Mongolian wrestling

Mongolian wrestling

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Mongolian wrestling, known as Bökh (Mongolian script
Mongolian script
The classical Mongolian script , also known as Uyghurjin, was the first writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most successful until the introduction of Cyrillic in 1946...

: ; Mongolian Cyrillic: Бөх or Үндэсний бөх), is the folk wrestling
Folk wrestling
A folk wrestling style is a traditional wrestling discipline which may or may not be codified as a modern sport. Most human cultures have developed their own sort of grappling style unique from other styles practiced...

 style of Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 in Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 and other regions. Bökh means "durability".

Wrestling is the most important of the Mongolian culture's historic "Three Manly Skills", that also include horsemanship and archery
Archery
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow, from Latin arcus. Archery has historically been used for hunting and combat; in modern times, however, its main use is that of a recreational activity...

.
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 considered wrestling to be an important way to keep his army in good physical shape and combat ready. The Manchu dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 (1646–1911) Imperial court held regular wrestling events, mainly between Manchu and Mongol wrestlers.
There are several different versions, Mongolian (in the country of Mongolia and in Tuva of Russia), Buryatian (in the Buryatia of Russia) and Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

n (in northern China).

History


Cave paintings in the Bayankhongor Province of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 dating back to Neolithic age of 7000 BC show grappling of two naked men and surrounded by crowds. The art of Bökh appears on bronze plates discovered in the ruins of the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
The Xiongnu were ancient nomadic-based people that formed a state or confederation north of the agriculture-based empire of the Han Dynasty. Most of the information on the Xiongnu comes from Chinese sources...

 empire (206 BC–220 AD). Originally, Bökh was a military sport intended to provide mainly strength, stamina and skills training to troops. Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 (1206–1227) and the all later Emperors of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368) and also the Emperors of later Khanates were keen to support the sport for this reason so wrestling events were included in local festivals, or Naadam
Naadam
Naadam is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays...

. Wrestling became a key factor when deciding the candidate rankings in imperial martial exams plus outstanding wrestlers were entitled to high distinctions.

The Secret History of the Mongols (written in Mongolian in 1240 AD) in Chapter 4, Paragraph 140 records a wrestling match between Buri the Wrestler and Belgutei
Belgutei
Belgutei was the son of Yesugei and half-brother to Genghis Khan.He also became general to Genghis Khan.-Ancestry:...

 that took place in Eastern Mongolia on the Year of the Monkey (1200 AD):
A. Heikel of the Finnish expedition to Mongolia wrote about a wrestling competition the expedition witnessed during their ten-day stay in Urga (now Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Ulan Bator or Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. An independent municipality, the city is not part of any province, and its population as of 2008 is over one million....

, capital of Mongolia) from 27 July till 7 August 1891:
As can be seen from this text the Urga games (1778–1924) took place at the old central square which would have been located just to the north of present-day Sukhbaatar Square
Sükhbaatar Square
Sükhbaatar Square is the central square of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It is named after and features a statue of Damdin Sükhbaatar, leader of Mongolia's 1921 revolution...

. The square can be seen on pre-revolutionary paintings of Urga. A 1967 Mongolian painting shows an old Urga wrestling match in detail, with the wrestlers wearing the same "Zodog" and "Shuudag" as they do in the present-day games (1924–present). The avarga (Titan) Jambyn Sharavjamts (born 1876) was a famous champion who gained recognition starting from when he was 18 years old and continued to compete with extraordinary success in state Naadam
Naadam
Naadam is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays...

s during the Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 period (until 1911), the Bogd Khan
Bogd Khan
The Bogd Khan was enthroned as the Great Khaan of Mongolia on 29 December 1911, when Outer Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Dynasty after the Xinhai Revolution. He was born in the Kham region of eastern Tibet, today's Sichuan province of the People's Republic of China...

 period (1911–1924) and the People's Republic of Mongolia (1924–1990). Sharavjamts was invited to take part in the state Naadam of 1945 (footage still exists) and succeeded in defeating three wrestlers at the age of nearly 70. He retired from wrestling in 1951, during the 30th anniversary of the People's Revolution with many decorations and medals including the Labor Achievement medal.

