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Multimedia Monday: Trad. Wrestling Videos from Around the World

17 October 2011 3 Comments

You love wrestling and since this week’s news cycle re: traditional wrestling was a bit slower, I thought we could embed a few videos that have been forwarded to me over the past few months. Some are missing rules explanation, but they do a great job of showcasing the various styles from around the globe.

If you ever have personal videos, stories and trip summaries that relate to visiting with or participating in traditional wrestling, Wrestling Roots is always looking for more content. Help us get the word out not just that there are different styles, but how these styles are being utilized by local governments and citizens to improve daily life.

India/Pakistan Kushti: The majority of good YouTube video re: Kushti comes from Indo/Pak, though several other countries, such as Iran and Iraq, also enjoy a powerful Kushti (Koshti) tradition.

Traditional Georgian wrestling (Chidaoba) is similar to Mongolian Bukh, sporting an open breasted jacket. However, the colors of the jerseys, rules of the match, competition surface and 80-percent of the remaining outfit are different. It’s impossible to know with 100-percent certainty if the Georgians adapted anything from the Mongolians during their rule in the 13th and 14th centuries – I’l love to hear from anyone who has more perspective on the reasoning for the traditions we see here.

Dau vat, Vietnamese wrestling. This video shows the shortened dance, but incredible action. Feet off the ground and you lose, sucka. Also, I *think* there is a way to finish on the ground, maybe by finishing a double, or pinning your opponents hip to the ground.

My new favorite traditional style comes from the Canary Islands, the Spanish-held archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa. Lucha Canaria: Check it out. Big dudes, great technique and lots of fan enjoyment. H/T Gavin


  • Nathan Susi said:

    Wow…..that’s divine!! I’ve just watch all video which you posted here and got a lot of pleasure. I’ve a few collection of kusti video. But I can I send all of my collection to you. Would you mind to allocate about the way?

  • Gavin said:

    In exploring the history of Central Asian wrestling I don’t think Mongolian bukh had a major impact on Georgian chidaoba. The traditional sport of jacket wrestling has existed in the Caucasus since long before the conquests of Genghis Khan in the 13th century, this is easily confirmed by the briefest study of Georgian wrestling lore.

    Armenia had a similar style called kokh, which I think may now be extinct, while jacket wrestling is still popular in Khorasan Province of Iran, Hatay Province of Turkey, Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan, not to mention China & Mongolia as you’ve seen for yourself. Western Europe has a unique expression of traditional jacket wrestling in Cornwall (England), Brittany (France), Salzburg (Austria), Karnten (Austria)which seems to be a survival of a once popular pan-Celtic celebration around the August 1st summer festival.

    Note that traditional jacket wrestling did not evolve anywhere else in the world with continents like Africa, Australia, the Americas devoid of the sports until it was introduced only within the last three centuries. The conjecture then is that it evolved somewhere in Central Asia a very long time ago before spreading & the most likely candidates are the ancient & widespread Aryan peoples, people that Herodotus referred to as the Cimmerians, Scythians & Sarmatians.

    They were the first to domesticate horses for riding, developing the original nomadic equine cultures. Their artwork shows that their daily wear was strong canvas jacket & trousers, looking much like a judogi. If anything it was the Mongolians & Celts who learnt jacket wrestling from these people & their descendants still live in the Caucasian Republics.

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