Adi Deva Yudhan (Styles of Shiva)

This highly evolved battle form is the combat style of the 'adi' (primordial) 'deva' (god). He is known by various names: Shiva (the benevolent one), 'Mahakal' (the great death), 'Rudra' (the howler, the fury of the void), 'Bhairo' (the horrific one), 'Kal' (time / death / life), etc. An entire volume may be written on the glory of the Adi Deva; in short, for many Indians he is considered to be the supreme deity (see Stella Kramrisch, The Presence of Siva, (Princeton University Press, 1992)).

Adi Deva in essence represents 'akarshan shakti' - the power of attraction, compression and mass/gravity. As with other forms, Adi Deva Yudhan has unarmed and armed applications; employing a large variety of weapons. Designed to smash through formations, or rout armies, it has a variety of uses. At this level, the Yudhan and 'parjog' become one. It favours the 'Khanda' (double-edged sword), of which many forms exist. A particular favourite is the 'Kharag Khanda' - the unique weapon of Adi Deva Shiva himself.

The Adi Deva Yudhan can be divided into six sub-styles; here, a terse description of four forms is given.

A master of understanding body structure, it is able to destroy it in an instant. Characteristically, it utilises a wide, open stance with the pelvis whilst sinking at the hips. As Shiva lays its hands upon an opponent, he employs structural breaks with the slightest of touches and manipulating the opponent's centre of gravity. Through subtle unbalancing movements the opponent is taken to the ground as if by magic, allowing for a quick dispatch. Even highly experienced martial artists have been left perplexed by the touch of this Yudhan - unable to fathom and perceive its energy.

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  • Ganpat Yudhan

The son of Shiva and Devi Parbati's is the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha. Also known as 'Ganpat' - the master of the 'gans', the ghoulish soldiers of Shiva. Ganesha is traditionally considered to 'Biganharn' (the remover or obstacles), and 'Ekh Dant' (one-tusked). He is the most popular and revered deity in India, and most easily recognised the world over. His characteristic style of combat draws upon the qualities of his father Shiva, but with added capabilities around grappling – ideal when facing larger well-armed foes.

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  • Jaganathan Shiva Yudhan

This aspect of Adi Dev Yudhan is inspired by Shiva riding upon the unstoppable chariot of Krishna - the famed 'Jaganath' from which is derived the term 'juggernaut'. More than a Yudhan, this is actually an advanced version of 'parjog'. Its unique form involves advancing upon an opponent with speed whilst misaligning oncoming strikes. Upon taking a superior tactical position, it unleashes a barrage of blows focused on 'marma' (vital points).

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  • Mahakal Yudhan

This particularly vicious form of Adi Dev Yudhan is inspired by the great death 'Mahakal', an incarnation of Shiva that devours all in his path. At an individual level, it is the most highly evolved and efficient of all Yudhan; at this level 'parjog' and Yudhan are seen as one. The favoured style of the vanguard of armies, its purpose is to advance and chew through battle formations laying a path of pure destruction. Guru Gobind Singh describes the character as being like water:

"Many demons came in anger. They struck at Mahakal. The [weapons] became one form with him. They all merged with Mahakal as fish into water. As when one strikes water with water, then water merges with water. Then, no one can distinguish between the two as to which is the original water, and which the latter. In this way, when the weapons merged [into Mahakal's body] the demons were greatly angered. Great fear they felt in their hearts."
(Dasam Guru Granth Sahib, Treh Charitter, story 104 verse 195-196)

In its unarmed form, Mahakal advances upon opponent employing constant misalignments to all incoming attacks. As such, it slips past strikes, subtly sinking body mass and directing it into the opponent's body structure with slightest of touches. As the opponent crumbles, it focuses on the neck – a quick end ensues.