Kabaddi is the came of
attack and defense. Attack is also known as 'raid' and the attacker
is called the 'raider' in Kabaddi. The singularity of the game
is that attack is an individual effort while defense is a combined
effort. Offense in Kabaddi, is a sum total of raiding techniques
and tactics in which footwork of the raider plays a crucial
role. Since more points are scored through raids, the raider
is in the limelight and the recipient of the public adulation
Raid is the focal point of Kabaddi. A couple of good raiders
in the team can change the whole tempo of the game in minutes,
with their techniques and tactics. For an individual raider
to face up to seven opponents or antis, and come back successfully
with points for the antis touched by him in the course of the
raid, is no mean achievement. This is what the raid i-s all
about. Raid is the main tool of the offense for scoring points
against the opponent team. It is a continuous process since
players from both teams raid on the opponent court alternatively.
If, for example, when there are two teams, team 'A' and team
'B', when a player from team 'A' raids on team 'B', the player
from team 'A' becomes the attacker or raider and team 'B' becomes
the defending team with the players taking on the role of antis.
Similarly, when the player from team 'B' raids on team 'A',
it is the turn of team 'A' to take to defense.
As per the rules of Kabaddi, the player who enters the opposite
court with 'cant', all the while with-holding his breath, is
known as the raider. 'Cant' is the continuous chanting of the
approved word 'Kabaddi' by the raider without taking a breath.
The role of the raider, while in the opposite court, is to touch
as many antis as possible, without being caught. Simply entering
into the opponent's court with cant and returning to home court
unscathed will not make the raid successful. To make the raid
successful, the raider must enter the opponent's court with
cant and either cross the baulk line or touch one or more antis
and return safely with cant to his home court, without breach
Raid is the backbone of Kabaddi, and the raider plays a very
important role in scoring points for the team. He is ca able
of scoring a number of points in a single raid with his individual
skill and enterprise, while the defense get only one point in
the event of his being caught.
ANALYSIS OF A RAID
The raid is of a complex nature and several factors are to be
considered to make it successful. A good raider should have
the skill, tactics, counter-action ability to extricate himself
from difficult situations, and above all, good footwork to score
points. A combination of all these factors, with an ability
to make spot judgments of the situation will make the player
a top class raider. We shall now go into the structure of a
raid and the different steps associated with it, to understand
the raid and its constituents.
STRUCTURE OF RAID
The main constituents of a raid comprise pre-considerations,
cant, entry, settling and path of attack, footwork, skills,
tactics, and retreat.,
OF A RAID
'Pre-considerations' means planning the technique and strategy
to be adopted by the raider before he enters into the opponent's
court. This is to mentally prepare the raider to make his
move depending on the number of defense players, their positions
etc. The raider has to consider the following points before
starting his raid.
Where to enter?
Number of players in the opponent's court and players put
Strong defense positions and abilities there of
System of play adopted by the defense
Making a mental plan of the attack
Choosing the target
Situation of the game
Bonus line game
Entry into the opponent's court will affect the path of the
raid, distance to be covered, and retreat to home court. As
such, the raider must choose the right place to make an entry
into the opponent's court.
Kabaddi is a game in which, the defense players keep on varying
in number during course of play. At any given moment, there
may be any number of antis ranging from one to seven. The raider's
attack should also vary depending upon the number of players
in the opponent's court. While keeping in view the number of
antis, the raider must also make a note of the antis out of
court, since an ineffective, raid may bring in a strong anti
and revive the defense. The raider must be aware of the abilities
of the defense players as well as their positions, in order
to either avoid their holds or counter act against their main
The raider must observe the system of play adopted by the defense.
In the chain system, there are various types of play depending
upon the number of antis in the court. For exam le, with four
antis in the court, the team may adopt 2-2, 1-2-1, or 1-1-2
system of play. The raider must try to discern the chain system
and the strategy of the defenders before embarking on his raid.
This is a vital pre-consideration before a raid.
Before starting on any venture, one has to preplan and condition
one's mind to adopt a certain strategy. So also, the raider
must make a mental plan of the raid before embarking on it.
A raid without prior mental planning may prove dangerous and
cost the offense side a point. The raider, while making. a mental
plan of his strategy, must also choose his target and direct
his attack towards this target.
The situation of the game relates to whether the offense side
is leading or otherwise. The raider, keeping in view the situation,
must decide whether he has to play safe or score pointed and
the time to be spent. Some times a successful raid, i.e. crossing
the baulk line will suffice, where as, if the situation is critical,
the raider may have to go in for an attack in order to score
In the bonus line game, which is now in vogue, the raider must
plan his raid keeping in view the number of antis in court on
the opposite side. He can score a bonus point by crossing the
bonus line, without a struggle if there are minimum six antis.
If there are less than six antis, he has to go deeper into the
defense stronghold and be prepared for a struggle to score points.
One of the unique features of Kabaddi is the cant. The raider
has to withhold his breath during the entire course of the raid
and keep up a continuous and audible chant of the word Kabaddi
until he returns to home court. This is known as cant in Kabaddi
and if he happens to loose his cant during the raid or struggle
before he reaches home court, he will be declared out and the
offense side will loose a point. The definition of cant as coined
by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India rules reads 'The
repeated without break and at a stretch and clear utterance
of the approved word "Kabaddi" with in the course
of one respiration shall be called a cant'. In other words,
cant can also be defined as the i-measurement of raid since
the length of the raid can be determined on the duration of
Raid begins with cant and ends with cant, immaterial as to
whether the raider reaches home court. If raider stops cant
in the opponent's court, he will be declared out, even if
the antis do not catch him. As such, cant is the inseparable
part of the raid and the raider must continue the audible
utterance of the word Kabaddi in one breath until he returns
to home court, for a successful raid. Together with physical
prowess, & technical supremacy a raider has to maintain
proper cant. Any break in cant, lack of clarity or chance
of the approved word may prove detrimental to the raider.
