• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Indian Martial Arts
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->11. In your travels you have visited India - I know that yu had a chance meeting there with a Warrior of a unique time - Could you share that story?

I was in Delhi one time, doing some training with some Indian wrestlers. Also, I was doing some research in the state reference library there, on ancient Indian combative systems. I came across a book on Vajramushti, an old Indian method of wrestling in which the fighters wore knuckle dusters tied to their right hands. A sort of no-rules, 'vale-tudo' style of fighting but with brass knuckles. Pretty extreme!
Anyways, I obtained a copy of this book and decided to go to the state of Gujarat to track down any of the authors descendents. The authors were two brothers (the Jesthimullas) and had written the book more than fifty years ago. Without going into detail, I'll tell you that I through an extraordinary set of circumstances and an unlikely chain of events, I found one of these old guys. He took me into his house, was thrilled that I had an interest in this ancient art; and so took me to an old temple where he produced a large key and unlocked an old padlock that had had kept anyone from entering the Vajramushti training room for more than a two decades. His young nephews came a little later (both in their sixties) and I was treated to a display and a training session that still moves me when I think about it. It is a bitter-sweet memory, for they have no doubt passed on by now and all remnants of that amazing art are more than likely lost to the world. There you go; that's the short a tidy version of that story. A nice memory.

Actually Pandyan it still survives but heavily watered down, the Wodeyars supposedly have competitions in Mysore during Dasara.

But you are pretty much right, we don't need any British persecution, and will make it extinct on our own which is sad because it is a realistic style without all the fancy garbage you see in kung fu movies, which many Indians seem to love (and which will get them hammered by any decent fighter).
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->John Will's personal log ...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Knuckledusters & Luck

Here's a small excerpt from my next book in the ROGUE BLACK BELT series: challenge & ownership. it pertains to an event that took place in the state of Gujarat in the desert region of India. It's fresh off the press, written a few hours ago.
I hope you like it ...

"On many occasions I have been accused of being lucky. There are two types of luck at work in this universe. The luck we associate with pure chance with the roll of the dice or the whims of the gods. Then there is the type of luck that is born of smart decisions and the ability to notice things that others do not notice. The latter is the only type of luck we have any control over; the only type that I am interested in.

