"Paika Akhada", the traditional Martial Arts of Odisha is very old and linked to the stone age culture. "Paika" means Soldier or Fighter or Warrior ( Padatika Bahini) and "Akhada" means the Regular Training System/Centre. Hence "Paika Akhada" means "The Way of Fighting Techniques of Paika" in a broad sense. The leaders of the Paikas are known as Khandayats who are a warrior caste whose name means the 'masters of the sword'. The Khandayats lead the Paikas in the akhadas and in battle and have been compared to the Samurais of Japan.
The history of "Paika Akhada", the traditional Martial Arts of Odisha is very old and linked to the stone age culture. The leaders of Paikas are known as "Khandayat", a warrior caste who led themselves in the battle fields as well as in Akhadas. "Khanda" means Sword and "Ayata" means control, hence "Khandayat" means "the master of sword", a powerful and most honoured warrior caste who can be compared to the "Samurai" caste of Japan. They fought for their motherland and created the history by itself. There is no comparison to their patriotism and dedications to their kings. The Kings(Raja) used to depend upon the local Khandayat leaders (Samanta Rajas) for law and order situations as well as collection of revenues and to fight against the enemies at the time of need. They have enjoyed the golden era during the Gajapati Kings.
TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ART OF INDIA
But their glory and status all ruined by their defeat from the Britishers in "Paika Bidroha" in 1817 led by the great leader Buxi Jagabandhu. But due to the Paika warriors only the Britishers could not over power easily on the "Barunei Fort" at Khurda which is a history by itself as the last Freedom Fort of India. Gradually these warrior caste could not survive and this noble art started dying due to lack of patronage and proper leadership.
The rich culture and techniques of "Paika Akhada" can be compared to all other form of Martial Arts but very much similar to "Kalari Payatu" of Kerala State and "Wushu" or "Kungu Fu" of China because of its approach to the traditional weapons and techniques.
Today Martial Arts such as Judo / Karate / Aikido / Kyudo / Kendo / Jujitsu, etc.(JAPAN), Taekwondo / Tangsodo / Hwarangdo / Hapkido (KOREA),Boxing / Kickboxing (WESTERN), Muyathai(THAILAND), Wushu / Kungfu (CHINA), Kapoera (BRAZIL), etc. are very much popular among the youths as a form of Physical Fitness, Self Defence and Competitive game. Due to the sincere efforts of the Govt. of Kerala and Martial Art s Masters "Kalari Payatu", the Traditional Martial Arts of Kerala could be popularised not only in their state but in the country as well as in International field. Then why not "Paika Akhada" ?
Being a Khandayat (Kshyatriya) by caste I have involved myself and cultured various Martial Arts such as Karate, Aikido, Wushu, Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Kalari Payatu, Paika Akhada,etc. for more than three decades. While becoming the qualified / official Referee / Judge in many World Championships in different Martial Arts from India I have gained confidence and determined to revive our own age old Martial Art "Paika Akhada" as a popular and advanced game among the youths not only in Orissa but also in the country and abroad. We are also engaged in promoting Paika Akhada in our organization "Pumas International" by the Gurus from different parts of Odisha.