Guru Nanak Sports – Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara
What is Gatka?
Gatka is a Sikh spiritual martial art developed by our Gurus for self-defence. It is this very art that was used by our Sikh ancestors in war time to free our people from religious persecution and oppression. Our ancestors had to learn how to fight quickly and effectively because we were alwaysoutnumbered and didn’t have the luxury of years of martial training. Ancient India has been the birthplace of many fighting arts. Gatka can be described as being a streamlined evolved version of ancient fighting techniques. During its development, techniques that were known and proven to work on the battlefield were included and other long winded, ineffective and wishy washy techniques were rejected. This resulted in an art that is very fast and easy to learn. Typically students of Gatka learn how to spar (fight) with weapons in their first class.
Gatka is predominately a weapon based martial art using medieval weapons as swords, shields, axes, spears, daggers and archery etc. A typical class will incorporate stretching and fitness followed by weapon drills using bamboo canes (for safety) and then real time sparring with canes, shields and safety wear.
We as Sikhs today owe a debt of gratitude to our Gurus for sharing this art with us, without it we wouldn’t be here today. We train to keep our martial heritage alive and to honour our ancestor’s courage and sacrifices.
About Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara
Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara was established by Ustaad Uptej Singh Rattan in 1990. Our first Club was in Leyton Gurdwara, East London and was set up to get the local youth together. Our Ustaad used Gatka as a stepping stone for us to get closer to Sikhism, for which we are very grateful. Baba Fateh Singh refers to our tenth Guru’s youngest son, Sahibzada Fateh Singh. It was a fitting name for our Gatka group at that time because we were all youngsters. The word “Akhara” means a training group.
Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara Gravesend
Gatka classes are run by Ustaad Herman Singh Johal who has 23 years’ experience in the art.
August 2013 marked our tenth anniversary teaching and training here in Gravesend. We have continued our Ustaad’s legacy of providing an alternative stepping stone in to Sikhism using the medium of martial arts. Our aim has always been to get the youth and wider community together and build love, respect and brother/sister hood with one another. We are grateful to Gravesend Gurdwara that has always supported us through the years and has been forward thinking about its future generations.
All are welcome to learn in a respectful and friendly environment with one of the oldest Gatka organisation in the UK est. 1990
If you would like to join Gata Akhara, training is
Classes are FREE of charge, a service provided by Gravesend Gurdwara for the Sangat. Please bring head covering with training gear.
Herman Singh Johal
07950 485 169
Guru Nanak Sports Centre
Khalsa Avenue (off Trinity Road)