||Mallyuddha is the traditional South Asian form of combat-wrestling created in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is closely related to Southeast Asian wrestling styles such as naban and is the ancestor of kusti (International Federation of Mallyuddha, s.d.).|
Mallyuddha incorporates grappling, joint-breaking, punching, biting, choking and pressure point striking. Traditionally there were four types of matches which varied from sportive contests of strength to actual full-contact fights known as yuddha. Due to the extreme violence, this final form is generally no longer practised. The second form, wherein the wrestlers attempt to lift each other off the ground for three seconds, still exists in South India. Additionally, mallyuddha is divided into four styles, named after Hindu gods and legendary fighters (International Federation of Mallyuddha, s.d.).
||Wrestling in South Asia has a history of at least 5000 years. Competitions held for entertainment were popular among all social classes, with kings and other royalty taking part as well. Wrestlers represented their kings in matches between rival kingdoms; death matches before the royal court served as a way to settle disputes and avoid large-scale wars. As such, professional wrestlers were held in high regard. In pastoral communities, people would also wrestle against steers (International Federation of Mallyuddha, s.d.).|
|Several initiatives have been taken to safeguard and promote mallyuddha.|
The International Federation of Mallyuddha (IFM) promotes mallyuddha as intangible cultural heritage. The National Martial Arts Academy of India has been approved as their partner in research and training.
Mallyuddha was part of the 2020 International Combat Games (biannual event of IACS International Association of Combative Sports) and the National Traditional Sports Games 2020 in India.
||- International Federation of Mallyuddha (IFM)|
- National Martial Arts Academy India (NMAA-India)
||- International Federation of Mallyuddha (IFM) https://mallyuddha.com|