Shastra vidya , shastar vidiya, ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਵਿਦਿਆ, ayudh vidiya, vir vidiya, vir vidiya, loojaroo vidiya, jujaroo vidiya, chatka gatka
Mixed (Striking, weapon-based)
Multiple (Archery, maces, swords, tridents,...)
Purpose of Practice
Type of Origination
Degree of Sportification
Yes (Year: ) No
Shatar vidya is an ancient North Indian martial art from the Kshatriyas, Hindus of the Vedic warrior class (Singh Sagoo, 2017: 8). The literal meaning is “weapons knowledge” or “science of weapons”. The art can be bare-handed or armed. Common weapons are bows and arrows, maces, swords, axes and tridents (Singh Sagoo, 2017: 17). The main focus is on striking techniques, but also wrestling techniques were used (Singh Sagoo 2017: 60). During battle musical instruments were played (Singh Sagoo 2017: 34). In battle trained elephants and horses were used. There is also a strong spiritual and religious component to shastar vidya. Prayers and charms for good luck as well as worshipping of weapons and goddesses for victory are part of it (Singh Sagoo 2017: 22-23, 44).
Shastar vidya is a little known fighting technique from the north of India. It disappeared in the mid-19th after the final defeat of the Sikh empire by the British Raj century who banned the art (Taylor 2009).
The art has almost disappeared but efforts to preserve and rediscover the art have been made.
According to Gurdev Nidar Singh Nihang, called the last living master of shastar vidya by the British BBC, the art is now extinct in India. Nidar Singh is the founder of the only school currently teaching shastar vidya (Sanatan Shastar Vidiya, s.d.).
Harjit Singh Sagoo carefully researched the techniques as well as the spiritual and historical context in Shasra Vidja: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas (2017).
- A video by the bbc about a shastar vidya master teaching in London: “Is this the last living master of martial art shastar vidya?” https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-23694522
- Singh Sagoo, H. (2017). Shasra Vidja: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas. S.l.: Harjit Singh Sagoo. - Taylor, J. (2009). “Ancient but deadly: the return of shastar vidiya” Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ancient-but-deadly-the-return-of-shastar-vidiya-1679002.html - Sanatan Shastar Vidiya https://www.shastarvidiya.org/index.html - Nidar Singh Biography. http://nidarsingh.com/