A sport which involves a physical competition between a bull and a human is bullfighting. In this sport, humans attempt to subdue, immobilize or kill a bull, mostly according to the set guidelines, rules or cultural expectations. Although the most common and well-known form is the Spanish-style bullfighting, there are various forms in different locations around the world. Some of the forms of the sport involve dancing around or over a bull or cow or an attempt to grasp an object from the animal.
The sport is a traditional event of many countries like Spain, Portugal, parts of southern France, Tanzania and India (Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu) few of the Latin American countries. In Spain, the sport is known as "La fiesta nacional" which means "the national festival". In some places, bullfighting is considered as a cruel, barbaric blood sport in which the bull may die in a slow, torturous death at the end. So, it is now banned in many countries.
The sport has its roots to the prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice in the Mediterranean region and Mesopotamia while the Epic of Gilgamesh may be the first recorded bullfight in which Enkidu and Gilgamesh fought and killed the Bull of Heaven.
The traditional bullfighting is often linked with Rome as animal vs human fights were prominent. Later on, these games spread to the regions of Africa, Asia and Europe. BY the 19th century, the bullfighting got popularised in many countries. The credit to inventing the modern bullfighting goes to Juan Belmonte who is considered as the greatest matador of all times. He introduced a unique style of staying a few centimetres away from the raging bull which became very popular. Even today, many matadors try to impersonate his style during their bullfights.
Although there are various fighting styles famous in different regions of the world where bullfighting is practised, the most prominent amongst them is the Spanish, Portuguese and the French style. Here we are going to elaborate the Spanish Style. To read about other styles, click here.
This style is colloquially known as "corrida de toros" which means "Running of the Bulls". Traditionally, there are three matadores, and each of them fights with two bulls of the age ranging from four to six years old, weighing not less than 460 kg. Each of the matadores is assisted with six picadores who are actually lancers on horseback.
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