On 17 September, 2011 the Mongolian National Wrestling Match was held with the attendance of 6002 wrestlers. Thus, it has become the largest wrestling competition in the world and is recorded in the Guinness Record Book.

Competitions


Mongolian wrestling is the most popular national sport and a vital cultural piece for all Mongols around the world. When a male child is born in a family, Mongols wish him to become a wrestler. There are many competitions that take place each year in Mongolia, west and south-eastern Russia and northern China. The biggest one is the National Naadam
Naadam
Naadam is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays...

 festival, takes place in Mongolia between up to 1024 wrestlers.

Mongolian National Naadam


In Mongolia, the Naadam ("Game" in English) take place in July each year.
The biggest competition is National Naadam competition in Ulaanbaatar that has the largest number of wrestlers and live radio and television broadcasts throughout the country. Naadam is divided into three classes based on the Mongolian administrative divisions.
Level Name Place Date Participating Wrestlers
1 1st Nation Naadam wrestling Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Ulan Bator or Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. An independent municipality, the city is not part of any province, and its population as of 2008 is over one million....

July,11-13 524 wrestlers, 1024 in big anniversary year
2 2nd Aimag Naadam Wrestling each 21 Aimag
Aimags of Mongolia
Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags . Each aimag is subdivided into several sums. The name aimag is derived from the Mongolian and Turkic languages word for "tribe". The modern aimags were established since 1921...

approximately July,8-10 or middle July 128 or 256 wrestlers
3 3rd Sum Naadam Wrestling each 329 Sum early July 32 or 64 wrestlers


For the Naadam of Ulaanbaatar, the matches are held in a big stadium, while in countryside for smaller scale Naadams the matches are generally held in a small stadium or on an open grassy field; however they can also occur on a soft dirt area not littered with gravel. Since there are no weight classes in the Naadam of Mongolia, a small wrestler can compete against an opponent over twice his size. Smallest wrestlers usually weigh around 70 kg, while the biggest are over 160 kg, the median weight of a competitor at the Naadam is around 115 kg.

Traditionally the wrestlers were not randomly matched through like a drawing. The host of the Naadam had the privilege to arrange these matches and would often lend their favorites an advantage. Sometimes such arrangements would result in serious disputes between hosts and visiting wrestlers. Although the modern wrestling codes since 1980 stipulate that a lot drawing
Sortition
In politics, sortition is the selection of decision makers by lottery. The decision-makers are chosen as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates....

 method be used, but this is usually only done at major cross-regional Naadams and championship matches. At the grassroots level the traditional system is still used.

Rank can only be attained during the Naadam
Naadam
Naadam is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays...

 festival. The number of rounds won by each wrestler determines rank. The lowest rank is the Falcon of Sum, given to the top four wrestlers at the soum level Naadam in any 329 sums of Mongolia. Highest rank is "Giant." The rank is held for life.
Level Title Mongolian Cyrillic Provision
1 Nation Undefeatable Giant
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

 of Nation
Улсын дархан аварга Win 5 times in Nation Naadam Wrestling
2 Nation Wide Giant of Nation Улсын даян аварга Win 4 times in Nation Naadam Wrestling
3 Nation Ocean Giant of Nation Улсын далай аварга Win 3 times in Nation Naadam Wrestling
4 Nation Giant of Nation Улсын аварга Win 2 times in Nation Naadam Wrestling
5 Nation Lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

 of Nation
Улсын арслан Win in Nation Naadam Wrestling
6 Nation Garuda
Garuda
The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

 of Nation
Улсын гарьд Runner-Up in Nation Naadam Wrestling
7 Nation Elephant
Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

 of Nation
Улсын заан Semi-final in Nation Naadam Wrestling
8 Nation Hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

 of Nation
Улсын харцага Quarter final in Nation Naadam Wrestling
9 Nation Falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

 of Nation
Улсын начин 1/8 final in Nation Naadam Wrestling
10 Aimag Lion of Aimag Аймгийн арслан Win in Aimag Naadam Wrestling
11 Aimag Elephant of Aimag Аймгийн заан Runner-Up in Aimag Naadam Wrestling
12 Aimag Falcon of Aimag Аймгийн начин Semi-final in Aimag Naadam Wrestling
13 Sum Elephant of Sum Сумын заан Win in Sum Naadam Wrestling
14 Sum Falcon of Sum Сумын начин Semi-final in Sum Naadam Wrestling


If the wrestler achieves the same rank two years in a row the rank is decorated. For example a second time winner of the aimag level Naadam two years in a row would become a Hurts Arslan (Sharp Lion).

