Hindu Festival Celebrated With Bloody Martial Arts

The Hindu festival of Vijayadashami, also known as Dasara or Dussehra, was held at various locations in India Wednesday accompanied by several traditional martial events. An annual stick fighting clash between two groups occurred in the Kurnool District despite the efforts of local authorities to stop it after past events have lead to fatalities. Though no one was killed this year, more than 70 people were reported injured.

Meanwhile, the annual vajra mushti bouts were held at the royal palace in Mysore. An ancient Indian gladiatorial sport that can best be described as mixed martial arts with brass knuckles, a pair of exhibition bouts are held each year on the royal grounds. Though the sport traditionally combined striking and grappling and, at one time, often ended in death, the fights now end as soon as one fighter draws blood by striking his opponent with an ivory knuckleduster worn on the right hand. Both bouts concluded after about 30 seconds this year.

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