The Return of Shastar Vidiya

Gatka owes its early development to the Shaster Vidiya, literally meaning knowledge of the arms. This was a warrior curriculum used by the Sikhs for military training. [link]

martial_art_ls_170060s.jpgA fascinating article in a UK newspaper highlights the return of Shaster Vidiya – the “world’s original martial art” which was banned by the Raj after the final defeat of the Sikh empire in the mid-19th century. Considered a forgotten art form, Shastar Vidiya waspracticed in North India before the emergence of Sikhism. However, it was the Sikhs who were known to havefully mastered this particular fighting style.

Now, it seems, young British Sikhs are attempting to revive this lost art form. Their teacher, a controversial figure named Nidar Singh Nihang, has been studyingthe art of Shastar Vidiya for the past 20 years in hopes of passing it onto the younger generation. Students begin learning how to fight with simple wooden sticks. However, those who show a particular skill and dedication are allowed to practice with the kind of swords that once made the Sikh armies so powerful. The article points out the irony of a British Sikh trying to resurrect shastar vidiya given the history,

the Sikhs quickly turned themselves into an efficient and fearsome warrior race. The most formidable group among them were the Akali Nihangs, a blue-turbaned sect of fighters who became the crack troops and cultural guardians of the Sikh faith. As Britain’s modernised colonial armies expanded across the Indian subcontinent, some of the stiffest opposition they faced came from the Sikhs who fought two bloody but ultimately disastrous wars in the 1840s that led to the fall of the Sikh empire and allowed Britain to expand its Indian territories as far as the Khyber Pass.

Astonished by the ferocity and bravery of the Akali Nihangs, the Punjab’s new colonial administrators swiftly banned the group and forbade Sikhs from wearing the blue turbans that defined the Akalis.

Many people believe that the form of shastar vidiya Nidar Singh Nihang teachesand the information he preaches may actually not be sincere to Sikh history. It’s an interestingread – I recommend you reading the entire piece. And here Ithought Capoeira would be the only martial art form I wanted to learn about. What about you Langarites? What is your experience with this art form?


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56 Responses to “The Return of Shastar Vidiya”

  1. Miss Kaur says:

    Shastar Vidiya is the hindhu version of Gatka which was around before Gatka. Most eastern native martial arts do have a lot in common.

    The shastar vidiya mentioned above is a cultist group who brand themselves as the "sanatan hindu sikh shastarvidiya." They are a controversial group and so perhaps not the best to use as an example of shastar vidiya.

  2. British Sikh says:

    i completely agree with Miss Kaur above, especially when Niddar Singh is renowned for stating that 'Sikhs are apart of the wider ocean of Hinduism'.

  3. Miss Kaur says:

    Shastar Vidiya is the hindhu version of Gatka which was around before Gatka. Most eastern native martial arts do have a lot in common.

    The shastar vidiya mentioned above is a cultist group who brand themselves as the “sanatan hindu sikh shastarvidiya.” They are a controversial group and so perhaps not the best to use as an example of shastar vidiya.

  4. British Sikh says:

    i completely agree with Miss Kaur above, especially when Niddar Singh is renowned for stating that ‘Sikhs are apart of the wider ocean of Hinduism’.

  5. Joo Kay Singh says:

    Niddar Singh has been relatively successful at promoting 'Shastar Vidiya' as the 'lost Sikh martial' art in the UK amongst the non-Sikh crowd, through martial arts seminars, his book, occasional articles in the mainstream press and compared to most other sikh-related groups – a very well-oiled PR machine (care of Parmjit Singh and Amandeep Madra of 'Warrior Saints' fame, although the latter has lately been making noises distancing himself from Niddar)

    You can see Niddar's appeal to impressionable teenagers (predominantly boys – very few girls attend his classes. In fact, UKPHA, who promote Niddar and his events, and is run by Parmjit and Amandeep, have stated in their latest annual report, that their main target demographic are young sikh males …) who see him as a 'bone-breaking' warrior, possesor of a secret martial art, which surpasses all other. You could almost say he has had a Mr Miyagi effect on some kids in Southall/Hounslow/Birmingham(a LOT of young boys in my local area, myself included, started learning martial arts after watching the Karate Kid in the 80's)

    Whilst I dont doubt this guy can kick ass, I find his grasp of history a little strange (especially since he claims to be a historian in his new book!). One of his claims is that 'Shastar Vidiya' was taught by 'Akali' (he prefixes all gurus as Akali) Guru Nanak sahib to Baba Budha Ji, and the latter then transmitted this 'secret' vidiya to 'Akali' Guru Hargobind Sahib – and that the Buddha Dal was formed during the guru period (and not in the post guru period, as is widely accepted)

    His other insistnce is that Guru Gobind Singh sahib created the Khalsa to continue the 'Kshatriya' martial linage and that the Khalsa is predominantly a martial order – is at firm odds with the fact that the first initiates into the Khalsa were not Kshatriya, and enrolement into the Khalsa was more an utter act of volunteerism than martial prowess.

