Ghulam Muhammad also known as The Great GAMA or GAMA Pehalwan is the ultimate champion. He was born in Amritsar in pre-independence rural India in 1878. Standing at just 5 feet 7 inches, The Great GAMA lived a 5-decade long undisputed career. He made his athletic debut in 1888, Strongman Competition in Jodhpur when he was just 10 YEARS OLD! GAMA finished among the top 15 out of the 400 professional wrestlers astonishing everyone.
The journey of the Great Gama
At the age of 19, he challenged the Rustam-e-Hind (Indian wrestling champion) Raheem Bakhsh Sultaniwala, a bold move by the new kid on the block. Raheem was 7 feet tall and a professionally trained wrestler. All bets were on Raheem but GAMA shocked everyone and managed to end the match in a draw.
After he defeated all other major wrestlers in India, great GAMA traveled west and threw an open challenge in London.T he bet was, that if he lost he would pay the prize money and go back home. But GAMA was fierce, his fame traveled before him and no one dared to take the challenge. With no turn-up, he then challenged the world heavyweight champion and Stanislaus Zybyszko turned up. The reigning champion spent most of the time in the bout defending himself. This match also ended in a draw and a rematch was set. Stanislaus didn’t turn up this time and GAMA was declared the champion.
With another title under his belt, GAMA returned home and faced Rustam-e-Hind again. The most anticipated match was fixed and the akhada was packed with spectators. GAMA Pehalwan made history and emerged victoriously. He also faced Stanislaus one more time, this time GAMA defeated him in just 42 seconds.
Great Gama and Bruce Lee connection
Where the fame of Bruce Lee is unparalleled, little did we know that his training was inspired by GAMA’s routine. Bruce Lee adopted ‘The Cat Stretch’ from GAMA which is a push-up based on yoga. Hard work and dedication were the keys to GAMA’s success. His training included 5000 squats and 3000 push-ups every day. All this workout built up quite an appetite, he ate 6 desi chicken and drank 10 liters of milk. A special tonic made of almonds added to his strength.
The GREAT GAMA lived an illustrious career for almost 50 years and till date, he is the only wrestler in the world who was never defeated by anyone. Our country has produced many such wrestlers but is forgotten with time. One such name is ‘K D Jadhav’ who has an inspiring story of his own. Please subscribe to our KreedOn Digest to know more such stories.