Danshig Naadam


Danshig Naadams are smaller scale tournaments than the National naadam, usually with 256 or 128 competitors, organized once in a year or so in countrysides to celebrate specific anniversaries of provinces or historic locations. It is unique Naadam and is smaller scale than most provincial tournaments. For example, West Region Danshig, Khangai Region Danshig, Gobi Region Danshig, East Region Danshig Naadams happen every two years.

Altargan


Buryat Mongols also celebrate their own Naadam each year with their own wrestling style. Competitors come from different regions of Mongolia that has significant Buryat populations such as Dornod, Khentii, Selenge, Bulgan, Orkhon, also from Buryatia of Russia and from Inner Mongolia of China.

In 2010 the festival took place in late July in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Wrestlers competed in two weight divisions -75 kg and +75 kg. For the lighter weight, B.Batozhargal of Buryatia got the title out of 32 wrestlers and for the heavier division D.Tsogzoldorj of Mongolia (who has the National Nachin rank) got his third title in row for the past three years.

Pan-Mongol wrestling


Since 2008, the associations of Mongol wrestling in Mongolia, Russia and China have started Mongol Wrestling Tournament between all ethnic Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

. Participants come from Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Tuva
Tuva
The Tyva Republic , or Tuva , is a federal subject of Russia . It lies in the geographical center of Asia, in southern Siberia. The republic borders with the Altai Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, and the Republic of Buryatia in Russia and with Mongolia to the...

 of Russia, Buryatia of Russia, Kalmyk
Kalmyk people
Kalmyk people is the name given to the Oirats, western Mongols in Russia, whose descendants migrated from Dzhungaria in 1607. Today they form a majority in the autonomous Republic of Kalmykia on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Kalmykia is Europe's only Buddhist government...

 of Russia, Altai
Altay people
The Altay or Altai are an ethnic group of Turkic people living in the Siberian Altai Republic and Altai Krai and surrounding areas of Tuva and Mongolia. For alternative ethnonyms see also Teleut, Tele, Telengit, Mountain Kalmuck, White Kalmuck, Black Tatar, Oirat/Oirot.The Uriankhai people were...

 of Russia, Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 of China and Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 of China to compete with each other in Khalkha Wrestling style. The first ever championship was held in Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Ulan Bator or Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. An independent municipality, the city is not part of any province, and its population as of 2008 is over one million....

 Mongolia in 2008, where Chimedregzengiin Sanjaadamba, who has not gotten yet a nation title, won the tournament. In 2009, it was held in Huhhot of Inner Mongolia and again Sanjaadamba won the championship, while still without a national title.

The 2010 competition took place in 15–17 July at Ulan-Ude of Buryatia, Russia. This time 2 weight categories have been created: -75 kg and +75 kg. In -75 kg division about 45 wrestlers have competed and at the 5th round top 4 were: Ivan Garmaev (Buryatia), Kh.Munkhbayar (Mongolia), M.Batmunkh (Mongolia), Seldys Mongush (Tuva). Eventually Seldys Mongush got the title on the 6th round through Kh.Munkhbayar. For the +75 kg division, there we're about the same number of competitors as in the lighter division. The top 2 where: Ch. Sanjaadamba (Lion of the Army) and D.Ragchaa (Elephant of the Nation). And again Sanjaadamba got the title, who lost in the 3rd round of this year's Naadam in Mongolia, where he failed to get a National level title.

Other tournaments



Each year during the Lunar New year holiday of Mongolia, 256 wrestlers compete during the winter at the Wrestling Palace in Ulaanbaatar. No rank is given at this competition, but it is considered the second most important tournament after the Naadam of Mongolia. Winners of this New Year's tournament often are likely to win the summer Naadam.

Best wrestlers from each 21 aimag of Mongolia hold an annual team wrestling competition. Often teams from Khangai region and north western region (Arkhangai, Uwurkhangai and Uws) win the title, but for the 2010 competition the team from Govi-Altai aimag took the title.

