Kabaddi involves more than just running and tackling; it's a combination of technique and physical strength. Attackers and defenders work together like two sides of the same coin. Each match becomes a strategic contest, with teams battling it out to outwit each other through clever manoeuvres and superior strategies.
Players in Kabaddi, especially in the exciting Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), have a whole arsenal of tricks up their sleeves. They twist, turn, jump, and dive, using their incredible strength and agility to score points and leave their opponents bewildered. There are various manoeuvres and tackles in Kabaddi and every move in Kabaddi tells a story.
It's a story of teamwork, where raiders rely on their buddies to create distractions and defenders trust their teammates to hold the line. It's a story of individual skill, where each player pushes their limits to leave their mark on the match. Let’s highlight the top five signature moves by PKL that have gained widespread recognition:
1) Ankle Hold
If you are a defender in Kabaddi, guarding your territory against a raiding opponent and the raider charges to touch you and score a point, then the ankle hold could be your secret weapon. This powerful defending move is like a trap for the raider's foot.
With a lightning-fast grab and pull, you can stop the raider dead in his tracks, giving your teammates time to tackle him and earn your team that precious point. It takes a supreme combination of timing and strength to master this move.
You need to know exactly when to strike, grab the ankle firmly, and pull the raider backwards, all while avoiding any fouls. Veterans like Joginder Narwal and Dharmaraj Cheralathan have mastered the ankle-hold move whereas rising stars like Sandeep Dhull, Sumit Sangwan, Saurabh Nandal, and Sunil are also pretty good at ankle-hold skills.
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This move isn't about fancy footwork or lightning speed, it's about pure, raw strength just like Hulk from the Marvels in contrast to Captain America. Whenever a raider tries charging in, trying to touch the midline and score a point a wall of a defender stands in their way.
The defender uses their massive upper body like a shield, slamming into the raider and stopping them dead in their tracks. This is the block – a move of pure power and determination and only the strongest of defenders can pull it off.
Players like Manjeet Chhillar from Tamil Thalaivas, Jeeva Kumar from Bengal Warriors, and Vishal Mane from Dabang Delhi KC have effectively utilized their blocking skills in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) over the years.
3) Double Thigh Hold
Whenever a raider sprints across the Kabaddi court, aiming to touch the midline and score, a skilled defender dives under them and holds firmly not just one leg, but both. That's the double thigh hold, a daring tackle that traps the raider like a fly in a spider's web.
It takes lightning-fast reflexes, a rock-solid grip, and perfect timing to pull off. The defender has to drop low, grab both of the raider's legs and hold them tight, leaving them stuck and unable to escape.
When done right, it's a thing of beauty! The raider is frozen in mid-air, legs locked, dreams of crossing the midline dashed. It's a true display of skill and athleticism, showcasing the defender's quick thinking and power.
Defenders like Nitesh Kumar (UP Yoddha), Amit Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers), and Parvesh Bhainswal (Gujarat Fortunegiants) have also mastered this tricky tackle, sending countless raiders back to their side empty-handed.
In the Dash Tackle move defenders turn into super-fast predators, hunting down raiders before they can score with their pure raw speed and perfect timing. In the dash move, the corner or cover defender charges and slams into the raider, sending them flying back to their side of the court, empty-handed. But the Dash Tackle is a double-edged sword.
It needs perfect coordination between defenders. If their timing is off, the raider can sense the danger and escape with a quick dodge. It's a high-risk, high-reward move that only the brave and skilled dare to attempt.
Names like Surjeet Singh (Puneri Paltan) and Manjeet Chhillar (Tamil Thalaivas) come to mind when you think of the dash move. Their lightning-fast dashes have left countless raiders stunned and defeated.
5) Back Hold
The final tackling technique on this list is the Back Hold, which emphasizes the raw strength of a Kabaddi defender. In the Back Hold manoeuvre, a defender wraps his arms around a raider's waist, aiming to hold him still and secure a tackle point for the team.