From Mahabaratha to World Kabaddi

Background

The game of Kabbadi is one of the oldest games of Indian origin.

Some believe that the sport has a history dating to pre-historic times and was probably invented to ward off group attacks.

The Iranians believe that game originated in their country in the Sistan region.

Many believe that the game has its beginning some 5,000 years ago
during the Kurukshetra War.

It is said to be one of the two games that originated in India to have its
roots in warfare – the other being chess.

The Mahabaratha Perspective

The ancient Indian epic Mahabharata describes the battle between the Pandavas and the Cauravas and how Abimanyu managed to penetrate the Cauravas seven tiered defense, but died because he did not know the way
out.

Legend has it that as an unborn child in his mother’s womb, Abhimanyu learned the knowledge of entering the deadly and virtually impenetrable the seven tiered defense called Chakravyuha.

It is said that Lord Krishna tutored Abhimanyu’s father Arjuna the technique of attacking and escaping from various army formations.

However, it is said that Abimanyu’s mother Subadhra Devi decided to retire when Lord Krishna was explaning the method of escaping from the Chakravyuha. Thus Abhimanyu never got the chance to learn on how to escape the Chakravyuha.

However, it is said that Abimanyu’s mother Subadhra Devi decided to retire when Lord Krishna was explaning the method of escaping from the Chakravyuha. Thus Abhimanyu never got the chance to learn on how to escape the Chakravyuha.

On the 13th day of the Kurukshetra War, the courageous dashing Abhimanyu, was called upon to break through the Chakravyuha formed by the Cauravas.

The sixteen year old gallantly broke through the formation but after a fierce battle was killed by his enemies.

It is believed that the sport of kabaddi was created in remembrance of Abhimanyu the Warrior.

Unique game

The only combative sport in which offence is an individual effort whereas defense is a group effort.

History reveals that kabaddi was played by princes of the past to display their strength.

Buddhist literature also mentions of Gautama Buddha playing kabaddi with his peers.

Indian literature including the 17th century poet Tukaram in his Marathi literary collection Abhanga Gatha has indicated the game was played during the Vedic period.

A game of many names

Because of its long history the game is known by different names in different parts of the world.

It is known by various names inclduing sadugudu, Hadudu, Hututu, Teechub and Gudu among others

Modern Kabaddi is a synthesis of the game played in various forms under different names.


Three styles

The three styles of kabaddi are also played in three different formats – National Style (Asian Style), Beach Kabaddi and Circle Kabaddi.

In the Amar format of Kabaddi, there is no out or revival rule. When any player is touched, goes out of bounds or is caught, he is not sent out of the court but point is awarded to the rival team.

In the Surjaveeni format, the revival and our rule is in play. When any player is touched or goes out of bounds, or is caught, the player concerned is sent out of court. Points are awarded to the rival team in addition to having their out players being revived.

In the Gaminee format, a player touched, caught or out of bounds, has to remain out until all his team members are out. The team that is successful in putting out all the players of the opponent’s side secures a point.

Rules

The first rules of kabaddi was only codified only the 1930s in India.

Kabaddi was an unofficial demonstration sports during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The usage of EVA form mats was first used in an official international competition at the Malaysian Open in 2002 with India, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand participating.

Bonus line was only included at the international level after the Busan Asian Games in 2002.

Current International Scenario

There are several internationally registered body for the sports of kabaddi but World Kabaddi is the biggest and best established of them.

Kabaddi while included at the Asian Games, is not a recognised sports by the International Olympic Committee.

World Kabaddi was formally constituted on 24th March 2018. The date was also chosen by World Kabaddi to celebrate the World Kabaddi Day annually.

World Kabaddi is currently affiliated with The Association For International Sports for All (TAFISA)

Kabaddi! Kabaddi! Kabaddi!