Mukna is a form of folk wrestling that is highly popular in the state Manipur in North-East India. It is also extremely popular in Imphal, Thoubal and Bishnupur. Mukna is an indigenous sport in which to men wrestle to prove who has more physical capabilities and who is stronger.
Although it is extremely popular in Manipur, there are only competitions on the last day of the Lai Haraoba festival. This proves just how popular and how much the people of Manipur love competing and being apart of Mukna when it comes around.
Mukna first came about in the 15th century; back in the time when kings ruled over everyone. It is said that because mukna is a test of strength and skill that women where not allowed to compete, because they are the weaker sex and would not be capable of competing against men.
The techniques and style of Mukna are similar to other forms of martial arts such as Pehlwani, the ancient south Asian style of wrestling.
In India, Pehlwani is believed to be the purest form of martial arts. This is not the same for other south Asian countries who believe it to be just another form of wrestling that is originated from the ancient arts.
Rules of Mukna
As with all competitive martial arts there are rules that apply. This is in order to keep it civil and to keep it from being too dangerous or harmful for participants. There are certain moves that are not permitted under any circumstance.
Holding an opponents neck, legs, ears and/or hair will lead to disqualification. If somebody strikes there opponents this will be fouled.
To establish who won the round, the loser has to have touched the ground with a part of their body apart from their feet. Before the competition starts, the participants are paired with people in the same weight class.
This is in order to keep the game fair and to lessen the risk of a participant sustaining an injury.
On another note, some participants use the old traditional weapons in order to keep the tradition going. They also wear the traditional attire, this is a safety precaution as it protects the most vulnerable and vital parts of the body.
Techniques Used In Mukna
This martial art focuses on grappling techniques which is a common aspect in a variety of different wrestling martial arts. The techniques that are used in this martial art are called Lou.
As with all martial arts, there are a number of specific techniques (both for attacking and defending) that are used.
Three of the main moves that opponents use when competing in mukna are the hip throw, also known as ningong, throwing by twisting the opponents calf in order to render them helpless, also known as longkhrou and a high throw, where an opponent is thrown high off the ground, also known as khudong; when using this move it helps to throw your opponent off balance so that it gives you an advantage.
There are many more techniques that are widely used in a mukna competition but listing them all would take ages. The main techniques used in this martial art give you an idea about what the rest of the techniques will be like.
Overall, mukna is an invigorating martial art. Although it only comes around once on the last day of the Lai Haraoba festival in India, it is clear that this martial art is both fun and challenging for those who choose to participate.
If you are interested in learning a traditional martial art look no further as Mukna is the perfect choice; especially if you are not scared of a bit of competition.