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Pehlwani - Indian Wrestling

Pehlwani (also called kushti) is a type of wrestling which originated in India and other areas of south Asia which consist of aspects from two other traditional forms of wrestling, mall-yuddha and koshti pahlavani.

Most moves that are part of major forms of wrestling today, like pins, locks, throws, and submission holds, are present in pehlwani. Strikes and kick are not permitted. The most commonly used moves are the shoulder throw and strangle pin.

Fights are conducted on circular shaped area that is 14ft in diameter. The surface is a dirt floor with loose sand cover to prevent injuries. The duration of a fight is decided before the start of the fight. Most fights are usually for 25-30 minutes, and can additionally be extend for another 10-15 minutes.

Pehlwani - Indian WrestlingWrestlers in Hyderabad, India in the 1870s

A wrestler can win the fight outright by simultaneously pinning both the shoulders and the hips on to the ground. Fights can also be won by a knockout, referee stoppage or submission. There are variations of Pehlwani where outright wins can be achieved by just pinning the shoulders onto the ground. In case where an outright winner does not emerge, the judges decide the winner of the fight.

There are no officially sanctioned competitions; fights are usually conducted in villages as part of festive celebrations.

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