Competitors, one wearing a green jacket and
the other a blue jacket, try to throw each other to the ground. If thrown to
the back, victory is declared. If thrown onto the side, points are awarded.
If thrown to the belly, buttocks or weakly onto the side, a lesser point is
given. The action is stopped by the referee and restarted in the standing
position in bounds if either of the contestants goes down to one knee or out
of bounds. Competitors are not allowed to grab the opponent's pants, but are
otherwise free to grip as they please.
This Central Asian sport developed thousands of years ago as a form of
training for fighting, for both self-defence and war. This is reflected in
the rules, where clothing is required which mimics armour or battle-garb,
and where grips on the trousers and ground fighting are banned, since
bending over low or going to the ground make a fighter vulnerable to weapon
thrusts. The emphasis on standing fighting develops strong balance and quick
footwork, which help greatly when fighting with weapons.
Upright grappling was an integral part of ancient and medieval warfare
because most hand to hand weapons needed several feet of space to be
effective to deliver their blows, such as swords and spears. Once within
this range, the warriors were obliged to grapple with each other. The first
one thrown to the ground would, by falling down, create enough space for the
sword or spear of the thrower or another soldier to do its work, and
therefore the fallen fighter would be at great risk of death. This is why
falling to the ground is considered a decisive loss in almost all
traditional wrestling styles around the globe, including Kurash.