Football of Korean Ethnic Group

The Korean people, both men and women, are fond of sports activities. Swinging, Springboard jumping and heel-and-toe waking race with un urn on the head are women items, while football and wrestling are, more often than not, men’s.

Football is the sport that the Korean people revel in and are good at. Yanbian has always been honored as “Land of Football”. In the past, in all the streets and lanes, everywhere in the village, you could see crowds of children playing football. Now, no matter in the city or in the countryside, football fields are constructed in schools, factories and mines as well as many villages. Matches of various forms and scales are held frequently. In the past decades, football teams of varied kinds have borne the palm in national matches for many times.    

Wrestling is an old-line folk sports item among the Korean nationality. It is also named “Wrestling by Lifting up the Counterpart ” or “Trip -and -Fall Wrestling”, and used to be called “Indian Wrestling” or “Ancient Wrestling”. And in Korean it is called “xiyumu”. The Korean wrestling is different from that of the Mongolia, Kazakstan and Yi nationalities. Its most prominent feature is its using of anklets. The anklet is made from flax or white cotton cloth, and about three meters long. Enclose the waist with ninety centimeters of the cloth; bind the rest on the right thigh. The waist must be bound with a cloth waistband of 1.5 meters long. In the match, the right knee of both sides should touch the floor with the left ones bent. Both of them bend forward slightly, their soles covering the floor. They hug each other by the right shoulder, and then seize the other’s anklet with the left hand and seize the other’s waistband with the right hand. The rules of the match are: the referee blows the whistle, and the two sides stand up to compete. In the process of competition, one should not wrench his counterpart’s neck or arms, nor should he hurt his counterpart with his head or fists. If he hurts his rival on purpose, he would be warned to stop it. In serious cases, he would be compelled to exit. But skills such as inner hooked fist, outer hooked fist and having one’s rival on the shoulder are allowed to employ. There is no time limit. The one who makes his rival fall wins. Standard matches usually employ the system of “three sets, two wins”, and have three levels, which are children, youth, and middle-aged levels.

The Korean wrestling has a fairly long history, and has been recorded in varied historical data. In the tumulus of the Koryo Dynasty in Ji’an, Jilin Province, there is a fresco of wrestling, in which two persons are wrestling, with one person presiding the game and crowds of people spectating. It proves that the wrestling game had begun before the 4th century A. D. In the Koryo Dynasty, the champion of wrestling was known as “Hercules”, and was highly praised and honored. The King’s bodyguards “the armored soldiers” used to be selected from the champions. This measure greatly promoted this game’s popularization and development. At present, wrestling has become an athletic game that is favored by the Korean people, especially the young men for competing strength and skills. On festive occasions or during slack seasons in farming, people gather to entertain themselves and contend in wrestling.