Gatka – The Sikh Sword Art

gatka master

A Gatka SwordMaster practises a cavalry charge on his stallion


Gatka is the Sikh martial art. In particular like Kendo it is an art of the sword.

Gatka developed alongside with the evolution of the Sikh religion.  Gatka evolved as Sikhs began to oppose tyranny as an obligation of their religious faith.  Gatka become established as a Sikh cultural artifact as Guru Hargobind militarized the Sikh nation.

Gatka  is an outcome of the miri-piri doctrine of Guru Hargobind. It is a practical actualization of miri

A singular feature of gatka is that two sabres (kirpans) are used to fight. This reflects the  historical fact that Sikhs were very few in number and have never fought a battle in which they have had a numerical majority. Gatka as a sword art reflects this fact. An observer viewing Gatka cannot help but  have the impression that Gatka was developed to fight large opposing hordes of enemies. Unlike Kendo it does not have a fixed origin for the swordmaster and the angle of attack and defence is 360 degrees.

Note: Recent posts that Gatka was bestowed as a gift by rajputs to Guru Hargobind are without any factual or historical basis. In particular readers should be very wary as no  proof of the assertions is provided. These posts are motivated by an intent to belittle Sikhi  and represent the well trodden path in India of creating mythologies.

Gatka is alive and flourishing in Sikh religious circles.


gatka girl

In The Land Of The Free, A Gatka Girl Takes On A Greybeard

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  1. hi there-im a journalist doing an article on the gatka-if you could please give me a quote on gatka in today’s life and where all it is practiced by Sunday-il send you the article when it is published.


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