Kabaddi Games – A journey from the past

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Kabaddi games also known as Chedu-Gudu in South India, Gudu in Srilanka, Ha-Do- Do in Eastern India, Hu-Tu-Tu in Western India, Kabadi, and Theechub in Thailand. It has also been known as the “Game of the Masses” and it has simple, easy to understand rules.

Origin of Kabaddi Games:

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Historians speculate that the game originated in prehistoric times in the state of Tamil Nadu, almost 4,000 years ago.It evolved with the development of human reflexes & was crucial for self-defense and hunting. Kabaddi is believed to have derived its name from the words “kai pidi” which means “hold hands” in Tamil. According to the ancient scripts of Mahabharata, Arjuna had a unique talent in the game of Kabaddi. He was able to go inside the wall of enemies, destroy them all and come back unscathed. It is also believed that ‘Abhimanyu’s chakravyuh’ was an adaptation of the game.

For many years, Kabaddi was played for physical exercise by pupils in Indian Vedic schools.Gurus ran these schools, thus came to be known as Gurukuls. Though minor variations emerged, the game’s principal objective of raiding the enemy territory remained common.

Kabaddi is not the only sport which has a rich history in India. There are many others which have been with us since a very long time. If you are curious,  you can watch the “History of Indian Sports”.

Popularity on International front:

The basic rules of kabaddi were formalized in India in the early 20th century and published in 1923. The game received international exposure when Amravati-based sports organization demonstrated it, at the 1936 Olympic Games, in Berlin. It was then included as an event in the Indian Olympic Games held in Calcutta (now Kolkata) two years later. India was also instrumental in getting Kabaddi included in the main disciplines of the XI Asian Games held at Beijing, China in 1990. Kabaddi got recognized the national game of Bangladesh 1972. It is the state game of 7 Indian states. The sport is recognized in five forms in India, namely, Suranjeevii, Gaminee, Amar, Circle, Goongi. The first two being internationally accredited.

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The first Kabaddi World Cup was staged in Mumbai (Bombay) in 2004. It hosted national teams from Asia, Europe and North America. India has won every single edition of the World Cup across formats. In fact, the circle style of Kabaddi originated in Punjab. The format is extremely popular there. The International Kabaddi. Federation lists thirty one member countries. Afghanistan National Kabaddi Association (ANKF) is among the more active ones. So is Germany, which has hosted Kabaddi events in Duisburg and Frankfurt. Some other nations where it is not only prevalent, but also practiced as a way of fitness are Krygystan, France, Bhutan and Norway. Kabaddi is big with the Japanese . The sport grew quickly in Tokyo and Hiroshima. Japan has been an active, formidable participant in the Asian Games.

Buddha is believed to be a practitioner of Kabaddi Games for recreation. Keanu Reeves played Kabaddi too. Reeves played ‘Buddha’ in a 1993 movie called Little Buddha and learnt to play the game as part of the role.

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