Help me document and protect traditional wrestling styles from around the world starting with the biggest and baddest of 'em all: Mongolian Bokh (Khapsagay).
Mark your calendars: May 25th I leave the United States on a 10-week wrestling adventure through China and Mongolia. I'll be staying with local wrestlers in ger camps and tents as I learn about their culture through wrestling. I need the Kickstarter community to help me raise enough money to make sure I can turn this bone-crunching adventure into a best-seller when I get home.
The story of the Mongolian wrestling community will feature my interactions with wrestlers in Shangxi, China; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and the Khovsgol Region of Northern Mongolia. I will be learning the techniques and history important to the traditional form of the sport so that I can compete in the Nadaam Wrestling Festival held throughout Mongolia in mid-July and then live semi-nomadically for several weeks following the competition. These experiences, along with extensive research about the (surprising) history of the sport, will become an adventure travel book in the vein of Christopher MacDougall's Born to Run.
So that my readers can follow my triumphs and miseries during the trip I've also created WrestlingRoots.org - an expanding database of information created to help document and protect other traditional wrestling styles around the world. It's my plan to have the site host future adventure blogs as well as rich multimedia content and critical essays. My blog will be featured at the top of the home page.
Traditional wrestling is in danger of being marginalized or eliminated worldwide. Societies from the Punjab Region of India to the Khovsgol of Mongolia have already seen the effects of modern life on their grappling cultures. Unlike traditional forms of dance, the world seems numb to the plight of these wrestlers and disinterested in documenting or preserving their important physical expressions. Many of the traditions passed down through thousands of years are on the brink of disappearing - time is running out. My hope is that you will help me to write a book that captures the beauty of wrestling in a region that still celebrates its sports heritage and the accompanying lessons of companionship, communication, strength and endurance.
Join me in telling the story of these incredible athletes and the significant cultural impact wrestling has had on the Mongolian people. Sponsor your local high school or club team and I can provide them with tales from the steppe of Mongolia, or just pre-order a book. Anything you do to support will be met with a generous gift.
I'm excited to start the updates, so please check here and WrestlingRoots.org often!
- (49 days)