Zac Warren wins the 2012 Shin Kicking Championships

7:37 AM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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(CBS) - London is gearing itself up for the 2012 Olympics, but for a small number of residents in the English countryside, the Cotswold Olimpicks are much more important, with its star, the Shin Kicking Championships taking centre stage.

All that is required to enter this event is courage, two feisty feet and as much straw as competitors can shove in your trousers, say event organizers. The idea is to kick opponents' shins until one competitor is brought down, the harder the kick the better.

There are few rules, but competitors are not allowed to simply perform a sweeping maneuver as used in Judo. This is very much a full contact sport and stamina is just as important as speed and agility.

Each bout is decided in the best of three and competitors start by adopting a shoulder hold leaving their legs and more specifically their shins free to inflict the damage.

"I kind of get quite annoyed when people think that shin kicking is quite literally two guys facing each other and kicking each other as hard as possible in the shins. The easiest ways to describe it is it's a bit like wrestling but with a lot of contact below the knees. The idea is really to throw the person to the ground, but to throw the person to the ground you've got to unbalance by kicking them first," said James Wiseman, the judge of the competition.

The winner of this year's contest was Zac Warren, a 23-year old stone mason from Pershaw, Worcestershire.

Other games at the Cotswold Olimpicks included the wheelbarrow race, sack race and tug-of-war.

The games were practiced in Chipping Campden in Gloucester since the 1600s but stopped in 1852. They were re-instated permanently again in 1965 and now are an annual tradition.

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