Commonly known as Indian wrestling, kusti – also called pelhwani – is a very ancient martial art, practiced by fighters in the akhara. This word stands for the wrestling ground and a place for training: it is an Indian fight club. Nonetheless fighting goes along with discipline, strict vegetarian diet, sexual abstinence, and commitment: it is common for the kusti wrestler to live in the akhara from adolescence to his thirties. Kusti fighters are devoted to Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, and they exercise with his iconic mace called gada – a wood stick with a round stone at the bottom. Practitioners start training very early, before sunlight, coached by a teacher, an old member of the akhara, which is also a sort of guru. The arena is made of ground, sprinkled with buttermilk, oil and ochre; before the fight, each wrestler throws a handful of ground to himself and his opponent, for blessing. Akhara are slowly disappearing due to the inevitable modernization of Indian culture, but also for the lack of institutional support as well as of funding.