Lanzamiento de Barra Vasca or Lanzamiento de Palanka Vasca (Spain)

Name of sport (game): Lanzamiento de Barra Vasca or Lanzamiento de Palanka Vasca
Name in native language: Lanzamiento de Barra Vasca or Lanzamiento de Palanka Vasca (palanga, balenka, balenga, barra, barraka, satsi, burdin-barra edo burdiñ-aga)

Lelo Burti (Georgia)

Name of sport (game): Lelo Burti
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):



Lelo Burti literally means ‘field ball’. It originated from the time of the Ottoman Empire when, according to legend, a large Ottoman army was defeated by a small group of Gurian troops. Since then the game is played in commemoration of the event.

Although the game is commonly known as ‘rugby without rules’, some do exist:

Players are divided into two teams: Zemo (upper) Shukhuti and Kvemo (lower) Shukhuti. There is no set number of players – the bigger the better, as it increases the chances of winning.
The game is played with a ball which is filled with sand and dirt, soaked with wine and sown shut before the event. It should weigh approximately 16kg.
The game starts in the centre of the village, and players have to carry the ball over to one of the streams on the opposite side ( approximate 500 meters away from each other). Everything between the streams form the game area, including courtyards and orchards.
Once the ball crosses the stream the game is over. The winners have the privilege to carry the ball to the grave of a respected member of the community who died the year before.
In the event of an injury, participants raise their hands which is a sign to pause the game and take the injured to safety. It works in most cases.
Players can’t be under the influence of alcohol.
Event preparations start long before the time. Everyone, including cultural and sport managers are involved in preparing competitions. Kids exercise, choirs and bands have rehearsals, while local entrepreneurs prepare their products.


Sources of information :


Letoussi (Bulgaria)

Name of sport (game): Letoussi
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


Levantamiento de Arado (Canary Islands))

Name of sport (game): Levantamiento de Arado
Name in native language: Levantamiento de Arado
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Canary Islands


Its origin is related to the need of the human being to measure his strength, using for it, the materials that he finds in his environment.
After the Conquest, new ways of exploiting the land came to the Island, which meant the introduction into the agricultural landscape of a new element: the Roman-type plow.
With the plow, el Canario (A resident of the Canary Islands) created a curious practice consisting of lifting said element, in a show of strength and skill. This was done at rest time, after plowing.
It was also the case that in agricultural areas, after the work or slaughter, there were exhibitions of lifting the plow, as well as Canarian fighting.
This sport modality is clearly a test of strength and skill. The promoter of this sport was the famous wrestler Don José Rodríguez Franco (1912-1991) better known as el Faro de Maspalomas.


The lifting technique consists of two foundations: physical strength and dexterity, also called "geito" or "maña".
Hand placement is important because uncontrolled force can seriously injure the lifter. One of the hands is placed at one end with the palm down, which is directed as if it were a kind of rudder, while the other is placed more forward with the palm up, providing the necessary balance to combine movements.
The legs must be supported in the direction of the grate. The lift is started by lying backwards as a counterweight to the plow.
The work of the arms and the use of the thigh as a support point for the realization of the lever, are essential in the lifting task.
The descent of the plow is also very important because it cannot be lowered abruptly, since this supposes an imbalance of forces that can cause a blow to the athlete.

The plow consists of the following parts: Timón (ruder), Cabeza (head), Yugo (yoke), Frontiles, Guijada and Reja.
Timón: it is a pole four meters long with a diameter of 0.10 meters. At one end it conforms to the head, and that is what the earth is plowed with.
Yugo: is a piece of wood that fits the neck of cows or oxen to pull the plow.
Plows vary depending on the land to be plowed and the draft animal in question.
The average measurement ranges between 4.5 and 5 meters in length, its weight is around 70 kilograms, plus the yoke, the gable and the guijada.
After the glory days, given by Don José to the Canarian public, the new generations took over, among them are Cástor Castro Morales who not only agrees to lift the plow but also usually places one end of it in the chin and when it descends the plow is placed at half height, greeting the public with it.
On the other hand is Santiago Santana Rodríguez, grandson of El Faro. He started at the young age of 12 watching his grandfather's displays. Santiago among other particularities when lowering the plow makes a 360 degree turn at half height in order to greet the public.

