The Ogbureke traditional wrestling is a very popular sport in Idoma. It is a practice and acknowledgement of skill and strength as well as promotion of indigenous language, culture, norms, values, and traditions by young, physically capable Idoma men to honour the past WARRIORS who fought tirelessly to maintain peace and unity in Idoma Land. In Idoma Land a man is believed to prove his physical strength when he is able to fight off his aggressors and so wrestling shows strength and courage. Before the wresting season young men who will be competing train for months. A young Man who comes out Victorious in a traditional wrestling is admired and respected by all ,He is seen as a Warrior or a distinguished wrestler.
Traditional Wrestling sometimes are used to settle local dispute and conflict between two Villages .It is also Used to determine the right groom in cases where a young woman has many suitors, in such cases a wrestling match is arranged where all the suitors battle it out and whoever emerges victorious marries the woman. It is also a form of entertainment, usually the chief of the village and his chieftains are seated the villagers gather around the village square too to watch.
Wrestling matches take place in traditional rings ,a ring filled with sand which cushions their fall. A cultural group is present to provide special tunes that stir the heart ,this is believed to give added strength to the weak, spectators are also present to cheer the wrestlers on and encourage them. The winner of the contest takes home a prize.
In a bid to preserve Idoma’s most important cultural heritage and practices, the Agila Carnival President Prince Edwin Ochai thought about a beautiful way of making Ogbureke Traditional Wrestling which seemed to be gradually going extinct in Idoma Land a world standard traditional sport.
Ogbureke Traditional Wrestling was therefore introduced as part of the activities showcased at the carnival to entertain the Idoma youths, children as well tourist around the world who annually attend the Agila Carnival in Otukpo Benue State.
Ogbrureke aka Traditional Smackdown will play a big role in engaging the youths, attracting tourist and also pen doors to development in Idoma Land