I had acquired in my previous visit, a very rare book from the state reference library in New Delhi. The book had no real monetary value, but as only 500 copies had ever been published, and those back in the 1960’s, it would be difficult if not impossible to come by for any who sought it. The name of the book was the Mallapurana. I have copy number 174 and have a corrupt security guard to thank for it. In my defence, I do treasure it and am convinced I have saved it from a dusty and lonely existence in an unvisited room in the bowels of the New Delhi state reference library. Enough said.
This special book, the larger part of which is written in the ancient Sanskrit language, describes an art called Vajramushti. This is an art that was once practised by a family known as the Jesthimallas. What makes this art so distinct and so very special is that it even survived at all. Vajramushti is a grappling-based art but differs from other styles in that the combatants are required to employ the use of knuckledusters during their contests. There are very few rules in the Vajramushti contest. It is a no-holds-barred affair that that at one time was declared illegal in India, because of it’s singularly brutal nature. Wrestlers would fight with knuckledusters tied to their right hands and could deliver blows to any part of the adversaries body. The contest was over, only when one fighter was rendered unconscious or gave a verbal admission of defeat.
The art is unique in that it combines grappling and striking techniques with the use of weaponry in a no-time-limit no-rules contest; a brutal art by either ancient or modern standards. I was determined to talk to someone who was at one time connected with this amazing form of combat.
I had two leads to go on. The first was the fact that I knew the Mallapurana was originally published in the city of Baroda; albeit back in the 1960’s. The second was that I knew that the members of this clan were known as the Jesthimalla, an unusual name by all accounts. Ron and I stepped off the train and onto the dry, dusty streets of Baroda with a strong sense of excitement.
At that time, the city of Baroda had more than one million inhabitants. I had the name of the family I was looking for as well as two old photos that were published in the original book. The photos of these fighters showed them to be perhaps in their late forties or so; knuckledusters strapped to their hands, competing in front of a crowd of cheering onlookers. If they were still alive, they would have to be mid to late seventies by now. I was not put off however, as I did seem to have some knack for ferreting out the things that other people seemed to difficulty in finding.
With Ron in tow, I went straight to the university. I walked about the university for half an hour until I found a young student that had both the time and inclination to accompany me for a day in the capacity of translator. He spoke excellent English, was intelligent and seemed fascinated that a foreigner had come to his home town in search for something he assured me did not exist. In fact, when I showed him my treasured copy of the Mallapurana, he was astounded that such a thing could ever have existed. And so we had our team.
The other thing that I had guessed at was that this Vajramushti fighting family were originally Vaishnavas; worshippers of the god Vishnu. I ascertained that this was the case because in both photos the Jesthimallas had their heads shaven excepting for the ponytails that Krishna and Vishnu worshippers usually sported. It was the only other clue I had. So I asked my translator to take me to the oldest, most renowned temple of Vishnu in the city. After an hour or so, we found our way there. The temple was old and dusty, as most everything else seemed to be in Baroda. We took off our shoes and went inside; the cool interior was a relief from the oppressive desert heat that we had been baking in for the last hour.
Upon my request, my translator asked one of the old priests if he had ever heard of the Jesthimalla family; the old man looked at me, didn’t seem to happy about the whole thing and in turn told us to go and ask at the house across the street. So out we went and knocked on the old green door of a small house not forty yards from the front of the temple. A few seconds went by before it was opened by a large man; a man in his late seventies; a man with a lot of scars on his face.
My translator made a gurgling noise and I wouldn’t be surprised if my own mouth hadn’t dropped open. There he was; the man in the photo!"

So many aspects of Indian culture have taken root outside India over the millenia. Maya Radj's (free) online novel R's Journey - The Wounded Elephant provides many insights on India contribution to civilization.

