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Balance is everything!

Just like any Martial Art from any country, tribe or time in history Glima, the Martial Art of the Vikings is steeped in tradition and honourary practices.

The Handsal is a sign of respect from one Glima Broder to another

At the beginning of every Glima match the two oponents take a grip on each others wrist called the Handsal and this signifies that the fight is on. But the Handsal is far more than just good fighting posture and technique. The Handsal, a bit like a like a handshake, signifies respect from one Glima Broder to another. It's an agreement that each player will begin the match and end the match in a friendly manner, regardless of who wins. And that each will respect and regard the safety of the other during training with no intent cause a permanent injury.

Head Coach Alex of Raven's Claw Glima Academy demonstrating the Handsal with a student

Engaging, to start a Viking Glima match:

Stand in a Glima stance, which means right foot forward in Handsal.

The best Handsal is with your arm in an almost V shape rather than an outstretched arm. You are at a disadvantage with outstretched arm or an arm pulled in too close.

Right foot forward is the starting position for Sport Glima. Just wider than a shoulder width apart.

Left foot forward is the starting position for Combat Glima.

In sparring for Sport or Combat, try never to stand with your feet apart facing your opponent as this will give you limited balance and a limited range of movement and power to launch an attack.

The glima staces are fundemental and make ALL techniques correct, easier and in balance. Balance at the start and during any glima match is absolutely key not just to winning, but to making sure you don't lose.

Find out more about Glima including events and authorised academies near you. at

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