry for the day late comment)

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)

27 posted on 11/08/2011 4:22:20 AM PST by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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To: Condor51; jagusafr
Check out Filipino 'stick fighting' (don't know it's correct name).

its called Kali or Escrima and its a lot of fun
28 posted on 11/08/2011 7:29:15 AM PST by wafflehouse (RE-ELECT NO ONE !)
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To: wafflehouse

Adaptable to the longer, single cane that most folks (myself included, depending on the day) use for walking?

Colonel, USAFR


29 posted on 11/08/2011 8:31:27 AM PST by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: decimon

Thanks decimon.


30 posted on 11/08/2011 6:27:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield

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!!


31 posted on 11/09/2011 6:50:29 AM PST by ZULU (Anybody but Romney)
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To: jagusafr
there are several different weapons in the system and i would think it would work for you, but i would advise you to consult an expert. i found this on a yahoo search:

http://www.sakenpo.com/site/view/59664_FilipinoStickKnifeClasses.pml

you should get with the instructor and tell him what you are looking for, and he can tell you what Escrima can do for you.
32 posted on 11/09/2011 8:10:48 AM PST by wafflehouse (RE-ELECT NO ONE !)
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