Also home of the U.S. Traditional Wrestling Society

Wrestling Styles



Alysh is an upright belt wrestling style where competitors wear pants, jackets and belts, and must hold the belt grip  at all times. Their objective is to throw their opponents onto the mat. Throws are given scores between 1 and 6, based on what part of the opponent lands on the mat. The first player to win 6 points wins the match. Classic style Alysh allows no leg trips or techniques, while the freestyle version allows all leg techniques. 

Cumberland & Westmorland


Commonly known just as Cumberland Wrestling, it is an ancient and well-practiced backhold tradition in the English counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. It bears a very close resemblance to Scottish backhold, which is practiced just north of the border, for them to be classed under the joint heading North Country style. This backhold style has wrestlers grip behind each others back with right arm under opponents and left arm over opponents arm. With the chin resting on top of shoulder. A fall is lost if the grip is broken or any part of the body touches the ground. There is no ground work and bouts are best of three series.   

Kazakh Kuresi


Native to Kazakhstan, Kuresi is a short sleeve jacketed style similar to judo with no ground work or grips below the belt. This style intensifies the human body, strengthens muscles, teaches tolerance, bravery and agility, It trains to think clearly and find a way out of problematic situations. It is also the national art of self-defense. Wrestlers gain the ability to use all the strength in their body. The goal is to throw the opponent to his back.



Bokh is native to Mongolia and other regions where touching the ground with anything other than a foot loses the match. bökh means "durability". Wrestling is the most important of the Mongolian culture's historic "Three Manly Skills", that also include horsemanship and archery . Gengis Khan considered wrestling to be an important way to keep his army in good physical shape and combat ready. The court of Qing Dynasty (1646–1911) held regular wrestling events, mainly between ethnic Manchu and Mongol wrestlers. There are several different versions, Mongolian, Buryatian (in the Buryatia of Russia) and Oirat an inner Mongolia. 

Lucha Leonesa


Native to Leon Spain, this belt style requires wrestlers wear shorts and a short shirt and use a leather belt 2 cm wide placed on the waist above the hip, so that it can be easily grasped by the opponent. If the opponent touches the ground with any part of the back, stomach or arms, a fall is achieved.  First to 2 falls wins. 



Native to Brittany France, the wrestlers compete barefoot in a soft  white shirt (roched) tied with a belt and black trousers (bragoù), and try to bring each other to the ground by griping the other's roched. A victory (lamm) is declared when the loser is on his back on the ground.  Victory is only achieved when both the opponents shoulder blades hit the ground at the same time, and before any other part of the body. 

Belted Styles



A native American Belt style where the grip is taken from the Breech belt. Breechcloth was the clothing that protected the lower part of the body. Breech as well as backhold was practiced by ever first nation tribe in central and north America. Native american wrestling was used to train the warriors of the tribe physically, mentally and spiritually.  It also was to honor the great spirit, celebrate festivals and used as a medicine activity to heal the tribe. The Great creator loves to see his children at play so everyone in the community wrestled in order to commune with the spirits greater them themselves. 

Uyghur Qielixi


Qielixi 切里西: Chinese Belt wrestling is practiced by the Uyghur Nationality. The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group that live in east and central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of the Peoples Republic  of China where they are one of 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities. Uyghurs primarily practice Islam. Like many populations of Central Eurasia, they are genetically related to both Caucasoid and east Asian populations.

See also. Ndrual Dluad Miao-Hmong  nationality



Mariwariwosu, the indigenous style of the Formosan Aboriginal people of Taiwan such as the Paiwan and Bunun tribes. It is performed on a circular sandpit with competitors grabbing hold of their opponents large waist belts before the start of the match. It involves many skillful throws and is an important part of the National Aboriginal Games. A victory is won when any part of the opponent touches the ground



Bultong is the Ifiugao name for their sport of traditional wrestling. Ifugao is a Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. It is often played during town and provincial fiestas. Bultong falls under the international classification of belt wrestling ".  Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera administrative region of Luzon. Its capital is Lagawe and its boarder Benguet to the west, mountain province to the north, Isabela to the east, and Nueva Vizxava to the south.