    His knack of trying to 'hindu-ize' everything and consistently knock the Singh Sabha movement sounds a little deseparate at times, but I think if he continues unchallenged (in a sensible way, not mudslinging) by the Sikh community, he'll end up confusing a lot of young sikh boys and non-Sikhs about Sikhs and Sikhi!

  6. Joo Kay Singh says:

    Niddar Singh has been relatively successful at promoting ‘Shastar Vidiya’ as the ‘lost Sikh martial’ art in the UK amongst the non-Sikh crowd, through martial arts seminars, his book, occasional articles in the mainstream press and compared to most other sikh-related groups – a very well-oiled PR machine (care of Parmjit Singh and Amandeep Madra of ‘Warrior Saints’ fame, although the latter has lately been making noises distancing himself from Niddar)

    You can see Niddar’s appeal to impressionable teenagers (predominantly boys – very few girls attend his classes. In fact, UKPHA, who promote Niddar and his events, and is run by Parmjit and Amandeep, have stated in their latest annual report, that their main target demographic are young sikh males …) who see him as a ‘bone-breaking’ warrior, possesor of a secret martial art, which surpasses all other. You could almost say he has had a Mr Miyagi effect on some kids in Southall/Hounslow/Birmingham(a LOT of young boys in my local area, myself included, started learning martial arts after watching the Karate Kid in the 80’s)

    Whilst I dont doubt this guy can kick ass, I find his grasp of history a little strange (especially since he claims to be a historian in his new book!). One of his claims is that ‘Shastar Vidiya’ was taught by ‘Akali’ (he prefixes all gurus as Akali) Guru Nanak sahib to Baba Budha Ji, and the latter then transmitted this ‘secret’ vidiya to ‘Akali’ Guru Hargobind Sahib – and that the Buddha Dal was formed during the guru period (and not in the post guru period, as is widely accepted)

    His other insistnce is that Guru Gobind Singh sahib created the Khalsa to continue the ‘Kshatriya’ martial linage and that the Khalsa is predominantly a martial order – is at firm odds with the fact that the first initiates into the Khalsa were not Kshatriya, and enrolement into the Khalsa was more an utter act of volunteerism than martial prowess.

    His knack of trying to ‘hindu-ize’ everything and consistently knock the Singh Sabha movement sounds a little deseparate at times, but I think if he continues unchallenged (in a sensible way, not mudslinging) by the Sikh community, he’ll end up confusing a lot of young sikh boys and non-Sikhs about Sikhs and Sikhi!

  7. Sundari says:

    Thank you for your very informative comments! Forums like this are especially important as they allow you to gain some perspective on the issues which are being discussed. I have updated the post to reflect your comments.

    I can see how the article was targeted at a non-Sikh audience, a group who may not be aware of the accuracy of historical information. Nevertheless, I do wonder how this guy has been able to obtain a contingency of youth to follow him. Are these young men simply uninformed or perhaps does he offer them a distraction or belonging/identity which they haven't obtained elsewhere?

  8. Jodha says:

    Sundari,

    He offers them a sense of belonging, an outlet for male aggression, the feeling of being made 'privy' to 'real' Sikhi, and a way to feel more 'authentic' than other Sikhs that often translates to a 'holier-than-thou' attitude.

  9. Sundari says:

    Thank you for your very informative comments! Forums like this are especially important as they allow you to gain some perspective on the issues which are being discussed. I have updated the post to reflect your comments.

    I can see how the article was targeted at a non-Sikh audience, a group who may not be aware of the accuracy of historical information. Nevertheless, I do wonder how this guy has been able to obtain a contingency of youth to follow him. Are these young men simply uninformed or perhaps does he offer them a distraction or belonging/identity which they haven’t obtained elsewhere?

  10. Jodha says:

    Sundari,

    He offers them a sense of belonging, an outlet for male aggression, the feeling of being made ‘privy’ to ‘real’ Sikhi, and a way to feel more ‘authentic’ than other Sikhs that often translates to a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.

  11. samosa singh says:

    I've had some exposure to Shastar Vidya as taught by Nihang Nidar Singh at camps in the US. He's also stayed at our home before and after camps and I've had a chance to hear more about the Sanatan Shastar Vidiya / "Sanatan" Sikh philosophy one on one.

    I've been raised in the modern Sikh tradition or as some like to call "Singh Sabha." I don't really feel confused by the "Sanatan" stuff. In fact, I enjoyed hearing and learning about this perspective– some of it makes sense, and some does not. The man can def talk your ear off! I especially enjoyed learning the techniques he taught to kick butt. As a turban wearing Sikh, I feel more confident knowing that I can protect myself with my hands too, even if I don't have a sword/kirpan.

