Jallikattu – India’s Answer to Spanish Bullfighting

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In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, people don’t need red capes and sharp swords to tame bulls, they do it with their bare hands, in a sport called Jallikkattu.

The ancient sport of Jallikattu pits crowds of brave young men against angry bulls who will tear anyone apart, if they get in the way. The name of the sport comes from the words “salli”, which translates as “coin”, and “kadu”, which means tying the coin to the horns of the raging bull. The goal of Jallikattu players is to tame the bull long enough to claim the prize.

But that’s is a lot harder than it sounds, especially since the bulls used for Jallikattu are extremely aggressive, and the players aren’t allowed to defend themselves with anything else but their bare hands. The bravest of the young men will try to grab the hump of the bull, and hang on, while the beast will most often grab him with its long horns and plunge him into the ground.

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Quidditch Becomes Top University Sport in America

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What started out as a silly dorm sport has now become a national phenomenon, with over 400 registered Quidditch teams, all over the country.

Should the lack of real magical powers prevent us from playing the fun sport we discovered in the wonderful world of Harry Potter? “Hell no!” said the students of America, who put a broom between their legs and started chasing each other across the field, trying to score points.

Muggle Quidditch follows the main rules, described in J.K. Rowling’s book, apart from the flying part, of course. Teams are made up of seven players: three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker. Chasers try to throw the ball through one of the three hoops, while trying to avoid bludgers and dodgeballs, thrown by beaters. If they’re hit, they must drop the quaffle. Keepers guard the hoops, while seekers have to catch the snitch, a tennis ball wrapped in a sock and hanging by a person’s waist (usually a really fast dude dressed in gold). The catching of the snitch adds an extra 30 points, and ends the game.

Quidditch players should keep the broom between their legs, at all times, or they are penalized with yellow and red wands. It’s a bit harder than it sounds, but people find Muggle Quidditch an intense and enjoyable game. Even prestigious universities like Harvard and Standford have their own Quidditch teams.

via Daily Mail

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Mallakhamb – Extreme Indian Pole Dancing

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Modern pole-dancing may be attractive to look-at, but in terms of difficulty, it’s nothing to the old Indian sport of Mallakhamb.

Mallakhamb originated in Maharastra, India, during the 12th century, as a form of training for wrestlers. The word “Malla” means wrestler, while “khamb” translates as pole. This old art had almost been lost throughout the centuries, but it’s become increasingly popular, in recent years, mainly due to the efforts of coaches like Uday Deshpande.

The sport of Mallkhamb has athletes climb up a wooden pole, 55 cm in diameter,at the base, and 35, at the top, and perform various poses and feats. The pole is most often made of teak, because of its sturdiness, and before exercises begin, it’s rubbed with castor oil, to prevent friction.

Even though Mallakhamb is yet to be recognized as an official sport, in India, it has been embraced by visually-impaired boys. This art is about feeling and understanding the strength and balance of one’s body, and that’s why blind Mallakhamb athletes are just as good as those with perfect eyesight.

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Sujet Salee – Thailand’s Blind Boxing Champion

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Sujet Salee is a 29-year-old Thai boxer who fought his way to becoming a champion, despite being blind, since birth.

Sujet began his boxing career in October of 2008 and since ten has won 5 fights and drew once. He fights against other boxers, who are blindfolded to even the scales. According to his trainers, Sujet Salee has an edge over his opponents, because of his heightened remaining senses. As soon as he makes contact with his opponent he begins attacking, often knocking him down with an elbow hit.

The blind champion’s father was a Muay Thai fighter, and, in spite of his handicap, Sujet wanted to walk in his footsteps. At first, he admits he didn’t think he could handle it, but after years of training, he has become a season fighter, able to fight anyone in a match of blind Thai boxing.

Cherdchai Sangketkij, owner of the boxing camp where Sujet Salee trains, has been blind for 20 years, and understands Sujet’s desire to succeed. He hopes, one day blind, Thai boxing will become a national sport for the blind, and not be perceived as a violation of the rights of the handicapped.

Photos by REUTERS via Reuters

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Soccer Tournament for the Blind

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If you thought there was no way blind people could play soccer, think again. There are even official soccer tournaments for the blind, held between national teams.

The latest tournament took place in the Sokolniki district of Moscow. Four international teams gathered for a series of matches “in the dark”. It’s hard to understand how you can play a game like soccer without seeing a thing. All the players, with different degrees of blindness, have their eyes stuck shut with a kind of band-aid and covered with a night mask that provides protection and puts them all on equal footing.

