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  1. Jack Rusher is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 12:08pm


     Style: ti da shuai na

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Celtic/Backhold Wrestling

    There are many, many forms of backhold wrestling practiced throughout Europe. They're mainly associated with the Celtic expansion (c. 600-300BCE), but I suspect they were part of a broader cultural tradition during the Iron Age.

    The most famous variety among Americans is probably Scottish backhold:

    YouTube - Scottish Backhold Wrestling. Nigel has a lesson....

    On the continent, it remains popular in northern France as Lutte Bretonne (gouren in Breton):

    YouTube - tournoi gouren

    ... which was also practiced among the Celtic enclave of Galicia, Spain. It is often played with a jacket.

    In Swiss Schwingen they cling to the belt rather than clasping the hands:

    YouTube - Schwingen / Swiss Wrestling

    ... which is also done in Icelandic Glima:

    YouTube - Icelandic Glima Action Highlights Video 1

    There's a traditional form of backhold wrestling in Sardinia called Strumpa:

    YouTube - tournoi s'istrumpa

    The shepherds of southern Sardinia play a similar game in a jacket, but I've never seen how they go about it. My assumption is that it's like what's done in Cornwall:

    YouTube - Cornish Wrestling Demo

    FILA has a book on the jacket styles of Celtic Wrestling (Cornish and Breton):



    ... and many of these countries compete in the yearly International Championship of Celtic Wrestling:

    YouTube - Campeonato Internacional de Luchas Celtas

    I'm sure I'm forgetting some regional variations. Add 'em if you got 'em.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  2. Stew is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 2:05pm


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well, I found a website detailing Devonshire wrestling, http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/wrest_ling.htm, which seems to be technically similar to Cornish wrestling, but with the addition of shin kicks with hardened shoes. I seem to recall reading that this led to a game called purring where you clinched and shin kicked till someone couldn't take the pain any more.
  3. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 4:20pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew
    Well, I found a website detailing Devonshire wrestling, http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/wrest_ling.htm, which seems to be technically similar to Cornish wrestling, but with the addition of shin kicks with hardened shoes. I seem to recall reading that this led to a game called purring where you clinched and shin kicked till someone couldn't take the pain any more.
    19th century Purring (also called "shinning", etc.) was flat-out brutal - http://ejmas.com/jmanly/articles/200...couch_0804.htm

    A slightly milder version is still practiced at the Cotswold Olympicks, a traditional sports festival in England:

    YouTube - Cotswold Olympicks 2007
  4. Stew is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 4:28pm


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I had never seen any actual Glima before this thread, just read about it. That clip was actually very impressive. I'd also not heard of Strumpa, thanks for posting those. If anybody asks me to try Purring with them I think I'll pass. That just looks painful.
  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 4:40pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew
    I had never seen any actual Glima before this thread, just read about it. That clip was actually very impressive. I'd also not heard of Strumpa, thanks for posting those. If anybody asks me to try Purring with them I think I'll pass. That just looks painful.
    The version of purring that was imported to the USA and Canada during the mid-1800s was even worse. There are newspaper reports that describe the fighters' legs looking like "raw beef steak" after some of those matches.

    Never let a Glima wrestler grab you by the belt ...
  6. Stew is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 4:55pm


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Never let a Glima wrestler grab you by the belt ...
    It looks like hella fun though. I need to find some more to watch. Especially before I go train some Ringen. Just to get pumped up.
  7. Naszir is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 7:42pm


     Style: BJJ, Judo, SAMBO

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Where is there a Ringen group in Monroe? I still have friends there and they would probably be pretty excited to find that.
  8. Stew is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 8:18pm


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There actually isn't a Ringen group in town. Luckily for me I have some friends who train BJJ, so I work ringen against them. Sparring usually goes like this, I hit a takedown, they tap me out. Rinse, repeat. If you have any friends in town who'd be interested I'd be game.
  9. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 8:38pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As a grappler of Serbian descent, I'm interested in European wrestling styles. Apparently, in historic rural Serbia, they practiced a folkstyle wrestling of their own called Rvanje (which is Serbian for wrestling).

    My grandfather used to tell me about it. He said they allowed grips around the chest, around the back, and by the belt/jacket, and that virtually any throw was allowed. The objective was to cleanly throw the opponent with decisive control, or if the throw is not clean, to then pin them.

    I can't actually find any information aside from http://www.geocities.com/cinaet/serb.html - which seems to gel with what my grandpa described but is sketchy at best.

    It was due to his stories when I was a kid that I got interested in Judo and Sambo (the latter of which was unfortunately never available in my area, leading me to MMA instead).

    I'd appreciate any information that anyone could share on this, or related wrestling from a historical point of view.
  10. DCS is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/12/2009 10:20pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: 柔道

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher
    ... which was also practiced among the Celtic enclave of Galicia, Spain.
    And it is mostly extinct except for the remaining style called "aluche" or "lucha leonesa" (leonese westling) in the highlands of Leon.

    YouTube - Resumen Lucha Leonesa 30/07/2007 Parte I

    I'd say to be more accurate historically (and without entering in complexities about iberian peninsula medieval politics: headache guaranteed), this iberian celtic wrestling was practised in what once was the Kingdom of Leon territory and not only in Galicia.
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