Native to Pakistan and India, it is an ancient Sindhi form of wrestling dating back 5000 years. The match begins with both wrestlers tying a twisted cloth around the opponent's waist. Each one then holds onto the opponent's waist cloth and tries to throw him to the ground. Malakhra is one of the favorite sports among males in Sindh, Pakistan and Gujarat, India, Malakhro matches are generally held on holidays and Fridays and are a feature of all fairs and festivals. Rich feudal lords and influential persons maintain famous Malhoo (wrestlers) and organize matches for them.



Native to the Mizoram people India, and originated in the village of Dungtlang in 1750. Recognized as a sport after the Mizo migrated from  Burma to the Lushai Hills. Strict rules prohibiting kicking, stepping out of the circle and even bending of the knees. Held in a circle 15–16 feet in diameter on mat or grass. The objective is to lift one's opponent off his feet. The matches are held in three rounds each of 30–60 seconds of duration, or until a wrestler either breaks a rule or is lifted off his feet. Another feature of this form of wrestling is the catch-hold belt worn by the wrestlers around the waist. It has to remain tight all through the match.



Turkmen national wrestling goresh is a kind of wrestling with belts that has ancient roots. In historic sources state that not only men but also women of the ancestors of the Turkmen people, possessed techniques of wrestling. Famous wrestlers patronized the most talented students and taught them in order to prepare them to become palvans – masters of wrestling. Then that very palvans eventually passed on the accumulated experience to their students. Turkmen wrestling goresh, through the ages carefully transmitted from generation to generation, and have reached our days in its original form. In goresh wrestlers need to earn points by forcing the opponent to touch the mat with any part of the body except a foot. Siimilar to Alysh which you must maintain the belt grip for the duration of the bout. 

Aba Gureshi


 Native to Turkey, Aba Gureshi uses free holds on the  clothes and body of an opponent. There are many leg  techniques of this wrestling and belt hold throws with the wrestling jacket or one leg and the belt. Bouts are held with traditional musical accompany of drums and wind instrument. Competitors wear short capes with the slots for hands or in jackets made of sheepskin (aba), The goal is  to throw his opponent on his back, holding him on his beltthis is one of the two Turkish styles practiced nationwide and sanctioned by the Turkish Wrestling Federation. Competitions are held on grass fields. Competitors wear baggy trousers (şalvar) or special trousers named pırpıt made sturdy fabric.  Among several local styles, Köprülü karakucak practised mainly in Çukurova has rules almost identical with Olympic freestyle. 



Ssireum has been the national sport of South Korea since the fourth century. In the modern form each contestant wears a belt (satba) that wraps around the waist and the thigh. The competition employs a series of techniques, which inflict little harm or injury to the opponent: opponents lock on to each other's belt, and one achieves victory by bringing any part of the opponent's body above the knee to the ground. The area for ssireum wrestling, called "syrym jang" - a massive, has a circle shape and raised above the ground, which allows spectators see better, what is happening. The depth of the sand layer is from 10 to 20 cm. Unlike sumo, pushing your opponent outside of the ring does not warrant a win, just a restart. 



Pahlavani (koshti) is a common name for the traditional wrestling in the ancient Persia and today Iran, which is the most esteemed sport in Iran and has a very ancient history. The wrestling is a part of the traditional complex of martial arts of the Persians. The nationwide style of wrestling in Iran is considered to be the koshti pahlavani or, as it is also called, the style of Zurkhane. The wrestling technique of koshti pahlavani is extremely diverse and represents one of the best examples of freestyle wrestling. Pants are worn that extend below of his knees and are sewn of a very sturdy cloth. The pants shouldn’t have any metal objects or buckles and must tie as to not come loose easily. 



Native to Uzbekistan, this jacket style, similar to judo, has three scoring points viz. Halal, Yambosh and Chala. The player who scores a Halal wins the bout. To score a Halal you need to throw your opponent on his back with full control, force and speed. The throw that is close to Halal is given Yambosh. Two Yambosh makes a Halal. The throw that is close to Yambosh is given Chala. No number of Chala can equal a Yambosh. There are three penalties in Kurash. Tambik, second penalty is Dakki and the third penalty is Girrom which means disqualification.

Kurash is the national wrestling of the Uzbek nation. In translation from the Uzbek "kurash" means "achieve the goal rightly".  



