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The Jyesthimalla (literally "the most excellent fighters") were a clan of martial artists in medieval India, mentioned in the Malla Purana. They practiced a specific style of wrestling called vajra-musti while wielding a knuckle-duster-like weapon of the same name. Unlike the South Indian Nair clan, they are thought to be Brahmin priests.

The Malla Purana categorizes and classifies types of wrestlers, defines necessary physical characteristics, describes types of exercises and techniques of wrestling as well as the preparation of the wrestling pit, and provides a fairly precise account of which foods wrestlers should eat in each season of the year.[1]

Australian martial artist John Will trained with the Jyesthi clan in the Gujarat state of India. His account is one of the few first hand accounts of vajra-musti in western media.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Alter, Joseph S. (1992b). The Wrestler's Body: Identity and Ideology in North India. Berkeley: University of California Press.