Ass-Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: The Great Gama

Meet the Man So Badass He Inspired Bruce Lee
by Karl Smallwood

Major athletes’ lives are well documented online, in books, and in the dreams of small children. Yet there are hundreds if not thousands of awesome, underappreciated athletes out there and we here at Man Cave Daily weren’t going to stand idly by while their acts of badassery went vastly underappreciated by the internet. Which is why we’re going to start chronicalling all of the relitively unknown badasses of the sporting world, starting the The Great Gama.

Ghulam Muhammad, AKA Gama Pahelvan, AKA Lion of the freaking Punjab (the emphasis is ours, but only just) was probably the finest wrestler in all of human history, fact. Screw Frank Gotch, screw Alexander Karelin, what the hell, screw Kurt Angle too. When it came to the fine art of grabbing a guy and throwing him forcefully to the floor, Gama had that stuff down to an art form.

Born in 1880, the Great Gama spent the better half of his life dominating any opponent who dared cross his path using his signature Pehlwani wrestling style. A combat style so dangerous you actually need 3 years of practice just to pronounce it without accidentally punching yourself in the ear.

Gama started honing his body into a weapon of pure ass kicking at the tender age of 5 under the careful guidance of his father (who died), then his grandfather (who died) and finally his uncle (who remained offensively undead) Gama morphed his body into a testament to everything humanity aspires to be. At age 10 he bested hundred of other wrestlers from across India in a contest of bethaks (free squats). After several hours of forcefully thrusting his prepubescent wang towards the Earth’s face only the 10 year old Gama and a half dozen other wrestlers remained. The judge of the competition, seeing Gama’s great potential immediately crowned him the champion.

As he grew older Gama’s training only became more intense along with wrestling every single day, he notably performed thousands of bethaks per day while wearing a 95 kilo training apparatus and ended every training regime by having someone rub him with dry mustard. We tried that once, it accidentally got on our junk and now we’re technically virgins again. We wanted to curse Gama’s name but we were actually scared of his ghost donkey punching us.

This insane exercise regime gave Gama an almost unbelievable amount of strength which allowed him to pretty much walk all over every so-called champion that came his way. In fact the only opponent who ever gave Gama a challenge was a guy called Rahim SultaniwalaAn almost 7 ft. tall, 290-pound monster of a man who consisted of nothing but muscle, body hair and an unending hatred for rainbows [citation needed]. It’s at this point we should mention that Gama himself was only 5′-7″ inches tall. We suspect this may have something to do with the fact that Gama’s balls were so massive in size he was constantly weighed down and hence, his body couldn’t grow. But we digress–Rahim, the only man to ever wrestle Gama to a draw, had a clear foot of height and a 100 pounds of muscle on him and he still couldn’t win. Because Gama was boss as all hell.

Pictured: Boss as hell

Pictured: Boss as hell

After dominating and mining the entirety of India’s wrestling stock, Gama decided to get his Street Fighter on and issued a challenge to the entire world to best him in one on one combat. The challenge was greeted by a deathly silence from the collective wrestling world, to the point popular magazine of the time The Sporting Life printed several full-page ads basically calling the entire world wimps. In an attempt to even the odds that were stacked massively in his favor, Gama began issuing fights with increasingly bizarre conditions, culminating in an offer to fight 30 Japanese judo champions at once, which was soundly ignored by all of Japan. It was a decision they presumably regretted, as fighting Gama would have probably been great practice for when Godzilla rolled on Tokyo.

One of the few people to actually take on one of Gama’s challenge was an American Champion called Benjamin Roller. After many weeks of build up about an epic match between two masters of man-punching, Gama threw Roller to the mat in two minutes. It’s rumoured that Gama’s throw fundamentally altered Roller’s DNA to the point his ancestors now occasionally suffer from spontaneous bouts of broken rib.

All in all Gama remained undefeated in an estimated 5000 fights, because suck on it, Rocky Marciano. Just read that again, Gama grappled and physically bested 5000 sweaty men of varying ethnicities during his life. He spent the better half of his adult life being grappled by men in various states of undress, to our knowledge the only other person who can make that claim is Sasha Grey and you can sure as hell bet Gama came out looking better than she did.

Despite being a legend in the wrestling world, you’ve probably never heard of Gama–which is a shame. His once universally feared Pehlwani style, a style that resulted in more damage to the human body than drunken parkour–is now pretty much dead on its feet. His flawless record of man-grappling is largely ignored in favour of the most square-jawed American wrestler of the time, Frank Gotch. Despite the fact the fact that it’s pretty much agreed that Gama would have utterly dominated Gotch since it’s a universally agreed constant that the man with the cooler ring name always wins.

So everyone, the next time you have a beer, raise your glass to one of the most manly men to have ever lived. Or don’t and be powerslammed down to hell the second you walk through those pearly gates by a man with a moustache that could strangle a badger.

Dude, you've got a gorgeous girl on your arm -- show no fear.

Dude, you’ve got a gorgeous girl on your arm — show no fear.

Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer you can hire! His work has been featured on and you should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.

drobinson andrew h Ass Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: The Great Gama

We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he was born wearing a tuxedo

Karl also documented The Most Hilarious Overreactions to Scary Movies. For a more contemporary ass-kicking athlete, check out our praise-filled profile of All-Around Great Guy David Robinson.

More from Karl Smallwood

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