The earliest mention of Mallkhamb can be traced back to the 12th Century where it is mentioned in the classic “MANASOLHAS” (1135 A.D.).For about seven centuries after that, the art form remained dormant until it was given a new lease of life by BALAMBHATTADADA DEODHAR, the renowned teacher of PESHWA BAJIRAO-II during the first half of the 19th century.
However, competitive Mallkhamb at the National level first made its appearance at the National Gymnastics Championships held at the Pahadganj Stadium, Delhi, in the year 1958. It was here that the Gymnastic Federation of India proposed to recognize the game and include it in subsequent National Gymnastics Championships.
PURPOSE AND GOAL OF CODE OF POINTS
To guarantee an objective and uniform evaluation of exercises in competitive Mallkhamb.
To provide a basis by which evaluation of Mallkhamb competition at the National Championships or Selection Trials and other recognized Invitational Competitions can be standardized, since it is recommended that this Code of Point be utilized at all National, State, District Level Championships and Selection Trials.
To act as a guideline for competitors and coaches in preparing for the competitions.
To act as a technical guideline for organising Mallkhamb Competitions
Ever since this ancient times, when documentation was not easy as like modern era, the survival of many arts like yoga & yogic exercises etc. was dependent solely on the Guru (Master) & his disciples. The master performer use to teach his disciples keeping the art alive .Mallkhamb is no exception for this Indian Traditional culture & practice of passing it to the next generation. For Mallkhamb the present 5th generation is carrying forward & keeping the high flag flying, resulting in even growing popularity not only in India but also throughout the globe.
We should therefore remember all those Gurus who knew from Alpha to Omega of Mallkhamb fortheir incredible contribution & keeping alive this art of Mallkhamb.
We must pay our tributes to all the teachers, coaches & performers who kept this Indian art of Mallkhamb alive for over 2 centuries in its original & true form in general & during the adverse conditions of movement of Indian freedom fighting in particular.
Today the widespread tree of Mallkhamb is further growing vigorously. However to a large extent, it is possible to track down the origin & the branches of Mallkhamb from available records, references & few books.
We should remember valuable contribution of the teachers, coaches & of course the performers who really kept alive the art of Mallkhamb even after 200 ., years of its origin & even through the extraordinary difficult situation of freedom fighting.
It is possible to trace the branchesof this well spread tree of Mallkhamb only with the help of some literatures & books like 'Vyayamdnyankosh (Encyclopedia of Indian Culture or Vyayam mag~ines etc. that were published in the early)
20th century, But fact remains that even 'Vyayamdnyankosh' is also not a complete book as far as the history of Mallkhamb is concerned as there is not a single word of one full major branch that flourished in the same city of 'Vadodara where this book was written & published.
This informative booklet is just to respect our true 'Guru's & to salute to all these legends of Mallkhamb.
Some of the legends are there behind the screen whose information & pictures etc. are not available with us. But still with some of their available references we can imagine their contribution in the Mallkhamb.
Mr. Takejamal is the first person according to me whose history I am not at all available. But a single line reference shows that Mr. Takejamal was the first performer to demonstrate this art of Mallkhamb to the foreigner (British Resident of Pune Sir Elphniston. Also in another line, Mr. Takejamal was stated as the trainer of Mallkhamb to kings of Vadodara & hence Sir Jummadada also training with the kings became his pet student. This Jummadada created the history by molding the grate legend not only of Mallkhamb but also of many Indian cultures & also the official setting of the orders of Indian military.
Some legends are still working hard to take this game to its peak... Their contribution is also not to be overlooked.
All these legends are placed on a chart that is also provided in this book. Life history of only few legends is compiled as in all other cases the references are not available except their names.
We are in a process of obtaining more information of an individual personality & plan to publish separate book of each legend in near future.
Trust, the readers will definitely find this chapter informative & as guideline for their lives which would act as grate booster & inspiration for further progress of Mallkhamb.
In the Mallkhamb history, two places mentioned prominently are Saptashringi & Kothure. Saptashringi at Wani. Nashik is the birthplace of Mallkhamb & Kothure is the birthplace of founder of Mallkhamb - Sir Balambhatt Dada Deodhar.
Both these place, even today are very peaceful & really 'Untouched' by the perversed modernisation. It is really worth to visit them once in a life.
In this type a vertical wooden pole of Teak wood or Sheesam is fixed in the ground. The pole is smeared with castor oil, which helps to minimize excessive friction as the body comes in contact with the pole.
