The Sun Wheel / Vadda Chakkar: A Sikh Martial Art Turned Flow Art


I first encountered the subject of this article at EJC 2019. I was taken back by the mesmerizing effect of this spinning prop and had to try it out for myself. The prop was introduced to me as a sun wheel. Since then, I’ve seen it online a number of times and saw it again in person at the 2022 IJA Festival.

The sun wheel is more traditionally known as the Vadda Chakkar. It is a ceremonial weapon used in the Sikh martial art of Gatka. Vadda Chakkar translates to “Big Wheel.” Although it is almost completely used in a ceremonial fashion now, it is said that it developed as a portable shield against arrows when spun and often had blades or metal balls attached to its outside to be used as an offensive weapon.

The technique of spinning a sun wheel is very similar to meteor spinning or staff spinning. It has been adopted into use by the flow arts community and is growing in popularity. Let’s take a look at some videos of it being used and taught by bought Sikh practitioners and flow artists.

At the moment, the Vadda Chakkar has a somewhat limited vocabulary of tricks. It is not too difficult to learn the basic spin and would be a fun addition to your prop bag. They are available online.

サンホイール、あるいはヴァダ・チャカーについて: シーク教伝来の武器がフロウアートに

今回紹介する道具に筆者が初めて出会ったのは、EJC2019 の会場だった。回転するその道具が与える視覚効果に魅せられて、自分でも試してみたくなった。その道具の名前は「サンホイール(Sun Wheel)」であると説明された。それ以来、何度もこの道具をネットで見かけることがあったが、再び実物を見たのは 2022 年の IJA フェスティバルだった。

この「サンホイール」は、伝統的には「ヴァダ・チャカー(Vadda Chakkar)」と呼ばれるものである。シーク教の武術「ガトカ(Gatka)」で使われる儀式用の武器である。ヴァダ・チャカーというのは、直訳すると「大きな車輪」という意味だ。現代における使用は、もっぱら儀式用に限られるが、元々は回転させることで矢を防ぐ携帯用の盾として発展し、外側に刃物や金属の球を取り付けて攻撃用の武器とすることも多かったとされる。



和訳: 青木 直哉(AOKI Naoya)

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 16 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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