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Glima - Scandinavian Wrestling

Glima is a Scandinavian martial art which was used by the Vikings 120 years ago. In Old Norse, glima means glimpse or flash, which describes the techniques used. Glima techniques includes throws, blows, kicks, chokes, locks, pain techniques and weapon techniques.

Glima was the most popular sport during the Viking Age. Both men and women participated in the sport. Glima as a sport has several types; Brokatrok, Hyrgspenna, and Lausatok.

Brokatok is the most widespread among the types of glima in Iceland. Brokatok is more focussed on strength. The two wrestlers wear a special belt around their waist, they also have belts on their thighs and on each leg.

olympic Glima demonstration Glima Demonstration at the 1912 Olympic Games.

Hyrgspenna or backhold wrestling is similar to other types of wrestling. Hyrgspenna is more of a test of strength. In this type of glima, the participants take hold of each other’s body, and whoever touches the ground with any part of the body except the feet, will lose.

Lausatok, which is also called loose-grip or free-grip, is quite aggressive compared to the other types of glima. All kinds of wrestling techniques are allowed. 

Glima was a demonstration sport at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games.

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