KHUJAND, October 17, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan won two medals in the 9th World Belt Wrestling Championships that took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 12-16.

Chairman of Tajikistan’s Belt Wrestling Federation Anvar Qosimov told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon that the tournament brought together 170 athletes from 29 countries.

According to him, Tajikistan was represented by 18 athletes and Husniddin Toshmurodov from Istaravshan grabbed the silver medal for Tajikistan, finishing second in the men’s ‘frees style’ belt wrestling in 90kg weight category.

“In the meantime, Mahmad Mirov from Mastchoh district won the gold medal, finishing first in the men’s ‘classical style’ belt wrestling in 100kg category,” Qosimov noted.

Belt Wrestling is one of the most ancient sports known to man.  Every country has its own kind of struggle.  Originally, wrestling was intended as a means of survival for ancient civilizations. 

Belt wrestling has achieved a new dynamic and is undergoing a renaissance in the 21st century.  The modern drive for its valorization comes from the Russian Federation where several indigenous variations are still practiced.  To accommodate the many variations of belt wrestling throughout the world, the philosophy of the new International Belt Wrestling Association (IBWA) has been simple and logical; it has adopted two sets of standard rules and a standard costume.  Their reasoning is that some styles do not permit trips and some do. However, according to the new association, to compete without trips is called ‘classical style’ and with trips is called ‘free style’.  

In different corners of the planet like Europe, Asia, or the African Continent, the central component of wrestling is a simple device like a belt, ordinary towel, or girdle.  For example, within Central Asia Kuresh wrestling is popular.  It is distinguished by throwing one’s opponent by tearing him away from the floor or from the mat without using one’s legs.  Such rules can be relevant only in that region.  In England, sportsmen compete under different rules.  In Spain, rules are of a third kind and in Niger a fourth.

Honorary President of the International Association of Traditional Types of Sports Reef Gainanov once stated, “This type of wrestling will always be interesting.  Every nation has its own coloring.  One nation should not impose its own rules upon other countries and should respect other cultures and their customs”.

Today wrestling as a national sport cannot be ascribed to any single country.  It is unique, gathering more and more fans.  The circle of contestants is widening considerably.  This is a spectacular and democratic sport and one that does not require much financial expenditure.

IBWA is an organization that serves as an international platform for popularizing and developing traditional wrestling/belt wrestling throughout the world irrespective of race and political followings.  Today IBWA governs different belt wrestling disciplines: free style, classical style, female belt wrestling, beach belt wrestling, snow belt wrestling in five age group: cadets, juniors, students, seniors and veterans in 12 weight categories (7 for men and 5 for women).