Current status:

In recent times, lifting the plow has been incorporated into indigenous Canarian sports, exhibiting it at fairs and congresses of indigenous sports.

Lluita del bac (Catalonia, Spain)

Name of sport (game): Bac wrestling
Name in native language: Lluita del bac ( catalan)
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

This traditional wrestling is practiced in the region of the end of the Ebro river, in the province of Tarragona in the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain


We are currently studying its history, we know that it was practiced in our area and in Valencia at the end of the 19th century but we do not know since when it began and its exact origins.
There were two ways in the Bac struggle, closely related and complementary to each other. On the one hand, for the defense staff, all sorts of techniques were practiced that included blows with any part of the body (fists, feet, knees, elbows, head ...), dislocations in the limbs, pinching in sensitive areas and takedowns. Also the use of traditional tools as weapons. As well as learning to defend against attacks with these tools.
On the other hand, fights were practiced in the form of impromptu challenges, in which rules were usually agreed upon at previous moments, however they used to have as a common feature that who made to fell on the contrary wins. The most potentially harmful techniques, such as blows and dislocations, were forbidden.


In sport, the association has currently drawn up regulations. The summarized rules are:
- The two fighters embrace without letting go trying to bring the other to the ground.
- If you fall to the ground with your whole shoulder, there are two points for your opponent, if you fall to the side or in any other way he gets a point.
- Win the first one to reach 4 points or the one with the most points at the end of the time (2 or 3 minutes depending on the category)

Current status:

Although the Bac fight was rooted in the traditions of the Ebro Lands and, until the first half of the 20th century, it was a general practice, even forming part of the usual repertoire of children's games throughout the territory, the lack of an organization and regulations made the practice decline until its near disappearance, remaining only maintained by a small number of people. One of them, MR. Juan Jose Valldeperez Casanova (knowledgeable and conservative of Bac, as well as a teacher of karate, jujitsu and Greco-Roman wrestling) included Bac in the training program of the karate clubs in which he taught. In this way, he got the Bac fight to be practiced again within the scope of the kushinkai karate clubs of Camarles, Deltebre and San Jaume d'Enveja. And later he was joined by the Kushinkai club in Sant Carles de la Ràpita.
These clubs regularly organize Bac exhibitions within the framework of the traditional rice festivals that are held annually in the delta area and also on the occasion of the local festivals of the municipalities. Likewise, these clubs have been organizing Bac children's competitions periodically from 2010 to the present.
In 2015, these sports clubs began the procedures for the Bac to be registered in the list of recognized physical-sports leisure activities and registered in the Registry of Sports Entities. On October 6, 2016, the Catalan Sports Council approved the inclusion of Bac in the registry. From there, the procedures for the creation of the Associació de Lluita del Bac de les Terres de l’Ebre (in Catalan) could be started. These procedures were delayed due to the pandemic, but the association made up of the aforementioned karate clubs has recently been established.

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

We are currently about 100 people who practice and spread this style of wrestling. The government of Calunya has recognized this style of wrestling as a sport and there is a growing interest from different agencies and media.

We are in the process of recovery. this style of wrestling had been abandoned and currently several martial arts clubs in the area have created the association to recover and promote this beautiful tradition.