But just because their vision is impaired, doesn’t mean they can’t use their other senses to coordinate. Their developed hearing helps them locate the ball and their team-mates and guides them towards the opposite goal. The ball itself is not the kind used in normal soccer matches, it’s a lot heavier, doesn’t bounce and produces a rattle noise to alert the players to its location.

The game lasts for two 25-minute halves, in which the players, guided by their coaches and team-guides, people who sit behind opposite goal and direct players on how to approach and score. One of the most interesting things about soccer for the blind is the goalkeepers aren’t blindfolded, so they can see where the ball is going. Still, goals are scored regularly, unlike in the Eton Wall Game.

Don’t imagine the game looks anything like the normal soccer games, the players hardly ever pass long or use their heads, they mainly stick to dribbling, short passing and shooting at the goal.

Photos via Drugoi

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Unicycle Sports Performed at UNICON 2010

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Over 650 unicyclists from 23 countries, and even more spectators gathered in Wellington, New Zealand, for the 15th 15th International Unicycle World Championships and Convention (UNICON XV).

UNICON is held every two years and welcomes anyone who can ride a one wheeled-bicycle. This year, the 10 day event took place between December 27, 2009 and January 7 2010 and hosted  all sorts of fun competition, performed on unicycles, of course. There were 30 different events, of which the most interesting were MUni (mountain-uni-cycling), Road Racing, Track and Field, Unicycle Hockey and Unicycle Basketball.

Yup, basketball and hockey played while riding a unicycle. Maybe you’ve seen this kind of display before, but it’s definitely new to me. I found some photos from UNICON 2010 and added a couple of videos, so you can better understand the game.

I guess these fall in the same weird category as underwater rugby.

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Boxing on Floating Ice

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Boxing in the hockey ring seems dangerous enough, but the Chinese take it one step further.

Wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and sneakers, a group of winter swimmers entertained passers-by during a series of boxing matches performed on a block of floating ice. Held in Harbin City, the wacky competition had contestants punch each other with over sized boxing gloves while struggling to keep their balance on the slippery ice.

One of the ice boxers lost his temper when the referee tried to stop him from hitting his downed opponent and knocked the “official” in the ice-cold water surrounding the ring.

It’s a crazy event, but the Chinese don’t even come close to the neon-fighting Japanese.

via ImagineChina

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The Eton Wall Game

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From the country that brought us rugby and soccer comes one of the oldest, hardest and weirdest ball games in the world, the Eton Wall Game.

It’s not clear when the Eton Wall Game was invented, but the first recording of a game dates back to 1766. Its rules were changed several times up to 1849, but have remained unchanged ever since. The game originated at Eton college, along a slightly crooked brick wall, built in 1717. The most important game is played on St. Andrew’s Day, between a team of Collegers and Oppidants.

People kicking a ball along a brick wall sounds a little like soccer, but the 5-meters wide, 110-meters-long pitch makes the Eton Wall Game special. Each ten-player team tries to get the ball to the far end of the opposite side and score a goal, without handling the ball, hold or hit their opponents or get caught offside. As you can imagine, scoring a goal under these conditions can be rather difficult. In fact, the last one was scored 100 years ago, in 1909.

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Matthias Schlitte – The Real Life Popeye

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22-year-old Matthias Schlitte began practicing arm-wrestling when he was just 16 years old and since then has been training only his right arm muscles.

The first time I’ve seen photos of Matthias, I thought he had some sort of weird medical condition, but it turns out not only is the guy perfectly healthy, he’s also a young body-building champion. Sure’ he’s not the first one and I bet he won’t be the last, but what makes him stand up in a crowd is his incredibly large right arm.

Matthias’ right forearm measures almost 18 inches in circumference, while his left one is all skinny, just like the rest of the bodybuilder. That’s actually one of his hidden weapons, opponents see his slim figure and underestimate him. But when his Popeye arm does its thing, they look at him with a lot more respect.

via Daily Mail

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Pogo-Stick Master Rises to New Heights

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Fred Crzybowski, a 20-year-old from Los Angeles, is known as “the Tony Hawk of the pogo world” for the extreme pogo-stick jumps he can perform.

Fred, who started using a pogo-stick at the age of eight, is the current record holder for the most consecutive backflips, which stands at nine. He has appeared in motion pictures like Mister Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and hopes he will get new gigs in television and movies.

This young pogo-stick master‘s dream is to bring pogo-stick jumping at the same level as other extreme sports like skateboarding or rollerblading. He says technology has made significant improvements and pogo-sticks are no longer just toys, but powerful tools that can help jumpers perform serious stunts. He uses a Flybar pogo-stick, designed by SBI Enterprises, that can lift a 250-pound man five feet in the air, but he gets way more out of it.