From the novel's summary:
This is the story of a life-changing three-week period in the life of R. Sharma, a young graduate living in New Delhi in contemporary India. It is a story of ignorance and discovery, of illusion and reality.
After completing his undergraduate degree with high honours, R is still searching for a first job in the Indian capital. It is a deeply frustrated R that we discover at the start of this novel, a young man who has lost faith in his country and who begins to loathe it.
Fortunately, Mohini, his sparkling girlfriend knows how to cheer him up. Behind a mask of superficial frivolity characterised by a passion for Bollywood movies and their stars, she hides a clear agenda about her future and that of her boyfriend – they should leave India and emigrate to America—like her cousins, who are now enjoying a regal life there. Encouraged by Mohini, R begins to nurture an American dream. After all, his elder brother Ashok is now a successful computer programmer in a Los Angeles company.
R asks Ashok for help. Initially very reluctant,—much to R’s bewilderment—Ashok eventually agrees to help his younger brother. However, prior to R’s departure, Ashok demands that his younger brother visit their family guru, Pundit Yogish Doobay in Varanasi. Oddly, Ashok also asks R to hand-deliver gifts to five of his university friends. The young man, already daydreaming of Los Angeles’ attractions, grudgingly agrees to undertake what he feels will be a highly unpleasant three week trip across the poor and dirty country that he now despises. Unknown to him, this journey is part of a plan orchestrated by Ashok to open his younger brother’s eyes on the hidden treasures of their country of birth.
Indeed, at every step, the journey provides plenty of surprising discoveries for the young would-be migrant—through experiences that re-shape his thinking and will likely change his outlook on life forever.
R starts his journey in the mystical city of Varanasi on the banks of the sacred—and highly polluted—Ganges river. There, Yogish Doobay reveals some of India’s deepest philosophical and spiritual treasures: Yoga and Ayurveda, the stages and aims of life, Vastu, Maya and reality.
In Jaipur, the capital of majestic Rajasthan, R meets Colonel Singh, a direct descendant of Rajput kings who challenges some of the young man’s assumptions about Indian history and politics.
In Mumbai, the country’s economic powerhouse, as R watches the flow of poverty-stricken rural migrants flocking into the city, he reflects upon the social and political challenges facing India and Ashraf offers him an emotionally charged taste of Hindu-Moslem relations. To R’s surprise, the gift that Ashraf unwraps looks exactly like the Colonel’s, an elephant-shaped sandalwood paperweight that conceals a hidden message. But, like the Colonel, Ashraf does not wish to discuss the mysterious gift nor its contents!
We follow R as he visits Jeremy Souza in Goa, a popular seaside resort in Southern India. There, Ashok’s friend and R discuss a few controversial aspects of the region’s colonial past.
In the southern temple city of Madurai, R meets Nandan. The fourth of Ashok’s friends proudly shows off his new Ayurvedic clinic to the young man. He also explains why, unlike Ashok, he chose to return to his hometown after living and working several years in America. Nandan’s father, an expert Ayurvedic practitioner, introduces R to the fundamental concepts of this ancient science of healthy living.
On the last leg of his trip, R meets Gautam, the last of Ashok’s friends in Bodhgaya, a historic Buddhist pilgrimage site in rural Bihar. There, R learns from Radha’s about the different styles of classical Indian music and dance, and the fifth of Ashok’s friends reveals to R the astounding secret of the elephant-shaped paperweights…and that of the journey. It is a shaken young man who then hurries to Varanasi to seek advice from his guru! Along the way he begins to realize the influence that this journey has had on him.
Back in Varanasi, Yogish Doobay listens sympathetically to his young disciple, and helps R to see the light and find balance through some chosen teachings from the Vedants and the Upanishads.
‘R’s Journey – the Wounded Elephant’ is a novel of self-discovery that also outlines key aspects of the culture, philosophy, spirituality and history of India—the country hosting the world’s oldest continuing civilisation—, against a backdrop of contemporary socio-economic and political issues, at a time when more and more people are turning their eyes toward this ‘Wounded Elephant’ struggling to rise.
This novel also aims to stimulate some thinking about immigration and its causes: poverty, underdevelopment, and the growing expectations of the youthful population of the ‘developing’ world.

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Apr 21 2008, 12:49 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Apr 21 2008, 12:49 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>[color=red]Yoga knocks judo off Kremlin</b>

Moscow: The ancient Indian yoga, once banished from the country by a Communist leader, is all set to make a home in the Kremlin next month when the new Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, who practises the art, takes over.

Prodded by his wife Svetlana, <b>President-elect Medvedev had joined the thousands of Russians eager to learn the Indian art of yoga. He now takes pride in his ability to perform ‘shirshasana’, a headstand pose.</b>

Tennis revolution

The former President Boris Yeltsin’s tennis revolution had resulted in the birth of a whole constellation of Russian superstars like Kournikova and Sharapova.

His successor, a judo black-belt holder and mountain skier Vladimir Putin gave boost to oriental martial arts and mountain skiing and if the trend continues, Russia will soon be standing on its head, Centre TV (CTV) said in its weekend analytical programme ‘Post Scriptum’.

“And if this trend is to continue <b>under Medvedev, Russia will soon have more yoga schools than India</b>,” CTV observed.

In an interview to the Itogi magazine last year, Mr. Medvedev, the then First Deputy Prime Minister looking after major social and health reforms, said: “Little by little, I am mastering yoga.”

Yoga, he explained, helped him relax from the stress of work. “I can even stand on my head,” Mr. Medvedev told a glossy magazine Tainy Zvyozd (Secrets of the Stars) last month.