Associacó de la Lluita del Bac de les Terres de l’Ebre
President: Miguel Castro Casanova
Secretari: Juan Antonio Roman LLambrich


Sources of information :




The information contained in the article comes from the following sources:
Associacó de la Lluita del Bac de les Terres de l’Ebre

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
Associacó de la Lluita del Bac de les Terres de l’Ebre


Lucha Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain)

Name of sport (game): Lucha Canaria
Name in native language: Lucha Canaria
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Canary Islands (Spain)


Lucha Canaria comes from the Guanches, the earliest known natives of the Canary Islands, however, with limited contact between the archipelago, each island developed different rules.
In 1420, after the Spanish conquest, Alvar García de Santa María, first registered the wrestling techniques, including the use of referees. Only some of these early rules and techniques have survived to modern times. After the conquest, the sport became part of the islands’ tradition, usually being fought at celebrations or local festivals. The rules were established in 1872, making it one of the earliest defined forms of wrestling
The rules have been passed on from generation to generation for centuries. The genesis of discipline dates back to the earliest history of the archipelago. According to the chronicles, it appeared in the XV century during conquests. However, originally it was not the struggles of athletes, but one of the methods of resolving conflicts, which was based on respect for the opponent, or a good way to prepare for the war. Later, the fight became a part of religious ceremonies. During emigration, the inhabitants of Kanar spread it in Cuba and Venezuela. The key moment of the existence of sport was the establishment in 1943 of the Federación de Lucha Canaria.
In the 1940s several provincial federations were formed, leading to the formation of the Federación Española de Lucha in 1984. As it needs a sand circle, lucha is usually fought on special pitches, and important matches, particularly inter-island contests, are covered by local Canarian TV.


Homenaje a la Lucha Canaria by Juan Miguel Cubas, Avenida del Saladar in Morro Jable, Pájara, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands


Players fight on a terrero, that is a round arena covered in sand. Teams consist of 12 people, and individual fights are in pairs. The goal of two players struggling with each other is to knock down the rival (it is enough to touch the ground with a different part of the body than the foot), for which one point is scored. The elimination is when the opponent is overturn twice. For this purpose, various techniques are used, such as donkey, cango, criminal throw, emptiness, tripping, muscle grip, toss, etc. The fight requires not only strength but also agility from the athlete. Tactical thinking, or even cunning, is important. Those who are able to defeat more than one opponent during the struggle are called puntales. A defeated player can offer his hand of the rival who escorts him from the ring in a respectful way, which also shows the nobility of the discipline.
Techniques using in Lucha Canaria:
Grasping: The wrestler may grasp any part of the opponent's body to try to unbalance and knock down the opponent.
Block: The wrestler can block a move by his opponent, and use his strength to unbalance his opponent.
Deflect: The wrestler can move his body to deflect a move by his opponent, and use the opponent's strength to unbalance him.

lucha canaria9

Current status:

In recent years, the development of Canary stocks has been observed. There are various campaigns promoting programs supported eg by Cabildo di Tenerife. In particular regions and throughout the archipelago, there are numerous professions that the Federacion de Lucha Canaria is responsible for. Moreover, clubs participate in league and cup. Every club earns points in the general classification to reach the title at the end of the each season.


Federación de Lucha Canaria
Eail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: Callejón Cementerio, s/n - 38360 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Tel.: +34 922 251 452

federazione lucha canaria logo


Federación de Lucha Canaria de Lanzarote

federazione lucha canaria lanzarote


Federación Insular de Lucha Canaria de El Hierro

Federazion insular de lucha canaria el hierro


Federación de Lucha Canaria de Gran Canaria
Address: Calle Fondos de Segura s/n, 35019 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Phone: +34 928 20 75 31, +34 928 20 75 30

federazion lucha canaria Gran canaria


Federación Insular de Lucha Canaria de Tenerife
Address: Call Adán Martin, 15; CP 38208, La Laguna, España
Tel.: +34 662 65 44; +34 922 25 72 55
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

federazion de lucha canaria Tenerife


Federación Insular de Lucha Canaria de La Palma
Address: C/ Francisca de Gazmira nº25 (2ºplanta) Edif. Usos Múltiples 38760, Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma
Tel.: +34 922 46 18 61
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

federazion de lucha canaria La Palma


Federación Insular de Lucha Canaria de Fuerteventura

federazione de lucha canaria fuerteventura

Sources of information :

