An illustration of a player escaping in a kabaddi match

Kabaddi Escape Skills

Kabaddi, escape skills are essential to any successful raid that scores points for the raiding team, which is why they are part of the fundamental skills of Kabaddi. Learn more about the different escape skills Kabaddi players should develop, practice, and master.

Skill is the basic element of any sport and the ancient, fast-paced contact sport Kabaddi makes no exception. However, each sport requires a certain set of fundamental skills and in Kabaddi, the raider’s escape skills can make or break a raid. According to Kabaddi rules – How to play Kabaddi, a raid is considered successful ( meaning it fetches points for the raiding team) only if the raider manages to escape unscathed and crosses back over the midline to his/her half of the court; otherwise, the raider is out and the defending team wins a point and can revive one of their players previously out.

Basic Kabaddi Escape Skills: The Importance of These Fundamental Skills of Kabaddi

Every single raid in Kabaddi should be tactically executed, with a clear goal of scoring touchpoints and bonus points (if the raider crosses over the bonus line before touching any of the 6 opponents who are required to be on the field of play) but with escape in mind every split second. That’s because in Kabaddi escape skills are absolutely vital to raiding the opposing team successfully, scoring the most points, and implicitly, winning the game. Kabaddi, whether played among friends or pro Kabaddi, boils down to Touch & Escape. while chanting “Kabaddi!: continuously for 30 seconds.

Fundamental Skills of Kabaddi

There are three main skills in Kabaddi:

1) Offensive Skills

2) Escape Skills (this page)

3) Defensive Skills

When it comes to developing and mastering Kabaddi escape skills, there are 3 “magic” words – Practice, practice, practice. But the key here is to practice escape skills in a way that simulates competition, thus ensuring consistently good performance at speed and under stress. Because, according to the rules of Kabaddi, teams take turns sending raiders to the opponents’ territory, all Kabaddi players need to develop, practice, and hone escape skills. Unlike for example in NFL where some players habitually play as quarterbacks, in Kabaddi each and every player occupies the raider position in any Kabaddi match. When you are the raider, your escape plan should be carefully thought out before setting foot on the midline.

What also makes Kabaddi escape skills special is that, technically, they belong to the Kabaddi offensive skills category, but also share similarities with kabaddi defensive skills because the raider ultimately has to defend himself in order to be able to evade and get back safely in one breath. Each and every raider’s ability to escape affects the entire raiding team.

Here’s a breakdown of Kabaddi escape skills, part of the fundamental skills of Kabaddi. Note that, when you are the raider, proper footwork, concentration at all times, agile movement, and anticipating what the defenders plan on doing are required in order to make your escape skills work on the field of play.

Kabaddi Fundamentals:
5 Escape Skills

1 Running

Running is one of the fundamental escape skills in Kabaddi and the most obvious one because no raid can exceed 30 seconds ( in pro Kabaddi, there’s a 10-second warning buzzer). In order to successfully complete the raid within 30 seconds, the raider is left with no other choice but to run to the opposing team’s territory and then back to his team’s side. When running, the raider should lean slightly forward, land on the balls of his/her feet, and have a high knee lift that makes his thighs almost parallel to the ground. The raider’s arms should drive towards the middle of his body, not across it.

2 Dodging & Stooping

A fundamental escape skill in Kabaddi, dodging involves a sudden and rapid change of direction ( often unexpected by the opponents). When the raider, faces up to 7 defenders at once, dodging skills are essential to both the pursuit of points in a raid and evading. Changing direction in one step involves shifting your bodyweight quickly to the other side and adopting a lower body position ( stooping), while keeping your head up and your eyes focused forward, on your opponents ( never lose sight of them). Thanks to a lower center of gravity, you will achieve better balance. As a raider, you can dodge on both sides and use your shoulders and head to take your opponents by surprise and make the movement deceptive to them, so that you can escape.

3 Skipping & Side/Back Stepping

Practicing these escape skills that involve transferring weight from one foot to the other allows for proper footwork when you are the raider and increases your chances of escaping. Your head and trunk should be stable and your arms should be extended and swing in opposition to your legs to maintain your balance while trying to touch the opponents with your hand or foot. This constant movement serves you well because it makes it harder for the defenders to apply an ankle, thigh, waist/back hold. If a defender doesn’t manage to grab you but does touch you, then it counts as 1 point for your team, according to Kabaddi rules.

4 Balancing (Dynamic Balance & Static Balance)

Balancing skills are among the fundamental skills of Kabaddi, because losing your balance as a raider makes you vulnerable, increasing the possibility of getting grabbed by the opponents and preventing you from escaping. The raider can control his body while moving and attempting to touch the antis ( dynamic balance) and maintain a one-leg static balance ( e.g. when kicking a defender) through a combination of muscular relaxation & contraction and proper posture, with the head stable and up and the eyes focused on the target.

5 Kicking ( Back, Front & Side Kick)

These manipulative escape skills allow the raider to maintain a pretty safe distance so that he can escape and at once pursue his/her goal. Because kicking is essentially striking using the foot, proper coordination between the foot and the eye is important to a successful side, front or back kick in Kabaddi. Maximum focus on the target ( in pro Kabaddi the covers are typically the target), one-foot balancing, leg strength, and swiftness are needed to master kicking skills. Because when kicking in Kabaddi one leg is extended away from the center of gravity, the raider has to maintain the center of gravity over the base of support for one-leg balancing.

While these basic Kabaddi escape skills are among the essential, fundamental skills of Kabaddi, it’s worth noting that there are advanced escape skills, mastered by the best professional Kabaddi players, such as Jumping from the mat over one or more defenders, rolling and crawling back to safety, and ducking really low to escape a chain of antis holding hands, as in the famous Kabaddi escape skill called Dubki.

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