Cumberland Wrestling - UK Regional Wrestling Style

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Wiki Revision Date - 09 Sep 2015 17:48

Cumberland Wrestling - UK Regional Wrestling Style

Cumberland Wrestling is a centuries old British wrestling martial art native to the North Western British county of Cumbria (formerly Cumberland and Westmoreland). Though it has been a sport for centuries, it has is roots in even older pre-Christian battle techniques. It is unclear whether Cumberland Wrestling is derived from Scottish Backhold Wrestling or from Norse Glima Wrestling which arrived on UK shores along with Viking invaders. There are also other UK and European Wrestling Styles such as Cornish Wrestling, Devonshire Wrestling, Irish 'Collar and Elbow' Wrestling, Breton and Gouren.

The rules of Cumberland Wrestling are fairly straightforward. The two combatants position themselves chest to chest in a 'Backhold' position with the right arm under the others left arm, the left arm over the others right shoulder and the chin of each Wrestler is placed on the others left shoulder. With the Wrestlers in position, the referee will call 'En Guard' followed by the command to 'Wrestle'. The combatants will then begin their struggle to get the opponent to the ground using techniques such as lifting, twisting and tripping. The first wrestler to hit the ground loses.

Cumberland Wresting is still practiced and can still be seen today at village fetes and country shows in Cumbria. Though there are some schools that teach the style, it is more commonly passed down to the next generation by older practitioners of the art. Cumberland Wrestling is noted for its amusing uniform that traditionally consists of Long Johns and velvet shorts (although nowadays this obscure uniform is not always worn by all competitors).

Demonstration of CumberLand Wrestling




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