Like all extreme performers he has had his share of accidents, including a split lip that took 30 stitches to repair. But that won’t stop him from jumping over cars, staircases or other obstacles, any time soon.

Photos by AUSTIN HARGRAVE/BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Bloody Nipples Gallery

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If you’re a runner, you probably already know about the issue of nipple bleeding, but for people like me, who only run when they’re being chased, this is new.

I stumbled across this set of photos on Unknown Highway, one of  my favorite sites, and thought I’d investigate further to find out what exactly makes men’s nipples bleed during marathons. After a bit of reading I learned not to ever run for miles, dressed in a cotton shirt.

Apparently, cotton and sweat just don’t make a good team. After you run a few miles, you start to sweat a lot and the cotton absorbs the sweat and gets heavier and heavier. That’s when it starts to act like sandpaper against your sensitive nipples. So, if you want to run in a marathon make sure you’re wearing something made out of light-weight material, like a CoolMax t-shirt.

If you don’t have anything else but cotton t-shirts, run shirtless. It’s better for people to see your belly wiggling that to see your nipples bleeding, trust me. Also, I know this sounds a bit kinky, but you might want to rub a bit of Vaseline or other lubricant on your nipples, before a race.

Here are some of example of bloody nipples horror:

Photos via Flickr

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World Belly Board Championships in Cornwall

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More than one hundred belly surfers from all over the world gathered in Cornwall, Britain, for the annual World Belly Board Championships.

You might be surprised to know surfing wasn’t always about standing up on the board and riding the waves. British surfers practiced the sport on their bellies, using short wooden planks, over one century ago. On September 6, 2009 belly surfers from as far as Australia and America gathered in Cornwall for the annual charity event for the National Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The World Belly Board Championships began back in 2002 as a way to commemorate the beginnings of British surfing.

Cornwall has been the main surfing area in Britain and it’s recognized as the first place where a British surfer actually stood up on a surf board. The first photographic evidence of this dates back to 1929.

Photos by Matt Cardy/Getty Images Europe

via Zimbio

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Sauna World Championship 2009

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Yes, believe it or not, there is such a competition as Sauna World Championship.

Held in Heinola, Finland, the Sauna World Championship brings together around 200 competitors from all around the world. These hot heads can withstand sauna temperatures of 100 degrees Celsius.

Inaugurated in 1999, this crazy competition has both a men’s and women’s challenge. The Finish men have proven unbeatable every year since the 1999, while women from Belarus and Russia managed to steal the trophy on a number of occasions.

The rules of the Sauna World Championship are simple. Contestants, dressed in just their bathing suits, go inside a steaming sauna and have to stay there for as long as they can. As water is thrown over the stove, temperatures reach 110 degrees Celsius. The last contestant to leave the sauna, on his own two feet, is declared the winner.

This year the men’s title went to veteran Timo Kaukonen, and the women’s trophy was snatched by Russian Tatyana Arkhipenko.

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Underwater Rugby – A Tough Sport

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Bord of just swimming and diving for no reason, the Germans came up with a sport that spices things up, underwater rugby.

Never thought a game like rugby could be played underwater, did you? To tell you the truth I didn’t imagine it either, but this goes to show you anything is possible. Underwater rugby is pretty simple, teams of 12 (of which 6 can be in the water at a time) battle to get a ball into two metal baskets, set at opposite sides of the pool.

The ball is filled with a saline solution, which makes it heavier than normal water and slowly sinks instead of rising to the surface. This allows strong players to throw and pass it for a few meters, despite the drag of the water. There aren’t many rules in this sport, players have to stop opponents from scoring, at any costs. It’s even permitted to sit in the basket to block a player from scoring, but if you can’t hold your breath long enough, you’ll have to go up for air and leave the “goal” exposed.

Check out the short video at the bottom, to get an idea of how underwater rugby is played and head over to uwsport.de, for more details on the sport.

via Yofavo

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Meet the World’s Youngest Sharpshooter

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At just six years of age, Miko Andres can proudly call himself the youngest gun in the west…although he lives in the Philippines.

Miko handles his Colt 1911 handgun with impressive ease, loading, aiming at shooting it like this is what he was born to do. The six year-old took-up practical shooting at the beginning of 2009 and now he travels the country, participating in competition against 9-17 year-olds.

Miko’s father says he is aware of the dangers his young sun is facing by handling a gun loaded with live ammo, but says the boy’s safety is his primary concern. He also wants to introduce the world to Miko’s talent by bringing him to America to compete in international shooting events.

via Telegraph.co.uk

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