Sikh boy becomes youngest master of `Gatka`

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 12:23

London: An Indian boy has become the world`s youngest master of an obscure Indian martial art called Gatka.

While most of his friends enjoy a spot of cricket, Manpreet Singh loves nothing more than sitting back and having a coconut cracked on his forehead with a baseball bat.

The ten-year-old also laughs in the face of a terrifying stunt, which could leave him blind as fluorescent light tubes are smashed across his chest, sending shards of glass flying into his eyes, the Daily Mail reported.

The young Punjabi is a member of the Bir Khalsa Sikh Martial Arts Group in the Punjab city of Amritsar, which performs extreme stunts including being run over by cars and training with swords and spiked maces.

After rushing home from school each day, Singh practices his martial art with dedication - although he does still find some time to play cricket and cycle.

Manpreet`s uncle, Kamaljeet Singh, is the leader of the martial arts group.

Singh says he is happy to let the children play with daggers and swords as he claims it is not dangerous if they are properly trained.

As for Manpreet, he says his coconut-smashing feat is by far his favourite.

Gatka is a style of stick fighting associated with the Punjab region passed down from generation to generation which only Sikhs are allowed to perform.

The discipline, used successfully by the Sikhs throughout the 16th and 17th centuries in battles against the Mughal forces, is based on the correct use of a vast array of hand-to-hand weapons.

Most gatka groups train in a religious or semi-religious situation, such as in a gurdwara or in a Sikh cultural centre or school.

It is considered to be spiritual as well as a physical exercise. (ANI)

First Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 12:23

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