An integral part of Spanish sports culture is Man vs. Bull collision. One of the popular sport related this is “encierro – The running of the bulls”. But world commonly remember Spain and Madrid, as a country where people fight bulls.
The bullfighting in Madrid is known as ‘corrida de toros’ and is commonly known to the modern world as tauromachy. It is a dangerous adventure sport where brave warriors show off their skills by playing with crazy and angry bulls. It is often called a bloody sport by its detractors, but followers of the spectacle regard it as a fine art.
The Fighting Bull called Toro Bravo is an integral element of the Spanish culture. The tradition, as it is practiced today, involves professional toreros who execute various formal moves which can be interpreted and innovated according to the bullfighter's style or school.
With history dating back over 3,000 years. Bullfighting traces its roots to prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice. The killing of the sacred bull (called tauroctony) is the essential central iconic act of Mithras, which was commemorated in the mithraeum wherever Roman soldiers were stationed. Bullfighting is often wrongly linked to Rome, where many human-versus-animal events were held. There are also theories that it was introduced into Hispania by the Emperor Claudius, as a substitute for gladiators, when he instituted a short-lived ban on gladiatorial combat. It then spread from Spain to its Central and South American colonies and to France in the 19th century, where it developed into a distinctive form in its own right.
During initial years, Religious festivities and royal weddings were celebrated by fights in the local plaza, where noblemen would ride competing for royal favor, and the populace enjoyed the excitement. The Spanish introduced the practice of fighting on foot around 1726. This type of fighting drew more attention from the crowds. Thus the modern corrida, or fight, began to take form. In the course of time, noblemen were replaced by commoners and gladiators looking for fame and money. This new style prompted the construction of dedicated bullrings, initially square, and later round, to discourage the cornering of the action. Some of the best bullfighting arena is in Madrid.
Today after nearly 1500 years, bullfighting remains similar to the way it was in 1726, when Francisco Romero, from Ronda, Spain and Madrid, used the estoque ( a sword) to kill the bull, and the muleta,( a small cape) used in the last stage of the fight.
Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music, while animal rights advocates hold that it is a blood sport resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses. Many supporters of bullfighting regard it as a deeply ingrained, integral part of Madrid cultures. The aesthetic of bullfighting is based on the interaction of the man and the bull. Rather than a competitive sport, the bullfight is more of a ritual, which is judged by aficionados (bullfighting fans) based on artistic impression and command
As in the words of Ernest Hemingway, “Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honour.”
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Spanish Fighting Bull