Gouren style of Brittany
Turkic belt wrestling Kuresh
Mongolian wrestling Boke
Korean wrestling Ssireum
Iceland wrestling Glima
Freestyle wrestling. Takedown
Essentially standing contest, delicate struggling for keeping balance, with a substantial psychological component – this is just for us!
Quick toe-to-toe strength and balance contest consisting in attempts to rock the other girl off her standing position. The main goal is to cause her to go off balance in order to make her touch the ground with any body part other than the sole of her feet (preferably by her back) or (in some styles) to push her out of the circle.
The first known official wrestling match happened at the 18th Olympic games in 708 B.C. There were two styles of Ancient Olympic Wrestling – ground style (‘Kato Pale’) and upright style (‘Orthia Pale’). The rules were the same except in the upright wrestling style a wrestler had to throw his opponent to the ground three separate times in order to win the match. The upright style was considered as more aesthetic and noble. By the way. ancient Spartan women wrestled just in the upright style.
As a matter of fact, the most of traditional wrestling styles all over the world essentially come to a balance contest. Whoever manages to drop the opponent having him/her touch the ground by any part other than a foot is a winner (or, in some styles to push the opponent out of the circle).
During past decades, just these wrestling forms became widely popular among women – both in form of official competitions of informal contests and tournaments.
The following combat activities and sports have to do with the category ‘Upset her balance and take her down’:
- Swiss wrestling Schwingen
- Celtic wrestling forms:
- Iceland wrestling Glima
- Mongolian wrestling Boke
- Eurasian belt wrestling styles:
- Lucha Canaria
- South American wrestling
- Taraumara’s wrestling
- African wrestling styles: Bakweri tribal style (Wesuwa),
- Korean wrestling Ssireum
- Contemporary “Beach wrestling” which essentially is a quintessence of all above mentioned styles
Japanese Judo wrestling which was the very first internationally accepted form of combative sports for women contains a few important elements, one of which is to force the opponent off balance and throw him/her down ending with an opponent largely on his/her back, demonstrating full control. This is the highest score a Judoka can achieve.
In other popular wrestling styles, such as
grappling, the main events occur on the ground but the phase of takedown is often decisive – a successful throw allow a wrestler to pin the opponent quickly or get a submission.
The contact sport style ‘Upset her balance and take her down’ seemed to be the form of contest precisely designed for women matching their psychology and physical nature. Competing in balance, coordination, speed, discretion, quick wit, strength, grace and femininity, women realize their natural desire for contesting (including physical) – without tough and brutal moves like punches to face, locking joints, squeezing the body, chokes, pain techniques, etc.
amateur wrestling veteran said, "It should be an essentially standing contest, delicate struggling for keeping balance, with a substantial psychological component – this is just for us!"
The balance contest is quick, that’s why a contestant should sense the opponent’s intention, even hidden from spectator’s view, trying to sense her move even sooner than she did it. It is not just a physical but also an imperceptible psychological contest between two female characters.
Female matches in Schwingen, Sumo, Gouren and other ‘standing styles’ last just for seconds; they are full of not only physical but also psychological contest of two female characters. Even in the combative sports in which ground fighting is allowed, female standing contest and takedowns are the most impressive and gracious moments.
The strategy and tactics of a standing contest depend on rules and terms of a particular style, especially on admissibility of grasping the opponent’s attire. In some styles, wrestlers wear special belts (like Sumo, Kuresh, Ssireum) or combative shorts (Schwingen, Glima) or jackets (Judo, Boke, Lucha Canaria) as well as their combination (Gouren).In some styles a match begins in a given position (Sumo, Backhold). In other styles, wrestlers may grab each other by arms or torso (Wesuwa, Greco-Roman), in some – by legs (freestyle, beach).
A macthes in the Celtic wrestling style Backhold on the traditional festival in Scottlang highlands. A girl wrestle several guys - one after another/ And sometimes wins.
Episodes of the Celtic wrestling styles championships in 2009
Wrestlers start a match putting hands an the opponent's back
That's why one of the Celtic styles is called 'Backhold'
Peasant girls in Icelandic traditional attire wrestle in Glima style
Contest in Gouren, one of the most popular Celtic wrestling style
Wrestling matches on the Leboku festival in Nigerian city of Ugep
A wrestling match in the Wesuwa style in African tribe Bakweri, Cameroon
Stubborn furious struggle
A contest in the belt wrestling championship
A wrestling mathc in the Swiss style of Schwingen
Japanese wrestling Sumo
Swiss wrestling Schwingen
Celtic wrestling Backhold (Cumberland style)
Brazilian wrestling Huka-Huka
taraumara traditional wrestling. North Mexico
Wesuwa wrestling of Bakweri people in Nigeria
Japanese wrestling Judo. Photo from the website 'Fighting Style'
Ancient Viking wrestling in circle
One-leg balance contest