Sunday, 12 September 2010

Cornish Wrestling

I saw an article in the local paper the other day which there would be Cornish Wrestling on the Cathedral Green on Saturday 11th September 2010. I couldn't believe they were actually going to have Wrestling in the grounds of the Cathedral, so I thought I would go and check it out. 

When I got there this is what I saw:

I took a seat and waited for the fun to begin.

A circle had been marked out on the lawn with sand. Which was the ring. I knew nothing about Cornish wrestling, in fact I had never heard of it.

After a while three older men walked into the ring carrying sticks, I thought it was going to be a three man sword fight, but I was wrong. They turned out to be the 'Sticklers' who referee the match.

Into the ring stepped a little girl who looked about 6, she was wearing shorts and a canvas jacket. She was followed in by a boy who looked twice her size, who was dressed in the same manner. The MC told them to shake hands and begin to fight. They shook hands, then grabbed each other by the jacket. I thought the little girl would lose easily but she put up a good fight. At the end of the two minute bout the Stickler agreed that the boy had won.

After that match some older boys stepped in for a three minute bout:

After a few more matches of differing lengths and age groups. It was the turn of the under 16's.

Again a boy and girl entered the ring:

The girl put up a good fight, but, just after I took this picture, she was thrown flat on her back and lost the match.

The last I saw of her was when she stormed out of the Green in tears and say the she was having a *&%$@$£ C**p day. She wasn't happy. I guess she disagreed with the Sticklers decision.

I left soon after that still confused. I had found it interesting but didn't understand what was going on. So I came home and looked it up on the internet. This is a bit of an article I found on Wikipedia:

‘Cornish wrestling is a form of wrestling which has been established in Cornwall for several centuries. The referee is known as a 'stickler', and it is claimed that the popular meaning of the word as a 'pedant' originates from this usage. It is colloquially known as "wrasslin" in the Cornish dialect.
The wrestlers in the Cornish style both wear tough jackets enabling them to gain better grip on their opponent. All holds are taken upon the other wrestler's jacket, grabbing of the wrists or fingers is forbidden as well as any holding below the waist. Although all holds are to be taken upon the jacket the flat of the hand is allowed to be used to push or deflect an opponent.
The objective of Cornish wrestling is to throw your opponent and make him land as flat as possible on his back. Three sticklers (referees) watch and control each bout whilst also recording down the score of points achieved in play. Four pins are located on the back of a wrestler, two at the back of each shoulder and two either side just above the buttocks. If a wrestler manages to throw his opponent flat onto his back, simultaneously scoring with all 4 pins they score four points in that single throw and this is called a "Back" to which the bout is then finished and the throwing wrestler is the winner. The sticklers will each raise their sticks when they perceive a Back has been achieved. If two sticklers raise their sticks but one does not a back is still awarded.’

So there you go. If you want to find out more you can look at the full Wikipedia article or go to:

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