Kabaddi is basically an outdoor team game, played in the tropical countries of Asia. This indigenous game of India was adopted by other countries in Asia viz. Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Malaysia and more recently by Japan and China.

The excitement and thrill provided by the game has made it very popular and Kabaddi is rightly is rightly called the ‘Game of the masses’, since spectators totally involve themselves and give the players a great deal of encouragement. The game requires no equipment whatsoever, and the rules of the game are very easy to comprehend. This is the reason for the popularity of the game in rural areas, since rural youth in India can ill-afford the sophisticated equipment demanded by other sports.

The game demands agility, muscular co-ordination, breath holding capacity, quick response and a great deal of presence of mind. Kabaddi was probably invented to develop defensive responses by an individual against group attacks and a group‘s responses to an individual attack.

This is the only combative sport in which offence is an individual effort whereas defence is a group effort. For an individual to face upto seven opponents and remain unscathed is no mean achievement. This calls for tremendous fitness of body and mind and the ability to concentrate as well as anticipate the opponent’s moves. This can only be achieved with a lot of tactical preparation and manoeuvering.

Kabaddi has also been related to Yoga, since ‘Pranayama of Yoga, which means taking a deep breath and with-holding it plays a major role in Kabaddi in the form of ‘CANT’. Yoga is the means to control body and mind and has gained world-wide popularity. Yoga has become an essential part of the curriculum of sports and in almost every walk of life. ‘CANT’ which has a relation to
‘Pranayama’ is the continuous utterance of the approved term ‘Kabaddi’ while with-holding breath by the raider during the entire duration of his attack. ’CANT’ is the means by which internal organs are exercised by controlling breath as in Yoga together with physical activity as in any other sport. This is the only game which combines Yoga with vigorous physical activity.

Kabaddi believes in the maxim of a strong mind in a strong body. This inexpensive game should be given the maximum encouragement since it is well

suited for developing countries to realize the underlying spirit of sports, which is health for all.

History and Development

The origin of the game dates back to pre-historic times. The game was played all over the country in various forms. It was known as HU-TU-TU in Western India, HA-DO-DO in Eastern India and Bangladesh, Chedugudu m Southern India, Kaunbada and various other names in Northern India. Kabaddi may have been derived from the term ‘Kaunbada’ which means a challenge to the opponent. Some of the major forms of the game are Amar, Gemini, Sanjeevinj and the game was played as per the situation with flexible rules.

All these forms were synthesized to the present form of Kabaddi.

Maharashtra is the pioneer state to popularize this game and bring it to the national platform. It was only in 1918 that certain rules and regulations were laid down and efforts were made to give the game a National status. The rules and regulations were brought out in print for the first time in 1923 and an All India competition was conducted the same year at Baroda on the basis of these rules. The game received intemational exposure during the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin when it was demonstrated by the Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Manda], Amravathi, and it received good appreciation.

Kabaddi was introduced in the Indian Olympic Games at Calcutta in 1938. An All India Kabaddi Federation came into existence during 1950. Regular National Championships commenced from the year 1952. The first men’s Nationals were held in Madras and the first women’s Nationals were held in Calcutta in 1955. New rules were framed in 1954 at the Nat

National Championship held in New Delhi. Efforts were made to demonstrate the game in the World Youth Festival held at Moscow in 1957 but unfortunately due to various reasons this could not be accomplished. 
The Indian University Sports Control Board included Kabaddi as one of the main sports disciplines in their curriculum during 1961. The School Games Federation of India included the discipline in the school games during 1962. 
The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, a new body, came into existence in the year 1972 with the prime motive of organizing competitions at the National level and popularizing the game in the neighbouring countries. Junior and Sub]unior sections were also included in the national competitions. 
The National Institute of Sports, Patiala, the premier institute to develop sports in the Country included the game in the coaching curriculum with effect from 1971. Since then, qualified coaches are being produced every year, to train players at different levels in a systematic and scientific manner. 
The Indian men’s team toured Bangladesh in 1974 as a part of the Cultural Exchange Programme and played test matches in different parts of the country. The Bangladesh team visited India in 1979 and played 5 test matches in our 
The Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in the year 1978, at Bhilai, on the occasion of the silver jubilee of National Championships in Kabaddi. The first Asian Championship was conducted in the year 1980 at Calcutta. In 1981, Indian men 8: women teams went on a goodwill tour of the Asian countries and played exhibition matches in Thailand, Japan, Malaysia etc. in order to popularize the game abroad. Federation cup competitions for men and women commenced in the same year. In the IXth Asian Games held at New Delhi, Kabaddi was included as a demonstration game. An open International tournament was conducted in Bombay in 1984. The game was included in the South Asian Federation Games held at Dacca for the first time in 1985. On the occasion of the tri-centenary celebrations of the city of Calcutta, an International Invitation Kabaddi Tournament was organised at Calcutta. 
Kabaddi was included as one of the main disciplines in the XIth Asian Games, held at Beijing. This a major landmark in the history of Kabaddi. It was a proud moment for India when it won the GOLD MEDAL and an unforgettable event for Kabaddi lovers all over the country who had strived to get the game into the intemational arena. 

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