Kushti wrestling is an Indian style that is said to have influenced many modern forms throughout the world, as most of the moves found in the styles of other countries are present in kushti.
A wrestler’s training takes place inside the akhara, starting daily at 3 a.m. Every aspect of the discipline is aimed at fostering the purity of the form without artifices. Naked bodies fight on the hard clay ground, softened by using a pickaxe, a bare loincloth is used as the only layer of protection. Weights are made of stone, wood or concrete – the gar nal worn around the neck to add resistance, the gada attached to the end of a meter-long bamboo stick.
Contemplative moments caught my eye as much as the fights. A move of a wrestler going against gravity or effortlessly carrying the gar nal. These emphasize the subtlety of an art form rather than a sole physical exercise.