<b>In the late 1960s under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev the only Indian professor of yoga at the Moscow-based Institute of Physical Culture was asked to quit and the yoga department was closed due to its connection with Hindu religious practices.</b> However, after the Soviet Union’s collapse yoga has gained popularity in Russia.Scores of private yoga centres have sprung up not only in Moscow, but also in faraway cities and towns.According to Khatuna Kobiashvili of Yoga Journal Russia, at least 100,000 people regularly practice yoga in Russia. The journal, published by the media group along with the Moscow Times and business daily Vedomosti, sells 55,000 copies a month nationwide, she said. — PTI

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><img src='http://webprojects.prm.ox.ac.uk/arms-and-armour/600/1913.7.1.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

This is a vajra mushti (knuckleduster) from Andhra Pradesh in south India. Vajra mushti means ‘diamond fist’ in Hindi, probably referring to the hardness of the blow this weapon delivered.  This example is made of the horn of the water buffalo and was used by the Jettis, an ethnoliguistic group famed for their displays of boxing, wrestling and gymnastics.

The Beautiful Warrior
In traditional Hindu mythology, the Jetti are descended from the hero Devamallu, who killed the tyrannical demon Vajradanta with his bare hands. Consequently, the Jetti are believed to be particularly skilled at unarmed combat, and specialise in performing boxing, wrestling and gymnastics as spectator sports. Their services were specifically required at the festival of Dasara, where they performed before the Maharaja of Mysore.

Retired Jetti fighters served as the organisers of a boxing festival and paired up evenly matched young boxers for each bout. Wearing orange shorts and garlands of flowers, each boxer, armed with the vajra mushti strapped to one hand, was led onto the sand fighting ground. As they entered the ring, their names and home villages were announced. They bowed to the Raja overseeing the festival of sports, and then to the ladies of the court, who watched from concealment behind a lattice screen. Removing their flower garlands, the boxers decorated the ring by strewing them about, before turning to begin fighting.

The style of fighting itself was a mixture of wrestling and boxing, but only blows to the head were legal with the vajra mushti. This may seem particularly dangerous and unfair, but a hard strike with the vajra mushti was as likely to break or dislocate the wearer’s fingers, as it was to damage the skull of his opponent. As a result of this, the weapon was also used to slash, the teeth able to gouge at the opponent’s face and scalp. Jetti boxers also occasionally used bunches of flowers in their left hand as a means of confusing their opponent, in the same way that performing fencers used cloaks in 16th century Europe. The bouts were usually stopped by the Raja when he had decided the winner. At his signal, his servants threw robes and turbans into the ring and the two fighters separated. Often, the victor performed multiple somersaults as he left the ring to show the audience he was unharmed.

BhV, of course king someshwara dedicates quite a good amount of interesting coverage in mAnasollAsa to describing in detail many types of athletic contests of the nature described above which were popular among Hindus since long time.
Some links on Varamakalai

1) Link to Thirumoolar Varmalogy Institute -

2) http://ayushtech.com/varmakalai/index.aspx

3) http://pagesperso-orange.fr/varmakalai/VAR...NGLISH)%201.htm

4) http://www.tamilnation.org/heritage/martial.htm

5) http://www.silambam.in/varma_kalai.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 7 2008, 10:06 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 7 2008, 10:06 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Actually Pandyan it still survives but heavily watered down, the Wodeyars supposedly have competitions in Mysore during Dasara.
Hindus should institute a league that contains real combat like this with aspects of vajra mushti mixed in.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hindus should institute a league that contains real combat like this with aspects of vajra mushti mixed in.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Seen that fight, the elbow opened up a cut, but overall UFC has sold out a lot from the beginning days with so many garbage rules to make it more acceptable for scumbags like Mccain who got it banned.

