Evolution of the Game of Masses: Kabaddi

As a child, I’m sure, there would have been those special days when schools declared a holiday due to heavy rains. Maybe one of the happiest days of our lives. But rains have never been a strong enough reason to keep us locked up in our homes. Floating paper boats in the puddles, playing gilli-danda and the friendly Kabaddi matches have been the best memories of a rainy day. As we grew and got busy with our respective lives all the childhood memories seem to be mere luxury, we miss.

Talking of Kabaddi, guess it has been one special, fun game that has an element of charm – with or without rains. We know the rules of the game. Enter the opponent team’s half. Holding their breath, chanting… Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi. Tag one or more members of the opposite team. And return before running out of breath. Though it sounds fun and easy, but this game can turn into serious and rough play. But playing Kababddi and getting dirty in the mud is a magical experience that can’t be replaced by anything else.

The term Kabaddi is derived from the Tamil word, kai-pidi, meaning (let’s) hold hands. It’s the state sport of Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Kabaddi is also the national game of Bangladesh. Apart from that it’s a popular sport in various part of the world including Scottish borders. Surprising, isn’t it?

Have you ever wondered about the origin of Kabaddi? You’ll be amazed to know that the sport’s origin dated to the pre-historic times. The inception of Kabaddi was originally meant to develop physical strength, self-defense skills and quick responsiveness in young men. The game was meant to sharpen the reflex action of counter attacks of an individuals who were a part of a group or a team. Historians have found resemblance of Kabaddi in various mythology including the Mahabharata.

The game of Kabaddi is known by various names in various parts of the nation. ‘Kaunbada‘ in Northern India. ‘Hu-tu-tu‘ in Western India. ‘Ha-du-du‘ in Eastern India and Bangladesh. ‘Chedugudu’ in Southern India.

It was in the year 1918, the game was given a national status. It was only after 18 years that Kabaddi gained International exposure during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Two years down the line, in 1938, the game was introduced in the Indian Olympic Games in Calcutta. With the game gaining popularity, the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) came into existence in 1950. AIKF compiled standard rules for the game. In 1973, Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) came into existence. The purpose of AKFI was to popularize the game in neighboring countries. Also to organize national-level championships.

Over the years, the sports form has undergone a massive change. And modern-day Kabaddi is an amalgamation of various forms under different names. Kabaddi has come a long way from being a popular, rural "game of masses" to an Internationally-recognized sports form. And with the growing popularity, came into existence the Kabaddi World Cup in 2004. And since then, the Indian Kabaddi players remain the unbeaten champions year after year.

Has knowing the history and origin of the game Kabaddi left you nostalgic with childhood memories? Relive your childhood Kabaddi memories with the upcoming Kabaddi tournament. It is happening in Mumbai from July 26 – 29, 2014.

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets now and watch your favourite team win the Pro Kabaddi Championship

Tickets to the semi-finals and the ultimate finale of the Championship are available now. Click here to book your tickets!

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