Old Norse Tricks Used in Glima Competitions

Old Norse Tricks Used in Glima Competitions

Glima is the traditional name that encompasses many different forms of Nordic folk fighting and wrestling practised primarily as combative sport and street combat. In one typical form of glima, competitors grip each other by the waist and actively attempt to throw each other to the mat using brute force rather than technique. The other variations allow for more creativity. However, most matches are still fairly one-sided, with one wrestler standing toe to toe with the opposition. This is a general characteristic of many glima styles.


To train in climax, it’s essential to have mastered basic correct wrestling techniques such as grabs, arm bars, knees, kicks, punches, and holds. Correcting these areas of strength requires the assistance of a partner who has knowledge of these natural functions of the body, as well as some specific training in grappling and striking. Many combatives coaches encourage their athletes to learn and perfect these skills and techniques with partners so they can practice what they’ve learned in the safety and security of their home. This way, the trainee can then use this learned information in a real-life situation. Glima also teaches participants how to defend themselves from attacks, using techniques such as throws, kicks, punches, elbows, and blocks. By studying gamma basics, participants gain a thorough understanding of how to deal with a number of different situations.

As you might imagine, the conditions which Glima practitioners find themselves in the ring (or cage) are quite extreme and challenging. The primary contact in glima is made with the bare hands and feet, and all motions must be performed entirely using the feet. This intense level of fitness allows the participant to be agile, flexible, and highly conditioned. No wonder, then, that participants in Iceland, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Russia, and numerous other countries take up this exciting sport.

One of the key elements of Glima training is learning how to protect yourself.

In addition to learning the moves, a student needs to understand and be able to defend himself in the ring. Glima workouts and fights are brutal affairs, and participants are expected to be able to survive them. As such, the student needs to know how to take damage and stand up for oneself. The more seriously a student takes the daily life and principles of the sport, the more quickly he or she will learn and apply the skills learned in a real-life combat situation.

Glima also focuses on proper body mechanics, including proper posture and the placement of one’s feet. When taking up this sport, one is expected to know where one’s feet should be in order to avoid being thrown, how to get out from underneath someone, and what to do when a takedown is inevitable. All of these techniques are part of traditional wrestling, but they are executed with a lot more force and emphasis when practiced in the ring. Glima students are taught to think quickly on their feet and when to be quiet and controlled while in a fight. Learning to properly position oneself is essential to learning the finer points of a gamma match.

Another important skill learned during a typical glima class is strategy.

Studying ancient Scandinavian literature and learning how to interpret the fables associated with the sport helps to teach a student how to strategize in modern day. The intricacies of strategy can be understood only after the entire sport has been studied and only then can the true strategies behind it be understood. While a student may not enjoy the strategy of old Norse, he or she will still benefit from learning it. Modern-day climb fighters still use some of the ancient styles and methods as a way of preparing themselves for their matches.

While many people mistakenly think that glimming means swimming, the old Icelandic word fang actually signifies the wrestling moves taught to wrestlers. While both moves share some similarities, fang wrestling is a lot more brutal than just plain swimming, and the same can be said of glimming. A good example of a fang move is the famous hammering, which was originally used to break down an opponent.

One of the oldest tricks in Glima history comes from a contest held about five hundred years ago between the Viking navy and the English navy. During this battle, which took place in the Caspian Sea, both sides practiced opening and closing gestures with their hands. They also performed several circular movement and slipping punches with their mitts. Glima professionals have proven that the circular motion and slipping punches were far more effective than the normal opening and closing gestures of wrestlers. Many matches afterwards were won by utilizing this technique.

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