The Primary Weapon - Fari Soti
Weapons in the art of Gatka have never been categorized for training purposes in this manner as primary or secondary, but having seen and visited numerous Akharas around the world , there is a pattern that emerges and progresses through where by a class of distinction can be made in the training and use of particular weapons. Hence the use of the terms Primary and Secondary weapons for easy of classification have been adopted.
The most common and primary weapon found to be used in the practice of Gatka is the Fari Soti.
ll forms of fighting arts can be both creative and destructive. Using the art form and its weapons as a vehicle of aggression will in turn destroy the person who misuses them. Used in a correct, stimulating and practical training environment they can be a means of education and great discipline.
However the Soti allows us to disarm, control and inflict pain on an assailant without running the risk of permanently injuring or killing. It’s a fighting aid that can be commonly available or objects similar to it are often at hand.
The first stage of Gadha Yuddh is the form of stick fighting which is aided with a bamboo stick (Soti) usually 3ft in length , originally covered with leather and a well-padded hilt. Aided with a small leather shield called a Fari which can be held in either hand.
Single and paired forms (UNG) are studied first followed by free sparring.
Two students then train in dual combat using the Fari Soti as their weapons of defence and offence in techniques of Gadha Yudh.
Each form or duel is preceded and ends with a Fatah Nama :
The Soti should be felt as an extension of one’s own body, correct body movements an inner alertness which is not evident in stance or expression should be developed and trained throughout daily practice. The Soti allows one to thrust, strike, deflect and counter react in any direction.
The speed of execution of offence and defence is sometimes quite bewildering and the impact is surprisingly forceful.
It’s the combined movements of delivering the blow, the body which account for the lightning movements of the Fari Soti fighter.
There are numerous ways in which you can strike and counter attack in offence and defensive situations, all movements should be practiced with control and proficiency to a point where your training partner is able to attack with full force and speed.
A real danger of injury exists care must be taken to avoid injury yet at the same time emphasis should be based on realism of attack and defence.