The national sport of Iceland originating from Norway and traces its history to the Vikings and the Norse, is a standing style with rules similar to Shuai Jiao and Bokh, and consists of three forms: 1) Hryggtök, the Backhold Grip; 2) Brokartök or the Pant-and-belt Grip that utilises a leather harness around the waist and thighs, which the wrestlers hold (making it a form of belt wrestling similar to Swiss Schwingen), and 3. Lausatok or Free-Grip is the most aggressive form of glima and contestants can use the holds they wish.

Kyrgyz Kurosh


Kyrgyz kurosh is one of the ancient national kinds of wrestling of Kyrgyz people. Athletes wear loose white trousers and the upper body must be bare. They stand facing each other on a special mat and hold the capture of an opponent's belt with both hands. It is allowed to release the belt by one hand during the bout. An athlete who will be able to throw the opponent on the scapula during the bout will be considered as a winner.



Traditional wrestling in Azerbaijan where wrestlers are dressed in the national costume of durable loose trousers patterned with embroidery with a soft belt and pants  just below the knees, strongly narrowed. Grips of body, legs, belt and any place of the pants are allowed. Trips are also allowed. While fighting on the ground, it is allowed to turn the opponent on his back, using the grips of the body, legs, pants and using feet. The prelude to wrestling is called “meidan-gezmek”. The rivals smoothly move on a circle on both sides of the carpet alternately swing hands and after they touch shoulders three times the bout begins. In order to win, it is necessary to press the opponent to the mat with both shoulder blades. 



Austrian Ranggeln, the wrestling style that lends its name to a brand of jeans and to US cowboys, is the oldest sport in the European Alps. Rangglers have no mythology of ancient masters who meditate and preserve their secrets among the eternal snows. They spend their working lives there and for hundreds of years, (perhaps thousands, since man first arrived in the Alps) they have wrestled, and in Ranggeln only the best and toughest can win.  It is contested outside, bare-feet with pants and soft short sleeved top. Rules are very similar to US collegiate wrestling with standing and group wrestling ending in a shoulder pin. 



Schwingen "to swing"  is the Swiss style of  traditional wrestling native to the pre-alpine part of German speaking Switzerland. Wrestlers wear Schwingerhosen ("wrestling breeches") with belts that are used for taking holds to throw and trip opponents in order to pin their shoulders to the ground to win the bout. 

Schwingen is considered a "national sport" of Switzerland, alongside Hornussen and Steinstossen. 

Shuai jiao


Over 6,000 years ago, the earliest Chinese term for wrestling, "jǐao dǐ"  horn butting, refers to an ancient style of military kung-fu in which soldiers wore horned headgear with which they attempted to butt, throw and defeat their enemies. Ancient Chinese imperial records state that "jiao di" was used in 2697 BC.  Shui Jioa evolved into At least 6 variations so the term describes  the ancient jacket wrestling style of Beijing, Tianjin and Baoding of Hebei Province.

Lucha Canaria


Canary Island traditional wrestling comes from the Guanches the earliest known natives of the Canary Islands, although with limited contact between the islands, each island then developed different rules. Wrestlers start in the middle of a sand circle, called terrero. The object is to make their opponent touch the sand with any part of their body, except the feet. To accomplish this, they use different techniques called mañas to throw their opponent off balance. Two falls are required to win a bout. A match ends when all the members of one team have been defeated.



Native to Cornwall England, the wrestlers in the Cornish style wear tough jackets enabling them to gain better grip on their opponent. All holds are taken upon the other wrestler's jacket, grabbing of the wrists or fingers is forbidden as well as any holding below the waist. The flat of the hand is allowed to be used to push or deflect an opponent. The objective of Cornish wrestling is to throw your opponent flat on his back. Three sticklers (referees) watch and control each bout. Four pins are located on the back of a wrestler, two at the back of each shoulder and two either side just above the buttocks. If a wrestler manages to throw his opponent flat onto his back, the bout is over. The sticklers will each raise their sticks when they perceive a Back has been achieved. If two sticklers raise their sticks but one does not a back is still awarded.



This backhold style is practiced in Sardinia and closely resembles Scottish and Cumberland backhold styles.

The wrestlers will stand facing each other one arm under the armpit and the other over the opponent's shoulder-arm; the right cheek touches the opposite one, one hand gripping the other wrist or even the other hand behind the opponent's back so as to tighten it firmly. No other form of grip is allowed. S'istrumpa means unbalancing the opponent by resorting to any leg, thrust, lifting from the ground, or tripping. The fight is interrupted when one of the two wrestlers falls to the ground.


