About Belt Wrestling

Belt Wrestling is one of the oldest traditional wrestling sports. Belt wrestling is a form of wrestling that is one of the oldest historically recorded sports. It involves contestants aiming to knock each other over by grappling with a belt.

To accommodate the many variations of belt wrestling throughout the world, the philosophy of the new International Belt Wrestling Association (IBWA) founded in 2011 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’. The standard costume is an attractive feature, which allows for all styles to be completed so that no participant can conclude that his or her national style or costume has been slighted. IBWA unites all belt wrestling lovers in the world.

Different parts of the world have different variations on certain rules in the sport. As the name suggests, the central component to the sport is a simple device, such as a belt, ordinary towel, or girdle. For example, within Central Asia, Kuresh wrestling is popular. It is distinguished by throwing an opponent by tearing him away from the floor or from the mat without using one’s legs. Such rules are usually specific to that particular region. As a result, the rules of the game can differ between continents or even countries. Honorary President of the International Association of Traditional Types of Sports Rif Gaynanov once stated, “This type of wrestling will always be interesting. Every nation has its own colouring. One nation should not impose its own rules upon other countries and should respect other cultures and their customs”.


However, today it is necessary to understand the differences between:

1) the rules of national wrestling in every single country or region, of which there are surely thousands of variations;

2) and a common, well-defined system of belt wrestling rules, which makes it possible for athletes from around the world to come together in a competition as equals.