    Many Sikhs fret about the Sikh identity being usurped by the amoeba that is modern day Hinduism and this leads to some of us making knee-jerk judgments about Shastar Vidya and Nihang Nidar Singh. Just listen to what he's saying with an open mind. I did and I found that I gained a lot from it. I didn't agree with all of what he said, and I found that Nihang Nidar Singh was pretty open to listening to my perspective as well.

  12. samosa singh says:

    I’ve had some exposure to Shastar Vidya as taught by Nihang Nidar Singh at camps in the US. He’s also stayed at our home before and after camps and I’ve had a chance to hear more about the Sanatan Shastar Vidiya / “Sanatan” Sikh philosophy one on one.

    I’ve been raised in the modern Sikh tradition or as some like to call “Singh Sabha.” I don’t really feel confused by the “Sanatan” stuff. In fact, I enjoyed hearing and learning about this perspective– some of it makes sense, and some does not. The man can def talk your ear off! I especially enjoyed learning the techniques he taught to kick butt. As a turban wearing Sikh, I feel more confident knowing that I can protect myself with my hands too, even if I don’t have a sword/kirpan.

    Many Sikhs fret about the Sikh identity being usurped by the amoeba that is modern day Hinduism and this leads to some of us making knee-jerk judgments about Shastar Vidya and Nihang Nidar Singh. Just listen to what he’s saying with an open mind. I did and I found that I gained a lot from it. I didn’t agree with all of what he said, and I found that Nihang Nidar Singh was pretty open to listening to my perspective as well.

  13. Miss Kaur says:

    FAO Samosa Singh

    You can listen to him open mindedly but how do you differentiate with what is right and wrong. The simple solution is to stay well clear in familiar territory and let him get on with what he does. To be honest this whole Hindu Sikh snatan stuff is really all him and his mates.

  14. Miss Kaur says:

    FAO Samosa Singh

    You can listen to him open mindedly but how do you differentiate with what is right and wrong. The simple solution is to stay well clear in familiar territory and let him get on with what he does. To be honest this whole Hindu Sikh snatan stuff is really all him and his mates.

  15. ambi says:

    He offers them a sense of belonging, an outlet for male aggression, the feeling of being made ‘privy’ to ‘real’ Sikhi, and a way to feel more ‘authentic’ than other Sikhs that often translates to a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.

    Jodha, that sounds like the appeal of mainstream Sikh sects to me, as much as this guy.

  16. ambi says:

    He offers them a sense of belonging, an outlet for male aggression, the feeling of being made privy to real Sikhi, and a way to feel more authentic than other Sikhs that often translates to a holier-than-thou attitude.

    Jodha, that sounds like the appeal of mainstream Sikh sects to me, as much as this guy.

  17. Amarjeet Singh Akali says:

    The Shastar Vidiya that the Sikhs use is different to that of the Hindus. The Hindu Shastar Vidiya was totaly inefective against the Moghuls. Guru Hargobind developed a UNIQUE form of Shastar Vidiya including the Mul Pentra, new tactics, moves, strategies etc. It should not be called Hindu/Sikh martial arts. And Sikhi is not part of Sanatan Dharma. Sikhi in that respect is PURATAN.

    My personal belief which is shared with many Nihangs is that Nidar Singh is actualy employed by the RSS. He regurgetates typical RSS propaganda and lies about Sikhi which try to label Sikhs as Hindus.

  18. Simran says:

    Hi I been going to Shastar Vidiya classes for about 5 years now. I'm a Sahejdhari Sikh lad (mona). I was told about the classes by a relative so I went to check it out and see it for myself. When I went into the hall I was struck by the amount of weapons that were on display and impressed by Nidar Singh's English and the way he communicated – very clear and straight to the point. The class had started and I noticed that the students didn't even warm-up, Nidar said that if you were about to defend yourself you're not going to ask your attacker to give you a couple of minutes to do a bit of stretching. The moves I saw that day were very simple, one person throwing a punch, the other person stepping to one side to avoid it and countering etc.. I thought to myself as I'm always free during the time the class is held why don't I attend. Another thing that struck me was that there was no money involved – you just contribute how much you want to give.

    So I started attending lessons week after week. I concluded that basically in Chinese martial arts you have styles based on animals, in traditional Indian martial arts when at the begining there was no Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, the styles were based on Gods and Goddesses; Shiv, Chandi, Hanuman. Shiv being the destroyer just gets in there and does the biz. Chandi has a more deceptive style – draws the person in. Hanuman is geared more to wrestling. And you have other styles. The aim is to gradually learn all the styles and then you free to mix and match 'em to your hearts content – talk about creativity!

    Now in Shastar Vidiya erasing the Gods and Goddesses and replacing the techniques and concepts with more appropriate terms that some Sikhs will accept is not the way to go. That would be like taking a best selling novel in English, translating it into Punjabi and putting your name on it. Only a scum bag with no values would do such a thing!

