The origin of the game dates back to pre-historic times played in different forms. The modern Kabaddi game was played all over India and some parts of South Asia from 1930.


The main objective of this game is to grab points by raiding into the opponent’s court and touching as many opponent players as possible without getting caught on a single breath. Each player, chanting “Kabaddi! Kabaddi!” Knowledge about the game is not enough. Physical force is just 50% of the basic need that a game demands; another 50% is the tactics required to use your physical force efficiently.

Kabaddi Training Center in Madurai

About the Game

Raid Mechanisms

The attacking style is known as raid mechanism. One difficult thing in Kabbadi is that the raider will be one, while the defender will be many. So the raider must have skilled tactics to tag the opponents and come back safely towards the middle line. The whole game of Kabbadi can be changed in couple of minutes with the help of few good raiders. Therefore it is utmost necessary to understand the raiding mechanism very carefully. The raiding depends upon number of factors. Some of the important ones are

  • Entry
  • Cant
  • Footwork
  • Settling path of attack
  • Tactics
  • Retreat

A right entry can give a raider a safe exit. The defenders always pre-plan about every move that a raider is going to make. The most important part for a raider is to judge it in advance and make a right entry. After the entry the raider must act quickly enough to finish it come back before he becomes breathless in doing cant. After entering, the first step for the raider is to judge its defenders very well. He should also see the defenders outside the ring. That is because an ineffective raid may bring a strong defender into the ring and may make their defense stronger next time. He should also have the idea about the various strong defense moves of the players present in that ring. Knowledge of this will help him a lot in saving himself from being caught.

From time to time, the defenders change their system of play. The raider must be able to judge that and act accordingly. Their strategy will vary in accordance with the number of players they are having. For example with 4 number of players they may approach the format of 2-2, 1-2-1 or 1-1-2. It is the raider who should be able to judge that one correctly to make his safe move towards the middle line. Situations matter in the game of Kabbadi to make your move as a raider. If your team needs to score point then you have to tag any one of them to up bring your team into a safe zone otherwise; coming back into your zone without crossing the baulk line is a wise decision. Presently bonus line game is in vogue. The bonus depends upon the number of antis that you have on the other side of your zone. If the number of antis is 6, then just by crossing the bonus line you can earn a point for your team. Otherwise, you have to go deeper inside the zone to score.


TThe most unique feature of Kabbadi is its cant. Beginners often find themselves in difficult position in doing this. The rule says you have to chant the word “Kabbadi” as soon as you enter the defending zone and should continue till you come back to your side by crossing the middle line. If the player fails in this at any moment during his raid, he will be out of the match. So indirectly the duration of cant can be used as an I-measurement tool of kabaddi.


A raider can use right, left, or central zone for his entry into the court. However; his entry depends upon the following factors very strongly

  • The position of the raider at the time of his act as team’s defense system.
  • The direction of attacking side.
  • His moving direction.

A player fighting for right corner should start with an anti-present in the right side and similarly for left and corner size. Starting of the cant should be made before entering to the defending zone. This is because if the raider makes any delay in the cant process after entering the defending zone, then under late cant penalty he may be debarred of the match.


The movement of the foot of the raider during his raid is most important. The footwork however depends upon the following factors.

  • Position of the body
  • Stance of the raider
  • Speed with which he moves
  • Agility
  • Style of movement

The raider should bring speed in his movement during the raid. He should keep in his mind that the work should be finished as soon as possible as the loose of breath will lose the cant process and his team may get penalized. Footwork can be divided into four categories basically.

  • Leading leg raid
  • Natural method
  • Reverse step raid
  • Shuffling raid

Necessary skills

A man needs skills to have mastery upon techniques. There are broadly two categories of skills that a kabaddi player needs to learn are offensive skills and defensive skills. For example, during a raid, a raider must try to touch the antis with the maximum use of his limbs. It will make easy for him and for his team to score points. Some touches that are legal in kabaddi are

  • Foot touch
  • Toe touch
  • Thrust
  • Squat leg
  • Kicks
  • Touching of hand through upper limbs


After the starting of the raid, until and unless the raider returns to the home zone safely, the raid is not accepted as successful. This is known as retreat. Before going to the opponent’s zone, the raider must pre-plan his retreat.


Physical health

Players acting as raiders hold their breath the entire time.  So the physical benefits are

  • Endurance (from breath-holding and moving)
  • Running
  • Dodging
  • Kicking
  • Defensive skills
  • And taunting (never to be underestimated)

Mental health and Moral value

Yoga plays an integral part in Kabbadi. The raider has to enter the opponent’s court chanting the word “Kabbadi” while holding his breath and has to continue doing so until he returns to his home court. This is known as ‘Cant’, which is closely related to “Pranayama” of yoga. While Pranayama is about withholding breath in order to exercise internal organs, ‘Cant’ is the means to withhold your breath while doing vigorous physical activity. Yoga helps you to access inner strength that allows you to face overwhelming fears, frustrations, and challenges of everyday life.


Enhance your presence of mind

To boost our productivity, many of us multitask to some degree. The game calls for proactiveness, presence of mind, team management, SWOT analysis, physical strength, crisis management and understanding opponent’s strategy.


Pay attention to small things

The game calls for agility, good lung capacity, muscular co-ordination, presence of mind and quick responses. Forecasting capacity and practice helps you understand the situation and act quickly at the right time and with right decisions. You need to start paying attention to small little things. One needs to compose himself and be prepared for any situation and act wisely in those tensed circumstances.


Fighting with the right spirit is important

Fighting with the right spirit is important. The CANT in Kabbadi has a close relationship with pranayama of yoga. A research brought out that fast and shallow breathers are easily excitable whereas slow and deep breathers are calm and cool with a longer lifespan. The research concludes that in Kabbadi the internal organ, i.e. respiration, is exercised along with external organs resulting in a sound mind in a strong body which is the ultimate aim of sports. Tests conducted on Kabbadi and non-Kabbadi players have established the fact that Kabbadi players have more vital capacity than non-Kabbadi players.


Kabbadi is a cheap, simple, safe and secure game. So this is my favourite game. The game is good for health. The players have constantly to run and jump. They are active throughout. The game does not required much time. It recreates and gives good exercise only within a few minutes.