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You can choose from grab-a-carcass with Bouzkachi, fight while a little drunk with Zui Quan or run a gauntlet with your sweetheart on your back.

To the Extreme

Get in touch with your inner daredevil

By Jason Santerre

Goat Games
Buzkashi, the name of Afghanistan’s national sport, translates into something like goat grabbing. Laugh if you must, but here is a sport with centuries’ worth of history played by men who are more warrior than athlete. The object of the game is to do just as the name implies: grab a goat. Don’t worry, it’s very much dead. Now carry the goat carcass across the goal line. Sounds easy enough. But sounds are deceiving. Not only must you carry said lifeless form you must do so with your legs while riding horseback and with several other riders trying many tricks to get your goat.

To outsiders, Buzkashi looks like something out of a historical film about the life and times of Genghis Khan. Makes sense. The sport’s roots run deep in warfare and cavalry-training techniques. Riders must be in fine shape and horses must be of a certain breed to handle the close encounters and spirited melees. If you like horses as much as trying something taxing and new, this might be the sport for you.

Punch Drunk
Just when you thought you had heard and seen it all, along comes Zui Quan, otherwise known as drunken boxing. Practitioners actually stutter-step, waddle, sway to and fro, and fall down like a sailor stumbling out of the saloon after six weeks at sea.

But these seemingly unsteady and unfocussed movements are Zui Quan’s secrets to success. A fighter must keep a clear mind in order to conceal combative strikes in a drunkard-like motion. Confusing the opponent is key to winning the upper hand. To witness a fine display of Zui Quan, watch the 1978 Hong Kong martial arts film, Drunken Master starring a very young and very sober Jackie Chan.

Fins at the Finnish Line
Looking for a sport that you and the wife can do together? Give Wife Carrying a shot. Test your strength and your marriage. Originating out of Finland some time during the 19th century, Wife Carrying’s origins are up for debate. Most theories include plenty of beer and bad decisions. But the past is the past.

Today, there’s a Wife Carrying Championship held every year at Sunday River Resort in Maine. There is no restriction on how the female teammate is carried. The most popular is the “Estonian Carry” whereby wifey hangs upside down with her legs passing over hubby’s shoulders and using her arms to hold onto his waist.

A big breakfast is discouraged since the 254-meter course typically includes two dry obstacles, a water obstacle, and uneven ground with changes in elevation. Competitors run a course two at a time in initial heats. The two fastest teams qualify for a final heat. If a competitor drops his teammate, the team gets five seconds added to their time. If your marriage survives the course, it can probably survive anything. Victory!

 

Fall 2016, Vol 8 N°4

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