KHUJAND, March 12, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- 150 athletes from different districts of the northern Sughd province and neighboring Kyrgyzstan took part at the open Sughd regional belt wrestling tournament that was held in the Zarafshon jamoat of the Jabborrasoulov district on March 7-8.

According to the Belt Wrestling Federation of Tajikistan, athletes from the Jabborrasoulov district won six of seven gold medals.

The tournament was sponsored by the Jabborrasoulov district administration and local Association of Dehqon (Peasant) Farms named after B. Hamdamov.

Belt wrestling is reportedly 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.

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).