Jori Swinging Street Contest

Jori Swinging Street Contest

The Akharas in Varanasi organise competitions for Nag Panchami (Cobra Festival), such as Wrestling, Gada swinging and Jori Club swinging. The footage on this video was recorded at a night time street Jori Swinging Street Contest.

There are four categories in the Jori Swinging Competition.

Number 1.          35 kg and upwards in each hand

Number 2.          29-32 kg each club

Number 3.          25-27 kg each club

Number 4.          20-22 kg each club

Each category is swung for maximum repetitions, a swing with both left and right arms counts as ONE.

Warm ups

Each contestant warms up by swinging the Gada Mace 20kg, then they switch to Jori Clubs and perform a ladder style warm up through three to four sets of clubs, increasing weight each time.

A contestant applies mustard oil called SARSO KA TEL to his shoulders, cheeks and the Jori Club itself which helps the club slide on and off the shoulders during the swing.

The club handles are coated in a sticky substance called GEELA RAZZAN, and then coated with a magnesium powder. This combination enhances the gripping of the club.

Each contestant has personal attendants who clean and prepare the club handles. They also rub the sweat of the contestant before the final heavy swing in each category.

Jori Swinging Street Contest, 50kg

It is worth noting that the Jori swing style is based on sliding the clubs on and off the shoulders as opposed to the Persian Club which is held forward of the body, with the exception of heavier Persian Clubs which are handled in a similar way to the Jori.

The excerpt below is courtesy Wikipedia

Nag Panchami (Cobra Festival) is celebrated all over North India from historical times snakes have been worshipped by Hindus, and places of worship are reported as early as 700.

In north western India, it is the time when Akharas (venues of wrestling practice and competitions) as part of Nag Panchami celebrations are cleaned up thoroughly, walls painted with images of snakes, training equipment is repainted, priests preside, and the gurus are honoured along with the sponsors. The significance is that the wrestlers stand for virility and Naga symbolises this “scheme of virility”. Akharas are decorated with snake images showing snakes drinking milk.

On this day snake charmers are everywhere in towns and villages displaying snakes in baskets. All types of snakes are on display, such as pythons, rat snakes, and cobras mingled together. Some of the snake charmers hang limp snakes around their neck and crowds gather to witness these scenes.

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Meet the Author

Paul Taras Wolkowinski

INDIAN CLUBS and how to use them. Traveling, researching and studying old books and manuals, has played a major part in my re-discovery of the Art of Indian Clubs Swinging. I practice four disciplines, Indian Clubs, Persian Meels, Gada Mace and Indian Jori Clubs. I have discovered a fascination for this form of exercise that has grown with proficiency. This website is dedicated to help you discover how to use Indian Clubs for exercise and fitness.

10 comments… add one
  • Scott Baltic Aug 4, 2014, 1:02 am

    Fascinating video! Thanks for explaining about the prep, i.e, the warmups, the oil and so on.
    And the paint jobs on some of those joris look gorgeous.

  • Zé Ricardo Aug 5, 2014, 2:34 am

    Very good Paul , impressive video , thanks for sharing .

  • Frank Colón May 26, 2015, 10:43 am

    Hello, Paul!
    Hey, man, thanks for turning me on to this Jori Competitioin video! I’m very surprised at how much of a spectator sport this is over in India! I mean, these competitors dress like fighters and go through the oil and chalk rituals very much like the Sumo wrestlers do before they actually engage in their title battles. And, they also come in with their own coaching/assistant entourages!

    I’m sure that the bets and money wagers are also going on behind the scenes…!

    Do these guys compete regionally?

    I know, from having formally studied the art of Tabla playing, that there are families who have made these drums for generations, but none of them play the instruments. On the other hand, Indian professional Tabla players never construct or fix their own drums…! So… are the Joris made by a clan that doesn’t swing them or do the competitors make their own?

    Btw, those colorful Joris are a true work of art!

    Very cool of you to have researched this in person, man…. thanks for sharing this!

    • Paul Taras Wolkowinski Jun 1, 2015, 6:44 pm

      Hi Frank,
      I have only been to Varanasi so far, this year I will travel to Mysore in the south of India, where I am told there are old traditions in active use.
      I will try to find out more about the club making, all the Akharas (gyms) I visited have clubs for daily use, and special ones for festivals and competitions.

      • Frank Jun 3, 2015, 9:05 pm

        Thanks for your reply, Paul!

        *** Meanwhile, I just finished carving some new clubs,,, more in the Persian Meel style of design, which, before the thorough sanding that I am still going to apply to them, are weighing in at 4.8 kg.!

        As it is, I can swing them in most, if not all, of the basic Indian Club maneuvers…for about 10 minutes, before my arms give out! But, I’m enjoying this challenge and looking forward to getting much stronger, thanks to these Clubs, in the coming months!

        I also tapered down my previous Clubs so that they are now weighing in at 1.2 kg. and now, with their shorter length and lighter weight, they are so much more comfortable to swing!

        If you don’t mind, as soon as I sand down and varnish my new heavy Clubs, I’ll forward a photo to you and some video clips, for your evaluation, ok?

        Thanks, again, Paul!

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