    What I am trying to put across is that I started going to the classes to learn martial arts and by stripping everything else and concentrating solely on the techniques the art is awesome, fantastic, amazing! Now I have no problem learning the styles based on Gods and Goddesses as to me they don't metaphysically exist but are just archetypes created to explain things – it's all in the mind, however some people believe they are as real as real, everyone in class is free to think whatever he or she likes. There is even a debate about this amongst Hindu's themselves. And, also in Hinduism there are many schools of thought. Some even believe in One God only and in there texts and scriptures there is not even a mention of a God or Goddess! If you don't believe me , google Nisargadatta Maharaj or Ramana Maharshi. If you read there quotes and didn't now that they were Hindu you would be forgiven to think that they were Sikh Giani's. And, never ever have I heard Nidar Singh tell anyone to do pooja or prey to a God or Goddess, Never. I been going for 5 years don't you think I would have picked up on something? Those who say different are lying – Saur Rab di.

    So basically I carried on attending classes and as we started moving onto more advanced stuff. It really started getting to me. Because it started to dawn on me that this art is so hard. THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE DONT APPRECIATE! I've seen many people come and ago over the years. Quitters!

    I have so much respect for the people who have stayed and I think even thou we don't talk about it, we know how much it takes to stick at it, it's a unique type of respect we have for one and another. The only way you can advance in the art is that you have to love it from the very pit of your being and you have to practise, practise and practise. Once someone said to me that Shastar Vidiya is no big deal anyone can learn it. To me that was an insult, no one can just learn it, you have to struggle, overcome demoralisation over and over, battle with yourself, having to reassure yourself that you have to be patient, just hang in there, hang in there. Times I think Nidar Singh believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Who can you say this about? And, don't say God. I meant a human. Anyone else would have quit on us long time ago, as he certainly isn't doing it for the money.

    Also Gatka is crap. All the Gatka moves have been demonstrated over and over again and they have all been proven to be flawed. Think about it someone is doing Gatka and doing mind dazzling moves with his stick say that you just go for his hand with yours, isn't that akin to simply turning the tap off? That's just one example.

    Now that the art has come on the radar of mainstream martial arts community. People other than Sikhs are now attending classes, cos they see it as the real deal. Imagine that a Gorra learning an art that your ancestors, your blood used in combat and you don't know it yourself. That's the real shame and tragedy if it all. Not the Gorra learning it as should be encouraged to the wider community but a Sikh not doing so on account of him disowning it. Something that has always been his heritage and shall always be!

    What have I learnt from going to Shastar Vidiya classes? Never give up, always be sincere to yourself. And visualisation skills. I can close my eyes and can imagine someone right in front of me, his hands, shoulders, movements are so real like he's right in front of me, so it allows me to train in my mind and understand how a body works and how it can be manipulated subtly. This art isn't for thick people! It's not about muscle but brain, using laws of physics to your advantage. You need a brain to figure things out, break down concepts and most importantly heart!

    I only wrote after reading Sundari's comments.

    Khalsa Fateh

  19. Simran says:

    And if you guys want to pick up on my remark:

    Times I think Nidar Singh believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Who can you say this about? And, don’t say God. I meant a human. Anyone else would have quit on us long time ago, as he certainly isn’t doing it for the money.

    I meant in the context of a teacher-pupil relationship and solely relating to the martial art. If you are teaching someone an advanced topic and the pupil isn't grasping it immediately and is feeling disheartened. A true teacher would realise this is natural, as he understands and would continue teaching, knowing that in time the pupil will eventually get it.

    As for RSS and other Hinduvta organisations, Sikhs are suspicious of them and rightly so but approach the whole Hinduvta thing in the wrong way. You need brains to see behind their schemes and designs. It's like theres a Muslim guy who preaches all the time and is well know for it and aspires to convert people. You heard about him and one day he approaches you and engages in an conversation about religion, he asks you questions, immediately you go on the back foot! This is what us Sikhs do when the conversation of Hinduvta comes up, we go on the defensive. Why don't we put one foot forward, feel proud and use our brains, instead of getting all emotional. We should contradict their views, highlighting the flaws in their argument etc.. A People who live on the defensive have a very bleak future ahead.

    Nidar Singh has a following amongst the youth because of the Shastar Vidiya. Someone watches a Bruce Lee film and listens to a someone playing a Dhol, it could be anything that impresses them. Some will be content in merely watching or listening. Others will think to themselves hey thats cool I wanna be able to do that – and decide to do something about it!

    It's a passion for the art. It's priceless!

  20. Amarjeet Singh Akali says:

    The Shastar Vidiya that the Sikhs use is different to that of the Hindus. The Hindu Shastar Vidiya was totaly inefective against the Moghuls. Guru Hargobind developed a UNIQUE form of Shastar Vidiya including the Mul Pentra, new tactics, moves, strategies etc. It should not be called Hindu/Sikh martial arts. And Sikhi is not part of Sanatan Dharma. Sikhi in that respect is PURATAN.
    My personal belief which is shared with many Nihangs is that Nidar Singh is actualy employed by the RSS. He regurgetates typical RSS propaganda and lies about Sikhi which try to label Sikhs as Hindus.

