Commonly referred to as “Bokh” is an East Asian form of combat known as Mongolian Wrestling. This “grappling” martial art form (as the name suggests) is said to have originated from Mongolia. Apparently, this combat form is said to be an integral part of the unique Mongolian culture. Furthermore, it was under the reign of the Qing Dynasty from 1646 to 1911 that bouts of this form of wrestling were frequently organized within the country. In addition, Genghis Khan (the founder of the Mongol Empire) is said to have considered practicing Mongolian wrestling as an ideal way to keep the army extremely fit and ready for battle.

a. History/origin of Mongolian Wrestling:

According to the cultural history of Mongolia, the first evidence of the existence of this form of wrestling is supposed to have been depicted in caves (in the form of paintings) located in the BayanKhongor Province in this East Asian country. Apparently, these cave paintings was supposed to have depicted two naked men grappling each other in presence of a crowd. Furthermore, this form of wrestling also known as “Bokh” is said to have been developed mainly as a form a sport for the military. It was basically created to encourage the army to stay physically fit for combat when required. In addition, it was Mongol emperors like the great Genghis Khan (and many others) who wanted to encourage the form of wrestling, and hence it was eventually included in local festivals known as “Naadam”. Over the centuries such has been the steady growth in popularity of this combat form that on 17th September 2011 a Mongolian wrestling competition was held in which about 6022 wrestlers participated. This event was considered to be the “world’s largest wrestling competition” and as a result entered the “Guinness Record Book”.

b. Weapon used in the Mongolian Wrestling:

Since “grappling” techniques are mainly used in this form of wrestling so the weapon mainly used are the “arms and legs” of the fighter.

c. Technique used in the Mongolian Wrestling and training availability:

In terms of the technique, a wrestler basically needs to compel the upper body, knee, or elbow of the opponent to touch the ground in order to achieve victory. However, in a style known as “Inner Mongolian wrestling” any body part other than the feet can be used to touch the ground and achieve victory. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world for this “grappling” form of combat.


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