National sports of the peoples of Russia

Национальные виды спорта народов России

In our article “National sports of the peoples of Russia” we will look at the top 5 national sports that are popular not only in our country, but also in the world.

National sports in Russia are popular not only in our country, but also outside of it, and come from the old folk fun and traditions.

Top 5 national sports of the peoples of Russia:

  1. Mas-Wrestling
  2. Kuresh
  3. Audaryspak
  4. Weight lifting
  5. Gorodki

Let’s look at the sports a little more closely.


Mas-Wrestling is the national non-contact wrestling of the people of Sakha (Yakutia). The rules of the competition are very simple, the athletes sit with their feet on the divider (stop) and try to take the stick from the hands of an opponent or pull him with it to their side.

Whoever copes with the rival in two rounds is the winner. Mas-Wrestling is popular in many countries. The sport holds world championships to find the strongest mass-wrestlers on the planet and athletes regularly win prizes.


Kuresh wrestling is one of the most ancient sports and is a traditional sport of Turkic peoples. It also has a second name – “belt wrestling”. With the development of the sport the belts were discarded in general but towels were used. Depending on the age of the athletes and national characteristics of the competition rules may differ, but a number of rules are always kept. The goal of the fight is to put the opponent on his shoulder blades.

For each successfully executed hold the judges award the athletes points. Kuresh wrestling ends in the following cases:

  1. Net win;
  2. The advantage of one athlete over the other over 6 points;
  3. Disqualification (suspension) of one or two athletes, or withdrawal due to injury;
  4. Completion of the allotted time for the fight. The winner is determined by the sum of points, and in the case of equality of points, the winner is determined by the last hold performed.
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At the moment Kuresh wrestling competitions are held at the level of world championships. There are 114 member countries in the sport association of Kuresh.


Audaryspak is a competition of riders, known as a sport of Kazakh wrestling, but this wrestling is very different from our usual competitions. In the course of the competition, athletes try to pull each other off the horse with the help of their hands, and the one who can knock the opponent to the ground wins. That’s why in Audaryspak you have to be not only strong and dexterous, but also confidently control the horse.

Kettlebell lifting is a cyclic sport, the essence of which is to repeatedly lift kettlebells in a certain time. The cyclic exercise is performed from a standing position. Kettlebell lifting was officially recognized in 1985, and in 1992 the International Federation was established which includes 56 countries of the world. Kettlebell lifting is widespread and world championships, World Cup and European Championship are held on it. Both men and women take part in the competitions.

Kettlebell lifting
Kettlebell lifting

The competition uses kettlebells weighing 16, 24 and 32 kg in two disciplines.

1) Doubles (lifting kettlebells with two hands simultaneously and one hand without interruption);

2) The jerk of two kettlebells from the chest with the possibility of a small descent.

There are also competitions on power juggling when strongman jugglers spectacularly toss and catch kettlebells under musical accompaniment. And that’s not all. Kettlebells are a very popular apparatus, they are used in many sports due to their convenience and high exercise efficiency.


Gorodki is a Russian folk sports game, which exists for at least 200 years. Gorodok were most widespread during the Soviet era. Nowadays the game is not as popular, but still there are competitions on horodok on different scales.

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According to the rules of the game it is necessary to beat out (break) composed compositions (skittles) with a bat from a distance of 13 and 6,5 meters. Gorodki (pieces) are made in different ways from 5 cylindrical sticks (not more than 20 cm in diameter 4.5-5 cm).

The size of the area, the city, is 2m by 2m. Knock out figures from a distance of 13 meters, which are called “kon”. But if at least one element is knocked out of the figure during a successful throw, the following throws are made from a distance of 6,5 meters, which are called “semi-con”.

The rules of gorodki
The rules of gorodki

There are a total of 15 pieces. Each figure has its own name and is knocked out strictly in order. The first is “Cannon”, the second – “Fork”, the third – “Star”, the fourth – “Arrow”, the fifth – “Well”, the sixth – “Crankshaft”, the seventh – “Artillery”, the eighth – “Racquet”, The ninth is “Machine Gun installation”, the tenth is “Lobster”, the eleventh is “Watchmen”, the twelfth is “Sickle”, the thirteenth is “Shooting gallery”, the fourteenth is “Airplane”, and the fifteenth is “Letter.”

The one who spends the least number of throws to knock out 15 pieces is the winner.

Figures of gorodki
Figures of gorodki

All the national sports of the peoples of Russia listed in the article are fascinating and unique. Each requires a high development of certain physical qualities and motor abilities. But what they all have in common is the participants’ desire to be athletic and healthy. So it does not matter what sport you play or want to play, the main thing is desire and persistence, then you will succeed for sure.

( 24 assessment, average 4.88 from 5 )
Alexander/ author of the article

To become the best, you have to train with the best and perform against the best!

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