Tuesday, June 5, 2012

VIDEO: Shin-kicking Championships take place in Gloucestershire, England

England, and more specifically the Gloucestershire village of Chipping Campden, has once again welcomed one of its oldest sporting traditions - the Shin-kicking Championships. The competition is part of the Cotswold Olimpicks, a contest which has been running on-and-off since the 1600s. The rules of the game are simple: A match is best of three, and there is no judo style swiping allowed.

All that is required to enter the event is courage, two feet and as much straw as competitors can shove in their trousers to minimise the brutal impact of the blows, say event organisers. The idea is to kick opponents' shins until they are brought down to the ground, the harder the kick the better.

However, James Wiseman, the judge of the competition, says there is more to it than that: "I kind of get quite annoyed when people think that shin kicking is quite literally two guys facing each other and kicking each other as hard as possible in the shins. The easiest ways to describe it is it's a bit like wrestling but with a lot of contact below the knees.

"The idea is really to throw the person to the ground, but to throw the person to the ground you've got to unbalance by kicking them first," he said. The eventual winner was stonemason Zac Warren, 23, from Pershaw, Worcestershire. Other games at the Cotswold Olimpicks included the wheelbarrow race, sack race and tug-of-war. The games were practiced in the 1600s but stopped in 1852. They were revived again in 1965 and now are an annual tradition.

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