Ssireum ( Kor. 씨름 ) is an ancient form of wrestling that is circulated only in Korea. The oldest preserved traces of the sport date back to the 4th century, but it is him partially an age of up to 5,000 years attributed. Today, a modernized form of amateurs and professionals is operated.

Origin of name

The Korean wrestling was formerly known under various names such as Gakjo, Gakhi, Sangbak, Jaenggyo or Gakgi. In China it was called Koroyogi or Yogyo. Since about 1920 the name Ssireum has prevailed. The origin of the word is obscure. According to one theory, it derives from the verb ssirunda, which means as much as " in a duel his physical strength show ," another is to be attributed to the word Silum for the Mongolian Bökhe -rings.


The oldest representations of the sport can be found on wall paintings in tombs dating from the Goguryeo Kingdom. He practiced at local festivals. Fighting took place between the strongest young men from the surrounding villages. Winner was, who was still standing last on his feet. To him the title Jangsa ( " Athlete " or " strong man " ) was granted and he received a cow as prize money.


The two opponents fight within a of the sandy circle. Her Ringer pants they wear satpa, a belt which is wrapped around the hips and thighs and can be attached to the like on a mawashi sumo wrestler of the handles. The aim is to bring the enemy by strength and skill to case.

Modern exercise

With the industrial development of Korea this way wrestling has become a real sport. The exercise was organized and regulated, the national championship Ssireum Changsa was organized as well as numerous competitions across the country, even in high school sports. A significant role in increasing the popularity of the sport in recent decades played Li Man- ki, an outstanding wrestler of the 1980s. And today's K-1 fighter Choi Hong -man (2.18 m; 163 kg ) was very successful in this discipline.

Ssireum wrestlers are usually very large and heavy, about 1.80 to 2 feet with a weight of up to about 150 kg.

Nowadays, there are also women who practice Ssireum.