  21. Simran says:

    Hi I been going to Shastar Vidiya classes for about 5 years now. I’m a Sahejdhari Sikh lad (mona). I was told about the classes by a relative so I went to check it out and see it for myself. When I went into the hall I was struck by the amount of weapons that were on display and impressed by Nidar Singh’s English and the way he communicated – very clear and straight to the point. The class had started and I noticed that the students didn’t even warm-up, Nidar said that if you were about to defend yourself you’re not going to ask your attacker to give you a couple of minutes to do a bit of stretching. The moves I saw that day were very simple, one person throwing a punch, the other person stepping to one side to avoid it and countering etc.. I thought to myself as I’m always free during the time the class is held why don’t I attend. Another thing that struck me was that there was no money involved – you just contribute how much you want to give.

    So I started attending lessons week after week. I concluded that basically in Chinese martial arts you have styles based on animals, in traditional Indian martial arts when at the begining there was no Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, the styles were based on Gods and Goddesses; Shiv, Chandi, Hanuman. Shiv being the destroyer just gets in there and does the biz. Chandi has a more deceptive style – draws the person in. Hanuman is geared more to wrestling. And you have other styles. The aim is to gradually learn all the styles and then you free to mix and match ’em to your hearts content – talk about creativity!

    Now in Shastar Vidiya erasing the Gods and Goddesses and replacing the techniques and concepts with more appropriate terms that some Sikhs will accept is not the way to go. That would be like taking a best selling novel in English, translating it into Punjabi and putting your name on it. Only a scum bag with no values would do such a thing!

    What I am trying to put across is that I started going to the classes to learn martial arts and by stripping everything else and concentrating solely on the techniques the art is awesome, fantastic, amazing! Now I have no problem learning the styles based on Gods and Goddesses as to me they don’t metaphysically exist but are just archetypes created to explain things – it’s all in the mind, however some people believe they are as real as real, everyone in class is free to think whatever he or she likes. There is even a debate about this amongst Hindu’s themselves. And, also in Hinduism there are many schools of thought. Some even believe in One God only and in there texts and scriptures there is not even a mention of a God or Goddess! If you don’t believe me , google Nisargadatta Maharaj or Ramana Maharshi. If you read there quotes and didn’t now that they were Hindu you would be forgiven to think that they were Sikh Giani’s. And, never ever have I heard Nidar Singh tell anyone to do pooja or prey to a God or Goddess, Never. I been going for 5 years don’t you think I would have picked up on something? Those who say different are lying – Saur Rab di.

    So basically I carried on attending classes and as we started moving onto more advanced stuff. It really started getting to me. Because it started to dawn on me that this art is so hard. THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE DONT APPRECIATE! I’ve seen many people come and ago over the years. Quitters!
    I have so much respect for the people who have stayed and I think even thou we don’t talk about it, we know how much it takes to stick at it, it’s a unique type of respect we have for one and another. The only way you can advance in the art is that you have to love it from the very pit of your being and you have to practise, practise and practise. Once someone said to me that Shastar Vidiya is no big deal anyone can learn it. To me that was an insult, no one can just learn it, you have to struggle, overcome demoralisation over and over, battle with yourself, having to reassure yourself that you have to be patient, just hang in there, hang in there. Times I think Nidar Singh believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Who can you say this about? And, don’t say God. I meant a human. Anyone else would have quit on us long time ago, as he certainly isn’t doing it for the money.

    Also Gatka is crap. All the Gatka moves have been demonstrated over and over again and they have all been proven to be flawed. Think about it someone is doing Gatka and doing mind dazzling moves with his stick say that you just go for his hand with yours, isn’t that akin to simply turning the tap off? That’s just one example.

    Now that the art has come on the radar of mainstream martial arts community. People other than Sikhs are now attending classes, cos they see it as the real deal. Imagine that a Gorra learning an art that your ancestors, your blood used in combat and you don’t know it yourself. That’s the real shame and tragedy if it all. Not the Gorra learning it as should be encouraged to the wider community but a Sikh not doing so on account of him disowning it. Something that has always been his heritage and shall always be!

    What have I learnt from going to Shastar Vidiya classes? Never give up, always be sincere to yourself. And visualisation skills. I can close my eyes and can imagine someone right in front of me, his hands, shoulders, movements are so real like he’s right in front of me, so it allows me to train in my mind and understand how a body works and how it can be manipulated subtly. This art isn’t for thick people! It’s not about muscle but brain, using laws of physics to your advantage. You need a brain to figure things out, break down concepts and most importantly heart!

