Belt wrestling

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Belt Wrestling is a form of wrestling that is one of the oldest historically recorded sports. It involves contestants aiming to knock each other over by grappling with a belt.[1]

Gilgamesh engages in a form of belt wrestling with Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh written around 2000 BC about a king of Sumer who lived around 2800 to 2600 BC.[2] One of the oldest recorded illustrations of wrestling is a bronze statuette, dated to around 2600 BC, found in 1938 at Khafaji, near Baghdad and now stored in the National Museum of Iraq.[3][4] In the 11th Century the scholar and philosopher Avicenna, spoke of this type of wrestling.

The Russian Federation[edit]

To accommodate the many variations of belt wrestling throughout the world, the philosophy of the new International Belt Wrestling Association (IBWA) founded in 2005 now headed by Mr. KHALIL AHMED KHAN (Ref) of Pakistan has been simple and logical; it has adopted two sets of standard rules and a standard costume. Their reasoning is that some styles do not permit trips and some do. However, according to the new association, to compete without trips is called ‘classical style’ and with trips is called ‘free style’. The standard costume is an attractive feature, which allows for all styles to be completed so that no participant can conclude that his or her national style or costume has been slighted. IBWA unites all belt wrestling lovers in the world.Mr. Khalil Ahmed Khan is Chairman of Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Traditional Sports and Games,UNESCO and President of International Association of Traditional Wrestling Sports - IATWS.IATWS is key partner of Traditional Sports and Games,UNESCO(Ref)

The rules and variation of the rules[edit]

Different parts of the world have different variations on certain rules in the sport. As the name suggests, the central component to the sport is a simple device, such as a belt, ordinary towel, or girdle. For example, within Central Asia, Kuresh wrestling of Turkic people is popular. It is distinguished by throwing an opponent by tearing him away from the floor or from the mat without using one’s legs. Such rules are usually specific to that particular region. As a result, the rules of the game can differ between continents or even countries.

Former Honorary President of the International Association of Traditional Types of Sports Rif Gainanov once stated, "This type of wrestling will always be interesting. Every nation has its own colouring. One nation should not impose its own rules upon other countries and should respect other cultures and their customs".

However, today it is necessary to understand the differences between:

1) the rules of national wrestling in every single country or region, of which there are surely thousands of variations;

2) and a common, well-defined system of belt wrestling rules, which makes it possible for athletes from around the world to come together in a competition as equals.

The sport today[edit]

Today wrestling, as a national sport, cannot be ascribed to any single country. In a similar way, people generally do not refer to soccer as an English sport or basketball to be American. Belt wrestling does not have any national boundaries. It is unique, and gathering more and more fans. The circle of contestants is widening considerably. This is a spectacular and democratic sport and one that does not require much financial expenditure. An important fact is that the International Belt Wrestling Federation considerably lessened the number of injuries received by contestants since the introduction of the new rules. As it was proved, the correction of this or that wrestling rules popularized this kind of sport. Nowadays world and continental championships are being held in different parts of the world.

The sport is developing rapidly and has become so prominent that President Putin of Russia attended the 6th World Championships in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, from 9 to 13 October 2007.

In America and Oceania the popularity of belt wrestling is no less than that in Iran, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Togo and Spain - countries which have already been the hosts of international competitions. This is how one more step towards the main aim - inclusion in the Olympic Games – is being made. Several years ago, very few people knew anything about belt wrestling. Today, the International Association is getting applications for holding tournaments from all corners of the globe. This is no surprise as now the army of admirers of this kind of sport unites more than eighty countries of the world.

The IBWA is an organization that serves as an international platform for popularizing and developing traditional wrestling/belt wrestling throughout the world irrespective of race and political followings. The Association takes part in the exchanging of know-how, knowledge, information and data, referring to the traditional wrestling/belt wrestling which, in turn, contributes to its development and popularization on local, national, regional and international levels. Belt Wrestling as a sport is recognized by the Asian Olympic Council from 2007 and is included in the program of Asian Martial Arts & Indoors Games.

There are many types of traditional belt wrestling in the world, but by developing this sport's general rules under the leadership of Dr. Rif Gaynanov (†) former President, IBWA/IATWS became a real home for all types of traditional belt wrestling in the world and a common platform for developing and promoting new-old sport discipline – belt wrestling.

Today IBWA governs different belt wrestling disciplines: free style, classical style, female belt wrestling, beach belt wrestling, snow belt wrestling in five age group: cadets, juniors, students, seniors and veterans in 12 weight categories (7 for men and 5 for women).

All IBWA events are with the line of the IOC vision which include seven components: sport – belt wrestling competition, culture – folklore youth festival and competition on local traditional wrestling style, science – scientific conference on developing and promotion of traditional sport and game, environment – tree planting action "Plant-for-the-Planet" or beach cleaning action "Creation" with art exhibition, sport for development and peace – training seminars between border conflict/post-war countries under the slogan "Play for Peace", healthy lifestyle promotion - Olympic mile "Fun Run", youth – youth leadership forum " New generation of leaderships".

Belt wrestling is also one of the disciplines of the Worldwide Nomad Games.

Asian Belt Wrestling Federation(ABWF) is continental body of International Belt Wrestling Association and International Association of Traditional Wrestling Sports.H.E. Khalil Ahmed Khan is President of Asian Belt Wrestling Federation and Shammi Rana Secretary General of Asian Belt Wrestling Federation and Rapporteur of Traditional Sports and Games,UNESCO(TSG)ABWF ABWF

Amateur Belt Wrestling Federation of India Executive Board meeting of Amateur Belt Wrestling Federation of India was held under the Chairmanship of Dr SM Bali, Joint Secretary Indian Olympic Association at Hotel Ashoka on 16/01/2017[5] and Shammi Rana, Secretary General Asian Belt Wrestling Federation(ABWF).Dr SM Bali was elected as President, Aman Kuamar Sharma Vice President and Tarsem Sharma elected as Secretary General of Amateur Belt Wrestling Federation of India


  1. ^ Jeremy Black; Anthony Green (1992). Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. University of Texas Press. pp. 187–. ISBN 978-0-292-70794-8. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Nigel B. Crowther (2007). Sport in Ancient Times. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-275-98739-8. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Faraj Baṣmahʹjī (1975). Treasures of the Iraq Museum. Al-Jumhuriya Press. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  4. ^ David Gilman Romano (1993). Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth: The Origins of the Greek Stadion. American Philosophical Society. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-87169-206-1. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 

5.Amateur Belt Wrestling Federation India holds meeting