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Gatka tournament, Oldbury
Gatka tournament, Oldbury

Gatka in Oldbury

Teams from across the country took part in a traditional Sikh martial art tournament in Oldbury, on Saturday 18th of March 2006.


Gatka Tournament picture galley >
video Gatka Tournament highlights >
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On Saturday, the hall of the Gurdwara Amrit Parchar Dharmik Diwan (Sikh temple) on the Birmingham Road in Oldbury was filled with Gatka competitors and spectators.

The Khalsa Panth Akhara (Gatka group) based at the Birmingham Road temple is one of the largest and most influential in the country.

At the tournament
At the tournament

'Ustaad' Bhai Butta Singh Ji, Head of all the Akharras (Gatka groups) in the UK, is based at the Oldbury 'Battleground' (Yudh-Bhoomi - Oldbury). The group's website explains what Gatka is:

"Gatka is spiritual and physical martial art given to humanity from Waheguru "God" to help defend righteousness, belief, truthful living and annihilate oppression. This Waheguru given battle proven art should only be used in defence and only in offence when "all other means fail" It is an art that assists and serves the divine laws of God.

"Gatka with all the other teachings from the Sikh Guru's helps students gain confidence in themselves as Waheguru's beings on Earth to serve Gods' creation...

"Gatka is an art that intends to get rid of the five innate passions - lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego - only when one can conquer the evil passions inside can one conquer the evil outside - 'only then can it be just for them to wield the sword'."

Keeping score
Keeping score

For the tournament, those in combat used Sotis - bamboo Gatka sticks.

Luvjinder Singh does voluntary work at the Khalsa Panth Akhara. He said:

"Today, I would say, a thousand people would have come and gone throughout the day [to watch the matches].

"The actual tournament is broken down into categories and then sub categories - it's basically Seniors and Juniors, which are broken down into two sub groups - team combat and singles combat.

"The teams have five people and it's a knock-out, best of five. Same with the singles.

Oldbury win the senior team award
Oldbury win the senior team award

"The rules are spoken at the start. We have something called a vaar - it's a strike. Our Guru said that if we're going to go into battle, and you have to fight somebody - then you give them an easy death - so you have to strike them with one strike, not with many. The Guru said you be humane - you let them attack you first, then you attack them.

"So that philosophy has come into Sikh martial arts - where a vaar is a clear attack. Your feet and body have to be in 100% coordination - if they're not, the point won't count. There's three points to be won in a fight."

At Saturday's tournament, combat started at 10am and finished at nearly 5pm.

Varinder Singh, from the Khalsa Panth Akhara in Oldbury, was presented with the tournament's Outstanding Player Award. Arvinder Singh, from Derby, won the Fair Play Award.

At the tournament
At the tournament

Jaspreet Kaur, from South Shields Khalsa Panth Akhara, won first place in the Junior Singles category. In the Senior Singles category, Jagmohan Singh, from Glasgow, took first place.

Teams from the Oldbury Khalsa Panth Akhara won both the Junior and the Senior Team awards.

"We believe it's not just the skill that you have to practice." said Luvjinder,  "It's about being humble and clear-headed-ness. It's not about the going out to win - it's about going out to learn. It's not just about the martial art - it's about becoming a better person."

Sharing Gatka - how to take part

The Khalsa Panth Akhara (Gatka group) in Oldbury are keen to share Gatka and Sikhism with the wider community, especially the young. Luvjinder said:

"Don't be afraid - we don't care who you are, what colour you are, what religion you are - we're Sikhs - a big part of Sikhism is equality.

At the tournament
At the tournament

"The higher levels of Gatka require the practice of Sikh spirituality and meditation - but we encourage everyone to have go at the basics, to find out more, and enjoy themselves!"

The Gatka group in Oldbury's full address is:

Yudh-Bhoomi - Oldbury, Gurdwara Amrit Parchar Dharmik Diwan, Birmingham Road, Oldbury, Warley, West Midlands. The Senior Gatka Teacher is Ustaad Bhai Butta Singh Ji.

Telephone 0121 552 3778, or see their website: www.khalsapanth.co.uk for more information.

A message from Senior Gatka Teacher -
Ustaad Bhai Butta Singh Ji

"Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh (The Pure belong to God - Victory is Gods')

"Well done to all that participated in Yudh 06 Gatka Tournament and were able to take something positive away. Even if you won or lost it is all about the positive change it made within you. Thanks to all those who attended the first ever Yudh Reinsbhai.

"The next Reinsbhai will be the Yudh 06 reunion and will be held at Gurdwara Khalsa Mero Roop Hai Khaas, Southshields, UK on the Saturday 3rd June 2006."

