Polish Ssireum Union  is a nationwide association of sports clubs, whose statutory mission is to promote and propagate Korean fights of Ssireum.




Polish Ssireum Union was founded in 2016 by Jerzy Konarski. Polish Ssireum Union is a member of the World Federation of Ssireum based in Seoul, and represents the Federation in Polish.



Structure / Authorities:

Sports Association of Polish Ssireum Union currently brings together more than 100 people from across the whole Poland. SA PSU is currently working with a number of sports clubs martial arts.

There is a 5-person Board of Authorities at the head of the Union

(Clubs and individuals, who are interested to join the Polish Ssireum Union are invited to contact the President SA PSU at tel. 504 042 252 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



Range of activity:

  • - Conduct of sport competition (Polish Championship Cup, Ssireum Provincial Championship);
  • - To represent the country in the international arena;
  • - The training of referees, trainers, players and managers;
  • - Organizing trips to foreign and world competitions;
  • - Supporting clubs in their activities of Ssireum popularization and development of Korean fights of Ssireum (training, Special Olympiads, Paralympics, amateur competitions, student competitions, military training, exchange and training of trainers in the countries of the European Union).


Ssireum = Ssireum (read: Sirum), a Korean fight have very distant origins. Evidenced by the murals on the old tombstones in Korea. This type of fighting was established in Korea and has been practiced on the occasion of local holidays. Fighting took place between the strongest young men in the villages. A man who to the end remained on his feet, was announced the winner. They awarded him the title Changs (strongman) and rewarded ox. The first written mention of Ssireum dates back to the year of 1330, and describes the king, who practiced this sport with ... servant. In 1927 in Korea they were held competitions of Ssireum, which stimulated interest to the sport and raised Ssireum from the old folk recreational activity to contemporary sport.


With the industrial development of Korea, this type of fighting became a real sport. It has facilities in the form of professional teams coming from universities and sports clubs, organizing Ssireum National Championships of Changs, and numerous competitions around the country. The fight is between two wrestlers fight inside the battlefield . One of the biggest players in this discipline is Li Man-Ki. In the eighties of the twentieth century he has won many times the title of Changso (jangsa), and thanks to him increased interest to the sport. Koream Folk Ssireum Federation was founded in 1983, and a year later became a sponsor of the Hercules Universal Contest. Over time, the audience was watching the fight and despite the sport, also via television broadcasts, surpassed all other sporting events in the history of modern Korea. Ssireum World Federation has established in Korea (Seoul) and belongs to the 70 countries, including Poland (represented by the  Sports Association of Polish Ssireum Union). In 2015 they took place in Vth World Championship of Ssireum in Burma and in  Ist Asian World Cup of Ssireum in Burma. Another, Ssireum VI World Championship, will take place in 2016 in Korea (Seoul). II Ssireum Asian World Cup will be held in Korea.


Ssireum is a traditional form of Korean fights. It can be handle by everyone, including people with sensory disorders and even mental. Before start a fight a player implies a belt that is tied around the waist and right thigh. You should grasp the belt of the opponent, and then try to bring it to the overturning through grasping, pulling, lifting. The winner is the person who led to the collapse of the opponent, that is touching the ground and any part of the body (except, of course, feet that are in constant contact with the ground). Although Ssireum's rules are quite simple, but this is only the struggle of physical endurance and selection of appropriate techniques can really pull and fascinate the sport.


Simple rules of Ssireum offer opportunities for people with varying degrees of efficiency, for example with sensory impairments to participate fully in the sport - the most important tip is sensing the position of an opponent by grabbing his waist. Head of the Korean Association of Ssireum, Wi-Gon jung, who also teaches Ssireum at Yongin University in Seoul, Korea, confirmed that a person with severe visual impairments competed with a healthy and successful track record (W.-G. Jung, Personal communication, July, 1997.).


In 1997 Kevin Dunn wrote, that wrestling is a sport in which students with visual impairments successfully compete against sighted opponents at school or university and other competitions. "The fight is even easier in Ssireum than in wrestling for participants, for example with visual impairment. In such cases, however, pay attention to referee's work adaptation to a group of people; it means transmission message by him.


People with moderate phase of severe mental disabilities can also participate in Ssireum sports, because of the simple rules of the sport and constant contact with an opponent (the belt).


Everyone can participate in Ssireum and in different ways. Firstly, such training can increase the strength of the participant, flexibility, endurance, balance and agility. Ssireum can provide both internal harmony (stimulates spiritual strength and mental) and external (through physical training), helping to develop physical prowess, as well as concentration and focus. In addition Ssireum offers opportunities for personal development, participants develop lasting friendships, promotes decision-making, teaches self-discipline and commitment, and increases self-esteem and self-confidence.


Ssireum is a game of fair play in the strict sense of the word. It requires participants to personal culture. Like most martial arts (ie. Judo, karate, kung fu, taekwondo), in Ssireum have to follow certain rules of the sport, and most importantly, listen to the trainers. This is the basic concept of the sport and the rules of the Korean martial art. In addition, those involved in the Korean martial arts have to understand Korean culture concepts, terminology.




