Name: Harcharan Singh
Location: South West London
Teaches: Pralaya Yudh – Dissolution Combat
So what is a real Martial Art (MA)?
In my opinion, it is the dedicated practice of real fighting principles which creates
a warrior mindset and enables successful response to any un-choreographed
physical attack. In the moment… etiquette, rules, regulations, seniority, forms, drills,
certificates, belts, systems, styles, race, creed, lineage, glorious ancestral history etc
all go out the window. All that matters is that you can deal the deal – as my Grand-
Master would say!
So it doesn’t matter which MA one studies?
What matters more than the ‘type’ of MA, is the person who is teaching it, and more
so, the person who is learning it! Both must be passionate, understand the arts
applications (and limitations) and be open minded enough to continuously examine,
adapt, grow and test their skill set. The teacher should genuinely want to bestow
all their knowledge to the students – rather than think of creative ways of keeping
them as paying customers for 20 years and growing their personal fame. I am
lucky enough to have seen great Martial Artists from different traditions, but these
individuals are extremely rare, and tend to be quite well hidden ðŸ™‚
Why are MAs so important to Sikhs?
MAs were (should still be), important to all Singhs. If one studies our puratan
ithihaas (traditional history), they will find it replete with stories of valour, courage
and legendary fighting ability/psychology. Shahi-Shahaan-Shah Guru Gobind Singh
Ji gave his Khalsa his fighting form (shastardhari roop) upon taking Amrit – which
itself was prepared with shastar (weapons) and bir rasi baani (heroic divine poetry).
In the old days Singhs would recite Chandi di Vaar as part of their Nitnem – to
daily invoke martial spirit/psychology, Nihang Singhs still preserve and carry out
these and many other Khalsa Warrior traditions (see here for more details http://
Our 10th Master has given us numerous hukums (orders) to practice and meditate
on the fighting arts. History tells us that real martial ability used to be (should still
be) an uncompromised part of every Singhs character – we should personally live
up to the name given to us by our Father, instead of just living off the reputations of
our ancestors. Singhs should comfortably be able to defend themselves and those
around them. Sadly, today, this is not the case – as most people already know.
Here are some reputed words of the 10th Master for your inspiration:
????? ???? ??? ????? ? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?
Take Khandey Di Pahul and all should learn Shastar Bidiya [the science of arms].
???????? ?? ??? ????? ? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ????
Chant Vahiguru Ki Fateh [The victory is the Lords], and adorn yourself with weapons and clothes.
?????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ? ???? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ?
Give the teachings of how to wage war, in this way you shall retain the name Singh.
??? ??? ?? ?? ??????? ?
Listen to the stories which inspire ‘Bir Ras’ [warrior spirit].
[Naveen Panth Prakash, pg. 1571, Vol. 3] (Taken from http://sikh-reality.blogspot.com)
Tell us about the MA you teach?
I teach a Filipino based fighting system which is very primitive in nature and
hugely different to mainstream weapons MAs. You don’t learn an encyclopaedia
of names and techniques, but rather a set of relevant fighting principles. These
are taught from the outset and progress is made via an increasing understanding
of the principles and the ability to extrapolate correct responses. There is no
basic or advanced level – only a basic or advanced understanding. The system
is ‘situational’ so training aims to equip you with an unconscious response to any un-
choreographed strike/attack. For interested Sikhs – I also teach my interpretation
(via this art) of the use of the kara and select Indian puratan shastar (traditional
weapons) alongside Indonesian and Filipino weapons.
I have also been blessed to have met and picked up some important ‘tips/tricks’ from
some very nice (and equally dangerous) people teaching various other ancestral
fighting arts which I also incorporate at various stages e.g. Phukulan Silat, Southern
Mantis, Tai Ji Chuan, Bagua Zang, Pan-Nam Wing Chun, Tiger/Hung Gar, Kuntao
and Muay Chaiya.
Where do you teach?
I teach on a very flexible basis near London Bridge during the week – mostly
lunchtimes (perfect for City Sikhs) and in Tooting (SW London) on Saturday
What are your classes like?
My students are best placed to answer that.
Ok, let’s ask some of them!
‘Learning this art is an excellent way to build both mental and physical strength in our lives – I highly
recommend it. The classes have been an eye opening experience for me. They have forced me to
meditate on the essence of combat. I’ve feel privileged to learn from such a teacher that understands
the psychology as well as the technical know-how to teach an effective fighting art”. Ishwar Singh
“As a beginner being told you need to learn to walk again made be very inquisitive, but it soon came
apparent that this martial arts wasn’t about the overnight short term gains you get from other sports,
rather it strips you back to basics and builds you from the ground up”. Rhys Millier
“To acquire knowledge requires a certain amount of commitment and passion. To be able to
effectively pass on knowledge (i.e. to teach) requires a completely different set of skills and
Harcharan Singh clearly possesses both in abundance! The art he teaches is intended to be practical
in real life situations rather than in a sporting arena. Instead of teaching “rigid” choreographed
manoeuvres which act as a series of responses to prescribed actions from a potential adversary, the
art instead empowers an individual to respond in a more natural manner by adapting to the particular
circumstances. The art is very fluid and dynamic, and allows the practitioner to intelligently apply the
principles of body mechanics, rather than sheer brute force, to devastating effect. The core principles
are so universal that the same techniques can be applied to encompass a range of weapons in
addition to open handed combat. The art is suitable for everyone who has the discipline to learn and
is in good health”. Taz Atwal
“The reason I put my name down to take part in the course is mainly due to the fact I had a bad
experience a couple of years ago, when my bag was taken at knife point. Even though I tried to get
out the of the situation with my things, I didn’t have the right skills and it ended badly. This art it is a
valuable skills set, especially living in London”. Sylvia Andonopoulos
“The art is extremely practical, being based on sound principles of logic and efficiency. I really like the
fact that my teacher explains those principles, which helps one to understand the reason for particular
drills/positioning/weighting/movements etc, giving confidence when practising that you’re getting it
right and a deeper appreciation of the art. A particular general principle I like is practising both armed
and unarmed from the start and that the techniques are interchangeable. I like that consideration is
given to mental state – the need for confidence leading to calmness – which is helped by a patient
and encouraging teacher. Having built up some of the basic skills of the art, realistic examples are
provided of how the art could be applied in particular situations, but emphasising that such reactions
come naturally through practise of the art and do not need to be rote learned as is the case in many
other arts”. Jonathan Turner
“The lessons are principles based rather than learning set routines which I think best prepares you if
you end up in a conflict. The lessons are intense and you do go away with a sense of achievement by
the volume you learn in each lesson”. Harmeet Singh
If you are interested in taking up a martial art and would like to contact Harcharan Singh regarding his classes in London then please see the attachment below: