Gatka Classes


Gatka School

Sign up for gatka lessons at Guru Har Rai Sahib Gurdwara. A Sikh martial art developed to defend those in need. You will learn all the skills required to master this martial art. More information to come soon.

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Kirtan Classes

 Gatka embodies the spirit of the saint-soldier, blending tradition, discipline, and valour.


Gatka has its roots in the Sikh martial tradition, dating back to the time of the Sikh Gurus in the 16th century. It was developed as a means of self-defense and combat training for Sikhs during a period of conflict. The term “Gatka” originally referred to a wooden stick used in combat, but over time, it evolved into a comprehensive martial art incorporating various weapons and hand-to-hand techniques.

Weapons and Techniques

In Gatka, practitioners wield a wooden stick (usually 91–107 cm long) with a fitted leather hilt. The shield, known as “phari,” complements the stick. Made of dry leather and filled with cotton or dry grass, it protects the hand during full-contact hits. Gatka’s techniques were taught by the Sikh gurus and have been passed down through generations of ustāds (masters) in various akharas (arenas) worldwide.

Spiritual Significance

Gatka serves dual purposes: defending righteousness (dharam) and achieving a union of spirit and body (miri piri).

During the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the British administrators banned Gatka in the mid-19th century. However, it resurfaced with modifications, applying sword-fighting techniques to wooden training sticks.


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