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Gatka Shastars

Gatka (Punjabi: ਗਤਕਾ Urdu: گٹکا gatkā) is the name of an Indian martial art associated with the Sikhs of the Punjab, India and the Tanoli and Gujjar communities of the mountainous regions of northern Pakistan who practice an early variant of the martial art.[1] It is a style of stick-fighting, with wooden sticks intended to simulate swords.[2] The Punjabi name gatka properly refers to the wooden stick used. The word originates as a diminutive of Sanskrit gada "mace".[3]

It originated in Punjab in the 15th century but much of the Gatka forms practiced today in the west are Europeanised versions of what was the original martial art of Sikhs known as Shastar Vidya. There has been a revival during the later 20th century, with an International Gatka Federation was founded in 1982 and formalized in 1987, and gatka is now popular as a sport or sword dance performance art and is often shown during Sikh festivals.