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Gran Canaria

Local Sports

Lucha del Garrote (Pole Fighting)

Canarian herdsman have always made extensive use of poles, using them for support when moving about on difficult terrain and also to defend themselves whenever the circumstances required.

The aim of this form of fighting is to defeat one’s opponent without doing him harm. The most notable aspects of this sport are the unique enganches (techniques for immobilising the opponent’s pole) and revoleadas (creating an opening for attack), the zapatas and trabas that are used to knock one’s opponent over, the manner in which the fighters face each other squarely and the use of a large and solid pole, which is usually as long as the fighter is tall, or sometimes a quarter longer. However, the determining characteristic of this form of fighting is not the size of the poles, but rather the way in which the poles are gripped and wielded.

The main tactic consists of using the pole to cover the body while attacking at the same time, which is why the contenders face each other squarely, this being the most stable and secure position that enables the fighter to protect himself with the pole while being able to make equal use of both ends of the pole for attacking. Two characteristic attacking movements are el braceo and mudar las manos.