Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Aakar Patel: Kabaddi made esay

.....no shortage of Punjabis who are 6'3" and 100 kg and can crawl 20 metres....this height-weight thing has to do with some optimum kabaddi size....A centre of gravity issue, a strength versus agility thing....... All the players are medium-build and stocky....this body type makes it easy for the South to participate......
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Aakar Bhai has (momentarily we hope) switched off the political channel and activated the sports channel. And what an exciting game it is: Professional Kabaddi. There is even a Pakistani pro-k team that is expected to participate.

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A few fun facts....the game did NOT originate in China. Instead it is the Dravida civilization that gets the credit. Also it is the national sports of Bangladesh where it is known as hadudu (we suspect cricket is more popular).
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Did you ever play kabaddi in your youth?? We did (really), our school even had a ladies k-team (Iran vs. Taiwan, above). Why not give it a try, it is loads of fun, there is even beach kabaddi (Indian team, below). Plus the youth (in the enlightened west) are no longer encouraged to play contact sports (dodge-ball anybody???).  
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So think of kabaddi as akin to bull-fighting, an art that will be forgotten in a couple of generations time as we focus on more civilized pursuits. 

Which brings us back to the original question. Why did Patel maharaj suddenly change his beat? Perhaps because only he can delve deep into sociology and bring out  the clues that point to the proper cultural environment required to create a genuine kabaadi artist. And even though we may not learn more about pro-kabaadi we will certainly learn more about the master and admire HIS craft.

Thus all in all, good news for the legions of AP fans (and also the haters). Enjoy the new avatar while it lasts!!!
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There is something very warming about watching Pro Kabaddi. I mean in the names of the players. Their origins are on display and they are men from simple peasant stock.   
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This shows also in the way that they speak when interviewed. Thick north Indian accents abound. “Bilkul amajing hai” one player said before a match. Two team captains are police inspectors from Haryana.

The other thing that is interesting is the way they look. Kabaddi players do not resemble our cricketers. This is not a sport where one can get away purely on talent with the unfit and chubby Tendulkar-Gavaskar type of body.

Kabaddi players tend to be of a particular height, about 5'8", and around 78 kg. Let’s go through the list of captains to demonstrate this. Bangalore’s Manjit Chillar is 5’7” and 80 kg, Mumbai’s Anup Kumar is 5’9” and 80 kg, Jaipur’s Navneet Gautam is 6’ and 80 kg, Patna’s Rakesh Kumar is 5’9 and 78 kg, Bengal’s Nilesh Shinde is 5’8” and 79 kg, Hyderabad’s Rajaguru Subramanian is 5’8” and 77 kg, Delhi’s Jasmer Singh is 5’6” and 78 kg, Pune’s Wazir Singh is 5’6” and 83 kg.

There is no shortage of Punjabis and Haryanvis who are 6'3" and 100 kg and can crawl 20 metres with three men on their back. That there is not a single man of those dimensions in any team leads me to suspect that this height-weight thing has to do with some optimum kabaddi size. 


A centre of gravity issue, or a strength versus agility thing. All the players are medium-build and stocky and – here’s some armchair sociology – this body type makes it easy for the South to participate. There are quite a few Southerners, including a 39-year-old (inevitably nicknamed Anna) in the Bangalore team.

Something else struck me after watching kabaddi for a second night. Here is a game that could become our version of basketball. A made-for-TV sport that is tough and exciting and followed nationally, with encounters short enough to be watched over a couple of beers. A physical sport that leaves one with a sort of satisfaction that cricket often doesn’t. This was especially true after watching the first match on Sunday, a terrific contest between Bangalore and Pune.

The show opened with the usual celebrity interviews. After the Khans and Big B on Saturday, however, the standard plummeted and we had Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Nakul Vaid (I don’t know either) and Karan Patel (no relation).

Of course there also was the one celebrity who could be relied upon for a quote. “Although the Pink Panthers aren't playing today, we're here for Ronnie, and for the U Mumbai team and to support kabaddi,” said Abhishek Bachchan. Achcha. I was clearly wrong to think he came because he doesn't have much work.

The other irritating thing is that Star has decided to play the national anthem before every match, so that is twice in one night. As a result, the chanting is in the same dreary atmosphere as in cinema halls, where it is inflicted on revellers who have gathered for something else.

Once it began, however, as I said, it was an outstanding match and had me so riveted that the ice cubes melted and diluted the good liquid in my untouched glass.


The match was won by Bangalore, the work of a superb raider called Ajay Thakur, who did most of the offensive work for his team. He had a calm and lethal manner, picking up a point or two every time he went over. Explaining his team’s win on Saturday, Thakur said simply: “Hum sab 80-up the”. (We were each of us over 80 kilos). A man to watch out for in this tournament.

Sunday’s match was actually a close run thing and with 10 minutes to go, Pune were tied 30-30, mainly because of plenty of penalty points picked up in the first half. But then some tactical play by Bangalore (explained lucidly by commentator Suhail Chandhok, racing driver Karan’s brother) took the match away.

You should give watching Pro Kabaddi a try. Though some of the rules are recent inventions, and sometimes things are not easy to understand, the game is never boring. I thought it might be, when I saw Saturday’s matches, but Star appear to be cleaning up their act and telecasting it the right away.

Rule of the day: When a team down to three men catches a raider, it wins two points instead of one.

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[ref. Wiki]  

Kabaddi is a contact sport based on wrestling originated from very early (Tamil) Indian civilization. The word Kabaddi is derived from the Tamil words Kai-pidi,which literally meaning "(let's) Hold Hands."
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Kabaddi is popular throughout South Asia, and has also spread to Southeast Asia, Japan and Iran. It is the national game of Bangladesh where it is known as Hadudu. It is the state game of Tamil Nadu where it is said to be founded as Sadugudu, Andhra Pradesh,Punjab and Maharashtra in India. 

It is played by the British Army for fun, to keep fit and as an enticement to recruit soldiers from the British Asian community. The game is also played extensively in the small town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, mainly in the local primary school playground, where it is favored to more traditional childhood past-times such as 'British bulldogs' and 'Kiss, Cuddle and Torture'.

India won World Kabaddi Cup in 2013 held at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, (Punjab) India.

 
In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a field of 10 m × 13 m in case of men and 8 m × 12 m in case of women. Each has three supplementary players held in reserve. The game is played with 20-minute halves and a five-minute halftime break during which the teams exchange sides.
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The rules of the game are as follows. The teams take turns sending a "raider" into the other half. To win a point, the raider must take a breath, run into the opposing half, tag one or more members of the opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again. The raider will chant "kabaddi, kabaddi" with his exhaling breath to show the referee he has not inhaled.
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The raider will be declared "out" and will not gain the point if he inhales before returning to his side, or returns without touching an opponent. The tagged defender(s) will be "out" if they do not succeed in catching the raider who tagged them. Wrestling the raider to the ground can prevent him escaping before he needs to inhale.
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Defenders may not cross the centre line (the "lobby") of the field and the raider may not cross the boundary lines. However, there is one bonus line which can grant extra points for the raider if he manages to touch it and return successfully.
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Players who are out are temporarily sent off the field. Each time a player is out, the opposing team earns a point. A team scores a bonus of two points (called a "lona"), if the entire opposing team is declared out. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
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Matches are categorized based on age and weight. Six officials supervise a match: one referee, two umpires, a scorer and two assistant scorers.

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Link: http://scroll.in/article/671931/Pro-Kabaddi-is-actually-made-for-television


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regards