Unraveling the Ancient Art of Glima: Wrestling with Viking Legacy!

AUGUST 24, 2023


Picture this: a Viking, not just brandishing a mighty sword or axe, but also locked in a fierce wrestling duel. This is the mesmerizing world of Glima wrestling! It's akin to finding out your medieval hero possesses a secret flair for acrobatics – both surprising and utterly enthralling.

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The Vikings' Hidden Gem: Glima Wrestling

While the Vikings are celebrated for their maritime conquests, their athletic prowess often goes unnoticed. Glima wrestling stands as a testament to this, a unique blend of combat and dance. While their weapon mastery is legendary, Glima highlights their adaptability in a different domain – one filled with intricate throws, holds, and grappling techniques that could give modern-day wrestling a run for its money.

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Glima: The Name That Glitters with History

Feel the pulse of the Viking era during a Glima bout. "Glima" isn't merely a term; it's a window into their realm. Derived from Old Norse, it translates to "to flash" or "to glance," aptly describing the rapid and striking moves that characterize this martial form. Picture Vikings, in their iconic attire and unwavering spirit, partaking in Glima matches amidst grand feasts, their gaze shimmering with zeal.

Glima in Iceland: Shattering Norms and Stereotypes

Journey with us to Iceland, where Glima evolved into a cultural sensation. Contrary to popular belief, Glima wasn't exclusive to robust Viking men. It broke gender barriers, attracting both males and females to its exhilarating embrace. More than just a sport, Glima epitomized the Viking ethos. And here's a revelation: legends suggest that Viking warriors held covert Glima sessions, using them as a secret weapon to hone their fighting prowess. Such was their commitment!

Glima through History: From Legends to Realities

While Glima's heritage is undeniably profound, concrete historical accounts of individual practitioners remain scarce. Most of what we know is transmitted through oral tales, folklore, and archaeological evidence. This oral nature of Glima's chronicles makes it tough to ascertain specific names and dates. However, the narratives of Glima's influence on Viking society, passed down over centuries, offer a colorful insight into its importance.

Glima in Pop Culture: The Fist Fights of Vikings

Hold onto your helmets, Viking aficionados! We've been eagerly tuning into our favorite Viking-themed shows, waiting for that authentic Glima combat to grace our screens. But, alas, Hollywood seems to have taken a detour. Ever get that feeling that the fistfights in "Vikings" and "Vikings: Valhalla" feel a tad... modern-day MMA?

Harold's Intense Brawl - "Vikings: Valhalla Season 2, Episode 2"

Alright, folks, pop some popcorn and check out Harold's intense brawl in this episode. It's so gripping, you'd think he's auditioning for the next action hero! But while he's flexing those Viking muscles, the scene seems to sidestep the true Glima groove. And hey, does this tussle remind anyone else of a WWA match? Just us?

Adrenaline-Pumping Clash - "Vikings TV series, Season 3, Episode 5"

Buckle up for Bjorn and Rollo's face-off! This isn't just a fight; it's a Viking spectacle! But while they're serving us some serious drama, the Glima moves seem to be on vacation. And the hair pulling? Perhaps it's their way of saying, "Nice braid, bro!"

The Authentic Art of Glima: A Swedish Masterclass

Setting the jokes aside for a moment, dive into this enlightening Glima training video led by a seasoned Swedish instructor. In this teaser, he gracefully demonstrates the foundational techniques of Combat Glima: HANDVÖRN (blocking), TÖK (gripping), BRAGĐ (throwing), and DRÆPA (finishing). Contrast this with the TV show clips you've just seen. This, shield-bearers and axe-wielders, is the genuine Glima that should've graced our screens!

Glima Today: Ancient Art Meets Modern Passion

In today's world, Glima's allure remains undiminished. Delve into a captivating documentary featuring a modern-day Glima champion, Bjørn Braathen, hailing from Norway. Observe how Glima's core remains intact, merging age-old techniques with a contemporary flair. It feels like witnessing a Viking epic come alive – but with moves and tactics from Bjørn that could outshine any blockbuster action scene.

Glima Meets UFC: A Hypothetical Showdown

Now, we can already sense that some of you might be letting your imaginations run wild. What if a Glima martial arts fighter were to step into the UFC octagon? Would the ancient techniques of the Vikings stand a chance against modern mixed martial arts? Let's indulge our curiosity and envision this hypothetical scenario.

Picture this: The arena is filled with roaring fans, the lights dim, and out walks a fighter, not in the usual UFC gear, but adorned in traditional Viking attire. His presence is commanding, his gaze unwavering. This is no ordinary fighter; this is a Glima champion, a master of the ancient Viking martial art. As he steps into the octagon, there's a palpable tension in the air. His opponent, a top-ranked UFC fighter, looks on, a mix of curiosity and determination in his eyes.

The bell rings, and the match begins. The UFC fighter, relying on his training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Boxing, moves swiftly, launching a series of strikes. But the Glima champion, with his deep understanding of balance and leverage, dodges and parries, using his opponent's momentum against him. The crowd is in awe as they witness moves they've never seen before: swift throws, intricate holds, and grappling techniques that seem to come straight out of the Viking age.

As the rounds progress, it becomes clear that while the Glima fighter's techniques are unique and effective, the UFC fighter's diverse training gives him an edge in striking and ground combat. The match is intense, with both fighters showcasing their skills and determination.

In the end, while the Glima champion puts up an impressive fight, the versatility and comprehensive training of the UFC fighter prevail. However, the match is celebrated not for its outcome but for its display of the rich heritage of Glima and its place in the world of martial arts. The crowd leaves with a newfound appreciation for Viking history and the ancient art of Glima.

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