Gyulesh – Traditional Azerbaijani wrestling.

Gyulesh matches start with a unique ritual, known as meydan gazmek, which serves as a warm-up and greeting. The athletes complete swing their arms up and down as they walk along the edge of the wrestling arena, in time with the sound of drums and zurna. Then wrestlers touch shoulders three times as a sign of respect and polite greeting. The athletes are dressed in loose patterned trousers, tied off with a belt.

The goal of gyulesh is to throw one’s opponent on their shoulders, and wrestlers complete this with a series of holds, grips, and throws. Earlier, gyulesh wrestlers, known as pekhlevans, used to wear mirrors on their knees to show that they never touched the ground.
Bouts are full of interesting throws and holds, which makes it interesting to watch, and such competitions are regularly held across Azerbaijan. This event has become a large part of Azerbaijani culture, combining sports and music.


GYULESH – national wrestling (Republic of Azerbaijan).

Composition of the team – 4 people: 3 athletes, 1 coach.

Athletes older than 18 are allowed to take part in the competitions. The competitions are held among men (free style). In all weight categories a maximum of 1 athlete is allowed. Weight categories:
– up to 60 kg, up to 80 kg, absolute weight category.

Competitions are held under the current rules of the National Gulesh Federation of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The winner in the absolute weight category has the right to take part in the Great Nomad Wrestling.

Download: competition rules of Gyulesh