Scottish Backhold


 Scottish backhold is a style of fold wrestling originating in Scotland. The wrestlers grip each other around the waist at the back, with the right hand under the opponent's left arm and the chin resting on the opposite right shoulder. When the referee is sure that both wrestlers have taken a firm grip, he shouts "hold" and the bout starts. Should either wrestler break his hold or touch the ground with any part of his body except his feet, he loses. There is no ground work and the bouts are usually best of five falls. Traditional Kilts are usually worn in competitions. This style is very similar to Cumberland and Westmorland of England. 



Senegalese wrestling or simply Lutte avec frappe in Frech,  Laamb in Wolof,  is performed by the Serer people and now a national sport in Senegal and parts of Gambia, and is part of a larger West Africa form of traditional wrestling. The Senegalese form traditionally allows blows with the hands (frappe), the only one of the West African traditions to do so. As a larger confederation and championship around Lutte Traditionnelle has developed since the 1990s, Senegalese fighters now practice both forms, called officially Lutte Traditionnelle sans frappe (for the international version) and Lutte Traditionnelle avec frappe for the striking version.



Chidaoba is a Georgian traditional wrestling style. Its rules allow grappling above the waist while it is prohibited to grapple below the waist. Chidaoba allows exercising techniques using the legs, such as tripping, reaping, grappling, grapevines, beats, etc. Sambo borrowed many techniques from Georgian wrestling on standing position. Vasily Oschepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiev studied chidaoba. Chidaoba technique enriched free-style wrestling. Athletes wear a sleeveless jacket with a belt to allow grips for throwing techniques. 



Huka-huka is a Brazilian folk wrestling style of the indigenous people of Xingu,in the state of Mato Grosso. It is performed as a ritual fight during the ceremony of  Kuarup.

Huka-huka starts with theon their knees. It begins when the owner of the fight, a male chief, walks to the center of the arena and calls his opponents by name. The fighters kneel rotating clockwise in a circle facing the opponent, until they look at each other and cling, trying to lift the opponent and knock him to the ground. The fight is performed by either men and women.

Huka huka is being introduced, experimentally, in the formation of Sao Paulo States Military Police.. The fight is also being studied by MMA practitioners. 



Ristynės is a backhold style from eastern and southern Lithuanian often performed at local fairs and holiday celebrations. In 2012 at Sventoji. Lithuanian Alysh Federation and  FILA organized demonstration championships of ristynės. The name of ristynės mean roll and wrestle. In 2014 Vilnius hosted International Symposium of Traditional Wrestling, where wrestlers from 20 countries competed in Ristynės tournament. A wrestler puts one hand under the opponent's armpit and hold another hand over the opponent's arm. Wrestlers lock  hands behind opponents back to start. The purpose is to throw opponent on their back. First to three falls wins .



Practiced in Northern and western Lithuania. This a loose grip similar to modern Olympic freestyle Belt grips and attacks are common as well as leg trips and blocks. that can have the use of a belt. Object is to pin your opponent to the ground for a victory.  



Trântă: Upright wrestling from Romania and is the national sport of Moldova; it can also be practiced from the knees. Tranta is a sport related to Greco originating in Dracia. The Five Variations are:

  • shepherd's fight
  • Olive or belt fight (with or without hindrance);
  • Straight fight with grasping in the cross
  • The fight with the fastening of the belt
  • Struggle with hindrance                                
  • The techniques  include simple procedures such as arms, neck, body, neck or leg grip, over shoulder, hip or back throw, etc., as well as combined procedures, excluding painful ones.

Narodno rvanje


The  traditional Style of Serbia

begins by taking one of three holds :

  • Back hold : the wrestlers lock the arms behind opponents back. 
  • Belt hold : grab each belts or pants.
  • Chest hold :  has two variations:
    •  Arms on the side of their opponent's chest, or

Right arm on the side of their opponent's chest and hold opponent's right elbow with their left arm. 

