Mongolian Wrestling

Mongolian wrestling is one of the three traditional sports of the ancient Mongols during the holiday of Nadaam, the others were horseracing and archery. Mongolian wrestling exists in two forms, outer and Inner. Outer is called "bayrildax" which is the indigenous form, Inner is called "boke" and is what was practiced in the Chinese occupied areas of Mongolia.

In both forms of wrestling, the objective of the game is to wrestle with your opponent to try and topple them to the ground by utilizing trips, lifts, and throws. The various rules of doing this change between inner and outer forms, but in both styles you are only allowed to grapple. No striking, kicking, joint-locks, or strangulation is allowed. There are no weight classes in Mongolian wrestling and the match is usually played outside using the local landscape for boundaries.

In outer Mongolian wrestling the objective is to force your opponent to touch the ground with either his knee, elbow, or back which signals their defeat. Grabbing the legs is legal in outer Mongolian Wrestling. No time limit is used.

In inner Mongolian wrestling the objective is to force your opponent off his feet. If any part of their body aside from the soles of their feet touch the ground, they lose. You are not allowed to touch your opponent legs with your hands. A time limit is used, and if the match extends beyond the time limit a ring is made in the playing field, and if a wrestler steps out of the ring they lose.

In the case of a sacrifice throw, the first person to hit the ground with a valid area loses, regardless of who controlled the throw.

The traditional clothing changes between styles as well. Outer dress includes Mongolian boots, a cap, a brief, and a top. The top is long sleeved with the chest cut away so everyone can be sure the fighter is male. It extends more than halfway down the back and ties via rope around the stomach. The referees hold the caps of the wrestlers during the match. The Inner clothing consists of a metal studded short-sleeved leather top, with little of the chest exposed. They wear common boots and long baggy pants. For wrestlers of high rank a necklace called a jangga is worn. The Inner Mongols do not wear a cap.

Two referees watch the match and make sure they keep the wrestlers in the boundaries and declare the winner. A panel of judges will solve and disputes the referees may have.

The initial pairing of wrestlers was done by the higher ranked wrestlers. Ranks can only be achieved at a Naadam festival and are reset at each new festival. For each match you win you go up a rank. The ranks are unranked, bird, elephant, lion, and titan. The winners of the festival often receive livestock where the losers will get towels and soap. If a wrestler wins a Naadam festival ten times they are recognized as a hero by the state.

Mongolian wrestling usually has a pre-game dance where each wrestler dances to resemble a large bird.