Indian martial arts training for Army troops post Galwan clash

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Martial art being practiced by troops from a Unit of Punjab Regent deployed along the LAC in Kibithu, Arunachal Pradesh

Martial art being practiced by troops from a Unit of Punjab Regent deployed along the LAC in Kibithu, Arunachal Pradesh
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Various Indian martial arts are now part of the routine training of regiments of the Army. Post the Galwan violent clash between India and China, the Army has added martial arts to the regular training of troops in addition to the usual physical exercise, officials said. For instance, the Punjab regiment has incorporated Ghtaka in the training regime, the Gorkha Regiment the Khukri dance and the Kalari Payattu by the Madras regiment. A unit of the Punjab regiment deployed close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Kibithu in eastern Arunachal Pradesh displayed the martial arts training to a group of visiting journalists.

Major Kartikey Jaiswal of the unit said the terrain here had its own peculiarities and added to the challenges faced during patrolling. “These are in the form of fast flowing rivers, nallas, continuous rains, continuously changing weather conditions and the high cliffs and mountains in this area. To face these challenges, we continuously undertake training and the martial arts is one of them,” he said.

Speaking on the challenges in this particular terrain, the Commanding Officer of the Unit, Col. Prince Rohit said the very nature of military job was challenging but training and drills prepare officers and men to face these challenges. Specific challenges faced here are terrain — mountains and jungles; unpredictable and heavy rains; very specific flora and fauna of Arunachal jungles.

Israeli-origin martial art

Post the Galwan clash in June 2020, the Udhampur-based Northern Command introduced the Israeli-origin martial art Krav Maga and later units picked up different martial arts based on their affiliations.

“We cannot be surprised if clashes happen during a face-off, hence the martial arts training,” one official in the know observed, adding, “There are several Indian martial art forms which have existed for a long time, and they are better suited for us.”

To ensure physical and mental fitness, standards are maintained. All personnel up to 45 years of age undergo the Battle Preparedness and Efficiency Test (BEPT) once in every quarter. As part of this, one has to run five km in 25 minutes. This is for those up to 30 years of age and for those above 30 years up to 40, additional two minutes are given.

The Army recently revised the review format of physical fitness for officers, which is yet to be implemented.

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