Wrestling is considered one of the “rites of passage” into adulthood in the Igbo culture. It is referred to as Igba Mgba, It shows the bravery and strength of the man and his ability to handle difficult situations.
Wrestling is considered both a sport and a means of settling disputes. An example would be to compete for a woman’s hand in marriage. Wrestling competitions are also held as important events. The wrestling ring is well cared for; its ground covered with soft soil. There is also a young boy who provides music to excite the crowd and to set the mood for the fight. He, as well as the chief and all Igbo men with titles have the privilege to sit inside the ring to watch the wrestlers.
Competitions among Igbo villages are very common. A man loses a wrestling match if his feet leave the floor. If no man can be lifted, then the match is declared a draw.
There are many different wrestling sub-styles used depending on each Igbo village.