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Thread: Aizkolariak, Basque axemen competitions and bets, and more

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonw View Post
    I am amazed that these axe guys perform to such high levels, at ages that are commonly considered "past prime" in pretty much any other sport than chess .
    The current world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, is 26 years old. Champion chess is now a young man's game. Bobby Fischer was 29 when he won it. Garry Kasparov won his first title at age 22.

  2. #102
    Point taken , but will they retire as young as players from other sports?

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugaldie View Post
    Gracias a ti Manu. Rural sports are spreading bit to bit but were they reach they are wellcomed. Segovia is another place were Basque type axemanship has spreaded, they call them Gabarreros. Segovia has embraced rural sports is such high will, there have even appeared two stone lifters. Axemen competitions are becoming popular in Asturias too, there is an Asturian axeman who I do like. His name is David Naredo, I see future in him as an aizkolari. Recently I have listened about a bet between Asturians, do you have any information about it?

    garry3 I had the intention to talk about combined bets, I'll add more information about strenght challenges. And also a bit more.

    Sometimes not to focusing exactly the context makes you to lose some aspects, confuse them or think all people understands the same thing when we talk about the same word. Like bets, recently a friend has sent me a little read about it which I want to share with you. I will copy the most interesting information (in my opinion). Here you have it,

    "How to Make a Bet, Basque Style

    Basque betting is different from American gambling. Unlike the American standard of betting against the house, Basque betting is more individual. You can’t just make a bet—you have to find someone else to bet against.

    Betting starts with deciding on who will win: the red pilota team or the blue? Let’s say you want to bet $100 that the red pilota team will win because they are more experienced. You need to tell the middleman, who helps facilitate the bets, that you want to bet $100 on the favored red team and need someone to bet $80 on the blue team. If the red team wins, you get $80. If they lose, you have to pay $100.

    Betting does not stop when the game begins. As the game goes on and the results become clearer, people start to hedge their bets. You can also bet on who will lose the game. If you are less confident, you might make a smaller bet that the red team will lose. While you might not gain as much if they win, it’s a guarantee that you will not lose as much.

    Betting like this is an important part of the culture that surrounds the Basque country’s unique sports. And if betting is the lifeblood of Basque sports, honor is the lifeblood of Basque betting. While betting is ubiquitous around the world, Basque betting is different in that there is nothing signed.

    “It is all on the honor code,” said rower Rikar Lamadrid. “It works on the belief that [the person you’re betting with] is a man of their word.” Nothing stops the person who lost from sneaking out, except the honor. Contracts are not needed.

    “I am going to honor his bet, lose or win,” Xabier explained. “We are going to honor each other’s bet, so it’s that kind of chivalry.”

    The idea of palabra de vasco, which means “a Basque’s word is good,” is a concrete promise. When the Basque say they are going to do something, they follow through."

    Here you have the complete text,

    http://www.festival.si.edu/blog/2016...asque-betting/
    I can not tell you much.

    Water exhibitions I have seen for parties and at my son's college.
    And something on the local television.
    a greeting

  4. #104
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    Axemanship is a complex sport were you can improve at ages were you are old for other sports. There have been several top axemen at their 50's, age gives you mental strenghtness, knowledge, prespective, makes you more calm and (obviously) gives you more time to improve your technique.

    2017-02-19 Oñati Golden axemen championship by couples, Third and last semifinal. Iker Vicente & Ruben Saralegi vs Patxi Mindegia & Jon Irazu.

    http://www.eitb.tv/eu/bideoa/herri-k...finalaurrekoa/

    Note the technique of the two axemen dressed in white after minute 33:00. That's to chop in the efficient way.

    Continuing with local sports and responding to the request garry3 made I will talk about two strenght sports, one traditional and the other new. The most traditional is the ox competition, we call them "idi probak" it means something like ox test. This competition comes from another era were there was not any internal combustion transport and all the goods had to be transported by animals. I don't know how exactly did it start but I can imagine one ox drover saying his animals are better than his interlocutor ones and the thing was done. This competition developed to the sport we know today were a pair of ox drag a stone through center square of a town.