There are also smaller scale tournaments throughout the year that take place at the Wrestling Palace in Ulaanbaatar, usually in October, November, May and June with 64 or 128 wrestlers.

Government organizations or sometimes even big companies also host smaller scale competitions between 32 to 64 wrestlers to celebrate like anniversaries or special occasions. This really shows how important wrestling is to Mongolian lifestyle.

Match rules



The goal of a match is to get your opponent to touch his upper body, knee
Knee
The knee joint joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two articulations: one between the fibula and tibia, and one between the femur and patella. It is the largest joint in the human body and is very complicated. The knee is a mobile trocho-ginglymus , which permits flexion and extension as...

 or elbow
Elbow
The human elbow is the region surrounding the elbow-joint—the ginglymus or hinge joint in the middle of the arm. Three bones form the elbow joint: the humerus of the upper arm, and the paired radius and ulna of the forearm....

 to the ground. In the Inner Mongolian version, any body part other than the feet touching the ground signals defeat. There are no weight classes or time limit
Time limit
A time limit or deadline is a narrow field of time, or particular point in time, by which an objective or task must be accomplished.In project management, deadlines are most often associated with milestone goals....

s in a match. Especially in the Mongolian Naadam, although there are no time limits for a bout, it is generally understood that a match shouldn't take a very long time especially in the lower rounds. For example it used to take more than an hour or two for a bout to finish especially in the higher rounds with each wrestler trying to get feel of the other. This lately resulted in a policy that allows the zasuuls of the wrestlers to set up a fair grip positions between the wrestlers to finish the bout faster if the match is seemed to be going slow. Each wrestler wrestles once per round and the winner moves on to the next round the loser is eliminated from the competition.

The technical rules between the Mongolian version and what is found in Inner Mongolia have some divergence. In both versions a variety of throws, trips and lifts are employed to topple the opponent. The Inner Mongolians may not touch their opponent's legs with their hands, whereas, in Mongolia, grabbing your opponent's legs is legal. In addition, striking
Strike (attack)
A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause an effect upon an opponent or to simply cause harm to an opponent. There are many different varieties of strikes...

, strangling
Strangling
Strangling is compression of the neck that may lead to unconsciousness or death by causing an increasingly hypoxic state in the brain. Fatal strangling typically occurs in cases of violence, accidents, and as the auxiliary lethal mechanism in hangings in the event the neck does not break...

 or locking is illegal in both varieties.

Zasuul


"Zasuul," literally meaning a "fixer" of the wrestler is basically an on field guide and coach of the wrestler. In lower round competitions when there are many wrestlers, most wrestlers don't have their own zasuuls. Successful wrestlers and those that get to the higher rounds get their own zasuuls. Zasuuls' role is to hold the hat of his wrestler while he wrestles and give him basically an encouragement on the field. If the match is going slowly, zasuuls for instance will slap the buttocks of his wrestler to encourage him to engage his opponent faster. Zasuuls are not technically coach
Coach
-Transportation:* Coach , an automotive vehicle for long-distance travel** Coach , the mode of transport using such vehicles** Coach USA, an American bus transport company** Coach Canada, a Canadian bus transport company...

 in the literal sense. They are usually an elder and a friend of the wrestler who is there on the field to serve as a guide and help set up a fair competition. They don't have to be a wrestler too. When the match starts, the wrestlers are divided about evenly into left and right sides, and sometimes a zasuul will sing a praise of his wrestler to open a challenge from that side in the higher rounds, and the other side's zasuul will also respond with his own praise of his wrestler. The poetic praise of a wrestler by his zasuul comes from the wrestler with the highest rank on that side.

Starting the match


Ordos
Ordos
-Places:*Ordos Loop of the Yellow River, a region of China*Ordos Desert, in Inner Mongolia*Ordos City, city and district in Inner Mongolia*Ordos International Circuit, a race track in Ordos City.-People:...

, Alagshaa/Shalbur and Oirad wrestlers begin a match locked together, while the Ujumchin, Halh and Hulunbuir
Hulunbuir
Hulunbuir is a region that is governed as a prefecture-level city in northeastern Inner Mongolia, in the People's Republic of China. Its administrative center is located at Hailar District, its largest urban area. Major scenic features are the high steppes of the Hulun Buir grasslands, the Hulun...

 styles start a bout without physical contact.