The role of "ring" in the Ssireum takes full circle with a diameter of 8m, covered by pen, extracted from the square with an area of 13m x 13m. Layer of sand should have a depth of 10-20 cm. Of course adepts will use to exercise gymnastic mattresses as substrates.

The belt, which binds to the right around the waist and thighs, is made of special, high strength, cotton. There is no restriction on the length of the belt, while there may be requirements (regulated) as to its width. The color of the belt is used to identify opponents (red belt and blue belt).


It is noteworthy that in Korea there is no Ssireum for women, but according to experts in this field, they should be encouraged to participate in sports, which in time could develop. Women should train in tight T-shirts that opponents could not grab the shirt. It is worth mentioning that you can not fight in footwear, with any jewelry, watches and glasses.




The official duration of the fight three rounds by 3-minute with one minute rest after the first two rounds. However, the duration of the fighting can be reduced to three rounds by 2-minute with 30-second intervals between them. When a player comes out from the field with a diameter of 9m., the clock is stopped. The player falls down - the round ends. If a player wins the first two rounds, the duel ends. However, if the participants hold for three rounds one round further is allowed.  If there is no knockdown of opponent, lighter competitor wins.


Before the fight both of the contestants bow to each other, and then kneel in close proximity of each other. Everyone grabs the belt of opponent. When the referee gives the signal, both players stand up. When the referee gives the start signal, they begin to fight (to push, pull), in order to knock down the opponent.


Ssireum's Rules prohibit certain behaviors:

 a) attempts to choking or twisting the neck of an opponent;

b) digging or attack the head;

c) efforts to strike in the opponent's eye;

d) attacking in the area of the face;

e) twisting or crushing the fingers;

f) keep the opponent's body by own body;

g) pushing out an opponent from the battlefield (outside the designated area with a diameter of 9m.);

h) drag or avoid contact;

i) perform offensive gestures or comments.


place the belt around the right leg and between the legs to draw it up, so that the knot was on the right hip bone. Depending on the binding, otherwise opponents seized upon beginning the fight.


The number of rounds in a fight must be three, but each round can be modified - instead of the standard three minutes can last for two or three minutes. Competitors eg. in the classroom they should be organized into weight groups – of three people. One of them always serving as a referee. Instructors must emphasize the importance of the role of the referee in determining whether a player touched any part of the body mats and rule over the culture of fighting.


Ssireum can be used for many purposes. As mentioned earlier, participation in this martial art offers for students opportunities to develop physical, mental and spiritual helps maintain inner balance, teaches fighting spirit.


Instructors can use the skills of the sport to be closer to the competitors of Korean culture, tradition, language, code of conduct. Practicing Ssireum can activate the body control of own and opponent's energy, while maintaining its own balance. Finally, examine the practical exercises are the most effective strategies of acting, this knowledge can be included into a discussion about physics of body weight, leverage and how to minimize physical effort to achieve the goal.


At all levels of education training participation in Ssireum they should be controled by coaches as as personal goals. Sport strengthens endurance, flexibility, increases fitness, and also relaxes and de-stresses and helps to deal with problems. An important aspect is also that Ssireum can be regarded as an introduction or supplement other martial arts. Ssireum practically was not injured.



Final remarks:

Just a little bit effort will be enough Ssireum's fight to be held in every possible place, with men's and women's participation in different weight categories. Korean Association of Ssireum intends to prepare, among others, people with disabilities (with varying degrees of efficiency) to International Paralympics.

When a competitor apply any of these prohibited behaviors, the referee issued a warning. When a fighter gets two warnings, one round is awarded to the opponent. If a fighter receives three warnings, the referee declares that the opponent wins.


Fights are usually carried out between players of the same weight category. If needed, the adjacent two weight classes may be combined to form a single classification. Korean Association of Ssireum identifies seven weight classes in each of the four stages of education - primary, secondary, high school and college. Eg. The seventh class of secondary school has such weight categories: less than 70 kg, 70 to 75 kg, 75-80 kg, 80-85 kg, 85-90 kg and 90-100 kg and over 100 kg. The exception is the heaviest of weights - for professionals there are two weight categories - hanra (below 100 kg) and baekdu (over 100 kg) and the lightest of weights in the range of 5-10 kg (children up to 7 years).


Korean Association of Ssireum points out that the fight should be overseen by three referees, including one head referee. The referees signal to begin and stop the fight, they decide who is the winner. They stop fighting, when there are any harmful situations. Typically, the referee uses only whistle.


Physical strength and volition to fight are very important in a competition of Ssireum, but knowledge of the various levers, reaction speed, fitness and technical skills are much more important to succeed. Ssireum's techniques can be broadly divided into four categories - arm, leg, torso, and mixed techniques.



The inclusion Ssireum for Physical Education:

Ssireum can be easily integrated into physical education programs at the elementary school, high school and higher education. The first requirement is called "ring". Instead of circle of sand, coachers can use the large wrestling mats or combine smaller gym mats. In each school there are  standard size of mats (mattresses). They may be combined to create a space for Ssireum - 16m x 16m is suitable to carry out the exercises. Training belt may be made of cotton cloth (about 24-30 cm in length and 12-15m in length). It can also replace by the standard belt of other martial arts with the same length. There are at least two ways of binding belt. First, it can be wrapped around the waist, then tied on his right thigh. The second way is a first wrapper

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