But the opponents may disengage from the holds and start as it is usual in other styles such as Greco-Roman wrestling depending on the rules of the tournament. The objective is to throw and pin your opponent to the ground. All types of throws are legal, and even double leg take-down can be seen. And on some festivals the wrestlers may even wear traditional clothing from their respective area as effort to preserve culture.[2]



Pehlivan is a Turkish surname originally given to wrestlers, literally meaning hero or champion. This Style is practiced in Albanian Serbia, and Bulgaria. Rule set similar to freestyle  but with hard ground wrestling ending with the pinning of the opponents shoulder to the ground. 



Practiced by the largest indigenous group in Siberia, Buryat Republic a federal district of Russia. They are the major northern subgroup of the  Mongols. Buryats share many customs with other Mongols, includingnomadic herding, and erecting gerts for shelter. Today, the majority of Buryats celebrate the  Altargana Festival where this style is a jacket-less form of Bokh similar to shuai jiao  is contested. 

Üzemchin Mongol


Üzemchin Mongols  also written Ujumchin, are a subgroup of Mongols in  Inner Mongolia. They settle mainly in Sergelen, Bayantu'men, Choibalsan city of the Dornod Province and in Xilin Gol League of InnerMongolia. Some Üzemchins migrated there from Xilin Gol immediately after China was freed from the Japanese in 1945.

Bukh noololdoon-Oirat


Oirats Mongolians are the westernmost group of the Mongols whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in  Kalmkia, a federal subject of Russia, where they are called Kalmyks.

Historically, the Oirats were composed of four major tribes: Dzungar, (Choros or Olots), Torghut, Dorbet and Khoshut. The minor tribes include: Khoid, Bayads, Myangad, Baatud.



Köräş, is one of the Turkic  terms for "wrestling" (from old turkic keriš, c.f. Turkish güreş) and specifically refers to a number of folk wrestling styles practiced in Central Asia. The wrestling is the main competition at the folk festival Sabantuy. Wrestlers (köräşçe(lär)) use towels to hold their opponents, and their goal is to throw their opponents off the feet. The first official All-USSR koresh championship took place in Kazan in 1928 and was followed by the first TASSR (Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) national championship in 1949. Since 1956, regular Tatar Köräş competitions have been organised in honor of the national hero and poet Musa Calil.



Native to Tajikistan, this belted and jacketed style two men shake hands with both hands, pass through the right hand under the opponentʼs left hand and pull to oneself and try to turn down an opponent.In Tajikistan, during the national New Year Navruz, every village, community, town and city organize a new year open wrestling competition. Men of any profession (not only wrestlers) try and join the competition. According to traditions, children begin the competition, then youngsters continue and after them, the notable wrestlers compete with each other. If somebody is defeated in a village Navruzi wrestling competition, his brother competes with the same opponent to save the familyʼs pride.

Die Jiao


Die Jiao : Chinese wrestling from Xinzhou, Northern Shanxi Province. Competitors wear only pants, without jacket, belt, or boots. Its primary techniques are the "48 Leg Takedowns", first codified in the Song Dynasty circa 1180. This form of wrestling was popular throughout Northern China  until the spread of Shuai Jiao, which is considered more advanced in its grappling and tripping techniques. It was colloquially known as "Mo Ni Qiu ", literally grabbing the mud Qiu, Qiu being a kind of catfish in Northern China.

Gi Ge


Gi Ge  Chinese Belt Wrestling  practiced by YI Nationality  in Sichuan  and  Yunnan. "Gi Ge" literally means "Holding Waist". The three main rules are: no tripping using the legs; no grabbing the jacket or pants; no pushing or striking. Rules have now been changed to allow holding the legs.



 Tibetan Wrestling was first born during a time where there were no weapons to fight with. so disputes were solved by contesting wrestling between tribes, instead of bloody wars. Their wrestling was ideal for close combat when matching up against  other tribes. It is now a modern sport with country wide popularity.  The Beiga is known as a form of Chinese belt wrestling  that was adopted and practiced by the Tibetan people. Wrestlers competed barefoot and hold on to a  belt throughout the whole match. To make  this even more difficult, tripping was originally said to be illegal;  however, there are other forms of this style where tripping is legal. In even more modern times, because of its popularity, wrestling competitions can be held in the form of individual matches or even tournaments.    



Traditional belt style of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wrestlers begin in a kneeling position with both hands on opponent belt. At the start, competitors slowly and carefully make their way to a standing position while fighting to keep balance and sure footing while opponents attempts to lift them off the ground. Victory is secured when one athlete touches their back to the ground. 