• Alberto Orgaz Pérez, Ángel Palanco Aguilera, Manuel Porras García, Daniel Rivas Flores, Patrimonio Histórico Español del juego y del Deporte: Federación de Lucha Canaria, 2010
• Antonio Ayala, La lucha canaria, Mancomunidad de Cabildos de Las Palmas, Paln Cultural, 1977
• Francisco J. Antequera Amor, La lucha canaria en La Palma, Confederación de Cajas de Ahorros, 1989
• J. Morales Magyín, La Lucha Canaria, Ed. Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria, La Laguna, 2004
• Joaquín Martínez del Reguero, La lucha canaria: una época dorada, Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria, 1998
• José Hernandez Moreno, Lucha canaria: la preparación física del luchador, Dirección General de Deportes, 1989
• José Miguel Martin, La lucha canaria, sí, VeredaLibros, 2016
• José Peraza Lorenzo, Historia gráfica de la lucha canaria en Tenerife, siglo XX, Colectivo de Promotores de la Fundación Canaria de Lucha, 2007
• Juan Jeronimo Perez, Lucha Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife: PEKIS, 1967
• Juan José Pacheco Lara (coordinator), Propuesta metodológica para la enseñanza de la Lucha Canaria en la educación básica, Gobierno de Canarias, 2010
• Pedro González Marrero, Iniciación a la Lucha Canaria, 1990
• Salvador Sanchez Garcia, Lucha Canaria, Teatro, Narrativa, Poesia, Ediciones del Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 1995


History of Lucha Canaria -

Historia de Lucha Canaria - (Parte I)








Lucha Leónesa (Spain, region León)

Name of sport (game): Lucha Leónesa
Name in native language: Lucha Leónesa
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Spain (León)


Lucha Leonesa is played on grass, outdoor, during the summer festivals, and on mats during the winter season.It is a standing up wrestling style with clothes.
The wrestlers (men or women) wear a T-Shirt and a short. Legs can grip legs. The arm position is fixed with hands gripping in a tight leather belt. Several weight and age categories.
Techniques are mainly with hips and legs.
To throw the opponent on the back give 2 points. The victory is given when a wrestler gets 4 points.

Lutte Provençales (France)

Name of sport (game): Lutte Provençales
Name in native language: Lutte Provençales
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

South of France


The region of Midi (Southern France) a stronghold of French Huguenots was also a prominent center of Lutte Provencales (Folk Wrestling Style of Provence). The region of Provence was part of Frankish Kingdoms (at first Merovingian, then Carolingian) since the VI century. The Franks were people with Germanic origins who around 800 under the rule of Charlemagne (742-814) established the Carolingian Empire in Europe. That Empire later split into two kingdoms, East Francia and West Francia, the former became known as the Kingdom of Germany and the latter was known as the Kingdom of France. Notably, the best Graeco-Roman wrestlers came from those two countries. Flemish and Dutch people were both descendants of Franks as well.
The folk wrestling style of the residents of Provence was after the old Frankish wrestling fashion. The core of all wrestling styles of Frankish origin was a combination of catch-holds and ground wrestling. Another important detail was that just like in modern professional wrestling the “lift and throw” technique played decisive role, and the use of legs and feet for throwing (hooking and tripping techniques) was insignificant in that particular style. Among the most famous practitioners of Frankish wrestling was fearless warrior Henry I, Duke of Guise (1550-1588) of Carolingian ancestry, who sometimes was called Le Balafré (Scarface).

lutte provencales

The Frankish wrestling traditions were inherited by French and German people. Simon Goulart (1543-1628) the Medieval French humanist speaks of the contemporary French and German wrestling customs in “Lichamelicke Sterckte” (Physical Strength) a chapter from his 1625 book called “Cabinet Der Historien.“ He mentioned a certain wrestling style called “Worstelen (Worstelinge), Lijf tegen Lijf”, or “La Lutte, Corps-à-Corps” which means “Wrestling, Body to Body” (Scuffle).

