European Traditional Sports and Games Association

Publication of a book on “COLLAR & ELBOW”, the traditional wrestling of Ireland

by Biel Pubill Soler in Books, Publicaciones

Author of the article: Guy Jaouen

The author is Ruadhan MacFadden, an Irish independent researcher in cultural anthropology who has practiced many martial arts. This 216-page English-language book explores the history of the Collar and Elbow style, its popularity in the 19th century, its strategies and techniques, how it was deeply integrated into rural communities in Ireland (see table of contents).

The Collar & Elbow style is quite similar to the Cornish wrestling of South West England and many accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries refer to encounters between wrestlers from both territories. Others also refer to the participation of Irish wrestlers in Cornish wrestling matches held in London in the mid-19th century, when the style was very popular. More in relation to our time, the book also questions the reader on the possibility of instigating a revival of this style in Ireland and throughout the Irish diaspora at the global level as it is in fact the objective of Ruadhan MacFadden and his team. Several clubs already exist in Ireland, England, Germany and USA with the idea of ​​being able to form a small federation.


The world of traditional wrestling styles can only be satisfied with a new interest in these practices from cultural tradition. In Serbia, the wrestling Rvanje u Koštac (very similar to Scottish Back-Hold) is also working towards developing the style at national level. To order the book (22 € + 8 € transport):




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