IN 2018, the 16th Annual International Yudh Gatka Tournament held in Richmond Hill, New York attracted an unbelievable amount of spectators as well as players from across the world including France and Italy for the first time. Top players from each respective region were selected by their cities to compete in the tournament which was held on August 5.
Trophies were taken home by participants from California, Montreal, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Toronto, showcasing talent from around the world.
Gatka is martial art which focuses more on the concept of sword play and certain strikes which deliver a particular amount of points. During a two-minute match, the player who can accumulate the most points wins the match. Though this may only sound like a very physical game, a mental strategy must be made to adapt to each player’s affixed style.
“The tournament is a great way for the community to get together, and particularly for anyone who enjoys seeing true athleticism and diverse talent at work,” said Jasdev Singh, the main organizer of the event.
The competition held three different types of categories which then had there own separate age groups. The competition hosted Chakar / Jaal and Double Kirpan spinning and Farhi soti which each had an 18 and older division, and also a 17 and younger division.
“It was nice to see that equality came into play in the competition as well. Girls had the opportunity to compete, and many of them won their share of prizes,” said Harjot Kaur. The aim of each contest was to perform the task with agility, speed, goodwill and show respect to each other, showing a humble sense of mind.
When asked what he thinks about the tournament, Jarnail Singh, 20, replied, “This is a program I have attended for five years and this was another shock to me at the turnout of the sangat. I was also happy to see the city NYPD attending the event and supporting the sporting event.”
When we were asking 27-year-old Sukhninder Singh, a first timer at the tournament, he said, “I have heard about how many people come to this event and I wanted to see for myself firsthand. What I saw was extraordinary. I couldn’t believe how many people had come out for this and that was when I began to realize that this is the only truly international tournament that has happened consistently for 16 years. The Singhs and Singhnis are truly dedicated people, giving players across the world a chance to test themselves and meet other sangat.”
The organizers of the Yudh Gatka tournament thanked the community and all sponsors for supporting this event. They also thanked Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society Committee, Bhai Kuldeep Singh Dhillon, President, Bhai Gurdev Singh Kang, Coordinator, Bhai Blaka Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh Brahma, Bhai Sital and the rest of the committee for fully supporting the event. Bhai Manjit Singh and Bhai Narinder Singh who did seva and served langar all day.
The following is a list of the winners in the International Yudh Gatka Tournament in which more then $10,000 dollars were distributed:
Singhs Farhi Soti Competition
Open (18 and over)
1st- Bharjoban Singh, El Sobrante, California Gatka Dal
2nd- Taranvir Singh , Carteret, New Jersey Baba Fateh Singh Akhara
3rd- Jetvir Singh, Misl Montreal, Canada
Under (17 and under)
1st- Mohkam Singh, Stockton California Gatka Dal
2nd- Varinder Singh, Maryland DC Akhara
Kaur’s Soti Competition
1st- Kiranpreet Kaur, Maryland DC Akhara
2nd- Madhur Kaur, Maryland DC Akhara
1st- Manmeet Kaur, New Jersey, Baba Fateh Singh Akhara
2nd- Karamjeet Kaur, New York
Singh’s Chakar/Jaal Competition
1st – Manpreet Singh, New York
2nd- Ajaypal Singh, Misl Montreal Canada
18+ Singh’s Double Kirpan Competition
1st – Charanjeet Singh, Toronto -Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Akhara
2nd – Tarandeep Singh, Misl Montreal Canada
14-17 Kaur’s Chakar Competition
1st – Sukhmin Kaur, El Sobrante California Gatka Dal
2nd – Navneet Kaur, Yuba City California Gatka Dal
Bhai Deep Singh New York
Bhai Manroop Singh, Toronto
Bhai Harjot Singh, Maryland DC USA
Bhai Didar Singh, El Sobrante, California
Bhai Dalbir Singh, Greenwood, Indiana
Bhai Jagmeet Singh, Fresno
Bhai Raiders Singh, Carteret, New Jersey
Bhai Harjot Singh, Washington DC, Virginia
Bhai Manroop Singh, Toronto, Canada
Giani Daljit Singh Manteca Damdami Taksal
Bhai Manjit Singh Samastpur Damdami Taksal
Bhai Prithipal Singh Slough United Kingdom
Bhai Hardeep Singh Malik Khalsa School BC
New York Police Department NYPD
Ranjit Singh, Manteca, California
Amarinder Singh, Toronto, Canada