An ancient form of bare
knuckle boxing practiced in Banares, North India. The muki means fist and
this type of boxing is practiced in Banares as part of religious
celebrations.Muki players divide themselves in to two groups and fights
begin between two persons, usually the younger ones. As the competition
develops, older ones start to fight in pairs and soon the fight turns into a
free for all fight between the two groups. The fight continues till one of
the groups is driven back. Many competitors become injured, some seriously.
The players harden their
fists by striking against hard objects like stony surfaces. Breaking coconut
and bricks are used to test the conditioning of the fists.Some internal
energy training is also incorporated.Similar to South East Asian kickboxing
styles it makes use of punches, kicks, knees and elbow strikes although
punches tend to dominate. Practitioners claim this style to be a complete
art for physical, mental and spiritual development.
Mukna is a form of wrestling
from the north Indian state of Manipur. It is popular in Imphal, Thoubal and
Bishnpur. The game is generally played on the last day of the Lai Haraoba
festival and is an intrinsic part of the ceremonial functions.
Although the earliest record of mukna comes from the first half of the 15th
century,Manipuri legend traces this type of wrestling as far back as the
Hayachak era (Satya Yuga). During this period, Atiya Guru Shidaba had two
sons named Pakhangba and Sanamahi. Reincarnated from a horse, Sanamahi was
furious with his father for naming Pakhangba as heir to the throne. After
witnessing the chaos and confusion Sanamahi brought to the kingdom,
Pakhangba trapped his irate brother and, after a long and bitter encounter,
rendered him powerless with a deadly grip. This is said to have paved way
for the birth of mukna which flourished during the reign of King Khagemba
Matches begin with the competitors holding each other's belts called ningri.
The object is to pin the opponent with their back touching the ground. The
winner is called a yatra. Mukna contains many techniques which require
absolute physical fitness and skill to be mastered. Holding the opponent's
neck, hair, ear or legs with the hands is not permitted. Any strikes are
also considered fouls. Anyone who touches the ground with any part of their
body besides the feet is declared the loser.
Wrestlers are paired according to weight-class. The traditional attire not
only protects the players' vital points but also helps to identify the pana
or the yek, to which the wrestler belongs.