The Physical Body: Indian Wrestling And Physical Culture
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(Jul 13, 2006)
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The Physical Body is a rare, unique look at the dying art of Kushti, India's indigenous form of wrestling and once royal national sport. This one hour video shot on location in Northern India closely examines the mechanics and regimens of physical development adhered to by wrestlers during their intense training routines. The two daily workout sessions under the supervision of a guru at the local akharas or wrestling gymnasiums are based on an ancient traditional wrestling and physical culture template that dates back thousands of years. Training with total devotion and intensity, the wrestler learns through exercise, diet, self-control and celibacy that his strength ultimately goes beyond the mere physical.
For the first time on DVD, you will experience wrestling in the traditional earthen pits and the distinctly Indian exercises with gadas (maces), joris (heavy clubs), nals (stone weights), gar nal (stone wheel), sumtola (Indian barbell), as well as an extensive investigation of the Mallakhamb or wrestler's pole, the rope Mallakhamb and the art of jori swinging for competition. The popularity of the dand (jack knife push-ups) also called Hindu push-ups and the baithak (deep knee-bend) or Hindu squat are shown in several variations along with the Hindu Squat Thrust. The relationship of these exercises to surya namaskar or sun salutation are also examined. All of which lead to a deeper more complete understanding of the execution and purpose of each exercise.
Traveling to one of the most famous akharas in Delhi, we contrast the ancient ways with the newer training methods on modern mats that threaten to extinguish the traditional sport in an unfortunate bid for more international currency.
This deluxe DVD edition includes unprecedented practice options and detailed workout footage for those who want to practice and use the exercises in their own daily training regimens.
"Vincent Giordano has put together an amazing documentary capturing the heart and soul of traditional Indian wrestling. Focusing on its training regimen and routines Vincent's photo journalist skills have captured and thus preserved the remnants of a vanishing yet still vibrant martial art. Yes, there are still practitioners of the ancient grappling style made world-famous by legends like Gama the Great, Ghulam, Iman Bux and Hamida. This is a true historical treasure!"
Mark S. Hewitt,
author, Catch Wrestling: A Wild and Wooly Look At the Early Days of Pro Wrestling in America
Available NOW: The Physical Body 2: Competition Training and the Dangal
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After seeing the film I came to discover the Filmaker and author did this documentary on his own dime and after many trips to India. The information captured is priceless to some one like myself. It allowed me to see for the first time the actual practices I had up till viewing this DVD had only read about. There is one old book that realy encompasses the the traditional styles of exercise in India. It is the Encyclopidia of Indian Physical Culture written in India in 1950. This DVD is a great companion to that old book. The footage of the Mallakhamb is worth the price alone. If you are looking for an instructional this is not for you . If however you are looking to see actual people of India doing Dands(push ups), Baithaks (Hindu Squats),Heavy Jori (clubs) swinging,Gada(Mace), Mallakhamb (pole /Vine)and tradition wrestling practice this DVD is a must have.
I look forward to other materials produced by this Author. He definately delivered.
Gadas (maces), joris (heavy clubs), mudgals (Indian clubs), nals (stone weights), gar nals, (stone wheels), and sumtolas (wooden barbells) are explored. The section on the Mallakhamb (the wrestler's pole) & the rope version of the Mallakhamb defy gravity; this alone is worth the price of the DVD. There is little information and even less footage of these ancient training devices. Vincent's keen eye and expert cinematography brings them to life.
Popular body weight exercises such as dands (jack knife push-ups) and baithaks (deep knee bends are shown in different variations. The Hindu Squat Thrust, which combines dands with baithaks, is introduced. These exercises and their relationship to the popular Sun Salutation are examined. An acrobatic neck bridging series is demonstrated, along with a rigorous warm up.
Once again Vincent Giordano takes viewer on a journey inside an exotic, unfamiliar training environment. The sequel to "The Physical Body", "The Physical Body 2: Competition Training and the Dangal", was just released. PB2 goes even further and focuses on training routines used to prepare for Dangals (wrestling competitions). Both DVDs are a must for grapplers, conditioning junkies, and historians alike. You can email Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
While my primary focus is North America and catch-as-catch-can wrestling I thoroughly enjoyed this journey to the land that is likely the cradle of much of the grappling arts.
Gama the Great would be proud.
Keep up the good work Vincent.
Catch Wrestling: A Wild and Wooly Look at the Early Days of Pro Wrestling in America