http://www.visiontimes.com/?p=92798

Have You Heard of the Ancient Sport of Kurash?

    Officials from all participating teams pose for a group photo with the president of the Taiwan Kurash Association, Zhang Han-dong (sixth from left), and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (fifth from left).  (Image: Courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Female competitors from the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Going down at the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Female competitors try to toss each other to the ground at the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)A competitor throwing his opponent at the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Who's winning here? (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)International participants. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Traditional ceremony at the event. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Demonstration of the martial art form. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Teams from around the world competed. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)Spectators watching the event. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    Kurash is an old sport with a history of more than 3,500 years. It originated in central Asia, and is especially popular in Uzbekistan, where people take this sport as a national symbol of power and bravery. Today, Kurash is an international sport with more than 100 federations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Pan America.

    It is one of most popular sport forms of wrestling, and is considered one of the oldest forms of martial arts. It has been a favorite sport of many people, and is part of the lifestyle of central Asian people.

    2016 Beach Kurash Internation Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    Competitor throwing his opponent at the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship in Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    People observe Kurash on holidays, celebrations, and other big events. Wrestlers use towels to hold their opponents, and throw them to the ground, but they are not allowed to attack opponents under their waist, nor attack with joints. This makes Kurash a relatively safe sport.

    Officials of all participating teams pose for a group photo with the president of the Taiwan Kurash Association, Zhang Han-dong (third from left), and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (second from left). (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    Officials of all participating teams pose for a group photo with the president of the Taiwan Kurash Association, Zhang Han-dong (third from left), and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (second from left). (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    The 2016 Beach Kurash International Championship was held in Taiwan’s New Taipei City on July 20-22, 2016, which was participated in by delegates from 11 countries, including Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States, Indonesia, India, and the special administrative district of Hong Kong.

    Participants from around the world. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    Competitors from around the world. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Kurash Association)

    Since 2007, the Taiwan team has participated in a number of Kurash competitions in different parts of the world. In order to help the Taiwan team stand out on the world stage, Dr. Zhang Han-dong, president of the Taiwan Kurash Association, spared no effort in promoting Kurash in Taiwan in recent years.

    He even invited a national coach from Uzbekistan to train Taiwanese players in the hope that the Taiwan Kurash team can win Olympic medals someday.

    Watch Kurash in action in this video by Ichiro Okawa:

    In fact, his determination and effort has paid off, as the Taiwan team earned the most medals (including 7 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 6 bronze medals) among the 12 participating teams at the 2016 Beach Kurash International Championships.

    At the championships, Uzbekistan won 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals. South Korea won 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals. Vietnam won 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. India won 7 bronze medals. Iran won 1 gold medal and 1 bronze medal. Thailand won 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal, and Indonesia won 1 bronze medal.

    In his speech at the award ceremony, Dr. Zhang said: “Our goal is to make Kurash popular around the world, to share with people from all over the world its ancient philosophy and values, and especially with the younger generation.

    “I’m happy to see that our effort has significantly contributed to the dynamic development of Kurash in the world, as Kurash has become a truly international sport.”

    (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

    Dr. Zhang Han-dong, president of the Taiwan Kurash Association (most left) at the awards ceremony. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

    Research by Monica Song.

    Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly email.

    The NIKE Logo Is Not Just a Swoosh…
    '100 Years': The Movie You Will Never Get to See