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In India, An Education Through Wrestling

5 November 2013 One Comment

When visiting akharas in India last year, Tim and Mark commented on how modest each of these gyms were: a dirt pit for wrestling, ropes to climb for conditioning, and a guru instructing young athletes what to do. The goal was simple, to keep a large team of young men using these akharas to learn discipline, a healthy lifestyle, and the skills to become a successful wrestler.

As India has become more modern, there has been a concern that the traditional sport of kushti would become lost in the contemporary world.  However, as Girish Doddamani recently reported within the Deccan Herald, the opposite has become true.  A new generation of wrestlers is visiting the akharas across the country hoping to add the same traits wrestlers glean into their own studies.

MYSORE GRAPPLERS by akshay mahajan

MYSORE GRAPPLERS by akshay mahajan

Brand new cell phones in hand, sporting goggles, wearing skin-tight t-shirts and jeans, they walk in. Completing the story of the new-age wrestlers are the backpacks loaded with books. They are not fully smitten by the bug of modern times, with their roots in naada kusthi (traditional mud wrestling) not at all forgotten.

Mysore’s very own naada kusthi is still a must for the new generation of wrestlers, for whom their forefathers remain an inspiration even as they pursue higher studies.

“Every day, I wake up at five to go for physical training while the afternoons are dedicated for learning kusthi,” says Deepak Kiran of Chikka garadi in Ashokpuram. Kiran is pursuing his BA degree at an evening college.

“I am not facing any problems in balancing studies and wrestling. Thanks to wrestling, I have been able to stay clear of bad habits.”

MYSORE GRAPPLERS by Akshay Mahajan (pushups)

MYSORE GRAPPLERS by Akshay Mahajan

The lure of preserving the wrestling culture in India has led a new generation of student-athlete to seek out akharas not to become Olympic champions, but to become the best doctor, engineer, or astrophysicist they can.  The lessons these students learn from wrestling can be transferable to any career path.

Tended Mud -Pit or The Akhara (Deepak Ansuia Prasad)

Tended Mud Pit for the Akhara (Deepak Ansuia Prasad)


To read the entire article: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/364021/modern-twist-ancient-sport.html

One Comment »

  • deepak said:

    Yes It is true, more and more people are joining the wrestling fraternity, and these are people are somewhat different from old wrestlers, now college going, mobile – net savy and facebooker wrestlers can be seen , which was not earlier, ..by moving around india, telling wrestlers to join face book so that they can have their picture clicked by me , is one of the reasons, once big wrestlers started the younger ones followed.

    today , an average man in indian cities do not have a good life style, obessity, no exercises , and driking and smoking habits are on the rise,
    i wanted to promote kushti wrestling among these people , for the benefit of wrestling as well as these people, by doing a 90 days 90 akhada training and practice of kushti by my self , living with wrestlers all the 90 days and want to show how kushtiwrestling can make a many healthy, i just need some sponsors for my travelling expenses

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