Strength and Discipline Philosophy in Traditional Indian wrestling. In India, wrestling is one of the most favorite sports. Although there are many new sports coming in and interested more by people, the Indian traditional wrestling is still in demand. Moreover, if you go to the sub-urban areas of New Delhi, you can still see the high enthusiasm of people regarding this sport. Local people name this type of wrestling Pehlwani or Kushti.
The creative industry in India, Bollywood, also takes a role to introduce the Pehlwani to the world. There are at least 2 popular movies that use the theme; they are Sultan, starring Salman Khan and Dangal, starring Aamir Khan. Well, for the lovers of Bollywood movies, the presence of Indian wrestling may no longer be strange.
How to Play the Game
Pehlwani or Kushti was created by royal people in Mughal Palace. The wrestling combines some techniques of traditional wrestling from other countries; they are the technique of Malla-Yuddha and Koshti Pahlavani or Persian wrestling. It is named Pehlwani, referring to the wrestler who is called Pehlwan. Meanwhile, the coach is called Guru in India, meaning teacher. Additionally, the sport is well-known also in Pakistan. However, people call the wrestling coach in Pakistan, Ustad. The place where wrestlers show their ability is named Akhara. They wear a piece of cloth that is bound to form a short pant, known as Langot.
Training and Practices
Competition is a very important thing in Pehlwani or Kushti. But uniquely, there is a more important thing related to this traditional wrestling. It is training. Yes, the philosophy of Pehlwani is not to win the game but to train players about disciplines and agility. That’s why; there is a fixed schedule that must be followed by all the wrestlers.
First of all, they must wake up early in the morning at 03.00 am. After waking up, they must do push-ups and squats a total of 4,000 times. As information, the push-up is known as Danda in this country and the squat is called Bethak anyway. The exercises are followed by running for 5 miles, swimming, and lifting rocks.
At 08.00 am, the coach or Guru has come and he watches his trainers practice wrestling continuously in 3 hours. Well, wrestling in 3 hours equals doing the competition continuously 25 times. The wrestling session is started by senior wrestlers and then it is continued by the freshmen.
After training their skills in wrestling, wrestlers are allowed to take a rest. They can smear their body with massage oil to make them feel more refreshed and relaxed. The resting time is a little bit longer in this session for around 6 hours. Then, they must wrestle again one to another for two hours starting from 04.00 pm.
International Wrestling Legends who Practice Pehlwani
The discipline and strength trained in Pehlwani have attracted many international wrestlers to come and be trained. Sure, it is to improve their own skills in wrestling, in general. One of those popular wrestlers who learn about Indian wrestling is Karl Gotch. So, are you interested in following him?