    I only wrote after reading Sundari’s comments.

    Khalsa Fateh

  22. Simran says:

    And if you guys want to pick up on my remark:

    Times I think Nidar Singh believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Who can you say this about? And, dont say God. I meant a human. Anyone else would have quit on us long time ago, as he certainly isnt doing it for the money.

    I meant in the context of a teacher-pupil relationship and solely relating to the martial art. If you are teaching someone an advanced topic and the pupil isn’t grasping it immediately and is feeling disheartened. A true teacher would realise this is natural, as he understands and would continue teaching, knowing that in time the pupil will eventually get it.

    As for RSS and other Hinduvta organisations, Sikhs are suspicious of them and rightly so but approach the whole Hinduvta thing in the wrong way. You need brains to see behind their schemes and designs. It’s like theres a Muslim guy who preaches all the time and is well know for it and aspires to convert people. You heard about him and one day he approaches you and engages in an conversation about religion, he asks you questions, immediately you go on the back foot! This is what us Sikhs do when the conversation of Hinduvta comes up, we go on the defensive. Why don’t we put one foot forward, feel proud and use our brains, instead of getting all emotional. We should contradict their views, highlighting the flaws in their argument etc.. A People who live on the defensive have a very bleak future ahead.

    Nidar Singh has a following amongst the youth because of the Shastar Vidiya. Someone watches a Bruce Lee film and listens to a someone playing a Dhol, it could be anything that impresses them. Some will be content in merely watching or listening. Others will think to themselves hey thats cool I wanna be able to do that – and decide to do something about it!

    It’s a passion for the art. It’s priceless!

  23. maninder Singh says:

    I was inspired by the sword .. so y you are not

    My sword is my companion my warrior and friend,

    Not to be offensive but sworn to defend,

    The infusion of steel runs through my veins,

    Making me immune from sorrow and pain,

    My sword is the protector of the needy and poor,

    When oppression becomes a disease my sword is the cure,

    My sword sings the song of selfless love,

    It lives in harmony with law from above,

    The flash of my Guru’s sword awakens the sleeping soul,

    Without the sword I can never be whole,

    The sword of the Guru is the giver of life,

    Before the soul was barren now it is ripe,

    I am the saint and the soldier that walks in peace,

    I am the humble dust of your feet,

    But don’t think my spirituality makes me weak,

    The heavens will roar if my sword were to speak,

    Death is my bride, fear is my friend,

    My Guru’s path is the map heaven sent,

    To Follow the path, surrender your whole,

    The power of the Guru’s sword will give light to your soul.

  24. maninder Singh says:

    I was inspired by the sword .. so y you are not

    My sword is my companion my warrior and friend,
    Not to be offensive but sworn to defend,
    The infusion of steel runs through my veins,
    Making me immune from sorrow and pain,

    My sword is the protector of the needy and poor,
    When oppression becomes a disease my sword is the cure,
    My sword sings the song of selfless love,
    It lives in harmony with law from above,

    The flash of my Gurus sword awakens the sleeping soul,
    Without the sword I can never be whole,
    The sword of the Guru is the giver of life,
    Before the soul was barren now it is ripe,

    I am the saint and the soldier that walks in peace,
    I am the humble dust of your feet,
    But dont think my spirituality makes me weak,
    The heavens will roar if my sword were to speak,

    Death is my bride, fear is my friend,
    My Gurus path is the map heaven sent,
    To Follow the path, surrender your whole,
    The power of the Gurus sword will give light to your soul.

  25. neverforget1984 says:

    Nidar Singh was a former Black Cat Commando of the Indian Government. He is well versed in intelligence operations, and psychological warfare. He uses this to gain control on the Youth.

    He probably joined to Nihangs due to guilt he felt at killing people for the GOI. It would be no surprise if he still works for his former employers.

  26. neverforget1984 says:

    Nidar Singh was a former Black Cat Commando of the Indian Government. He is well versed in intelligence operations, and psychological warfare. He uses this to gain control on the Youth.
    He probably joined to Nihangs due to guilt he felt at killing people for the GOI. It would be no surprise if he still works for his former employers.

  27. J Singh says:

    I am suspicious of this guy! I have heard that he advocates drinking and casual sex. I would not be surprised if he was a Black Cat – look at Nihang Poola Singh who was responsible for numerous murders including a whole family. He was a Black Cat just like Niddar the Giddar. Please be aware, educate yourself so we can protect (intellectually) the Panth and our youngsters.

  28. J Singh says:

    I am suspicious of this guy! I have heard that he advocates drinking and casual sex. I would not be surprised if he was a Black Cat – look at Nihang Poola Singh who was responsible for numerous murders including a whole family. He was a Black Cat just like Niddar the Giddar. Please be aware, educate yourself so we can protect (intellectually) the Panth and our youngsters.

  29. let go my shastar cr says:

    That would make some sense, because he we know he isn’t a Nihang Sikh.

