As if UFC fighters weren’t crazy enough, there is a real shin-kicking competition that attracts thousands of people each year, and it looks as bonkers as it sounds.
Like wife carrying, shin kicking has been around well before any of us were born. Invented in England around the 17th century by Robert Dover, it has been deemed an English martial art and was repopularized by the 1951 revival of the old-world Cotswold Olimpick Games.
Watching the players prep for their oddball fights is pretty damn entertaining too. In one video, competitors frantically stuff handfuls of straw down their pant legs, sometimes wrapping their slipshod attempts at proper protection with duct tape and string.
According to the competition’s organizer, Robert Wilson, the original shin kickers used to whack hammers against their shins and practice with steel-toed boots to increase their pain tolerance. I think that’s a hard pass for us here at ONE37pm.