This type of Mallkhamb is similar to the Pole Mallkhamb, but as the name indicates, a wooden pole shoter in length than the standard Pole Mallkhamb is hung with the aid of hooks and a chain, leaving a gap between the ground and the bottom of the Mallkhamb.
Rope Mallkhamb was previously performed on a cane but nowadays, due to unavailability of good cane, a cotton rope is used. Performers are expected to perform various exercises without knotting the rope in anyway.
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Q1. Does Mallkhamb performance affects the body negatively?
Ans. Mallkhamb is a natural form of exercise. Here the strength & power of a body is improved positively as there is no external weight or force acting over body like in Weightlifting or even in Wrestling.
It is disbelief that MALLAKHAMB performance reduces the normal height increase of the body. But it is FALSE. In fact
Mallkhamb is an excellent type of aerobic exercise. It not only develops the muscles of the body but also improves the circulatory system. This disbelieve arises because a short structured person can perform MALLAKHAMB very easily like Gymnastics.
Q2. Why only Castor Oil is applied to apparatus & body?
Ans. Castor Oil is an oil with high density & Viscosity. At the same time "pure" castor oil is proved to be resistant to any Fungal or Microbial contamination.
As during the performances on Pole & Hanging Mallkhamb, performer's body comes continuously in contact with the apparatus & there is continuous friction of Skin to Wooden surface of the apparatus, application of Castor oil ether to apparatus or to body helps in smoothening the friction.
At the same time, oil provides an excellent massage to body & it is economical too. Other oils are not having all these advantages together hence the application of castor oil is traditionally followed.
Q3. When there are so many different apparatus for exercises, what is the need of Mallkhamb?
Ans. In this world there are so many different sports & Exercises. All are having there own peculiarities. But there are few sports activities that provides a complete or total fitness. Gymnastics or Decathlon events of Athletics or even Aquatic events are supposed to be the mother discipline as they help in total development of the body. Similarly Mallkhamb is also a full body developmental sport. At the same time it is a fully natural way of body development. Here no weights have to be lifted except the performer's own body weight. As we are evolved from monkeys, during the course of evolution we are slowly forgetting our natural capacity to hang freely on our limbs at the same time we are lacking in natural twists & torque movements that a monkey can easily get during its movements on the barks of the trees. Mallkhamb is the only apparatus in which one gets full body torque, thus fully developing the body including the backbone. Thus it is the mother discipline which builds a ideal physical body.
Q4. What should be the starting age for mallkhamb?
Ans. From the anatomical point of view, the sports which imparts some pressure on the body should not be introduced up to 5 to 6 years of age, as till this age the process of development of body is in critical stage. Any extra pressure on body can lead to permanent deformity. Hence we recommend the starting age for Mallkhamb as 8 to 10 years. As far as competitive mallakhamb is concerned, early start up may give some advantage. But for non competitive approach, 10 to 12 years of age is ideal as Starting age, as this at this age body is not only physically but mentally mature too.
Q5. What are the disadvantages or drawbacks of this sport?
Ans. Virtually there is absolutely no drawback yet noticed of this sport. As this event might have evolved naturally just by following various maneuvers performed by our ancestors, Apes, it is completely safe & pure exercise. But one should not try to overdose the performance of this apparatus & training of this sport must be initially taken under an expert guide.Various Yoga postures can be performed easily with the help of this apparatus. Inverted positions can be easily achieved with the help of this apparatus.
But there are few things that some people may find difficult to swallow. Like i)Mallkhamb performance is to be executed with a clear open body like swimming events. Only "Costume" is allowed for Men & "Gymsuit or Leotard for women. The fact behind this is that the apparatus provides excellent massage to full body during the performance.
Some people may find it odd to get Castor Oil apply to their bodies. But Without castor oil one can not perform free movements on the apparatus. Especially on Pole Mallkhamb during maximum course of performance, apparatus is to be gripped in between legs, so due to friction of skin over the apparatus if the oil application is not proper, there are good chances of skin scratching at initial stages. But latter on skin gets acclimatized to the friction. The same thing may be noticed while performing Rope Mallkhamb. The diameter of Rope is only 20 mm. During the initial movements, rope must be tightly gripped in between Toe of feet. (I.e.in between thumb & first finger of leg). This grip may be painful initially & may cause the skin rubbing in that area.
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