India  .  Kabaddi

Everything you ever wanted to know


"Kabaddi is a 4000 year old game for men as well as women.  In 1955, First Kabaddi Indian National Championship was held in Calcutta.  It was here that women played competitively for the first time.  Although this thigh slapping, full body contact sport doesn't seem to be very popular with the ladies, it is fancied by men world wide, yet rarely seen on TV."


 In order to toughen the frames and steel the minds of his followers Guru Hargobindji had started the tradition of holding wrestling bouts within the precincts of Akal Takht Sahib and it is mostly because of the fillip that he gave and the seal of ethics that he put on them that sports become a proud facet of life in Punjab. On the common grounds of villages, in the fairs, during the festivals, at the hermitages of pirs, graves of preceptors, wrestling became a part of high recreation. Villages adopt and feed wrestlers and also give prizes to them as a matter of honour in Punjab today. 

The sport is also popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan and Pakistan.  There is, however, concrete evidence, that the game is 4,000 year old. It is a team sport, which requires both skill and power, and combines the characteristics of wrestling and rugby. It was originally meant to develop self defense, in addition to responses to attack, and reflexes of counter attack by individuals, and by groups or teams. It is a rather simple and inexpensive game, and neither requires a massive playing area, nor any expensive equipment. This explains the popularity of the game in rural India. Kabaddi is played all over Asia with minor variations.

Kabaddi is known by various names viz. Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu in southern parts of India, Hadudu (Men) and Chu - Kit-Kit (women) in eastern India, and Kabaddi in northern India.

Important dates in the history of Kabaddi are noted below :-

1936: Demonstration match first played at Berlin Olympics Kabaddi first became officially recognised.

1950's: All India Kabaddi Federation established Kabaddi rules formalised.

1955: First Kabaddi Indian National Championships held in Calcutta.  It was here that women played competitively for the first time.

1972: All India Kabaddi Federation re-launched new mandate to take sport out of villages and into cities.

1990: Included in Asian Games at Beijing. Eight countries took part including China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Kabaddi is played in many states and territories of India and Pakistan, each having their own Kabaddi Association. Universities, Schools and local club teams have developed as well as a National Team. Several Teams abound within the Services (i.e. Army, Police, Railways) as well as in large Private Companies.


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