Pride was a lot better, the Japanese knew how to put together fights, even their fight promo videos were lot better like this one (prob the best fight promo):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Cro Cop Fedor Intro Movie

Personally I prefer the first few UFC years where it was Vale Tudo and had very few rules. In those terms, rioheroes is lot better even though the fighters suck mostly when compared to UFC:


But not all of them suck cuz I know Wanderlei Silva fought in this bareknuckle many times before going to Pride, Chuck Liddell had 1 Vale Tudo bout, and there were some others including Dav Severns who fought Vale Tudo.

UFC today is basically a heavily watered down version of its former self because of losers like Mccain, full of ridiculous rules (no soccer kicks etc), but we are stuck with it for now.
Rio Heroes is a great league that features true vale tudo fighting. Hope someday something like it picks up in India instead of crappy cricket we have now.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rio Heroes is a great league that features true vale tudo fighting. Hope someday something like it picks up in India instead of crappy cricket we have now.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

As MMA gains more and more fans among the younger generation, we may see some from India, hopefully it wont be watered down for assholes like Mccain anymore than it already has been.

The big loser will be boxing (two dudes standing there punching each other in the head for like 18 mins, another 18 minutes spent on hugging each other, and calling it "sweet science") which that douchebag Mccain loves. Joe Rogan said it best, after the Mayweathers, De La Hoya's, there will be no more no matter how much that douchebag pretty boy Mayweather runs his mouth about MMA (i bet his face wont be so pretty after getting stomped on by anderson silva in a real fight instead of boxing pillow fights).
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Dec 25 2008, 09:48 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Dec 25 2008, 09:48 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 7 2008, 10:06 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 7 2008, 10:06 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Actually Pandyan it still survives but heavily watered down, the Wodeyars supposedly have competitions in Mysore during Dasara.
Hindus should institute a league that contains real combat like this with aspects of vajra mushti mixed in.

[right][snapback]92217[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->If it's a blood sport, then I so thoroughly approve. Time Hindus stopped playing the squeamish roles we've taken on in recent generations. Something like this may train Hindu minds. It's not enough that Hindus learn to shoot or use weapons, unarmed combat is a must to learn.
Islamania will stop at nothing - it has resorted to far worse in its persecution of Dharmics and with less sympathy than one gets from a mere opponent in such a sport.

In case of enforced confrontation with christoislamicommuniterrorism, instead of Dharmics cowing down in reaction, this may teach them to lash back and prepare them to hold their own.

All carnivorous animals prepare for serious hunting in adult life by playing (sporting) with their own siblings in childhood. Such sports can serve the same purpose for Natural Traditionalist humans.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If it's a blood sport, then I so thoroughly approve. Time Hindus stopped playing the squeamish roles we've taken on in recent generations. Something like this may train Hindu minds. It's not enough that Hindus learn to shoot or use weapons, unarmed combat is a must to learn. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I wouldn't say its a blood sport (used by the western media to demonize it) but a much more REALISTIC and SAFER sport than for example boxing, mainstream mma has adopted a lot of rules to be sanctioned in US (the very first mma shows in US were like rioheroes but got banned due to the moral police led by mccain, so they had to adopt a lot of garbage rules to please people like him), but what you see in rioheroes is the closest you can get to ancient mallayuddha or greek pankration. They fight under the warriors code which means no groin shots, biting, hair pulling, eye gouging, i think thats about it. In pankration the only ban was on eye gouging and biting, everything else was fair game.

Th only rule not there in rioheroes which is there in mainstream mma orgs that makes the fighters more safe is a ban on strikes to the back of the head which can sometimes kill a person, BUT even in rioheroes both fighters give consent knowing the risks involved.

The other difference between ancient pankration and rioheroes is in ancient pankration the bout was stopped only if the other fighter was dead or he submitted, in rioheroes a win can be secured either by the other guy tapping out (submitting), getting knocked out OR the referee stopping the fight if he feels that the other fighter is so badly hit that he/she can no longer defend himself intelligently.

