The principal holds of the yagli gures
The Principal Holds Of The Yagli Gures Oil-Wrestling Takes Place Either Standing Or Lying. In Both Cases Contestants Have The Use Of Holds Enabling Them To Either Attack Or Defend.
KIL«IK OYNUNA GIRMEK
ELENSE DIS TIRPAN
Peshrev, a Persian word whose literal meaning is "walk forward", is used to describe the ritual movements that precede each bout of oil wrestling. Initially these movements allowed the contestants to warm up before the fight and to concentrate their minds on the coming combat.
Over the years it has been transformed into a rhythmical ballet, which highlights the bonds that unite the pelhivans. To perform the Peshrev the contestants line up side by side. To the rhythm of the davuls and zurnas they slap their thighs and advance, swinging their arms and legs in time to the music.
These choreographed movements are also accompanied by symbolic gestures: they kneel on their left knee while describing circles with their right hand from the ground to their knee.
After briefly touching their belly, their mouth and their forehead with the fingers of their right hand, they stretch their arm up to heaven as homage to Allah. During this dance the members of the audience will cry out "Haydi bre pelhivan!" to encourage their favourite wrestler.
The combat begins in the centre of the arena with the El Ense or neck-hold.
The method of applying the oil
The combination of the oil and massage softens the tensions in the fighters' muscles and liberates their spirit. Before each bout the pelhivans rub their bodies with an emulsion of olive oil and water that makes it extremely difficult to maintain a hold. According to
tradition they first oil, with their right hand, their left shoulder, chest, arm and the inside and outside of their kispet. They then repeat the operation with their left hand.
Throughout the combat the yagcis, or oilers, stand ready around the arena. When they consider it necessary they pour more oil on the contestants from their white-metal jugs.
The kispet is the short leather trouser worn by the pelhivans. This traditional item, made from buffalo leather is both supple and very tough. To make one requires 58 metres of thread and it can weigh up to 13 kgs. It allows the wrestler to take hold of his adversary.
The pelhivans take great care of these items and inspect them carefully before each bout.
They know that the kispet can either be their greatest ally or can betray them.
They have learnt that, in order to be victorious, wrestler and kispet must work in perfect harmony. It is perhaps for that reason that each kispet is proudly inscribed with the wrestler's name.
Without the Cazgir the art of oil wrestling would not be the same! You have to witness the way he retraces the career and exploits of each combatant; he plays with words, builds rhyme upon rhyme.
He's a presenter, a narrator and a poet who, through his rhyming couplets and extravagant praise, lights a fire in the belly of the audience and fills the hearts of the pelhivans with pride.
The Cazgir is also the Master of Ceremonies and it is only when he has finished relating the exploits of each contestant and finished with the cry "May Allah guide you to victory!" that the pelhivans begin the competition.