Kurash national wrestling: display of amazing strength and skill


The Sixth Festival of Traditional Culture Asrlar Sadosi On 4 May the first day of the Echo of Centuries Festival, the guests had the opportunity to attend tournaments of kurash, a type of wrestling central to Uzbek tradition.

The tournaments featured a number of Uzbek kurash wrestlers who have previously won prizes at international competitions. Among the contestants was the oldest Uzbek kurash fighter, who has participated in Asian Olympic Games several times.

Kurash is an ancient kind of wrestling central to Uzbek tradition. Scholars’ estimates suggest that it is over 2,500 years old. Nowadays kurash, which emerged in days gone by during mass events like the ongoing festival, is an official sport that is gaining increasing popularity with people around the world. And that was obvious at the kurash tournament at the Sarmishsai that drew dozens of fans, young and old alike, who rooted for particular athletes.

The jury for the competitions was made up of judges of Uzbekistan Kurash Federation, prominent athletes and masters of sports. Throughout the tournaments the audience and trainers cheered on the athletes who had been paired according to weight categories. All the contestants were honored with commemorative prizes, while the top athletes came away with “live trophies”: camels, horses and sheep.

The tournament was a display of the beauty and power of this riveting sport rather than a competition for victory. The athletes demonstrated tricks needed to beat the opponent while the audience supported their favorite contestants with cheers and applause.

Kurash is practiced not only by men, but also women. The tournament at the Asrlar Sadosi festival thus included girls who strutted their stuff on the carpet. Much to the audience’s surprise, the female athletes demonstrated as much mastery and stamina as men, and drew cheers and applause by virtue of their impressive skills.