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Friday, April 23, 2021

Glima – The Nordic Martial Art Practiced by the Vikings

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What is Glima?

Glima is a Scandinavian martial arts system used by the fearless Vikings. Strength wasn’t the only way to dominate your opponent even though the Vikings were famous for their strength and brute force.

To advance their combat skills and dominate the battlefield, they developed a traditional martial art system that was implemented into their fighting practices.

Glima is a full-contact “sport” or technique that uses strategic positioning and advanced hand and body placement to throw your opponent off the ground.

The focus is to grapple and to overwhelm the enemy. The word Glima means flash or glimpse.

As indicated by the name, the aim was to destroy your opponent in a glimpse of a second.

This martial art was invented in the Icelandic region, which is settled with Vikings from today’s part of Norway.

The techniques include a mixture of techniques such as; throws, locks, and hits.

Glima also covered weapon techniques that were made crucial for Vikings to adopt.

The martial art is well developed and is still commonly practiced in Scandinavia.

Glima in Warfare

The Vikings were mostly farmers and animal breeders but they plundered when times got tough.

This technique was invented by the people and it spread variously when The Viking Age struck.

Both women and men were implementing Glima in their raids.

Glima grew to play a significant part in traditional Viking culture.

Children from the ages of 6 -7 would begin their training and master the Glima craft by the time they reached adolescence.

Types of Glima

Glima has developed in many regions and since, alternative branches of the martial art had formed.

The types of Glima are the following:

  • Brokartok
  • Hryggspenna
  • Lausatok

Glima continues to be a popular martial sport.

Since 1906, an annual Glima championship is held in Norway and continues till the present day.

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