Senegalese wrestling (fr. Lutte sénégalaise, Wolof Laamb) is a type of Folk wrestling traditional to Senegal and parts of The Gambia, and is part of a larger West African form of traditional wrestling (fr. Lutte Traditionnelle). The Senegalese form traditionally allows blows with the hands (frappe), the only of the West African traditions to do so. As a larger confederation and championship around Lutte Traditionnelle has developed since the 1990s, Senegalese fighters now practice both forms, called officially Lutte Traditionnelle sans frappe (for the international version) and Lutte Traditionnelle avec frappe for the striking version.
Laamb is the # 1 sport in senegambia before, football gathering thousands of people in stadium or during numerous local contests all around the country!
It used to be practised to celebrate the end of the harvest time among the ethnies of Sérères and Diolas, groups from which most of today's great fighters still come from! It was meant to rejoice, perpetuate folkloric characteristics, and to designate the strongest man of the village who will become the champion wrestler 'til the next year.
It's carrying on centuries of traditions,full of rituals, highly magical, islamo-animist mystique, fighter wears Gri-Gri amulets,oil themselves with magic lotions prepared by each warrior appointed marabout, with milk also, band of Griots will beat the drums (called sabar) incinting westlers to fight!
Transcending ethnic groups, the sport enjoys the status of national sport. Traditionally, young men used to fight as a distraction, to court wives, prove their manliness, and bring honor to their villages. Usually each wrestler called M'burr in Wolof performed a particular dance before the start of the combat.
One of the main objectives is to throw the opponent to the ground by lifting him up and over, usually outside a given area.
Senegalese wrestlers train extremely hard and may perform press ups and various difficult physical exercises throughout the day to build up their strength. However whilst they believe strength is important they also believe that there is an element of luck in the winner, and may perform black magic rituals before a match to increase their chances. Common to Senegalese wrestlers is rubbing a foot on a stone or rubbing themselves with lotions or oils to increase good luck.