Mallakhamb as the name suggests is a pole used by wrestlers for practicing their skills in the game KUSTI. But now days the trend has changed and it has got a special identity. Mallakhamb needs concentration, speed and flexibility. It is the only game which is played against gravity.
The origin of this ancient Indian sport can be traced to earlier part of the 12th century. A mention of wrestlers exercising on wooden poles is found in the Manasholas, written by Chalukya in 1153 A.D. It was revived late in the 19th century by Balambhatta Dada Deodhar, physical instructor to Bajirao Peshwa II, He took great efforts to popularize this sport. Resemblance of the shape of the Ancient and Modern Mallakhamb to the human structure can be easily seen.
There is evidence of the physical activity and sport form Mallakhamb being practiced since 1135 AD in the Indian subcontinent. Like any other fitness activity and sport, Mallakhamb has been evolving and in its current form offers physical and mental health benefits for regular practitioners. Malla in Sanskrit means a wrestler, athlete and other meanings; Monier-Williams dictionary and Apte's Sanskrit dictionary states: strong man athlete. It can also mean a verb such as strong or good. Khamb or kham - in spoken Marathi means a pole. Therefore, Mallakhamb has come to be known as wrestling against a pole. Nevertheless, there are two other Mallakhamb styles such as rope and hanging mallakhamb.
Mallakhamb as a National level sports in the United States of America
Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) will be engaged in furthering Mallakhamb as a sports in the United States of America. Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) plan to do this by associating with three organizations
The Vishwa Mallakhamb Federation (VMF) consists of national Federations (For example Mallakhamb Federation USA) which are affiliated/associated to it and recognized by it as the Federations which control Mallakhamb in their respective countries. to govern the sport of Mallakhamb Internationally. Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) is the national governing body for the Mallakhamb in the United States. MFU is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes.
Mallakhamb and Its Athletes
Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) has a variety of programs for all ages and skill levels from grassroots to advanced. Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) strives to provide a positive learning experience for those interested in the sport of mallakhamb.
At the grassroots level of mallakhamb, Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) plays a significant role. Mallakhamb at this level take classes at a Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) member club and recreation facility or in physical education class in school. Mallakhamb is an extraordinary sport that develops flexibility, strength, grace, discipline, control, coordination, goal orientation, confidence, creativity, leadership, a healthy body and positive self-esteem. Through hard work and dedication, mallakhamb player can improve their abilities and possibly even represent the United States in world cup. Athletes’ goals and objectives vary when participating in the sport of mallakhamb. Different goals for mallakhamb player include participating in a weekly mallakhamb class for fun and recreation, performing in exhibitions, competing for a high school team, competing in a world cup, or earning a scholarship. Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU) sanctioned meets a year are conducted with mallakhamb players grouped on the basis of age and ability. In addition to national team, the men’s mallakhamb, women’s mallakhamb, and artistic mallakhamb programs each have a development program. All the programs benefit from developmental training programs conducted by Mallakhamb Federation USA (MFU).
It is a vertical pole fixed in the ground. Generally teak wood or Sesame (a type of rose wood) is commonly used because of its physical properties such as toughness and soft surface. Castor oil is applied to its surface in order to reduce the friction and minimize the injuries
The pole stands 225 cm above ground level. It has a circumference of 55 cm at its lower end, 45 cm in the middle, and 30 cm at the upper end. The height of the neck is 20 cm, and its circumference is 15 cm, and radius of the upper knob is 13 cm
It is a different type of Mallakhamb from those mentioned above and is a modernized version of the cane Mallakhamb. The structural difference between the other types and the Rope Mallakhamb is noteworthy. The Rope Mallakhamb is an answer to the modern day problems like space and transportation. Various Yogic and Gymnastic positions are performed gracefully on the rope Mallakhamb and that to without tying literal knots to the rope.
In this, a cotton rope which is 2.5 cm thick, replaces the wooden pole. The performers are expected to strike various yogic poses, without knotting the rope in any way.
It is a small version of the fixed Mallakhamb and is generally used for balancing exercises. The wooden pole is suspended with the help of a hook and chain. The degree of difficulty while performing this exercise is due to its swinging and revolving motion. The fill body has to be kept very close to this Mallakhamb. It is hanged at the height of 3.5 to 4 feet above the ground.