Extracted and Edited from A History of Glima by Master Tyr Neilson
The earliest introduction to Viking wrestling is found in the myth of the god, Thor, and his journey to Utgard Loki, as it is told in ancient Viking poetry from the 9th century, by Bragi Hinn Gamli Boddason (790-850) and Kveldúlfr Bjálfason (820-878), both of Norwegian ancestry. Thor’s wrestling match is a highlight in this story, and the name of a Glima technique is mentioned.
Throughout history, survival fighting skills have been developed all over the world, including hand-to-hand combat, designed for warfare situations when a warrior lost their weapon. Disarmed, a warrior could use his striking and wrestling skills for attack and defense or to hurt or kill an opponent. The most effective way for the weaponless warrior to defend themselves, and attack, was by striking, seizing, off-balancing, and tripping or throwing the opponent to the ground.
These martial techniques often included many varied and different wrestling skills. Over time these became traditional wrestling, which not only kept people fit and strong, but also eventually became a source of entertainment, pleasure and play.
At Ulfdethinn Glima Hall, we practice the Lausatök form of both Sport Glima and Combat Glima