Now coming to the "blood sport" allegation made (as a bad thing), i would say boxing is far more unsafe and unrealistic, in boxing you can punch a guy in the head for 12 rounds, you can only win by a knock out (and even in that you get a count to 10 to get up and fight again) which means a boxer on average takes far more punches to the head causing brain damage, but funnily enough they stop at the sign of a cut and blood coming out (which looks disgusting to the squeamish types) but causes nowhere near the amount of harm that repeated punches to the head do. It is unrealistic in the fact that rarely would you see real street fights just confined to two guys punching each other in the head, more often than not people kick, wrestle, go down to the ground etc none of which boxing incorporates, punching is just 1 part of fighting.

By contrast in both mainstream mma, and rioheroes a fighter can win by submission (arm bars, leg locks etc), knock out (no count), and referee stoppage, and fighters dont have to confine their blows to the head (probably one of the most sensitive areas in the human body) like boxing, so an mma fighter takes far less blows to the head compared to a boxer.

Then there is the use of gloves, rounds etc in both mainstream mma, and boxing (particularly boxing which uses huge gloves when compared to mainstream mma orgs). To that, here is what rioheroes had to say:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RioHeroes is a vale tudo fight league with no intentions of replicating or conforming to any of the current MMA fight leagues. The company has nothing against MMA, however, we strive to provide real life fights without corporate sanctioned regulations, rounds, or time limits. RioHeroes is a true vale tudo league and will remain that way forever.

For those who want to see true professional vale tudo fights, please feel free to utilize all of the benefits this site has to offer. If you want to see regulated, corporate sanctioned fights, this website is not for you.

RioHeroes, and its enacted policies, protects the fighters for many reasons. Gloves are not allowed because they protect the fighters hands, allowing them to throw unending blows without suffering from any damage to the fists, causing severe head trauma to their opponent. Time limits and rounds allow fighters to rest, regaining strength and stamina, before re-entering the next round. This allows the fighters to once again throw more traumatic blows then a fighter who has been a cage battling for an indefinite amount of time.

All of our fighters have come together to agree on a basic set of rules which we refer to as the Warrior's Code. This includes: no eye-gouging, no hair pulling, no biting, and no groin shots. Besides that, Anything Goes.

There has never been a more qualified referee in any professional fight then Jorge Pereira. He knows better then anyone when it is necessary to stop a fight. Lastly, once the fights begin, the attending medical doctor has total control over the fight and can stop it at any time.

-Jason Atkins, President
Jorge Pereira, Vice President <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Having huge gloves like boxing may look safe (and it is safe for the knuckles) but it also means that it gives you the ability to throw punches to the other guys head for far longer than you would with bare knuckles, thus increasing the likelihood of brain damage or death.
^ Important

Thanks for the information Bharata. From your detailed description, I agree that it certainly is - as you said - a more realistic, safer and not to mention saner sport than boxing.
(BTW, I didn't mean anything negative with ref to "blood sport".)
Yes Bhv is right. The winner of a boxing bout is normally struck in the head at least about 150 times. This is just one match.

In MMA, a fighter can be expected to get hit that many times in his entire career. As a result, major problems like head trauma are rare, however minor injuries like fractures, cauliflower ear, are more prevalent.

There has also been only one death in MMA, and even that was under controversial circumstances. The fighter was fighting in an underground, unregulated event and had previous health issues. Boxing on the other hand, has at least 10-20 deaths every year. Even so, its better die from fighting than from old age.

<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Dec 28 2008, 06:25 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Dec 28 2008, 06:25 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even so, <b>its better die from fighting than from old age.</b>[right][snapback]92310[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Oh wow. There's no competing with Kshatriyas.
If I ever said something like that you can be sure I was lying.
The only thing I can admit to - and it is <i>no comparison</i> at all - is that I've always preferred jumping off an extremely high cliff to other <i>unnatural</i> forms of death... merely because it seemed a more pleasant experience than the alternatives.