The cant in Kabaddi has a close relation to Pranayama of yoga.
This is a game, probably the only one, in which physical prowess
and vital capacity, i.e. respiration go hand in hand. Pranayama
associates mental processes with respiration. It is a proven
fact that Pranayama or taking a deep breath and withholding
it, is good for the heart, helps to calm down oneself and
assists longevity. Dr Sunder Ram, who studied the cant and
its implications in great depth, brought out a paper, which
states that fast, and shallow breathers are easily excitable
where as slow and deep breathers are' calm and cool and enjoy
a longer life span. He compares the life span of a monkey,
a fast breather to that of a tortoise, a slow -breather. Dr
Ram relates a sound cant to a sound mind, and concludes that
Kabaddi exercises the internal organs through respiration
control along with external organs and thus realizes the ultimate
aim of sports viz.
'A sound mind in a strong body'.
Cant has a long history and went by different names in different
parts of the country. While it went by the name Chedugudu
or gudu-gudu in southern India, it was known as Ha-du-du in
Eastern India and Hu-tu-tu in Maharashtra in western India.
All these forms were synthesized to form the present word'Kabaddi',
which has universal approval.
Many physical educationists
and experts have conducted innumerable experiments on cant
and its impact on players and have established the fact that
Kabaddi players have more vital capacity as compared to non-Kabaddi
The entry of the raider
in the opponent's court depends on three considerations, i.e.
The position of the raider when he is part of his team's
The side from which he starts his attac
The direction in which he moves.
The raider can take an entry from either the right zone, left
zone or the center zone. Normally the raider playing fight comer
position starts from the right zone, the left comer players
star from the left zone and the center zone players start from
the center zone, which ever is nearest to avoid delay. However,
this is not compulsory. The raider can take an entry from any
of the three zones but care should be taken to start the raid
within 5 seconds after the opponent's raid, for any delay will
render the raid unproductive. The raider must also take care
to start cant before entering into the opposite court. If he
touches the opposite court without cant, a late cant will be
declared and the raid will be cancelled. At times raid takes
the form of a pursuit to take the retreating raider of the opponents
by surprise. Here the entry has to be very quick without breaking
any rules of play.
& PATH OF ATTACK
Settling means getting set before an attack. Normally, after
entry into the opponent's court, the raider takes a few seconds
to study the situation and decide upon the path of attack.
In these few seconds, he chooses a target and makes his moves
accordingly. If he does not get set but charges blindly into
the opponent's court, there is more likelihood of his being
caught. For example, in pursuit, when the raider charges without
getting set, he exposes himself to the risk of being caught,
since he does not take time to plan the path of attack or
think of the consequence of his moves. The raider must take
care not to go too deep into the opponent's court or be surrounded
by the antis. He must also plan his path of retreat to home
court. He must invariably select a path to the centerline
for retreat after attack, for which he may choose to turn,
go outside, or take a side ward movement.
Footwork in Kabaddi means the movements made by the raider
with his feet, during the course of the raid. The factors
influencing footwork include the stance of the raider, body
position, movement, speed, agility, etc. A raider has to move
quickly from one spot to the other during raid, complete his
task and reach home safe. For this he depends largely on footwork.
Footwork can broadly be classified into four types, i.e. Leading
Leg Raid, Shuffling Raid, Natural Method and Reverse Step
Raid, which will be gone into in detail in the chapter on
basic offense skills.
Skill is the automatic application of technique without conscious
thought. Skill can also be defined as the ability to co-ordinate
different muscles in order to perform a combination of specific
movements smoothly and effectively. Technique should be applied
with dexterity, economy of movement and easily, without tension.
Mastery over the techniques of the game is called skill. The
skills used by the raider in Kabaddi are called- offensive
skills, while the skills used by the antis are called defensive
skills. During raid, the raider has to make maximum use of
his limbs to come in contact or touch the opponents in order
to score points. This is accomplished through leg touches
such as toe touch, foot touch, squat leg, thrust, kicks etc,
with lower limbs and through hand touches with upper limbs.
Apart from these basic skills,
the raider must also learn advanced skills, such as counter
action for escape from different holds. A skillful raider
is one who has gained mastery over all these techniques.
Tactics means exploiting a given situation to one's advantage
or creating a situation to suit one's purpose.
In Kabaddi, the raider is the principal performer who can
change the tempo of the game. Depending on the game situation,
the raider may increase or decrease the tempo of the game.
In order to do this he may adopt a passive raid or an aggressive
raid by creating a situation for a struggle. Some times the
raider may pass time in the last few minutes of the game,
especially when his team is leading and the opponents are
playing an aggressive game. All these are the tactics adopted
by the raider keeping in view the game situation. Tactics
and techniques go hand in hand for any successful raid.
Unless the raider returns to home court, safely after. the
raid, the raid cannot be treated as successful. This is called
retreat. The raider has to pre-plan his path of retreat before
starting his raid. While retreating to home court, the raider
should keep the following points in view.
- He does not give room for pursuit.
- He regains his defensive position quickly before the opponent
team's raider begins his raid. Unless he does this, he may
disrupt his team's defense system. For example, when the
raider assumes left comer positioning his team's defense,
but enters from the right, the opponent's raid may begin
before he reaches his defense position, putting the defense
- To return to home court, the raider must pass through
the midline only.