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Google Doodle Honored Gama Pehlwan, Undefeated Wrestler ‘The Great Gama

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(CTN News) – The Google Doodle Sunday (May 22) honored the 144th birthday of the undefeated Indian wrestler Gama Pehlwan, popularly known as “The Great Gama.”

A practitioner of pehlwani wrestling (a form of South Asian wrestling also known as Kushti), the Great Gama Pehlwan was born on May 22, 1878, in Jabbowal village of Amritsar.

Originally known as Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt, he was considered the greatest Indian and world champion in the early 20th century (Rustam-e-Hind).

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The Great Gama’s Career

Gama Pehlwan remained undefeated throughout his remarkable career spanning around five decades. He was just 10 years old when he defeated every wrestler who challenged him.

During the Indian subcontinent’s freedom struggle, he inspired many, including the legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee.

After defeating international wrestlers in London, he was awarded the World Heavyweight title in 1910. He defeated world champions such as Stanislaus Zbyszko, Frank Gotch, and Benjamin Roller.

In his career, Gama Pehlwan won many titles, including the Indian version of the World Heavyweight Championship (1910) and the World Wrestling Championship (1927), where he received the title “Tiger” after winning the tournament.

Bruce Lee, who was an avid follower of Gama’s training routine, picked up Gama’s legacy. It was from Gama that Lee learned ‘The Cat Stretch,’ which was a yoga-based version of push-ups. He also performed baithaks, which were inspired by the Great Gama.

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