Leg contact


The Ujumchin and Hulunbuir styles permit no moves between the legs and hands, whereas the Halh variant not only allows but requires grabbing the opponent's legs.

Kicking


A Hulunbuir wrestler may kick his opponent directly in the legs but that technique is not sanctioned by the other styles and banned in the official code.

Falls


Definitions of a "fall" varies between regions:

The Oirad in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 defines a fall as being when the shoulder blades touch the ground, which is similarly to the Turkish
Yagli güres
Oil wrestling , also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil. It is related to the Uzbeki kurash, Tuvan khuresh and Tatar köräş...

 and International freestyle wrestling
Freestyle wrestling
Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practised throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic games. It is, along with track and field, one of the oldest organized sports in history...

 rules. The Inner Mongol style, shared by Hulunbuir, Ordos and Alagshaa/Shalbur styles, considers a fall to have occurred as soon as any part of the body above the knee (or ankle) touches the ground. The Halh variant, however, allows a hand to touch the ground without losing a bout.

Match courtesy


Mongolian wrestling also has certain codes of conduct that concern more with good sportsmanship
Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors...

. For example, when a wrestler's clothes get loose or entangled, his opponent is expected to stop attacking and help the former to re-arrange them—even though it might mean giving up a good winning opportunity. Also, when one contestant throws the other to the ground, he is supposed to help the latter get back on his feet, before he dances his way out of the field. Whether winning or losing, good manners dictate that the two opponents shake hands and salute each other and the audience, both prior to and after a bout.

Outfit


The outfit of the wrestler has been developed over the ages to reflect simplicity and mobility. The standard gear of a wrestler includes:

Jodag


A tight, collarless, heavy-duty short-sleeved jacket of red or blue color. Traditionally made of wool, modern wrestlers have changed to looser materials such as cotton and silk. The front is open, but tied at the back with a simple string knot, thus exposing the wrestler's chest. According to legend, on one occasion a wrestler defeated all other combatants and ripped open the jodag to reveal her breasts, showing to all she was a woman. From that day, the jodag had to reveal the wrestler's chest.

Shuudag


Small, tight-fitting briefs made of red or blue colored cotton cloth. These make the wrestler more mobile. Also, they prevent one's rival from easily taking advantage of long pants or to avoid material to trip upon.

Gutal


Leather boots, either in traditional style (with slightly upturned toes), or commercial, Western style. The traditional style gutal are often reinforced around the sides with leather strings for the purpose of wrestling.

Inner Mongolian wrestlers may also wear a jangga, a necklace decorated with strands of colorful silk ribbons. It is awarded to those who have gained considerable renown through contests.

Dance


One of the defining features of bökh is a dance wrestlers perform as they enter the contest field and exiting at the end.

Different locales have different dancing styles. In Mongolia the wrestler imitates falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

s or phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 taking off (devee). In Inner Mongolia, the dance is supposed to be a mimicking of lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

s or tiger
Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

s prancing (magshikh)--as represented by the Üjümchin version.

Another major variation, popular among Mongols of Inner Mongolia's northeastern Khülünbüir
Hulunbuir
Hulunbuir is a region that is governed as a prefecture-level city in northeastern Inner Mongolia, in the People's Republic of China. Its administrative center is located at Hailar District, its largest urban area. Major scenic features are the high steppes of the Hulun Buir grasslands, the Hulun...

 region, resembles deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

 bounding (kharailtaa). All considered, the Üjümchin "magshikh" dance seems more strikingly robust-looking, partly due to the wrestler's dazzling apparel and partly the style of the dance itself. In contrast, the phoenix style of Mongolia appears to exhibit a greater degree of elegance.

Mongol wrestling dance has its original forms in shamanistic rituals where people imitated movements of various animals. Today, apart from its aesthetic value, the dance is also regarded as a warm-up and cool-down procedure before and after an intense fight. Good wrestlers treat the dance with great earnest and are often better dancers.

Thanks to wrestling activists' tireless and ingenious efforts, this unique dance has become one of the integral and indispensable aspect of the wrestling tradition as a whole. In Inner Mongolia it has been, together with uriya, the costume, and the various rules, codified in the first wrestling Competitions Rules finalized in the late 1980s.

