Current Status
  • On March 16, 1983, The Korea Folk Ssireum Federation was founded, marking another turning point for Korean Ssireum. Wan Koo Huh was elected as chairman. The first Universal Hercules Contest was successfully held at Jangchoon Indoor Stadium in Seoul from April 14. Throughout the contest, the arena was inundated with crowds and the TV viewing audience was an unprecedented 80%, surpassing all other sports events in the modern history of Korea. Also, many diplomats in Seoul accompanied by their wives attended the contest to acknowledge the success of the contest.
  • Since the inauguration of the Federation, major changes in the methods of administrating the game have been made. The contest is now conducted in a sand box instead of a mat and the diameter of sand box ring has been enlarged from seven to nine meters. Also in order to win the contest, one has to topple his opponent, not push away. The gane is cinducted as a tournament in which competitors advanc in the preliminary rounds by winning the best of three. In the championship boul the winner must take the best of five topples. Finally the duration of game was shortened from five minutes to three minutes in August. 1985.
  • The first group of contestants was labeled the Dragons,while second group was named the Tigers, with four different weight divisions in each group and eight athletes in each weight division. Each of weight divisions were named after four prominent mountains in Korea : Baekdu Weight (95.1kg), Hanra Weight (between 85.1 and 95kg), Keumkang Weight(between 75.1 and 85kgA) and Taebaek Weight(below 75kg). From these weight divisions. Grand champion was to be decided as a champion. A cash prize of \ 15,000,000.00 (which is equivalent to $ 16,000.00 U.S. dollas as of the 1986 exchange) is awarded to the champion. Before and after the contest varius folk music and folk dance like peasants music, ckassical dance, Boochang Lion's dance and songs are performed by famous singers. This entertainment along with dress of the referees and athletes, in ancient, original Ssireum attire help to make the game a true flok event.
  • In September, 1983, Daehan Ssireum Federation and Korea Folk Ssireum Federation merged. With the continuation of Universal Hercules Contest(8th year) and Grand Championship by weight division(19th year). Ssireum has developed steadily and stylish changes.
  • In the mean time, there has always been a persistent effort to disringuish professional Ssireum from the amateur contest. As a result, the federation was forced to separate folk Ssireum from the student's Ssireum. With the inauguration of Korea Ssireum Committee in January, 1991, folk Ssireum was divided into pro and amateur.
  • Amateur Ssireum is aimed at revitalizing students' Ssireum and boosting students' physical standard through the following contests: KBS-CUP National Students' Ssireum contest, Chairman's Flag National Student Hercules Contest. President's Flag National Grand Championship, and National Ssireum Championship contest.
  • The purpose of Korea Folk Ssireum Federation is to accelerate the development of Ssireum from folk game to national sports. At the same time, the numerous Ssireum events would emphasize the need for improved physical strength of Korean People as well as contributing to national sports culture.