The UK Television Program “Desi DNA” recently featured a deep-dive on Gatka, the Sikh Martial art. Gatka combines spirituality with discipline and melds strength with wisdom. It is one of the reasons I love Sikhi–you’re supposed to be both mentally and physically strong, and use that strength to help people. The clip features The Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara, a group I had the opportunity to train with in September 2005 at the West Coast Sikh Youth Alliance Summer Camp. I have a distinct memory of grappling with a fellow trainee while tumbling down a steep hill in driving rain and the pain of getting punched in the abs and face repeatedly, while being totally covered in mud. And I am stronger for it. I warn you though, the beginning of the video is a little silly.
Many great quotes from the video, for example:
“You’ve got the spirit of a warrior, and the soul of a saint.” - Tejji Bhaaji