The story of the newest episode of Deadliest Warrior is that unlike some previous episodes of group warfare, like Yakuza vs. Mafia and the Jesse James gang vs. Al Capone and his mobsters, the Centurion vs. Rajput Warrior matchup focused on one-on-one combat.
Primarily because the Centurion was leader of his 80-member Century, the Rajput warrior's martial arts discipline and variety of weapons led him to the clear victory.
If you don't know what or who Rajput warriors are, the name means "Son of the King," and they are hereditary warriors from Northwest India practicing one of the world's oldest forms of martial arts. Western audiences may be most-familiar with a recent film interpretation: what they did to Captain Nemo in the pretty-awful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003).
I think I understand the idea of Rajput Warriors better than the representatives on the show presented. For example, the demonstration of the Khanda sword completely hacked the sides of beef to shreds, but apparently, this long, straight and heavy sword was replaced by the Talwar, or curved sword that we may be more familiar with from films and paintings. The Rajput swordsman was also using his circular motions that are typical of Rajput martial arts, but he was turning around slowly, and if I could see a gladius blow opportunity after every strike he made, real life would surely bring such an opportunity.
However, the Rajput swords weren't the only switcheroo. I wasn't surprised to learn that a large, heavy, straight sword of similar length and size to the Khanda sword called a spatha was used by Roman cavalry, and it relatively quickly replaced the gladius, especially among the officer class like Centurions.
This is a guy that I could probably beat using a modern replica Spatha on such violent, frightening opponents as plastic water bottles, cans, bamboo stalks and possibly metal whisky flasks. Anyway, this thing looks like a reasonable opponent to the Khanda sword, and probably something that would easily overmatch the curved Talwar blade, if that had been used.
The show brought an awesome Sikh warrior on, trained in the use of the Aara, a flexible circular whiplike bladed weapon (called a sword, but it is more like a sharp, flexible metal whip).
Here is an amazing, beautiful video of the weapons of the Rajput and pictures from many generations -
In just one of the achievements of the Rajput warriors, for 1,000 years, they successfully defended against countless attacks by Islamic invaders. Many know of the Mughal Dynasty in India (which produced among other things, the Taj Mahal), and today, there are Muslim Rajput warriors, but the majority of Rajput are and always have been Hindu. You really owe it to yourself to read and learn more about them. These guys are men upon men and often fought to the last man, always valuing death before dishonor. I think that this should have been covered more in the show and in this case, I have to say, much as my emotions go with the Centurion, I have to recognize the amazing history and character of Rajput warriors.