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ENoblewrestling

Interesting story on wrestling in Sudan

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I lived in Sudan from 2008 to 2013, and I've been at the one venue pictured in the article for some matches...pretty amazing experience.  My avatar photo has been Sudanese Nuban wrestlers for several years.

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It's basically just a battle to see who can get the first takedown...and "takedown" is a loose term.  It's really the first guy to make the other guy go to the ground in some way.

 

The coolest thing for me was the "matchmaking" process.  It's usually two teams representing two different tribes or villages from the Nuba region.  The "coach" from the first team will ceremoniously parade his first chosen athlete out to the center of the ring.  Then, the opposing coach must select a guy that he thinks is a good matchup for the other team's guy and parades him out to meet in the center.  If the selected opponent is deemed too big or too skilled, the first coach will decline the matchup and return to his team to select a "counter-proposal" choice.  Several times, I saw this process continue for 5 or 6 or 7 proposals until a matchup was agreed upon.  The most dramatic moment was that moment where the coach receiving the proposal stands there and contemplates whether he thinks his guy's got it in him to hang with the one standing in front of him.  

 

This no weight class system of honor could be very, very interesting for high school or college.  The strategy and testosterone-driven pride factor would bring whole new elements to rivalry duals like Penn/Mishawaka or Castle/Mater Dei.  

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