Mardani Khel Martial Arts
Mardani Khel, a weapon-based form of martial arts. It is well known for the use of patta and vita, the traditional Indian arms. The early history of Mardani Khel goes way back to the 1600s and cannot be traced back.
It followed a distinct system and has to owe credits to the geographic conditions of Maharashtra.
Marathas before were people with warriors born and inculcated inside them. Their liking for martial arts and fighting is prevalent as early as the 7th century.
“The climate is hot, the disposition of the people is honest and simple, they are of medium build, and of a stern, vindictive character. To their benefactor they are grateful, to their enemies relentless.
If they are insulted, they will risk their life to salvage themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they willingly agree to.
If they are going to seek revenge, they first give their enemy warning, then each being armed they attack each other with lances. When one turns to flee, the other pursues him, but they do not kill a man down (a person who submits).
The country provides for a band of champions to the number of several hundred.
Each time they are about to engage in conflict, they intoxicate themselves with wine, and then one man with lance in hand will meet ten thousand and challenges them in fight.” – Xuanzang [ A chinese monk ]
Mardani Khel rose to prominence in early 1600 when the Sultans of the Deccan used Guerilla tactics of the Marathas to fights their enemies off.
Shivaji Raje Bhosle, the son of Shahaji, was a prolific fighter from a young age. At the ripe age of 17, he took advantage of the chaotic conditions pertaining to the Deccan and struck out.
The Maratha community, under the leadership of Shivaji, united to create an independent kingdom in the suburbs of the Western Ghats.
A Hindu confederacy during those times of intolerable Muslim rule was the last straw for the newly created Maratha nation, which was under the threat of the Mughal Empire.
The Marathas specialized in hand-to-hand combat to fight off their enemies and Mardani Khel was born.
Mardani Khel lost its importance as the years progressed although the art never died.
Even after the introduction of guns, Maratha warriors carried weapons other than guns.
The Maratha Light Infantry regiment was formed to protect the weapons of the British East India Company’s possessions in Bombay. The regiment also holds the Mardani Khel tools too.