KHAPSAGAI (khapsagai = agile in yakut language)
Khapsagai is a traditional wrestling style from Yakutia using a vast repertoire of holds to force the opponent out of balance and bring any part of his body to touch the ground. Khapsagai matches last between 3 and 4 minutes and take place in a 9-meter circle, either on a wrestling mat or on hard surfaces. Khapsagai is only practiced in standing position and any touch of the ground, even accidental, gives victory to the attacking wrestler. If both wrestlers simultaneously touch the mat, the match resumes and the attacking wrestler receives a warning. If a wrestler receives 3 warnings, he is disqualified from the match. If both wrestlers have an equal number of warnings at the end of the regulation time, the one who received the last warning loses the match.
Wrestlers are allowed to grab any part of their opponent's body (arms, legs, waist), but they may not use two arms on their opponent's fingers or head. The most common techniques are ankle trips and back heels. Wrestlers from all ages and weight categories are allowed to take part in the absolute division that crowns the best athlete of the khapsagai competitions.
MAS-WRESTLING (mas = stick in yakut language)
This ancient traditional sport from Yakutia is nowadays very popular in Russia. Although looking quite simple, mas-wrestling is a unique form of strongman contest, which demands great muscular strength from the hands, legs, back, and abdominals. Participants taking part in mas-wrestling competitions sit in front of each other, prop their feet against the board that divides the competition area and tug on a wooden stick, making sure to keep it parallel to the propping board. Victory is declared when a contestant manages to pull his opponent over the board and keep the stick in his hands.
The competition system, weight categories, and refereeing procedures are similar to those used in wrestling or arm wrestling. The refereeing body for a match comprises a chairman, a platform referee, a side referee, a time keeper, a score keeper, and a secretary. The equipment for mas-wrestling events consists in a raised platform (flat, non slippery and even; 5 meter long, 4 meter wide and 60 cm high), a propping board made of larch or pine tree (smooth, without any sharp edges and well attached to the platform; 50 cm long and 20 cm high), and a stick made from birch tree (a 50-cm long cylinder with a diameter of 33 mm).