Kabbadi is an Indian game, essentially a South Indian game. Kabbadi’s orgin can be traced all the way back to the prehistoric times when recreation was mostly hunting and sparring. Kabaddi is a derivative of the latter. Indian soldiers used Kabbadi, or whatever it was referred as back then, as a means to build stamina, defense skills and speed and have a little fun while doing it. Kabaddi fierce techniques helped develop one’s counter attack skills and sharpen ones reflexes.
Ancient Indian manuscripts such as the Mahabharata hold record of the epic’s important characters having taken part in games very much similar to the Kabaddi. Arjuna, the hero of herculean standards, was a seasoned Kabbadi player. Even the Gautam Buddha is slated to have played the game solely for recreational purposes. Kabbadi transcended into the status of a modern day game in the year 1918. It was given a structure and a set of rules and regulations and fully transformed into a game recognized on a national platform. In 1923, an All India Tournament for kabaddi came into motion, in Baroda, to keep a tab on the protocol and guidelines surrounding the game and the Kabaddi players. The game, owing to its simple, inexpensive and confined nature, became a big hit among the rural population of India.
The game came to be recognized internationally, following its introduction in the 1938 Indian Olympic Games conducted in Calcutta. In order to further increase the popularity of the game through the breadth and length of the country, the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) came into being in the year of 1950. The AIFK improved the standards of the game by conducting Kabaddi tournaments at a national level, since 1952. But it was not until the inclusion of Kabbadi in the Indian University Sports Control Board (IUSCB) curriculum, as a sports discipline for the students, that it truly achieved a National status. They took the popularization of the game up a notch by forming a sister organization named the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), in 1973, with the aim of promoting the game in places surrounding India.
Kabbadi has come a long way from a sport that dominated, exclusively, the rural society to a game that is accepted and revered at a national level. India crossed an important milestone in Kabbadi related news, when the country hosted the first ever Kabaddi World Cup and won the cup as a bonus.