Successful wrestlers



Historically the most successful wrestler is recorded as Namkhai who won the Naadam 19 times and 7 times finished second. He got his first Naadam win in 1895.

Only 19 wrestlers reached Giant rank in modern era (since 1921). Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene
Bat-Erdene Badmaanyambuu
Bat-Erdene was born in 1964 in Ömnödelger sum of Khentii aimag, Mongolia. He is widely regarded in Mongolia as one of the successful, long lasting and celebrated wrestlers. Between 1988-1999, he has in total won 11 national level tournaments in the Naadam...

 is considered to be the most successful wrestler in the modern era with 11 championship wins. He also won Naadam for the 750th anniversary of the Secret History of the Mongols in 1990.

Most successful wrestlers are:
Name Top rank Wins Runner-up Winning years
1 Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene
Bat-Erdene Badmaanyambuu
Bat-Erdene was born in 1964 in Ömnödelger sum of Khentii aimag, Mongolia. He is widely regarded in Mongolia as one of the successful, long lasting and celebrated wrestlers. Between 1988-1999, he has in total won 11 national level tournaments in the Naadam...

Undefeatable Giant 11 1 1988–1990, 1992–1999
2 Khorloogiin Bayanmönkh Undefeatable Giant 10 2 1968, 1971–1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981–1982, 1987
3 Badamdorigiin Tüvdendorj Undefeatable Giant 7 2 1939, 1941, 1945–1946, 1952–1954
4 Jigjidiin Mönkhbat Undefeatable Giant 6 4 1963–1968, 1974
5 Dariin Damdin Undefeatable Giant 5 5 1956–1960
6 Dashdorjiin Tserentogtokh Undefeatable Giant 4 5 1978, 1980, 1983–1984
7 Sharaviin Batsuuri Undefeatable Giant 2 2 1947–1948
8 Gelegjamtsiin Ösökhbayar Wide Giant 4 1 2002–2003, 2005, 2009
9 Agvaansamdangiin Sükhbat
Agvaansamdangiin Sükhbat
Agvaansamdangiin Sükhbat is the second most successful Mongolian wrestling wrestler of 21st century with three championship wins and first Mongolian wrestler to officially declare retirement in 2006....

Wide Giant 3
2000–2001, 2004
10 Natsagiin Jamyan Wide Giant 2 1 1926–1927

Semi finalists of Mongolian Wrestling in Naadam :
Year Winner Runner up Semifinal
2011 Sukhbaataryn Mönkhbat Gunaajavyn Erkhembayar Jantsangyn Bat-Erdene
Makhgalyn Bayarjavkhlan
2010 Batjargalyn Ganbat Gelegjamtsiin Ösökhbayar
2009 Gelegjamtsiin Ösökhbayar Dorjpalamyn Gankhuyag
2008 Dorjpalamyn Gankhuyag Nyamdorjyn Ganbaatar

See also

  • Khuresh
    Khuresh
    Khuresh is a traditional form of wrestling in the ethnically Turkic region of Tuva, in southern Siberia. The word originates from the same root as Turkish "Güreş" ....

  • Sumo
    Sumo
    is a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally...

  • Ssireum
    Ssireum
    Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

  • Shuai Jiao
    Shuai jiao
    Shuai jiao is the general Mandarin Chinese term for wrestling. As a generic name, it may be used to cover various styles of wrestling practised in China in the form of a martial arts system or a sport. The narrower term pertains to wrestling styles of the North China Plain...

  • Khmer Traditional Wrestling
    Khmer Traditional Wrestling
    Khmer traditional wrestling is a folk wrestling style from Cambodia. It has been practiced as far back as the Angkor period and is depicted on the bas-reliefs of certain temples. Although predominantly a male sport today, Khmer wrestling was once practiced by both sexes as female wrestlers are...

  • Leitai
    Leitai
    The lèi tái is an elevated fighting arena, without railings, where often fatal weapons and bare-knuckle martial arts tournaments were once held. "Sanctioned" matches were presided over by a referee on the platform and judges on the sides...

  • Gouren wikipedia FR Britton traditional wrestling

External links


External links