    There are different modalities like exibitions and bets, these events use to be played in prepared squares (the floor of these squares is different) and they use regulated stones. The sport is well ruled, there is a given time were you have to make as much laps as you can, if my ox pair weights more than yours I have to add a given weight to the stone for each given weight my ox surpasses yours... and so. This sport is not much documented graphically in internet but you can find some evidences. Here you have a video of an animal show were you can see an ox test exibition at 03:05



    There have been some different sports similar to the ox test like the horse test but not many years ago a new sport (which is getting popular) developed from the ox test, the "gizon proba" or "giza proba" it means the man test. It's the same as in the ox test but you change one animal team for other, you change ox for humans. This is a hard sport were the team has to be very coordinated, there are several modalities like single or team, here you have a team one,



    Women also compete,

    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-01-2017 at 05:15 AM.

  5. #105
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    I think I already have commented it, the subject I'm covering here is a little part of Basque world. Sports are part of our culture, we have top notch gastronomy, our own dances with very big variety, our music were you can find anything from modern music to bertsolariak, extemporary composed songs according to various melodies and rhyming patterns (there are evidences of them since the late 15th century)... and sports. All kind of sports have support here, football, mountaineering or ciclyng are the international sports which have the higher support. Rural sports are a part of the sports our culture has nowadays and the axemen competitions are a part of it. As you see here I'm talking about something very limited but in the same place very rooted in the hearts of the Basques.

    After talking about it I have something to say to you who haven't programmend you holidays yet and have your minds open. There is a place in the world you can visit were people lives from the Pyrenaic mountains through the Atlantic which has top notch gastronomy, big variety of architecture (from prehistoric to the most modern), were mountain ranges end in an ocean with high quality beaches (one of them is allways in the top position of the top European beaches list), big wide modern traditional and open culture, great amount of peculiar and unique festivals and rural sports events almost everyday during summer. All of it in a territory which is half square kilometers of Switzerland, its named the Basque Country, Euskal Herria (the land of those who talk Euskera) for the people who lives there.



    Yes I know the time of this type of video passed away, but I find it while I was looking for other videos and here I find it quite handy.

    For those of you who will come in short future I suggest you to visit the cideries, a social way to enjoy meals, you will make a lot of friends. I don't have any idea were does the guy learned about the old time cider house higiene information, I have never listened anything about it but the other information is OK.



    There was almost not festivity in that cider house, let's try another.



    Ok this also was a bit off, to make an idea sometimes you can find as much festivity in a cider house as in a disco bar its up to the people who you meet to start it. You know what I'm saying. here you have some more and complete information,

    http://www.sagardoarenlurraldea.com/eng/

    For those of you who think to come in later I suggest you to come the secong week of August to Donostia. Donostia has all, it's a modern vibrant small city, with as many Michelin stars as Paris, with a very good week long festival in the second week of August, with a beach allways in the top of European beaches lists (it has been choosen as the best European beach of 2017, I would say it's not as much I see the third best urban beach of the world rank it received a pair of years ago as more fair), close to all you can see in the Basque Country and one last thing, it has quite a good axemen championship in his festival.

    http://www.eitb.tv/eu/bideoa/herri-k...urrezko-kopa-/

    Jauregi the axemaker has his forge at 15 minutes by car from Donostia, all are advantages there.

    http://www.hachasartesanas.com/

    Today was the presentation of the final of this Sunday,



    They have been testing the material.



    And the traditional winner gifts txapelak (the berets) are prepared.


  6. #106
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    The final has arrived!



    Atutxa and Mugerza have been champions for three years, last winner couples on the left side, second positions on the right side,



    They are the dream team, the top axemen, the couple to beat,



    Confronting them a very hard senior couple, Arria 5th and Joseba Otaegi.



    And a very young but capable couple, Ruben Saralegi (26 years old, leftside of the image) and Iker Vicente (19 years old rightside).



    The job to be done by each team is to cut 30 logs in 5 different works.



    All the axemen gave all they had, it has been a very good final.




