Almost all of us know about the fighter and actor Bruce Lee who made his name and fame throughout this globe. If a list is to be prepared of celebrities who were famous across the globe, Bruce Lee would get top spot.
But do you know the great fighter and actor was a huge fan of a Muslim wrestler who himself was invincible inside the ring and remained undefeated throughout his life.
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He was the Great Gama Pehelwan (wrestlers are referred as Pehelwan in Indian subcontinent) who defeated all the big names of wrestling during early 20th century.
Wrestling which is now a recognized sport all over the world has a major history in India and Pakistan.
He lived and played the sport in undivided India but later migrated to Pakistan after its separation from India in 1947. Gama represented India into England and other western countries.
He used to give open call for fight to wrestlers and would throw them into ground in few minutes. Due to his gigantic strength he remained the undefeated champion of the world gaining the additional title of ‘Rustam-e-zaman’ or ‘the Champion of the world’.
Undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years, he is considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
It was his diet and hard work in the ring that made him invincible throughout his life.
There is a very interesting anecdote of his strength; In 1902, he was in a city of India and here he lifted a stone with his hands and left everyone astonished.
Now you may think what’s so special in picking up a stone. So, let me tell you that the stone weighed 1200 Kg or 2,645 pounds. Yes, I repeat 1200 Kg not 120 Kg.
While the world looks up to Bruce Lee when it comes to strength and training, it was Gama Pehelwan whom Bruce used to look up to in order to better his training.
- Gama used to grapple with 40 fellows in his practice ring.
- He used to do 5000 squats everyday with an average of 100-200 squats per minute.
- Gama used to do 3000 push-ups every day with the average of 50-100 push-ups in a minute.
- He used to wear a donut shaped iron belt weighing 100 Kg and then doing push-ups for 40-45 minutes.
- 10 litres of milk mixed with 1.5 pounds of almond paste
- Half litre of ghee
- six pounds of butter
- three buckets of seasonal fruit
- Two desi (indigenous) mutton
- Six desi (indigenous) chicken or 36 whole eggs
- fruit juices
Since, Wrestling was and is one of the favorites past time of Indians. Gama attracted huge popularity for his fights across India and abroad.
Gama debuted at a very young age in the ring and he managed to get in top positions in a wrestling competition when he was only 10 years old. At a very young age he beat 400 professional wrestlers to make into top spots.
Gama challenged 2 times World Heavyweight Champion Stanislaus Zbyszko and World Heavyweight Freestyle Champion Frank Gotch saying that if he’s unable to defeat them, he’d pay them the prize money & go home.
During their first bout, Zbyszko spent most of his time running away & defending himself from Gama. The match ended in a draw. The date for one more fight was fixed but Zbyszko didn’t turn up. Gama was declared the winner by default.
The biggest admirer of his training routine was none other than martial artist Bruce Lee, who was so fascinated with his exercises, that he incorporated them into his own routine; such as a combination of Indian push-ups and ‘baithaks’ (squats).
Gama left this world around 60 years ago but the legacy he built is hard to be shaken. Gama wasn’t only a savage and beast in the ring but also a true soul at heart.
During the partition of India, he migrated to Pakistan with his family and also saved numerous Hindus during the riot which followed up.
Bruce Lee also went on to become a huge fighter and a strict disciplinarian in his life.
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