An attempt to make the rival a dirty back by the thinner green belt wrestler. (Photo: VNA)

Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) – The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has held a wrestling bout as a recreation event during the new lunar year.

Sports authorities in the province, which includes the former imperial capital Hue city, worked with the outlying Thu Le village to organise the bout, according to a tradition in the village.

According to the elderlies in the village, the bout is traditionally held on the sixth day of a new year, starting from the Nguyen Lords (1558-1777) era, for selecting healthy men for soldiers. The tradition later was resumed by the lords’ descendant Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) until today.

A sandy round bout is made in front of the communal house of the village, where young men from the village and nearby villages come for competitions under the Vietnamese traditional wrestling rules.

The rules require a wrestler to make his rival “lam lung trang bung,” which means sticking the rival’s back to the sand’s surface while his stomach faces the sky, to win a game. The rules do not allow any vicious attacks, pushing or attempts to choke or break the rival’s hands and legs.

The rules of the game remain the same today, but there is a difference, as it welcomes amateur wrestlers from localities throughout the province, and not the nearby villages only.

Wednesday’s bout started with a pair of old men performing the techniques during a ritual ceremony. Later, several games were held for female wrestlers.

Games for men were much more thanks to the number of wrestlers who came and registered to compete right before each game.

Ho Dang Trong Khanh, a winner at games held for youth, said he was attracted by the games and travelled 20km from Hue city to the village to participate in it.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Quang Khanh, a local wrestler said he took part in the game to maintain his village’s tradition.

As the organisers had no chance to categorise competitors according to their weight days before the bout, several games were held between a 65kg man and a 110kg rival. Some others were between 51kg and 85kg. This made the bout really thrilling as the thinner competitors outclassed their heavier rivals through their courage and cleverness.-VNA