An illustration of a player attacking in a kabaddi match

Kabaddi Offensive Skills (Raids)

Learn about the different Kabaddi offensive skills, also known as raiding skills Kabaddi players tactically use to tag the opponents during a raid, what do they involve, and the specific situations in which they work best.

Each and every Kabaddi player needs to practice and master both Kabaddi offensive skills and Kabaddi defensive skills. According to the long-established Kabaddi rules – How to Play Kabaddi, each team member has to play as the raider and the defender in a Kabaddi match, as teams take turns to raid one another. The raider is the most challenging Kabaddi position because only one raider at a time is allowed and there can be up to 7 defenders on the court; furthermore, the raider has to tag as many antis as possible while holding his breath and chanting “Kabaddi!” for 30 secs, and while constantly thinking about his escape plan.

Fundamental Skills of Kabaddi

There are three main skills in Kabaddi:

1) Offensive Skills (this page)

2) Escape Skills

3) Defensive Skills

Kabaddi Fundamentals: 5 Kabaddi Offensive Skills to Practice for Successful Raids

1 The Hand Touch

Although this is one of the most basic offensive skills in Kabaddi, it requires plenty of practice in order to successfully apply it during a raid. This Kabaddi raiding skill involves tagging one or more defenders with either hand to score points for the raiding team (more defenders tagged, more points scored). Touching the defenders with the tip of a finger also counts.

The different situations that call for the application of this fundamental raiding skill include when there are 5 or fewer defenders on the field of play, when the defenders form a very close chain ( in this situation, the risk of getting tackled is reduced when using the hand touch instead of other Kabaddi offensive skills), when the defenders are predominantly playing on the baulk line, and while the raider changes direction and can take the defenders by surprise.

Depending on the raider’s typical offensive style, there are several types of hand touches, including:

  • Running Hand Touch – this skill is best applied when the raider targets the corners and 2nd/supporting players during a natural, cross step, or running raid ( the raider should run naturally to tag the targets but with an escape plan in mind, instead of running blindly).
  • Turning Hand Touch – the raider suddenly changes direction and immediately tries to touch the Corner/2nd in the other direction; this skill serves as a surprise attack and should be applied only every now and then by the same raider; so that the defenders would not be able to anticipate it
  • Stooping Hand Touch – the raider lunges for a defender’s foot/ankle/leg ( typically a Corner or Cover) by stooping forward or sideward and outstretching his arm; this sudden forward/sideward thrust of the body typically takes defenders by surprise, but if not careful, the risk of thigh hold is also increased
  • Hopping Hand Touch – the raider makes a hopping movement when approaching one of the Corners/ Ins, to rapidly reduce the distance between them and achieve his goal; attacking closer to the defenders’ lobby( a marked area parallel to the end line) can make it easier for him to get back to his side
  • Feint & Hand Touch – the raider can create a deceptive situation using his upper body as part of his tactics, in order to divert the defenders’ attention from his hands and then apply the hand touch to their surprise; excellent footwork is also required.
2 The Foot Touch

The foot touch is also among the fundamental skills of Kabaddi that raiders commonly use to score points. When executing this Kabaddi raiding skill, the raider uses his entire foot, instead of just a toe, to tag one or more defenders. Physical fitness and leg strength in particular are required for the execution of this skill which typically involves a single-leg hip thrust in the direction of the target. The raider then proceeds with dragging his foot towards the defenders in an attempt to touch one or more – this is known as “SLIP” in Kabaddi. The slip enables the raider to rapidly cover a larger area of the defending team’s half of the court, maximizing his chances of touching defenders with his foot.

3 The Toe Touch

One of the most popular Kabaddi raiding skills, the toe touch is similar to the foot touch but the raider only uses his toe to tag one or more antis. This offensive skill is preferred by raiders who want to play safer because it can be executed while maintaining a certain distance from the defenders. When applying the toe touch, the raider’s leading leg should be fully extended, the elbows should be flexed, and the center of gravity should be shifted towards the other leg for proper balance. Likewise, the raider should try to apply this raiding skill nearer the midline to minimize the risk of getting captured with the ankle hold and increase his/her chances of getting back to safety.

4 The Sudden/Squat Leg Thrust

These Kabaddi offensive skills share similarities with the foot touch and toe touch because they also involve a sudden thrust of the leg, often unexpected by the antis, especially when it comes to the skill called sudden leg thrust. The raider is free to slide/drag the attacking leg both sideward to backward and forward to sideward to touch two or more defenders to their surprise but to the raiding team’s benefit. The squat leg thrust is applied by a raider in a squatting or crouching position, preferably closer to the midline for an easier escape, by thrusting either leg towards the antis. Both of these fundamental skills of Kabaddi require rapid reaction so that the raider can capitalize on the opportunities to score points in due time.

5 The Roll/Side/Front/Back Kick

These different types of kicks in Kabaddi are regularly used by escape-minded raiders because it allows them to maintain a pretty safe distance and often achieve their goal. These widely accepted Kabaddi offensive skills should not be applied violently though ( the scope of the game is to touch/tag the defenders, not to hurt them). Raiders who initiate a .back, front, roll/curve, or sidekick typically target the Covers of the defending team. Agile movement and leg strength are essential to the execution of these Kabaddi raiding skills, which are best applied when there are 4 or fewer defenders on the court or when the antis play on the baulk line. A back-kick, in particular, can be executed while running, standing, feinting, or changing direction.

In addition to these fundamental skills of Kabaddi, professional Kabaddi players also use advanced Kabaddi offensive skills that include rolling on the mat and crawling back to the raiding team’s side, jumping over a chain of defenders who are holding hands in order to score multiple points, and ducking as low as possible, below the arm level of the chain, to escape unscathed as in the sensational Kabaddi raiding skill Dubki.



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