    While many of his moves look like they are jiu-jitsu related (militaries all over the world have adopted this fighting style), there is no ancient bahman art form well except…

    He does seem to take huge groping swipes at male genitalia with his hand and that in itself could be what Shasta vidya is all about.

    Punjabi’s are well endowed with many traits but do we really need to pay the price for that as well.

  30. let go my shastar creep says:

    That would make some sense, because he we know he isnt a Nihang Sikh.

    While many of his moves look like they are jiu-jitsu related (militaries all over the world have adopted this fighting style), there is no ancient bahman art form well except…

    He does seem to take huge groping swipes at male genitalia with his hand and that in itself could be what Shasta vidya is all about.

    Punjabis are well endowed with many traits but do we really need to pay the price for that as well.

  31. neverforget1984 says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Gu

    Some of the NSG's known operations include:

    April 30, 1986 – attack on Khalistani militants who took over the Golden Temple during Operation Black Thunder I

    May 12, 1988 — attack on Khalistani militants hiding in the Golden Temple during Operation Black Thunder II

    April 25, 1993 — rescue of hijacked plane Indian Airlines Boeing 737 by Islamic militants during Operation Ashwamedh

    October, 1998 — major combat missions in Jammu and Kashmir

    July 15, 1999 — rescue of 12 hostages held by armed terrorists who had stormed an apartment complex in Kashmir and killed 4 people

    September 25, 2002 — Operation Vajra Shakti to free hostages held by terrorists who had killed 26 worshippers at the Akshardham temple in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They suffered their first combat death in this operation. A second commando, who was seriously injured and was in a coma, died after 18 months.

    November 26 2008 Mumbai attacks — Operation Black Tornado and Operation Cyclone to flush out terrorists & rescue hostages after multiple attacks across Mumbai, India. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Gajender Singh Bisht of the Special Action Group lost their lives during the operations.

  32. neverforget1984 says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Guards

    Some of the NSG’s known operations include:

    April 30, 1986 – attack on Khalistani militants who took over the Golden Temple during Operation Black Thunder I
    May 12, 1988 attack on Khalistani militants hiding in the Golden Temple during Operation Black Thunder II
    April 25, 1993 rescue of hijacked plane Indian Airlines Boeing 737 by Islamic militants during Operation Ashwamedh
    October, 1998 major combat missions in Jammu and Kashmir
    July 15, 1999 rescue of 12 hostages held by armed terrorists who had stormed an apartment complex in Kashmir and killed 4 people
    September 25, 2002 Operation Vajra Shakti to free hostages held by terrorists who had killed 26 worshippers at the Akshardham temple in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They suffered their first combat death in this operation. A second commando, who was seriously injured and was in a coma, died after 18 months.
    November 26 2008 Mumbai attacks Operation Black Tornado and Operation Cyclone to flush out terrorists & rescue hostages after multiple attacks across Mumbai, India. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Gajender Singh Bisht of the Special Action Group lost their lives during the operations.

  33. Singha says:

    As Sikhs are searchers of truth, do you have any actual evidence that Niddar Singh was a former Black Cat Commando?

  34. Singha says:

    As Sikhs are searchers of truth, do you have any actual evidence that Niddar Singh was a former Black Cat Commando?

  35. Jazz Singh says:

    He is no Black Cat Commando….But if you wanna know where to find him and his followers…his nangs…you just have to ask any of us from Southall. With their long beards and fake nihang regallia they like to mix in with the rastafarians, particularly the orthodox rastafarian sect of 'bobo shanti' (who also tie dumalla style turbans) at various heavy dub nights in local nightclubs. I guarantee (I've seen it with my own eyes) whenever theres a roots dub session on at the Tudor Rose nightclub in Southall, you will find Niddar's nangs in the club, smoking weed, eyes closed, swaying almost in a meditation manner to the heavy bass line.

  36. Jazz Singh says:

    He is no Black Cat Commando….But if you wanna know where to find him and his followers…his nangs…you just have to ask any of us from Southall. With their long beards and fake nihang regallia they like to mix in with the rastafarians, particularly the orthodox rastafarian sect of 'bobo shanti' (who also tie dumalla style turbans) at various heavy dub nights in local nightclubs. I guarantee (I've seen it with my own eyes) whenever theres a roots dub session on at the Tudor Rose nightclub in Southall, you will find Niddar's nangs in the club, smoking weed, eyes closed, swaying almost in a meditation manner to the heavy bass line.

  37. neva4get1984 says:

    Dear Singha and Brothers and Sisters,

    I am coming from Patiala. My close friend respected Uday Singh Ji, the nephew of Baba Santa Singh, who was formaly head of Buddha Dal school. Told me this from his own mouth. People who are doubting this, please come to India and meet the incharge of the Nihang Singh peoples, and you will find that this is sadly the true, and not the chugalee.

