These moves and tricks separate the best from the rest.

Kabaddi, our very own indigenous sport, has come a long way since the inception of the Pro Kabaddi League with the support of our fans from all across the globe. Players require a certain set of skills to perform proficiently, whether played on a mat or mud. Kabaddi players are now regarded as icons and heroes by the young generation who aspire to become the next Rahul Chaudhari or Pardeep Narwal.

An agile body, sharp mind, fearless attitude and attention to small details makes one a world-class kabaddi player. Fitness is another crucial aspect that helps the players to overcome tough spells in kabaddi. But fitness alone doesn’t define success in kabaddi, players must possess special skills to stand out from the lot. Here’s a list of the fundamental skills of kabaddi that you must know as a genuine fan.

Offensive Skills

Raiders perform offensive skills in the opponent’s half to touch the defenders and score points for their team. Few of the popular offensive skills in the sport are toe touch, running hand touch, lion jump, back kick, sidekick and dubki.

1) Back Kick: Back kick in kabaddi is one of the cleverest skills in which the raider deceives the defence by showing his back and tries to kick backwards to receive a touchpoint. It is also called a ‘mule kick’ in some parts of the world.

2) Dubki: A move that requires exceptional timing and sharp instincts to be pulled off is a Dubki. In a dubki, the raider evades the chain tackle while ducking below the stretched arms of the defenders and scoring a point.

3) Hand Touch: Hand Touches are one of the primary kabaddi attacking skills for any raiders which test their pro-activeness and reflexes. Stooping hand touch, turning hand touch and running hand touch in kabaddi are the few moves that a raider in kabaddi should master. 

4) Lion Jump: Popularised by Pawan Sehrawat in the Pro Kabaddi League, Lion Jump requires unbelievable power and thrust generated from the legs of the raider. A kabaddi raider tries to jump over the defenders to escape and reach the midline in a lion jump. This move is widely considered the most athletic move in the game and is incredibly difficult to perform, let alone master.

5) Sidekick: The sidekick is another highly effective kabaddi technique for raiders in which the raider attempts to touch the defender by kicking sideways without losing his balance. A raider requires having practised this to perfection to maintain his body balance and center of gravity to perform this move successfully.

6) Toe Touch: Toe touch in kabaddi is one of the most popular kabaddi skills in the raider’s arsenal in which the raider tries to touch the defender using his toe and grab a point. The success of this move relies majorly on the speed and unpredictability of the raider to perform it before the defender anticipates the move.

Defensive Skills

pradeep narwal
Narwal is known as the Dubki King.

Defending in kabaddi is not only about brute force, core strength and fearless tackles. There are certain kabaddi moves that the bunch of defenders try to execute to grab the raiders. Defensive skills of kabaddi like ankle hold, thigh hold, waist hold, block, dash and chain tackle demand good timing and strength to perform it cleanly.

1) Ankle Hold: Star defenders like Ravinder Pahal and Surender Nada have shown the world how to pull off an exquisite ankle hold. Ankle hold and diving ankle hold is all about the timing and anticipation by the defender, who tries to grab the raider’s ankle and stop him from crossing the midline.

2) Block: The move that not only requires strength of body but also of mind to commit themselves to this high-risk, high-reward move. The defender waits for the raider to go deep inside the half. Then he blocks his way with his entire body. The key for the defender is to be in the right position before unleashing the block.

3) Chain Tackle: Chain Tackle is a technique that needs a combination of defenders to stop the raider from crossing the midline. Two or more defenders try to coordinate and then pounce on the raider to perform a successful chain tackle. It requires coordination and teamwork to execute this move successfully.

4) Dash: Dashing out a raider off the court or lobby remains one of the most eye-catching skills of kabaddi. This kabaddi move demands a defender to use his brute force to push the raider out and bag a point for his side. It is usually the Cover and Corner defenders who try to effect this skill on the mat.

5) Thigh Hold: In this defensive skill of kabaddi, the defender tries to get hold of the raider’s thighs and stop him before he crosses the midline. Precision is the key in this move.

6) Waist Hold: Another defensive skill of kabaddi which requires sheer strength by the defender. Waist hold is one such trick. When the defender lifts raider mid-air by grabbing his waist and pinning him down on the mat. Much like Rann Singh and Sandeep Narwal are the classic examples who showcase this kabaddi skill from time to time.

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