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View Full Version : Ssireum 씨름 Traditional Korean Wrestling



rsobrien
5/04/2013 7:32am,
I have been training judo in Korea for the last three years. I compete as often as I can. I had been wanting to try ssireum and finally got a chance to last spring. The tournament itself was all local judo clubs just out for a little fun in the sand.

Basically two people are wearing a big belt called a satba 샅바. They start by kneeling in the sand pit with grips on each other's belt. When they both stand up the bout starts. If any part of your body from your knee up touches the sand its a fall. The winner is best of three falls. I am still not 100 percent sure what the legal grips are. My judo friends initially told me I can only hold the belt. Later I found out I could grab legs. This is something I am hoping to do again but amateur Ssireum is not very common.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzFQqlECmzI

This was my first match. Win by osoto gari.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2INGlpolNM

My next match I lose. I accidentally dropped to my knee. It was still fun.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IqW4JDBf5o&feature=youtu.be

This is my third match. This kid is training to be a pro ssireum player. He was much smaller than me though.

Ssireum is a really fun rule set but is not very popular in Korea these days. This is definitely something I want to try again.

Gluckmann
5/05/2013 3:44am,
Looks like a lot of fun. Congrats on the win.

You said the kid in your third fight is training to go pro. What's the pro scene like in Korea? Do people make a lot of money; is it televised?

Is ssireum "traditional" in the same sense as taekwondo, or does it have an actual extended history in Korea?

rsobrien
5/05/2013 7:04am,
Ssireum is a very traditional sport, probably the oldest sport in Korea. People usually play it around Korean holidays.

It used to be a much more popular sport. In the 90's it was heavily televised and champions were celebrities. These days that is not true. There is no money in Ssireum anymore. It's respected because it is truly a Korean sport but it's just not as popular as soccer or baseball.

1point2
5/05/2013 9:22am,
Thanks for posting. The match against the future pro was particularly interesting.

Are you allowed to let go of the belt grips?

rsobrien
5/05/2013 11:52am,
Initially, I thought that you had to keep the grips on the belt. Then, I saw other people switching grips. Most of the competitors that day were from local judo gyms and some people started to take underhooks and overhooks. If both wrestlers lost grip of the belt, they were restarted. If you momentarily let go of the belt to go for a technique it seemed ok.

To be honest, I am still not 100 percent sure. I'll try to look it up. My Korean is ok but not great.

DerAuslander
5/06/2013 7:22am,
Is ssireum "traditional" in the same sense as taekwondo, or does it have an actual extended history in Korea?

Ssireum is traditional like sumo is traditional. Its roots go back centuries.


Is ssireum "traditional" in the same sense as taekwondo, or does it have an actual extended history in Korea?

Ssireum is traditional like sumo is traditional. Its roots go back centuries.