Bhai Butta Singh Ji - Khalsa Panth Akhara

last updated: 21/04/06
Have Your Say
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The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

hardeep
im rubbish i dont like my picture please remove it as i lost

sandeep kaur
i am a sikh and i proud to be a sikh and my favourite hobby is gatka.

sandeep kaur
hello my name is sandeep kaur and i go to gatka and i am on stage three and you did really good.

Rajy
dat was sik!!!

Singh
"Don't be afraid - we don't care who you are, what colour you are, what religion you are - we're Sikhs - a big part of Sikhism is equality. that why people with cut hair cannot enter your tournament?!

KAUR
I've started gatka recently and hopefully will be in the tournament next year. Well Done to everyone who did it last year

davinder virk
that sweet to learn more about sikhism and it's history but we should be supporting our communties and their benifits.

SHIVI SINGH
BABA AMRIK SINGH JI YOU REAL SIKH . WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN NOT DO WRONG.

selina
yaaaaay mr singh!!!! "bhai butta singh ji" as u guys know him is actually my teacher @ skool :)teaches da subjects n stuff but newayz jus wanid 2 say WOHOOOO U GOOOO!!!! well done 2 evry1 dat entered da competition u guys roooock n well done 2 mr singh 4 teachin all da youths :).....see ya @ skoool sir hehe

Hardeep singh
wjjk wjkf gatka is was done by our gurus, dont you think we the new generation should learn it?!!!!

sukhraj singh
W.J.K.K W.J.K.F i am sukhraj singh i like gatka and i and amrit last weeek i am sikh ok W.J.K.K W.J.K.F

H.S. Brar
Hello from California. The pictures show a side to our culture I have not seen since my youth in India.

Raj Saxena
I've been a lifelong fan of Indian martial arts, though I ractice western boxing due to the Indian arts being pushed to obscurity. If you guys can keep at it maybe the next generation would train in Pehlwani, Gatka or Kallaripatiyu instead of Karate or Boxing. I'd definitely like that.

mR SiNgH
big up 2 baba fateh singh gatka akhara, respect.

kaur
yes yes rajaaa keep it up!!!

priya
big up 2 every1 dat dus gatka espessially baba fateh singh gatka akhara woolwich yer cuz dats my akhara!

miss kaur
big ups 2 every1 in the oldbury and telford gatka team. u all did weel can't wait for next yr!!!

Gurbinder Gurbaux Kaur
Well done! To everyone who took part in the tornament it was great. Hi to everyone at the Oldbury Gatka akhara keep up the good work guys

Prabhjot Singh
hello i do gatka to iv learnt it for 10 yrzz nw

kiran
Looking at the pics of the tournament it seems lyk a wikid event, js wanted to say congratulations to those who won + evri1 who took part!!n oh yeh bigg up randeep aka raja!!!

telford kaur
the tornument was wiked coz i went nd it was really good well done to all the teams that took part nd the singles nd the supporters aswell it wouldnt be a good day with out u all wjkk wjkf

Rajinder pal singh
W.J.K.K W.J.K.F WELL DONE TO EVERYONE,the spirt of the khalsa has one thing in the mind.semeron that makes you a winner.keep it going in the mind and conquer anything.

Telford Singh
i just wanted to say, i think everyone did gr8, especially south shields single finalist! welldone singh wjkk wjkf

jaskarandeep
i think that the tournament woz great coz i was there playin for telford junior team

MENZIES SIXTH FORM
O yessss raja!!

Sando
WJKK WJKF It was a wicked day for every1. Well done to the oldbury akara mainly to Raja, Chaz, Pav, Sukh and Chuggers for winnig the teams

Luvjinder Singh
Please dont be afraid to learn Gatka or about Sikhism, everyone is welcome. Congratulations to everyone who took part in Yudh 06.

dhesi
well done raja and chaz wiked

Amrik Singh Parmar
WJKK WJKF Well done all the South sheilds brothers and sisters.

manpreet
i went 2 the tournament an it was gr8. go wolves! waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh.

Kaur
Everyone who took part were all winners. The idea behind gatka is most important, if you keep in mind that and not the winning then Guru Ji is with you.

Glasgow Singh
We wuz robbed!!! haha nah, well done to oldbury haha! at least our boy won the singles!! big up Bhai Jagmohan Singh

jenna
go on pav, knew you and your team could win.xx

galab singh
wjkk wjkf well done to all that atended the tournament,it was great to be a part of this excellent event. braveheart akarra edinburgh

Darshan Singh
WJKK WJKF Well done to all who participated in the Tournament. Daas Darshan Singh Gurdwara Khalsa Mero Roop Hai Khas Akhara South Shields http://www.keertan.co.uk

singh
excellent!! congratulations to oldbury akhara!!

Bobby
Big up to raja for winnin

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