2021 / Editorial / Photo Essay

Mongolian Grappling Roots

  • Photographer
    Alexander Crossland

Grappling is a hand-to-hand combat contest, whereby opponents use a series of techniques to grip, takedown and control their opponent with the goal of strangulation and/or joint-manipulation. Grappling transcends cultural barriers and has introduced me to people I never anticipated crossing paths with and taken me places I never imagined I would go. From the chaotic capital city of Ulaanbaatar, to the harsh nomadic realities of life along the Mongolian steppe, these images narrate the tradition and spirituality of a deeply rooted grappling culture amidst a rapidly developing country.