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Mongolian Wrestling

Home » The three games » Mongolian Wrestling

Wrestling – a unique combination of traditional sports and cultural elements - is one of the three main sports of the Naadam Festival in Mongolia.  Wrestling also has thousands of years of historical development in Mongolia.

According to an ancient rock-carving, dated back to the Bronze Age (7000-11000BC), portraying a wrestling festivity found in Ulziit soum of Dundgobi province, wrestling has well been exercised in the territory of Mongolia for over 7000 years. With regard to its vast open territory and nomadic culture, Mongolian wrestling has certain uniqueness such as no weight or field limitation, expanded time and countless tricks.

Throughout its history, Mongolian wrestling has been developed in three main streams: Mongolian bull wrestling, Khalkh wrestling, and Inner Mongolian wrestling. They have similarities in the wrestlers’ costumes, wrestling dances, rituals of judges and attendants and the wrestling field. However, they are differentiated in the rules of winning/losing. Touching a head, knees, or elbows are counted as losing in the Khalkh wrestling, for instance, while touching back is counted as losing in the Mongolian bull wrestling.