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13 November 2014

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Cotswold Olimpicks

You are in: Gloucestershire > Our Crazy County > Cotswold Olimpicks > Bulldog spirit?!

Shin Kicking

Shin Kicking

Bulldog spirit?!

Britain's current Shin Kicking champion, Steve 'The Bulldog' Williams, travelled over from Bedfordshire to take part at Cotswold Olimpicks 2008. Meet him here.

" do find yourself limping a bit the next day!"

Steve Williams

The sport of shin kicking has been practiced in Britain since the early 17th Century.

The painful pastime was once considered so dangerous that it died out in Britain by the early 1900's, however the sport was re-kindled in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, in 1951.

It continues to be practiced as a far less aggressive version than in earlier years, when players were said to have hardened their shins using hammers and competitors were allowed to wear iron-capped boots.

The competitors wear long trousers with straw padding attached to their shins underneath. 

White coats and trainers complete the fighting costume. Each player then holds onto his opponent's shoulders and the kicking begins!

Steve Williams

Steve Williams


Rules dictate that no kicks are allowed above knee level and whilst kicking each player must try to wrestle his opponent to the ground.

This must be achieved whilst in the process of kicking otherwise it is not a valid wrestle down.

Proving they're willing to have a go at anything, TV celebrities Rory McGrath and Patrick 'Paddy' McGuinness also entered the competition in 2008 with Rory getting knocked out in his first round, while Paddy made it through to round two!  

But in the end it was Bedfordshire's Steve Williams who battled though to be crowned Champion.

"It's a form of wrestling really!" said Steve.

Shin Kicking

Shin Kicking is popular with the locals


"The rules state that you must have both hands on your opponents shoulders at all times. 

"Then it's a case of kicking at his shins, below the knee cap, and then throwing him to the floor.

"It's then the best of three throws and the winner goes through to the next round!

"The sport harks back to the days when pugilists and wrestlers would travel around English country fayres earning a living".

But surely it must hurt?

"Afterwards - yes, once the adrenaline has died down" admitted Steve, "and you do find yourself limping a bit the next day!"

last updated: 27/04/2009 at 09:54
created: 04/06/2008

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