Have you ever heard of dakssaum? The word literally means ‘Chicken fight’ so you might think it refers to cockfighting, but in this case it is a form of play done by holding one leg up with an arm while hopping around on the other leg trying to knock one’s opponent down, and it makes you look like a chicken. Some say it originated in ssireum (씨름).

Dakssaum, then involves two or more people holding their legs up either by holding one foot or pant leg in close to their body, then trying to knock down the opponents with the leg in the air with the whole body. You’re not allowed to grab an opponent, push an opponent, or let go of your leg, and you can’t switch legs either, no matter how tired the one doing the jumping may become.

While maintaining your balance you might try to maneuver under an opponents’ leg and make a lifting motion with yours so as to knock him over, or you might do the opposite and push down hard on the leg he is holding on to make him lose balance.

You lose if you all or release you arms to catch your fall, whether you fall completely or not. Sometimes people draw circles on the ground and place one foot in the circle while raising one in the air, try to push over an opponent using both hands.  You lose if you fall over or allow the foot that was in the air to touch the ground.

It’s all a fun game you can do without any props while you build physical strength and your balancing skills, and practice your responsiveness and resourcefulness. It isn’t as easy as it looks to stand this way, and it’s even harder to try to knock someone down without  falling over yourself.

These days it is mostly enjoyed by elementary school students. For them it is both fun and a way to cultivate a sense of balance. How about challenging a Korean friend to a game of dakssaum the next time you meet? Doesn’t it sound like fun?

– Means ‘Chicken’
싸움 – Means ‘Fighting’
씨름 ssireum -  A Korean wrestling style

Source From:  Arirang