 Armenian wrestling historical roots from the Amerianian highlands in Ancient times. This  variant is called Kokh. It was recorded that Armienian King Tiridates III.  won the Olympic games for wrestling in  281 AD. During the Soviet era, wrestling became one of  the most practiced sports in Armenia and remained popular after  Armenia's independence in 1991. Armenian athletes have been successful at international competitions in the last two decades. Many have become  World and European champions, both in Greco and freestyle wrestling. Over half of the fifteen Armenian Olympic medalists  and the two gold medal winners were wrestlers.



Ethiopian wrestling began to attract

the systematic attention of Ethiopian  researchers only in the late 1970s. Following a proclamation enacted in 1975 to establish sport competition with the view to promote, to coordinate as well as to scientifically and systematically register and study traditional sports in Ethiopia,   significant work was undertaken  through the involvement of Tefere  Mekonnen, the Sport Commission’

s staff in charge. By 1978 a group of sport experts had made a study in the existing provinces and registered 293 traditional sports. Later, six cultural sport practices were chosen for further promotion. Wrestling was one of them.



Grech - Krech  Traditional wrestling practiced in Tunisia was famous in the rural  areas of Tunisian Sahel by fisherman related to Goresh with similar rule set. This wrestling is done within the framework which brings together the religious activity in relation to the sport activity and the music and promoted through the approach of the Soufiste method Roulaoui



Popular in Nigeria Igbo is a  popular sport skill, strength and the promotion of indigenous language, culture, norms, values, and traditions by young, physically capable Igbo men. Igbo men seek to prove his mettle by the ability to fight off his aggressors and so wrestling is the right medium. Victorious wrestlers are admired, glorified  and respected by all seen as a Warrior. The boutsare also used  to settle local disputes and conflict between two Villages .It is also used to determine the right groom if there are many  suitors, in such cases a wrestling match is arranged where all the suitors battle it. It is also presided over by the chief of the village and his chieftains. Flute music is used to stir the heart and to give added strength to the weak. 

Ekigwo Ggumbya


Native to Uganda, this is a backhold style that starts with a loose grip. Right arm under-hook begins the bout with wrestlers allowed to backhold lock. Bout ends when any part of the body touches the ground. Ekigwo Ggumbya is the most popular traditional sport in Uganda and historically it was used to create a platform for community interaction as well as identify strong men who would protect the Kabaka and the kingdom.

Association of Almokabasah Wrestling


This wrestling style from the Sultanate of Oman requires belts on the waist and must maintain belt grip at a times. Their goal is to throw the opponent to the group or obstruct the opponent by using leg trip techniques. Victory is earned by majority of points. 

Karakucak Güreşi


One of the two Turkish folk styles practiced nationwide and sanctioned by the Turkish Wrestling Federation. Karakucak competitions are held on grass fields. Competitors wear baggy trousers (şalvar) or special trousers named pırpıt made of canvas or other similarly sturdy fabric. Oiling the bodies and/or garments is strictly prohibited.  Apart from this, Karakucak rules resemble Turkish oil wrestling rules. Among several local styles, Köprülü karakucak practised mainly in Çukurova has rules almost identical with  freestyle wrestling. 

Yağlı güreş


Yağlı güreş is the Turkish national sport where the wrestlers cover themselves with olive oil. Güreş is shared with other forms of wrestling practiced by Turkic speakers across Europe and Central Asia, such Tartar köräş. Known as pehlivan (meaning "hero" or "champion"), wear a type of hand-stitched leather pants  called a kisbet  or kispet, made of water buffalo hide or calfskin. Matches won by achieving an effective hold of the kisbet  to control his opponent called paça kazık. Originally, matches had no set duration but in 1975 the duration was capped at 40 and 30 minutes for the pehlivan category. 

The annual kirkpinar tournament, held in Edirne in Turkish Thrace since 1346, is the oldest continuously running, sanctioned sporting competition in the world. Festivals also take place in northern Greece in the Eastern Macedonia Serres region and Rhodope mountains. Also popular in Holland and Japan.



Popoko, the indigenous style of the Maori of the Cook Islands, is an ancient traditional form of wrestling on the island of Pukapuka. The young men don thick belts called maro that are woven from coconut fiber and in a ritualistic procession, annually they march from their villages to a communal meeting ground.