S'Intrumpa: The Gherradores Sardinian Wrestling 0 Comments

S'Intrumpa: The Gherradores Sardinian Wrestling

The Sardinian fight, or S'Istrumpa, is a very ancient form of wrestling, perhaps the oldest of sports, handed down for millennia from generation to generation, as evidenced by the bronzes of the Uta wrestlers dating back to the Nuragic period.

Among the Sardinia’s ancestral traditions, the s’Istrumpa wrestling is enduring because of man’s everlasting need to fight in competitive forms demonstrating strength, courage, loyalty and ... stability. Actually the name comes from the Sardinian Istrumpare which means pushing someone abruptly to the ground, but it also means causing the opponent to lose his balance, using the leg, tension, direct or side thrust, lifting off the ground, tripping and whatever else. But no cheating is allowed. This was the educational value for children and adolescents who, in sport as in life, the skill, the trassa, can overcome physical strength.

S'Istrumpa teaches the severe respect of the rules and the one who cheats is despised by the other athletes and his victory will not be recognized, while the one who has been honest and won demonstrating trassa, skill. The champion will be awarded the prize of the respect of the community. 

S'Istrumpa is compared to the Greek Roman wrestling and was practised during rural festivals, religious ceremonies, cattle fairs, or during agricultural and pastoral rituals such as harvesting, threshing and cattle shearing. The gherradores, o "Istrumpadores", as the contestants in S'Istrumpa used to call themselves, clung to the terrible holds trying to knock the opponent to the ground. 

Only the shepherds or their offspring, in whose veins the istrumpadore's blood flows, can practice this sport.

In 1997 S’Istrumpa obtained the recognition from the CONI (The Italian National Olympic Committee) becoming a real sport and, since then, it is present in regional, national and international tournaments.

Nobody beats him at the istrumpa and on horseback. He fought bare-chested and rode bareback, glued to the animal like a mint, a second skin." (S. NIFFOI)


Written by Daniela Toti


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