But I do hope neither you nor Bharatavarsha are intending on going out young nor that either of you ever need to go violently or unwillingly. And I'd like both of you to have a minimum of 1000 children each, exactly like you - but of both genders, of course :aashirvaadam: (No point raising your eyebrows at me in shocked ridicule, because I confess that I don't suffer from realism when it comes to plotting <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->)
Some Silambam:
1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfYkUyJZ3fU
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYSAt1lbL4E
3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vw0hTBJQxQ

Who can not be pumped after watching that?
Does anyone know any books where Mallayuddha is talked about in detail, including the different forms, because some of it is very confusing. The modern so called Kushti is a watered down version of Mallayuddha it seems to me, its similar to modern greco roman wrestling where the objective is to pin the other guy, but in Mahabharatam we see real fighting where the objective was to kill the other guy, and it was also called Mallayuddha. Also the real fighting version seems to be like ancient pankration in that kicks, throws, locks, biting, eye gouging were allowed (all greeks banned the last two except the Spartans who considered such rules as too soft, and had real no rules fights in their competitions). In the documentary about Raja Raja Chozha & the Thanjavur kovil i posted before, we see it mentioned that during Vijayanagara times foreigners mention teeth falling off etc from strikes in wrestling bouts, whereas the modern version practiced in that region is just about pinning the other guy.

In the Mallapurana intro I read that one of the wrestling forms was called aashura where everything from hair pulling to breaking fingers was allowed.