In this style the wrestlers started their match at a distance from each other and quickly would get into close quarters and after that proceeded as they wanted. The conditions of the match were previously negotiated by the combatants. Often to take opponent down wasn’t enough in that style, the winner had to force his adversary on his back and keep him underneath thus making him quit any resistance and verbally admit his defeat.

In France this hand-to-hand combat was known as the Burgundian wrestling (Lutte Bourguignonne). Historically, Burgundian wrestling was represented by two styles: Bras-le-Corps (equal catch-hold around the torso/waist) and Corps-à-Corps (free-for-all close wrestling combat which usually started with head-holds). The former style was a standing wrestling for a throw (back fall) and the latter was an up and down wrestling in which the objection was to overcome your opponent on the ground.

The “lift and throw” technique dominated those two styles and better developed muscles of the hip, groin and lower abdomen areas were a decisive factor. Often competitors would try to achieve a Bear Hug or a Crotch Hold on their opponent, lift him off his feet in the air, lock arms around his body and cast him down on the ground. Such Bodyslams were known as the “stones from the sky” throws (meteorite throws). Notably, use of legs and feet for throwing wasn’t favored in either of those styles, since only wrestling with hands, arms, hips and back was considered a true trial of strength and skill.

The great visualizations of those two modes of wrestling are present in the form of Romanesque sculpture at Burgundian churches, such as Church of Our Lady of the Assumption at Anzy-le-Duc (XI-XII c.) and Church of St Peter at Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier (XII-XIII c.). Depictions of both those wrestling styles also could be found in a XIII c. Sketchbook by the architect called Villard de Honnecourt. His name and dialect indicate that he was born in Honnecourt, a small town near Cambrai in northeastern Picardy at the frontiers of Artois and Flanders.

ground wrestling French

William Caxton (1422-1491) an English writer, in his translation of French prose romance "Les Quatre Filz Aymon" mentioned 2 starts in Frankish folk wrestling, “at a distance” and “close equal hug.”

Notably, the Frankish up and down catch wrestling French terminology is still in use by the practitioners of the traditional folk freestyle wrestling of the natives and residents of the Reunion Island (a French department in the Indian Ocean). That culturally unique historical wrestling style called the La Croche takes its name from the old French wrestling term a verb Se Crocher which means to catch someone, to lay advantageous hold of someone. This style is dominated by three wrestling strategies:

1) the Caler (drop, fall) a variety of take down holds and techniques used for throwing someone down from the standing position;

2) the Clef (spanner, wrench) a different limbs twisting techniques which are used in order either to cause a fall from a standing position or to roll opponent on his back when on the ground;


3) the Trappeur (trapper) a number of ground wrestling techniques which allow “to trap” opponent and keep him immovable underneath in a locked position thus making him quit any resistance and acknowledge his defeat which signifies a victory in this sport.

