Top Indian Martial Arts To Learn

Top Indian Martial Arts To Learn

India is a diverse nation with numerous ethnicities and cultures. One of the hidden gems among the various fascinating things about India is the Indian Martial arts. 

The Indian martial arts have been around in the country and world since ancient times. It has been a very popular thing in ancient cultures, but now it is more ceremonial things due to people and governments’ negligence. However, you can learn these various martial arts as they are some of the best forms of martial arts worldwide. 

In the article, we will tell you about some of the best Indian martial arts which Ayou can learn for defensive and offensive roles. They will also give you a unique skill to flaunt. 

Best Indian Martial Arts

These are some of the top styles of Indian martial arts which you can learn to have a unique skill that you can flaunt and can be useful in some situations. 


It is the oldest form of martial arts in India. This martial art originated in the state of Kerala during the 4th century A.D period. 

Kalaripayattu is a martial art that includes various things like body exercise to strengthen the body, oiling for better blood flow, sword fighting techniques, bare hand fight techniques, and more. 

This martial arts form was introduced in India by a temple builder named Sage Parasurama. The main goal of the introduction of this art was for physical fitness and self-defense without weapons. Its aspects also include oil massaging and exercising, which also help in keeping the body healthy on the overall level in general. The main attacking techniques of this art include strikes, weapons practice, and kicks. 

What’s amazing about this Indian martial art is that women also practice this art as a way of self-defense and physical fitness. 

Silambam (Fencing)

This form of Indian martial arts is a kind of fencing that originated in the Tamil Nadu state of India and is a type of scientific and modern martial arts. 

The Silambam martial arts include techniques like quick movements of the foot, thrust use, chop, cut, sweep, and development of force. It also includes techniques like hitting the body at specific places, monkey hits, snake hots, and hawk hits. All this makes it one of the most effective and scientific kinds of martial arts as it includes part-specific body attacking makes it dangerous. 

Fighters in this form of fencing also use swords and shields during the fights. Other than India, it is also a famous form of self-defense art in Malaysia. The invention of this art is credited to Lord Muruga and sage Agasthya during the Vedic age. 

Thang-ta and Sarit Sarak 

This is a form of martial art that the Manipur state’s Meitei people created. It is also one of the most popular forms of Indian martial arts among women. 

This is an armed martial arts form where Than means a sword and Ta means a spear. On the other hand, the Sarit Sarak is a form of unarmed martial arts where people use bare hands for combat. This is a type of martial arts which was popular during British India also. The king of Manipur used it against the British but later on, being victorious, Britishers banned this form of martial arts, fearing the consequences. 

Other than swords, axes, and shields are also popular in this form of Indian martial arts. 


This is a type of martial arts which originated in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Fighters in this variant of Indian martial arts fight using arrows and wooden bows. 

The name of this Indian martial art has been derived from the round wooden piece, which is attached to the arrow’s head for minimizing its lethal potential during friendly matches. However, during the real fights, the spears would be lethal. It is basically a type of archery which in inclusion with various other combat skills, takes the form of martial arts. 

The origins of this Indian martial art can be traced back to Mahabharata’s times in India. 


This is a type of Indian martial arts which originated in the Punjab state of India. It is basically a type of Sikh warfare which has been in use from very early times. 

This type of martial is popular among the Sikh community of India and the world and includes weapons for fighting. The term gatka in this form of martial arts translates to “Whose Freedom belongs to Grace.” This shows us that it was basically a combat art that was invented by the Sikhs against the Muslim invaders in India and has been popularly in use.

The Gatka fighters use various weapons like Kattar, a kind of dagger, swords, and Kirpan, a small sharp dagger. What’s even amazing is that it is also an art that women practice for their self-defense. 


This is a kind of Indian martial arts which is popular in the states of Bengal and Punjab. It is practiced using various weapons, out of which a wooden stick is the main component. 

The wooden stick in this martial art is famous by the name of Lathi in India and thus the name of sport. It is one of the oldest weapons which have been in use in various kinds of martial arts. These sticks in the martial arts, which the fighters use, are generally six to eight feet in length. They are also tipped with metal to make them even more effective and lethal. 

Ibuan Wrestling

Wrestling, like the other parts of the world, is also an ancient martial art in India. It is believed to have originated in the 1750 A.D. in the state of Mizoram in India. 

The art of Inuan wrestling consists of very strict rules for the players. It prohibits the players from stepping out of the circle like sumo wrestling. Other than this, it also inhibits knee bending and kicking in the game. This shows us that it was a type of sport and not a combat form of Indian martial arts. 

Kuttu Varisai 

This is a type of Indian martial arts which is practiced mainly in the southern parts of India. It is also a popular type of martial arts in Malaysia and Sri Lanka. 

It involves various techniques of combat like grabbing, locking, and striking your opponent. This is a type of martial arts which have been mentioned in ancient texts like Sangam. It has been popular in the Indian subcontinent from as early as the 2nd century B.C. This is an advanced form of Dravidian athleticism, which is not a combat martial art. It also involves various things like gymnastics, yoga, and breathing exercises. 

Other than these, it also includes animal-based attacking sets like a snake, tiger, eagle, monkey, and elephant. 

These are some of the most popular types of Indian martial arts which have been present in the country from ancient times. The martial arts are not only popular in India but also in other countries in various forms. 

Final Words

There are various forms of Indian martial arts which have been popular in and out of the country for their various uses like defense and entertainment. 

The good thing about these martial arts is that they are easy to learn and also include scope for women fighters. 

Jatin Choudhary

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