    The teams were very close, it has been a pleasure to see the top notch axemanship displayed here.



    Look how did the arena and the axemen end, this is hard work!



    The final had everything, not too many but numerous knots appeared making the advantage any team had not decisive. Anytime another bad knot could appear and ruin the time any of them worked so hard to gain. One axe got loose and the head got stuck itself in the log (04:00), another one broke in one of the last cuts (poor Ugaitz, he already broke another axe in the last semifinal) or an axeman (Iker Vicente) felt sick and vomited before one of the works. They are waiting him at 20:50, do you know what he did? He came and cut that log. Here you have the complete video.

    2016/03/05 Azpeitia Aitzol Atutxa & Ugaitz Mugertza vs Xabier Orbegozo (Arria 5th) & Joseba Otaegi vs Iker Vicente & Ruben Saralegi, enjoy it!

    http://www.eitb.tv/eu/bideoa/herri-k...saria--finala/
    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-07-2017 at 03:03 AM.

  7. #107
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    Suddenly I am crazing a bottle of red wine and a plate of fried gernika peppers.

  8. #108
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    I see you garry3 know us well, anything can be better with good food and drinks!

    Don't worry those of you who like these competitions, they haven't ended, we still have plenty of them this year. The challenge of Arria 5th, two bets, the single axemen championship and all the events in festivals are waiting us.

    The next will be the bet between Xabier Zaldua and Luis Txapartegi this Sunday 12th at the pelota court of Azkoitia. They have bet 6000€ each other, the one who cuts 20 beech logs 40 centimeters in diameter will win it. This is Xabier Zaldua,



    And this is Luis Txapartegi,



    A wood chip injured his hand in this competition. I haven't found a better photo of him, when I have a bit of little time I'll do it.
    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-09-2017 at 04:14 AM.

  9. #109
    Excellent contributions, as usual!

    Ugaldie, sorry, I just found today the email you sent me back in January. I apologize for this, and I wanted to make sure this acknowledgment reaches you!

  10. #110
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    No problem Moonw and thank you!

    I'll show more photos of the final taken by Ibon Errazu, here you can see more,

    https://www.facebook.com/conodonto.t...92461487616210

    Here you have all the competitors of the final. Two finals were played, one was the sub 23 and the other the main final. The sub 23 axemen are those in white and the one in blue. The ones who wear the berets are the champions or txapeldunak as we say it.



    These are the winners, Aitzol Atutxa (the actual master of the universe, axemen universe I mean) and Ugaitz Mugerza (also a good axeman)




    The sub 23 winners Eneko Otaño and Ioritz Gisasola "Zelai 3rd".



    And the main competition,



    Iker Vicente, note he is 19 years old, he competed the senior championship and how hard did he compete.



    Starting the last phase, note the logs they have to cut in a row.



    Txapelduna means literally the one who wears the beret in Basque language, it is also used to refer to the winner, this traditional costume is what the winner has fighted to win. Championship is translated as txapelketa.

    Xabier Zaldua has been interviewed about the bet of this Sunday.



    I'll translate a bit of it. In the second division axemen championship six axemen passed to the final and he classified 7th. He didn't want to leave it go so he challenged all second division axemen to a bet consisting in cutting 20 kanaerdikos (logs 1,25 meters in perimeter). Noone accepted but even he was not between the challenged Luis appeared. Both wanted to do this bet so the agreement was easy.

    Luis Txapartegi is a 1st division axeman and he will wear all the beech logs, advantage for him. Xabier doesn't know what type of logs will Luis wear, he says there can be 30 minutes of difference between cutting hard and soft logs and he has prepared for a challenge longer than one hour.

    His family is more prone to ox tests, this made him to start as an axeman an bit late, when he was 29 years old. His first bet was in 2010 when he was 32 years old. Since then he has take part in seven bets. First went ok but at last he burned. He took a bit of time to refresh phisical and mentally and now he is prepared for a new bet.

