The "lucha canaria" arena is named after Camilo León Rodríguez, who died in 1987 at the age of 48, but whose fights are legendary. The round "terrero" on which the fights take place has a diameter of 15 - 17 metres. Usually the surface is covered with sand, but in Los Llanos they wrestle on rubber mats, because the place is also used for other events. The "luchada" usually lasts about one and a half minutes and is fought in two to three rounds. When the whistle blows, the opponents stand shoulder to shoulder, the left hand grips the rolled-up trouser leg, the "brega", made of tear-resistant fabric of the other. The holds to keep the opponent off balance are called "mañas". Choking and gagging are not allowed, the opponent must be wrestled to the ground by force and skill. If any part of the body other than the sole of the foot touches the ground, you have lost. The Guanches, the indigenous people of the Canary Islands, already defended their territories in this way. There are also traditions of women fighting, such as Guayafanta and Garehagua.
Photos: Uka Roesch