Indian wrestling is a time-honored tradition among many Native American peoples, signs of rites of passage, excellent for training and competition, and in general, a lot of fun.

Nobody knows exactly where any of the specific wrestling practices amongst Native Americans began, but they were first noted in the 1500s by Spanish explorers, who noted that they never fought Greco-Roman style, but instead pitted specific body parts against one another. A full tournament involved many different matches, and was a true test of strength and stamina.

The most common form of Indian wrestling is Indian leg wrestling.

To play, both contestants lie down on their backs side by side in opposite directions, with their feet at their opponent's head. The players count off to 3, lifting their leg closest to the opponent each time. When they reach 3, they cross their legs and intertwine them, and begin to push against their opponent's leg, attempting to flip him or her over without moving the other parts of their body.

Other forms of Indian wrestling include:

  • Indian arm wrestling - the same as what is commonly called arm wrestling, albeit standing up - the winner is the one who knocks the other player off his feet;
  • Indian back wrestling - the players stand face to face with their chests touching and arms outstretched and attempt to push each other back (with only their chests) a predetermined distance. Sometimes this is done with the players' hands tied behind their back.
  • Indian staff wrestling - the players both grab the end of a staff, and attempt to force the other player to let go of the staff.
  • Indian thumb wrestling - Yes, this is part of their tradition, too. It shows cunning and agility.
  • Indian balance wrestling - the toughest of all of the events. Each player stands on his right foot, left foot in the air. Using only his left foot, he attempts to force the other player to lose his balance or put his left foot on the ground. An extreme test of stamina.

If anyone knows any more variations, please /msg me.

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