So we’ve extreme ironed, played hockey underwater, carried a wife, rolled some cheese, had a pillow fight and now it’s time for today’s bizarre sport- Oil Wrestling. 

Ali Çobanoğlu / Alamy Stock Photo

Ali Çobanoğlu / Alamy Stock Photo

Now this may just sound like a game that some broke students came up with when they got hammered in their flats during lockdown, but it’s a real thing. 

Also referred to as ‘grease wrestling’- this is a Turkish sport where contestants wrestle while covered in oil- but I’m sure you guessed that already- the name is pretty clear just like the lubricant they slather all over themselves pre-fight. 

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to grab someone who is smothered in the slippy stuff- but it’s quite difficult and so this sport requires a lot of skill. 

Contestants are able to grab onto the ‘kisbet’ or long, loose fitting pants of their opponent which gives them a better hold to push one other to the ground. An unfortunate side effect of this is that often participants will moon the crowd as they yank on each other’s kegs. 

When Oil Wrestling was first introduced, the powers that be decided that it was to have no end point should neither participant fall to their backs. So, this meant that contests could go on for one or even two days! Can you imagine? What if one of them needed a loo break?! Or a snack?! It doesn't bear thinking about. 

They realised that this wasn’t sustainable (shocking) and capped it at 40 minutes at masters level and 30 minutes for the youngsters, which seems much more reasonable. 

These contests have been traced back to 1346 making it the world’s oldest continuously running sanctioned sporting competition… In fact those who didn’t get the memo about the 40 minute cap may still be found fighting all across the globe now. 

The loser is the person who ends up with their back on the deck AKA ‘showing belly to the stars’ and the winner is crowned if they can pick up their opponent and spin them around or carry them for three steps. With that said, if whilst being tossed over a shoulder the loser manages to whip down the pants of the winner to reveal their private parts, they automatically lose their prize (and let’s be honest- their dignity too). 

The kind of oil applied today isn’t specified but it used to be olive. Here’s hoping they don’t move over to the coconut variety because that stuff’s expensive and the women folk need it to remove make-up, moisturise, heal split ends and such. 

So if your thing is to watch two men in shiny pants grease up their six packs and tussle around on some grass, why not check out Oil Wrestling? Maybe you fancy getting all greasy yourself! At the very least you will go home with softer skin… and something to fry your chips in for tea. 

RELATED: Bizarre sports from around the world: Pillow Fighting

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