Schwingen


Description

"Schwingen" is a form of wrestling native to Switzerland. The two opponents, usually men though an increasing number of women now take part, make their way to a sawdust-covered ring. The aim is to throw the other wrestler on to his back through a series of holds and nifty footwork. The wrestlers wear special wrestling shorts over their trousers. These are made from coarse drill and fastened with a leather belt. Before the duel begins, each wrestler grabs the back of his opponent’s belt, only loosening his grip once the match is over. The winner is the wrestler who manages to throw his opponent down so that both shoulder blades or back are completely touching the ground. The best "Schwinger" are known as “Die Bösen” (bad guys) and command great respect from their opponents. Each match begins and ends with a handshake, and the rules dictate that the winner must always brush the sawdust from the loser’s back. What began life as a sporting pastime among farmers and herders and without any rules to speak off, would later spread to urban areas thanks to the emergence of athletics and gymnastics clubs. Before long, "Schwingen" became a popular national sport that was played far and wide. As the years went by, contests would be transformed from local events to major sporting festivals. In 2010, the Swiss Alpine Wrestling Association had over 50,000 members. That same year, some 200,000 visitors flocked to Frauenfeld to attend the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival.

Image gallery

  • 13. Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010: Matthias Sempach v. Roman Emmenegger © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): two younsters getting to grips © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Kilian Wenger brings down Jörg Abderhalden © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): Diana Fankhauser overcoming opponent, Corinne Schmid © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Torsten Betschard v. Arnold Forrer © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): Daniela Felder and Julia Durrer do battle © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Beat Clopath lets out a victory cry © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): defeat of Mountain dairy farmer Angela Beyeler © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Martin Grab v. Kilian Wenger © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2007, Knonau (canton of Zurich): Gymnast Yolanda Geissbühler in white © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Franz Föhn v. Matthias Siegenthaler © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): on the right, mountain dairy farmer Marlies Arnold © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Michael Bless v. Matthias Sempach © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): winner Franziska Lacher on the right © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Michael Bless v. Willy Graber © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): end game. Margrit Kunz, right, is declared the winner © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Hanspeter Pellet v. Florian Gnägi © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): mountain dairy farmer Brigitte Kunz, on the right, is the reigning queen of women’s Schwingen © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • 19. Map of wrestling clubs and associations in Switzerland, 1937-1942 © Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Basel
  • 13. Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010: Matthias Sempach v. Roman Emmenegger © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): two younsters getting to grips © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Kilian Wenger brings down Jörg Abderhalden © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): Diana Fankhauser overcoming opponent, Corinne Schmid © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Torsten Betschard v. Arnold Forrer © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): Daniela Felder and Julia Durrer do battle © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Beat Clopath lets out a victory cry © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s Wrestling Festival, 2011, Amden (canton of St. Gallen): defeat of Mountain dairy farmer Angela Beyeler © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Martin Grab v. Kilian Wenger © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2007, Knonau (canton of Zurich): Gymnast Yolanda Geissbühler in white © Raymond Stalder, Binningen/BL, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Franz Föhn v. Matthias Siegenthaler © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): on the right, mountain dairy farmer Marlies Arnold © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Michael Bless v. Matthias Sempach © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): winner Franziska Lacher on the right © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Michael Bless v. Willy Graber © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): end game. Margrit Kunz, right, is declared the winner © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, 2010, Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau): Hanspeter Pellet v. Florian Gnägi © Peter Bruhin/NOSV
  • Swiss Women’s and Girls Wrestling Festival, 2010, Seewen (canton of Schwyz): mountain dairy farmer Brigitte Kunz, on the right, is the reigning queen of women’s Schwingen © Toni Suter, Steinen/SZ, EFSV
  • 19. Map of wrestling clubs and associations in Switzerland, 1937-1942 © Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Basel

References and documentation

Publications
  • Hanspeter Bundi: Das Volk der Schwinger. Zürich, 1989

  • Eidgenössischer Frauen-Schwingverband (Ed.): Technisches Regulativ des Eidgenössischen Frauen-Schwingverbandes. Immensee, 2012 (www.frauenschwingen.ch/index.php?option=com_rokdownloads&view=file&task=download&id=633%3Atechnisches-regulativ-2012&Itemid=145)

  • Eidgenössischer Schwinger-Verband (Ed.): Das Schwingen. Lehrbuch. Thun, 1957 (3., neubearbeitete Auflage, 1. Auflage 1912)

  • Eidgenössischer Schwingerverband (Ed.): Technisches Regulativ 2008. Schwyz, 2008 (www.esv.ch//load.php?download=1271075345-Technisches_Regulativ_2008-9_D.pdf)

  • Hans Erpf: Das grosse Schwingerbuch. Bern, 1973

  • Urs Huwyler: Könige, Eidgenossen und andere Böse. Schwingen – ein Volkssport wird trendig. Aarau, 2010

  • Stephan Pörtner (Ed.): Hosenlupf. Eine freche Kulturgeschichte des Schwingens. Zürich, 2010

  • Thomas Renggli: Schwingen. Die Bösen. Ein Schweizer Phänomen. Lenzburg, 2010

Documentation
  • Schwingen

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 07.08.2012
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