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Anybody knows about "Gama The Great"?


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Check out this link. Let's discuss about this GREAT wrestler of Punjab.:bow:

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/black...amathelion.html

His daily training schedule- which budding Gamas practice in the 600 wrestling gyms in Lahore today- followed these lines:

3 A.M. Rise and begin literally thousands of baitaks (squats) and dands (cat-stretches). After a five-mile run and some swimming ("wrestling with water"), weights of stone and sandbags are lifted and exercises on the malla-stambh (vertical pillar) done.

8 A.M. Competitive wrestling under the vigilant eye of the teacher is begun and continues for two hours. This is done in dirt pits carefully spaded for the purpose.

10 A.M. A complete oil massage is given followed by a rest until 4 P.M.

4 P.M. Another massage is given after which conclusions are again tried with other wrestlers until 8 P.M.

To cope with such a spartan routine (and even the sumotori or giant wrestlers of Japan do not work as hard)

Gama ate prodigiously, consuming daily two to three gallons of milk, five pounds of crushed almonds, and considerable quantities of beef, soup, and vegetables. Thus Gama struggled through the early years improving strength, stamina, and technique, exemplifying those wonderful lines:

"Adequate, erect

With will to choose or to reject;

And I choose-

Just a throne."

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Just came across this thread by accident, and coincidentally I read a passage on this legend a few weeks ago in an old wrestling book.

I recall he was said to have had a 52 inch chest, but was only 5' 6" tall or something similar.

He was said to have done 2,000 baitakaan and same amount of dands every morning!

What an amazing man, what an amazing era he lived in!

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Just came across this thread by accident, and coincidentally I read a passage on this legend a few weeks ago in an old wrestling book.

I recall he was said to have had a 52 inch chest, but was only 5' 6" tall or something similar.

He was said to have done 2,000 baitakaan and same amount of dands every morning!

What an amazing man, what an amazing era he lived in!

He also demolished pretty much every wrestler that was put in front of him, including much bigger European wrestlers (his feats were recorded in the British Press).

Old school wrestlers like Gama lived like monks - they practised celibacy, exercised and wrestled daily like it was a religious observance, and lived on a Sattvic diet to counteract the effects of their physical activities on their disposition.

2,000 baitakay sounds painful just thinking about them.

K.

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Thanks for that great article Matheen - below is a small extract regarding some basics re his training and diet (crazy!).

His challenge to the Japanese is beyond belief!

His father was a top wrestler and Gama is said to have started training at age five. When Gama was eight, his father died, but training continued under the direction of his grandfather; then, when he died too, under his uncle Ida Palahwan, who vowed that Gama would become the champion his father had wanted him to be. According to Joseph Alter, "Intent on impressing upon him the desire to be a great wrestler, he constantly pointed out to the young boy that this is what his father wanted above all else." From being a child, wrestling seemed to be pretty much all that Gama knew. In time, as he reached maturity and eventually did become Champion of India, "The crown passed on to a person perhaps as great and worthy as Ghulam."

Gama first became known at the age of ten when he took part in a national physical exercise competition held by the Rajah of Jodhpur. This was not in a wrestling contest, but in an endurance competition of bethaks (free squats), the fundamental conditioning exercise of Indian wrestling. "Over four hundred wrestlers from around India had gathered in Jodhpur," wrote Joseph Alter, "and at the Rajah’s signal the competition began. As wrestlers became tired they left the field until only one hundred or so remained. As more and more retired, all eyes turned on Gama, until, after a number of hours had passed, only fifteen wrestlers were left exercising. At this point Jaswant Singh [the Rajah] ended the contest saying that the ten year old boy was clearly the winner in such a field of stalwart national champions. Later, upon being asked how many bethaks he had done, Gama replied that he could not remember, but probably several thousand. In any event he was bed-ridden for a week."

That victory didn’t necessarily show any wrestling ability, but it did demonstrate unusual qualities of physical robustness, will power and competitiveness in the young Gama. At that time he was routinely doing five hundred bethaks and five hundred dands (stretching pushups) daily, and working on pit digging – turning over the earth of the wrestling area with a pharsa (hoe). He ate a special diet concentrating on milk, almonds, and fruit: he didn’t begin eating meat until a few years later.

Gama would wrestle every day, of course, but he didn’t compete until he was fifteen. "Very quickly, however, he proved to be virtually unbeatable, and formally became a wrestler to the court of Datiya soon thereafter." As he grew older his training routine was intensified and his diet upgraded to include meat, butter, clarified butter, and yakhi, which Alter describes as a "boiled down glutinous extract of bones, joints, and tendons, which is regarded by many Muslim wrestlers as being a source of great strength, and being particularly good for the development of knees, ankles, and other joints." The amounts eaten by the Indian champions were prodigious, and Barkat Ali gives, with what truth I don’t know, the mature Gama’s daily diet as six chickens or an extract of eleven pounds of mutton mixed with a quarter pound of clarified butter, ten litres of milk, half a litre of clarified butter, a pound and a half of crushed almond paste made into a tonic drink, along with fruit juice and other ingredients to promote good digestion. This expensive high fat, high energy, high everything diet helped to drive Gama’s daily training, which in maturity consisted of grappling with forty of his fellow wrestlers in the court, five thousand bethaks, and three thousand dands.

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