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Ssireum is a style of folk wrestling which originated in Korea. The objective of the sport is similar to other standup styles of wrestling, which is, to force any part of the opponents body to the ground. Though this style of wrestling has been practiced in the region for several centuries, the modern version of the sport was developed only in the early 20th century.

The fights take place within a circular ring about 7m in diameter, filled with mounded sand. Contestants wear a towel or a belt (called satba) around their waist and their right thigh which is used for takedowns.

At the start of the match both the contestants are on their knees in a grappling position, in which each wrestler is grabbing the other's by their belt. The fight begins with both wrestlers rising simultaneously from the kneel down position. There are no out-of-bounds violations in Ssireum, it just results in a restart.

A single match is contested in a best of three fights format, in which the wrestler to win two fights first wins the match.

Currently wrestlers are divided four weight classifications, Taebaek (flyweight), Geumgang (lightweight), Halla (middleweight), and Baekdu (heavyweight).

Cheonhajangsa Ssireum Championship is a major competition conducted for the sport. Today, Ssireum is a dwindling sport with not many new entrants into the sport.


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