Persian Traditional Wrestling

What is it?

Without doubt Iran’s national sport is Koshti (wrestling). From ancient times mankind has practiced wrestling all around the world and of course in Iran. Koshti (Wrestling) is a combat between two people and its basic rule is that whoever succeeds in pinning down their opponent, wins.

Ancient Greek Wrestling

What are Koshti (wrestling) Types?

Different types of Koshti (Wrestling) are practiced in different regions of Iran. There are more similarities noticedbetween them than differences. The most famous type of which is”Zoorkhanei” Koshti. It’s also known as Bastani or Pahlavani. It’s
practiced in a “zoorkhane” (house of strength) and it’s the most advanced type considering the rules and the championships. 
Another noticeable type is “Bachukheh”. It’s said to be the oldest type of Koshti 
(Wrestling) in Iran and is most played in Khorasan, Gorgan and Kerman. It takes place outside and doesn’t have a fixed field. The competitors wear special belts called “Chukheh”. Whoever makes the opponent’s back touch the ground twice, wins the competition.

 “Torkamani” is the third type that we mention here. In this one opponents must just grab each other’s wrest and no other part. Obviously it requires much body strength.

“Gilaki” is the next. This type starts with the two standing far from each other and then approaching
together in particular ways. After that Koshti 
(Wrestling) continues in common ways yet they are not allowed to hit each other with their hands.

Other tyoes of Koshti (Wrestling) are Iliati, Ashirma, Garesh, Lucho, Zuran-Patuleh, Baghal be Baghal, Arabic, Kamarbandi, Lashkarkeshi, Kajgardan, Daste Baghal, Kamari, Jang, Lori and Kurdish.

Pahlavani Wrestling during Qajar era
Bachukheh Wrestling
Torkamani Wrestling
Gilaki Wrestling


Koshti (Wrestling) winners are called “Pahlavan”. A hero who is strong not only on the outside but also on the inside. Ethics have a special position in Koshti. Jahan Pahlavan (World’s champion) Takhti, who won 3 Olympics and 4 world champion medals, is the most  prominent wrestler of Iran. He is highly popular among Iranians, even years after his mysterious death, due to his significant good manners. He truly deserved the word “Pahlavan”.
World Champion Takhti

Current Condition

Nowadays Koshti is the number one sport in Iran. Considering the accomplishment of 38 Olympic medals. Takhti Championship is held in Iran every year. It’s one of the most important wrestling matches that the winners get the opportunity to attend the Olympics and the World Championships.

Iran National Wrestling Team at 2021 World Wrestling Championship

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!