Anzy le Duc


Probably the most descriptive accounts of historical Provencal folk wrestling were provided by Henri Rolland in his short story called “The Wrestler” from the 1st volume of "Les français peints par eux-mêmes : encyclopédie morale du dix-neuvième siècle" (1841) and in the article by Jean Brunet from the 1882 book called “Revue Des Langues Romanes.”
Various wrestling games were once in strong favor among the men of Provence. The wrestling challenge matches and elimination tournaments played an essential part in celebrations at all the folk and religious holidays called the Roumavage.
Based on the traditional Provencal classification of wrestlers as per their strength there were two championship classes of local wrestlers:
1. Men’s Wrestling (Lucho dis ome) was a competition of really strong men and exceptionally strong men.
2. Half-men’s Wrestling (Lucho de miechome) was a competition of moderately strong men, young adults and youth.
There were two distinctive styles of Provencal folk wrestling:
1. Lucho de la centuro (en aut), lutte de la ceinture en haut, which was a standing catch-hold above the waist wrestling style. In this style holds of any part of the body from head to the waist including dangerous headlocks (holds around the neck) were allowed. In this style only the use of hands, arms, hips (hip lift technique) and back for throwing was legal. The objective of this wrestling style was to give the opponent a fair back fall (two shoulders touching ground simultaneously). In this wrestling style all throws were the flying falls. Often if a man was thrown on his back three times without fair back fall taking place (3 foils rule) he was declared defeated. In case of both wrestlers falling to the ground without the back fall or foil being achieved (dog fall) they had to get up quickly and renew the contest.
2. Lucho Libro, Lutte Libre, which was a freestyle wrestling. That style of wrestling was also known under the following names: lucha a touto lucha (lutter a toute lutte) or all-in wrestling, and lucha en arrapant pertout (lutter en attrapant partout) or catch-as-catch-can. In this style of wrestling holds of any part of person’s body and ground wrestling (lutto a terro) were allowed. Technically any fair method of throwing was considered legal. If both wrestlers fell down to the ground they will have to continue their struggle on the ground until one of the two is finally placed flat on his back and kept immovable (captured) in the undermost position until he gives in and admits his defeat verbally.

Tripping (Croc-en-jambe) was strictly prohibited in Lutte de la ceinture en haut and technically being allowed in Lutte Libre still wasn’t favored. This was based on a local stereotype of tripping being sort of an unfair action. According to their traditions tripping was thought of as a wrestling technique that didn’t exhibit strength or skill, as they felt that true wrestling was only with hands, arms, hips and back. Interestingly, a similar stereotype dominated German wrestling customs as well. Often participants of the Men’s Wrestling championships would prefer to compete in the standing wrestling above the waist style. Their logic was based on the popular opinion that a really strong man doesn’t need holds below the waist, ground wrestling, or tripping to throw his opponent off his feet and give him a back fall or at least a foil.
But if wrestlers decided to compete on “free for all” conditions then back fall wasn’t enough to win the contest and the winner had to make his opponent quit the struggle and verbally confess his defeat.
Punching, kicking and any other unlawful or brutal act was strictly prohibited.
In the ring wrestlers appeared stripped to the waist. Traditionally, the winners of the competitions were awarded various trophies, such as silver cups, embroidered velvet underpants fringed with gold or silver, etc. Over the time professionalism was introduced in Lutte Provencales.
Sometimes the lutte libre pro wrestling matches would turn into an all-in, rough and tumble combats of wrestling and fighting combined. In those no holds barred affairs some non-wrestlng strategies like punching with the fist and kicking were a common practice.

Lutte 1


Current status:

Currently Lutte Provencales is not practiced anymore. In France the folk wrestling styles of the residents of Provence were still around even in the 1860s until they were completely replaced with the modern French or Graeco-Roman style, which back then was also known as a “flat hand” wrestling (la lutte à main plates).
Many of the “Protestant weavers” who fled from religious persecution, migrating from Southern France to Britain in XVI-XVII centuries found their new home in East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The waves of Flemish, German and French Protestants brought old Frankish freestyle wrestling to East Lancashire where it merged with folk English catch-hold wrestling
style and over the course of centuries it evolved there into a new unique style of wrestling the Lancashire Catch-as-catch-can. Meanwhile, on the continent, Frankish style evolved into the French wrestling, aka Graeco-Roman wrestling. Interestingly, even in the 1870s when the French style was widely exhibited in England, the most common commentary on it was that in its nature, French wrestling is very similar to Lancashire catch wrestling.

Sources of information :

Ruslan C Pashayev, The Story of Catch, 2019


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