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Read on to explore the history and origin of the game of kabaddi in India

History of Kabaddi in India

Kabaddi is essentially an Indian game, which commands huge popularity in the India as well as its hinterland. In India, kabaddi is popular in different names. In the southern parts of India, the game is referred to as Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu. In eastern India, it is fondly called Hadudu (for men) and Kit-Kit (for women). The game is known as Kabaddi in northern India. Breath control, raid, dodging and movement of hand and feet are the basic skills that one has to acquire, in order to play kabaddi. The player has to acquire power and learn both offensive and defensive skills to excel in the game, which combines the characteristics of rugby and wrestling. Read on to explore the history of kabaddi in India.

History of Kabaddi Game In India

The origin of kabaddi can be traced to the pre-historic times. In India, kabaddi was primarily devised as a way to develop the physical strength and speed in young men. During its inception, kabaddi was played to boost the self-defense skills and to develop quick responsiveness to attacks. It also sharpened the reflexes of counter attacks of the individuals, who mostly played in groups or teams. Kabaddi also finds place in Hindu mythology. The dramatized version of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, has made an analogy of the game, wherein the warrior Arjuna's son Abhimanyu faces a tough time, when he is trapped in the 'Chakravyuha' set by his enemies of the War.

Kabaddi In Mythology
Historians suggest that some other ancient scripts have proved that kabaddi existed in the pre-historic times in India. In Mahabharata, Arjuna had a unique talent in the game of kabaddi. He could effortlessly sneak into the 'wall' of enemies, destroy them all and come back unscathed. As per the Buddhist literature, Gautam Buddha played kabaddi for recreational purposes. It says that he loved to play the game and took it as a means to exhibit his strength, which helped him to win his brides. It is quite evident from the manuscripts discovered by the historians that kabaddi was a much adored game in the ancient times.

Kabaddi In Modern India
In the modern times, kabaddi was given the national status of a game in India in 1918. The state of Maharashtra is accredited with upbringing the game to a national platform. Consequently, the standard set of rules and regulations for the game were formulated in the same year. However, the rules and regulations were brought to print only after a few years, in 1923. During the same year, an All India Tournament for kabaddi was organized at Baroda, wherein the players strictly followed the rules and regulations formulated for the game. Since then, the game has come a long way. Its popularity increased and a number of tournaments were organized at national level, throughout the country. The game was introduced at the 1938 Indian Olympic Games held at Calcutta, which fetched it international recognition.

With a view to increase the popularity of kabaddi as a sport in India, the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) was founded in 1950. Since its establishment, the AIKF has been working towards uplifting the standard of the game. To serve the purpose, it has been conducting National level kabaddi championships on a regular basis since 1952, in accordance with the set rules and regulations (for the game). In 1955, the first men's national tournament was organized in Madras (the present day Chennai), while the women's nationals were held in Calcutta (the present day Kolkata). The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) came into existence in 1973, in order to popularize the game in the neighboring countries of India as well as to organize national level tournaments.

Inclusion Of Kabaddi In Curriculum
In 1961, the Indian University Sports Control Board (IUSCB) included the game of kabaddi in its curriculum, as a prime sports discipline for the students. This raised the status of kabaddi as a game in India, further. Thereafter, the game was introduced as one of the important games in the school by the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) in 1962. This decision played the pivotal role in urging the school going children to participate in state and national level competitions for the game, organized by the SGFI. Another development in the history of kabaddi in India took shape in 1971, when the National Institute of Sports (NIS) included Kabaddi in the curriculum of Regular Diploma courses.

The Present Day Scenario
The popularity of kabaddi has increased over the passing years, from being a popular game in the rural India to a sport recognized at the national level. A number of championships, both at the national and international level, have been organized for kabaddi, wherein the Indian national kabaddi team has delivered remarkable performances. The introduction of Federation Cup Kabaddi matches in India in 1981 is a milestone in the history of kabaddi in India. India touched another milestone in 2004, when she hosted the first ever Kabaddi World Cup, in Mumbai. The country won the World Cup, as well. She has produced a number of talented Kabaddi players, so far, who have earned international recognition and brought laurels to the country.