Ssireum, Korean traditional wrestling, holds several meanings and importances within Korean culture. It embodies a rich historical legacy, promoting physical strength, discipline, and camaraderie. Beyond its physical aspects, Ssireum symbolizes the preservation of Korean heritage and serves as a medium for fostering a sense of national identity and pride. As a sport deeply rooted in tradition, it promotes sportsmanship, cultural exchange, and a strong sense of community, emphasizing the values of respect and perseverance. Furthermore, Ssireum plays a role in promoting health and well-being, encouraging a balanced lifestyle and the pursuit of physical fitness.


Institutional and human capacities Ssireum, a traditional Korean form of wrestling, is celebrated through 19 annual national competitions, culminating in a championship held each November. Changwon-city, the hometown of several Ssireum champions, established a Ssireum museum in 2020, showcasing the sport's history, champions like Seong-ryul Kim, and offering an immersive Ssireum experience. Additionally, the Korea Ssireum Association, founded in 1927 as the Joseon Ssireum Association and later renamed, has a rich history of international collaboration, including hosting competitions with Japan since 1981 and initiating efforts for an international association, launching their English website in 2019.
Transmission and education Ssireum, a traditional Korean wrestling sport, holds a significant cultural presence in Korean society, particularly during family gatherings and national celebrations like Thanksgiving and New Year's. Its widespread familiarity is reinforced by its appearance in Korean TV shows, where it is often depicted as a spin-off game or a challenge for professional Ssireum athletes. Additionally, Ssireum is deeply ingrained in Korean communities through family teachings, local tournaments, school instructions, and the continued presence of past champion Kang Ho-dong, who frequently references the sport on his shows
Inventorying and research Ssireum, a popular Korean wrestling sport, has been extensively researched, with a focus on its cultural significance and impact. Notably, the sport's intense nature has led to notable events, including the legendary match between Lee Man-ki and Kang Ho-dong, which was recreated in 2021 on the Korean variety show 1 Night 2 Days, commemorating their competitive legacies.
Policies as well as legal and administrative measures There is no legal administration that specifically associates with Ssireum, but just like Arirang, it is protected by the Cultural Property Protection Law.
Role of intangible cultural heritage and its safeguarding in society Ssireum, a traditional Korean sport, serves as a unifying activity for families during the Thanksgiving holiday (Cheu-Seok), offering an engaging spectacle for people of all ages with its straightforward rules and intense excitement. While not as popular as baseball or soccer, the sport is preserved through regular events and media coverage. Winners are honored with prizes including an ox, symbolizing their strength, and the prestigious title of ‘jangsa,’ which continues to evoke the image of an unparalleled powerhouse, as exemplified by the enduring intimidating presence of former Ssireum champion Kang Ho-dong in Korean entertainment.
Awareness raising The resurgence of Ssireum, a traditional Korean wrestling sport, has been paralleling the global rise of K-Pop. Notably, between 2019 and 2020, there has been a significant surge in interest among both the older and younger generations for Ssireum, highlighting its growing appeal beyond traditional enthusiasts.
Engagement of communities, groups and individuals as well as other stakeholders Ssireum, a traditional Korean sport, holds a significant place in the hearts of Koreans, despite not being as popular as Soccer or Baseball. Regular competitions occur yearly, culminating in the championship tournament each November. However, participation is restricted to those who have undergone formal training, as outlined by the strict rules of the Korea Ssireum Association, requiring registration by the end of March and approval from the regional Ssireum association and sports council, making it an exclusive sport for experienced participants.
International engagement Research has explored the potential efficacy of implementing the sport of Ssireum as a means of deterring involvement in criminal activities among international students. Additionally, a foreign Ssireum competition was last held on November 14th, 2014, in Gimcheon city, North Gyeongsang Province, as documented in the provided source.
References 1. https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20220302108100052 2. https://www.mhns.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=522424 3. http://ssireum.sports.or.kr/gnb/index.php 4. https://www.soompi.com/article/1450524wpp/watch-master-in-the-house-cast-faces-off-in-fierce-korean-wrestling-tournament 5. https://english.cha.go.kr/cop/bbs/selectBoardArticle.do?ctgryLrcls=CTGRY210&nttId=73243&bbsId=BBSMSTR_1205&uniq=0&mn=EN_03_02 6. https://www.facebook.com/TeukieSJjang15/posts/congratulations-shindong-for-winning-the-2022-knowing-brothers-ssireum-korean-wr/5249338115099572/?locale=hi_IN 7. https://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Sports/view?articleId=181289 8. https://www.soompi.com/article/1450524wpp/watch-master-in-the-house-cast-faces-off-in-fierce-korean-wrestling-tournament 9. http://ssireum.sports.or.kr/gnb/img/pdf/ssireum_rule_190129.pdf 10. https://www.earticle.net/Article/A418590 11. https://en.yna.co.kr/view/PYH20141114064100315
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