And this is the description of Bheema vs Jaraasandha:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->And saying this, Jarasandha, that represser of all foes endued, rushed with great energy at Bhimasena like the Asura Vala or old who rushed at the chief of the celestials. And the mighty Bhimasena, on whose behalf the gods had been invoked by Krishna, that cousin of his, having consulted with advanced towards Jarasandha, impelled by the desire of fight. Then those tigers among men, those heroes of great prowess, with their bare arms as their only weapons, cheerfully engaged themselves in the encounter, each desirous of vanquishing the other. And seizing each other's arms and twining each other's legs, (at times) they slapped their arm-pits, causing the enclosure to tremble at the sound. And frequently seizing each other's necks with their hands and dragging and pushing it with violence, and each pressing every limb of his body against every limb of the other, they continued, O exalted one, to slap their arm-pits (at time). And sometimes stretching their arms and sometimes drawing them close, and now raising them up and now dropping them down, they began to seize each other. And striking neck against neck and forehead against forehead, they caused fiery sparks to come out like flashes of lightning. And grasping each other in various ways by means of their arms, and kicking each other with such violence as to affect the innermost nerves, they struck at each other's breasts with clenched fists. With bare arms as their only weapons roaring like clouds they grasped and struck each other like two mad elephants encountering each other with their trunks. Incensed at each other's blow, they fought on dragging and pushing each other and fiercely looking at each other like two wrathful lions. And each striking every limb of the other with his own and using his arms also against the other, and catching hold of each other's waist, they hurled each other to a distance. Accomplished in wrestling, the two heroes clasping each other with their arms and each dragging the other unto himself, began to press each other with great violence. The heroes then performed those grandest of all feats in wrestling called Prishtabhanga, which consisted in throwing each other down with face towards the earth and maintaining the one knocked down in that position as long as possible. And employing his arms, each also performed the feats called Sampurna-murchcha and Purna-kumbha. At times they twisted each other's arms and other limbs as if these were vegetable fibres that were to be twisted into chords. And with clenched fists they struck each other at times, pretending to aim at particular limbs while the blows descended upon other parts of the body. It was thus that those heroes fought with each other. The citizens consisting of thousands, of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, and even women and the aged, O tiger among men, came out and gathered there to behold the fight. And the crowd became so great that it was one solid mass of humanity with no space between body and body. The sound the wrestlers made by the slapping of their arms, the seizing of each other's necks for bringing each other down, and the grasping of each other's legs for dashing each other to the ground, became so loud that it resembled the roar of thunder or of falling cliffs. Both of them were foremost of mighty men, and both took great delight in such encounter. Desirous of vanquishing the other, each was on the alert for taking advantage of the slightest lapse of the other. And, O monarch, the mighty Bhima and Jarasandha fought terribly on in those lists, driving the crowd at times by the motions of their hands like Vritra and Vasava of old. Thus two heroes, dragging each other forward and pressing each other backward and with sudden jerks throwing each other face downward and sideways, mangled each other dreadfully. And at times they struck each other with their knee-joints. And addressing each other loudly in stinging speeches, they struck each other with clenched fists, the blows descending like a mass of stone upon each other. With broad shoulders and long arms and both well-skilled in wrestling encounters, they struck each other with those long arms of theirs that were like maces of iron. That encounter of the heroes commenced on the first (lunar) day of the month of Kartic (October) and the illustrious heroes fought on without intermission and food, day and night, till the thirteenth lunar day. It was on the night of the fourteenth of the lunar fortnight that the monarch of Magadha desisted from fatigue. And O king, Janardana beholding the monarch tired, addressed Bhima of terrible deeds, and as if to stimulate him said,--'O son of Kunti, a foe that is fatigued cannot be pressed for if pressed at such a time he may even die. Therefore, O son of Kunti, this king should not be oppressed by thee. On the other hand, O bull of the Bharata race, fight with him With thy arms, putting forth as much strength only as thy antagonist hath now left!' Then that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Pandu, thus addressed by Krishna, understood the plight of Jarasandha and forthwith resolved upon taking his life. And that foremost of all men endued with strength, that prince of the Kuru race, desirous of vanquishing the hitherto unvanquished Jarasandha, mustered all his strength and courage." Vaisampayana said,--"thus addressed, Bhima firmly resolved upon slaying Jarasandha, replied unto Krishna of the Yadu race, saying,--O tiger of the Yadu race, O Krishna, this wretch that yet stayeth before me with sufficient strength and bent upon fight, should not be forgiven by me. Hearing these words of Vrikodara (Bhima), that tiger among men, Krishna, desiring to encourage that hero to accomplish the death of Jarasandha without any delay, answered,--'O Bhima, exhibit today upon Jarasandha the strength thou hast luckily derived, the might thou hast obtained from (thy father), the god Maruta.' Thus addressed by Krishna, Bhima, that slayer of foes, holding up in the air the powerful Jarasandha, began to whirl him on high. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having so whirled him in the air full hundred times, Bhima pressed his knee against Jarasandha's backbone and broke his body in twain. And having killed him thus, the mighty Vrikodara uttered a terrible roar. And the roar of the Pandava mingling with that death knell of Jarasandha, while he was being broken on Bhima's knee, caused a loud uproar that struck fear into the heart of every creature.


BhV, mAnasollAsa describes the performance of malla in good detail.
That same section of the mahAbhArata that you paste -- the jarAsandha-bhIMa saMgrAma has an insertion in some Mbh manuscripts from different parts of India which Ganguli did not translate. This insert is also left out by the critical edition. But it is a compact malla shAstra and is in my opinion the oldest surviving technical account of malla yuddha. From what we can gather from that, other such contests described in mahAbhArata and harivaMsha and medieval records is that malla had a "soft" and "hard" aspect. The soft part is gymnastics and showing of strength like bending iron bars, weight-lifting and contortions. The hard part was clearly a "blood sport". In the bhArata/HV it appears that these were fights unto death - kR^iShNa and balarAma killing rival wrestlers, bhIma and jarAsandha and also bhIma killing wrestlers and wild animals in virATa. The mAnasollAsa's mallavinoda I recall states that the rAjan might stop a potentially fatal bout or let it go to death.

I think the hindus distinguished boxing as a separate sport: jhalla-yuddha but it might have been allowed in the fights to death.

There are carvings in some temples in south India showing female wrestling too but I have not read a textual description of this.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)