Basics about the traditional mud wrestling in India (Part 1)

Mud wrestling not only exists and thrives in the remote village of Guru Hanuman Akhara, but also in rural parts of India. Willpower and intelligence are the treasures needed in an athlete of this unique traditional sport.

Every three months, competitions take place in each locality, after which the wrestlers will represent their village to compete in the state championship and finally the national finals. Some other tournaments are held year-round to attract tourists and it is also an opportunity to make money from wrestlers.

The soil is designed to look like a big hole filled with loose mud (alluvial soil) with a depth of about 10cm brought from the Ganges. Surrounded by gentle mounds, the fence is full of pieces of cloth to make flags fluttering in all colors.

When the referee started the match, it was also the shouting of thousands of spectators. The smoothness of the mud makes the game more exciting. Every time you throw an opponent out of a mud pit, the audience knows the new champion’s name.

Moreover, the grand prizes are quite attractive motivation for the wrestlers to pour effort in training and competition. Every day in the village of Guru, dozens of young people do not hesitate to train all day with the purpose of seeking glory through matches and to win prizes.

And to be able to step up to the wrestling, wrestlers must undergo a very rigorous training process of physical, technical as well as exercise, muscle strength training, skill with rope and exercise running hard. Their diet is quite special with eggs, milk, fruit and water needed to keep body temperature low.

Currently, there are about 400 professional Indian wrestlers practicing in training camps like Guru village. The martial arts class in Guru village is not completely free because there is no funding from the government.