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Canary wrestling

Canarian Wrestling

Canarian wrestling is the vernacular Canarian sport and has been practiced on the eight islands since the 15th century. The rules are simple: two rivals face each other on a circular surface of sand, with the sole purpose of knocking the other down; always using skill and ingenuity rather than brute force. He highlights the beauty of his technique (‘mañas’) and the nobility of his spirit. The best athletes are called ‘chickens’.

We have the first knowledge of this sport through the chroniclers who arrived at the time of the conquest of the archipelago. According to these historians, the Guanches resolved their differences by challenging each other to fight, showing nobility, art, strength and courage. The vanquished always respected the word of the rival.

The fight has been an essential part of the festivals of the towns with great tradition and relevance in the municipality of Tías, cradle of great fighters. The clothing known as “roba de brega” consists of loose shorts, rolled up to the middle of the thigh to facilitate the opponent’s grip, and a short-sleeved shirt. The terreiro is a circular space, with a jable floor, where the grab or fight takes place. In the municipality of Tías we have one, the Ulpiano Rodríguez Pérez Wrestling Ground, home of the Unión Sur Tías Wrestling Club. The fight consists of knocking down the opponent and touching the sand with any part of the body other than the feet. To do this, the wrestlers use various techniques or tricks with peculiar names such as burra, cango, chascona pardelera, empty, missteps, thigh grabbing, raised, etc. The teams are made up of 12 fighters who are disqualified when they fall twice. Each wrestler scores one point. The props are those fighters who, due to their technique or strength, reinforce the teams having to knock down more than one opponent per fight.


In case someone would like to attend a fight, you can see calendars and where it is disputed.