  38. neva4get1984 says:

    Dear Singha and Brothers and Sisters,

    I am coming from Patiala. My close friend respected Uday Singh Ji, the nephew of Baba Santa Singh, who was formaly head of Buddha Dal school. Told me this from his own mouth. People who are doubting this, please come to India and meet the incharge of the Nihang Singh peoples, and you will find that this is sadly the true, and not the chugalee.

  39. Akaaal says:

    Actually, this article is true, Guru Hargobind Sahib updated Shastar Vidiya. That is the form which Nidar Singh teaches, its the truth. The Hindus used the original form of Shastar Vidiya which was overwhelmed by the Moghul forces. HOWEVER, the parchar that Nidar Singh teaches with the martial art is false. Sanatan Dharma is the original term for Hinduism; Nidar Singh is trying to mx Sikhism and Hinduism together.

  40. Akaaal says:

    Actually, this article is true, Guru Hargobind Sahib updated Shastar Vidiya. That is the form which Nidar Singh teaches, its the truth. The Hindus used the original form of Shastar Vidiya which was overwhelmed by the Moghul forces. HOWEVER, the parchar that Nidar Singh teaches with the martial art is false. Sanatan Dharma is the original term for Hinduism; Nidar Singh is trying to mx Sikhism and Hinduism together.

  41. gupt singh says:

    do yu know hw much of a battyman nidaar is, wheer maharaaj sez yo dnt do puja of idols my mans go n do it, in tua prasaad saveye maharaaj sez kuaau butaank bujat hai paas kauuu mritaah kuu bhujan tayoo kuul kri urajiu sabh hi jagh sri bhagvaan ku bedh na paauu

  42. Frank Levin says:

    He is NOT the only surviving MASTER read Nidar Sikhs owns words

    KG: Are there many masters of this art?
    NS: As guns became more popular the emphasis on this art decreased in the itinierant Akali Nihang armies. Today there are not many masters of this art alive. The ones I know, if still alive, are Nihang Baba Ram Singh in UP, India and Bhai Ranjit Singh of Patiala who has partial knowledge of this art. There are no doubt others in Budha Dal (oldest Sikh martial order established in 1606) but they being itinerant mendicants of secretive nature, are not easy to track down.

    Frank Levin, Martials Arts Magazine, USA

  43. The quote from Frank Levin is from the Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine Vol17 No4 during an interview between Krishna Godhania and Nihang Nidar Singh in 2004. At that time Nidar Singh was still hopeful and looking for other Gurdev’s of Shastar Vidiya. Regards Baba Ram Singh, who he had desired to bring over to the UK, he had heard unverified rumours he had suddenly passed on.

    Next year on a trip to India Udaey Singh (Secretary of Shriomani Akali Budha Dal) would verify that Baba Raam Singh had passed away unexpectedly in 2002. As for Ranjit Singh his knowledge of the art was limited to simple self defence techniques and he had little knowledge of the higher elements of Shastar Vidiya such as the forms and battle formations.

    Amongst itinerant Buddha Dal Nihangs Nidar Singh hoped there may be another master but up to this date he or others who have searched have found none after 11 years of searching for them. Until another master is found and evidence of his skill and knowledge produced, Nidar Singh remains the last individual with the knowledge of the classical Sikh battlefield combat arts.

    Readers should not confuse exhibitionist Gatka with Shastar Vidiya even though many of its teachers claim their shenanigans are Shastar Vidiya. We have to accept Nidar Singh, who is openly teaching and exposing his art to the scrutiny of the world, is the only master of Sanatan Shastar Vidiya. If it can be proven otherwise Nidar Singh says he will bow to such a fellow Gurdev and be all the happier for it; so as the burden of preserving this wondrous art is not on his shoulders alone. Gurfateh/God bless.

  44. taran says:

    http://www.shastervidiya.org/letter-from-nihang-j

    nidar has been excommunicated by all nihang dals and damdami taksal which makes his school now a cult

  45. G_STAR says:

    Apparently the Nidar Singh excommunucation letter is fake…there is no date on the letter and 4 of the 5 signatories apparently say they didnt sign it ?? It also seems a request foe excommunucation rather than an actual excommunuication.
    I found the above from a google search…now I dont have any issues with either side pro-Niddar or Anti-Niddar arguing it out….but producing a forged letter is a pretty shameful tactic to use…

  46. Sher says:

    So much paranoia.. so much denial and so much distortion of the scriptures and history. Niddar is really a niddar as he is stating (sanatan Sikhi usurped by British toadies – Singh Sabhias and Tat Khalsas) what is the ONLY truth – Gurus never intend to separate Sikhi from the other faiths in the Sanatan dharma family.

    The 'distortionists' who control the SGPC-brand Sikhi today cannot challenge Niddar and other such Sanatanis in history or theology (and of course the shashtr vidya akhada) so they slander him and his ideals.