    Let's see how does he perform, here you have the complete interview, it's in Spanish so it may be easy to Google to translate it,

    http://www.noticiasdegipuzkoa.com/20...cha-en-la-mano

    There will be another bet this moth, it will be 18th March at the pelota court of Urretxu at 19:00. They have bet 1000€ each other, the first axeman cutting 12 kanaerdiko (1,25 meters in perimeter) beech logs will win. Contenders are Xabier Dorronsoro and Julen Aranberri "Elgorriaga 2th".

    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-09-2017 at 06:14 AM.

  11. #111
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    Another interview to Xabier Zaldua,



    http://www.diariovasco.com/alto-urol...ame=alto-urola

    He sais he thoughts Luis will not wear soft nor hard wood but tense one. He says soft wood can be cut in 40 minutes, hard wood in an hour and a half and tense wood in an hour more or less. He thinks Luis will choose tense wood in order to make him suffer more, but he says he is 10 years younger, he is very prepared and he fears nothing. He has prepared for a work slightly longer than an hour.

    He says something I like in this interview, "I'm very prepared. When you have done all you can done and the rival beats you what you have to do is to applaud to the rival."

    Meanwhile Luis Txapartegi has been preparing and training with the help of Josemari Olasagasti.

    http://www.eitb.eus/eu/kirolak/bideo...aurre-egiteko/

    He says he also is prepared and he will not wear hard wood. As you see they talk a lot about the wood. The wood type is as usual beech, but as in any other wood there can be a huge amount of variation if you know how to choose that wood, old timers say winning half of the challenge lays in choosing the wood correctly.

    That wood has been prepared today,



    It's already placed in the arena and waiting the axemen,



    Who you think will win? The first division axeman more experienced and the one who has the advantage to choose all the logs or the 10 years younger second division axeman with a top phisical and psychological preparation at the peak of his axeman shape and quite used to this type of competitions?

    Make your bets
    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-11-2017 at 04:58 PM.

  12. #112
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    Thank you for taking the time to create a very interesting thread Ugaldie.

    I'm not going to guess who will win though!

  13. #113
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    I'd bet on the older guy.

  14. #114
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    Thanks to you I'mSoSharp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Square_peg View Post
    I'd bet on the older guy.
    Me too, let's see what did it happen.

    Azkoitia 2017-03-12 the bet between Luis Txapartegi and Xabier Zaldua.

    As you know there were 12.000€ in game and they had to cut 20 beech logs 1,25 meters in perimeter as fast as they could to win it. Here you have the video for those of you who want to see the challenge without knowing the end.

    http://www.eitb.tv/eu/bideoa/herri-k...tegi-/-zaldua/

    I adviced you, here it goes the spoiler.

    Xabier was right about what type of logs Luis would choose. It seemed Xabier started the challenge calmly, he cut the logs methodically and he took the time he thought he would need.



    At least this is what it seemed, but after the bet he said his rythm was faster than he one he had planned.



    Luis in the other hand seemed nervous and he started badly.



    His approach to the cut is different to the approach Xabier has, Xabier is more methodical and technical, Luis uses his superior force to cut the log. When they started to approach the medium logs Luis revived and started to cut them better and faster.



    But Xabier endured and held to the advantage he had from the beginning.



    Luis gave all he had but the main error he was doing was to make too narrow cuts, this way he sometimes couldn't end the cut in a proper way.



    This and the bad luck he had with the knots he encountered affected to his time and to him in both ways, physically and mentally. Meanwhile Xabier didn't gave up a milimeter, he continued cutting the logs at his rythm till the end and he won the challenge.



    Xabier ended the bet five minutes faster than the older axeman, both of them gave all they had that day but the younger axeman physical and psychological preparation combined to his technique and correct methodology to cut the logs gave him the victory.



    I was surprised, as I told I thought Luis will won the challenge. I also thought he wouldn't lose so much time if he lose the bet, the bad starting combined with the narrow cuts took their toll.

    The challenge took close to an hour, the exact time Xabier though it would take to cut this type of wood
    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-16-2017 at 04:27 PM.

  15. #115
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    Wow, those guys have some stamina as well as skill.

  16. #116
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    Yes I'mSoSharp, they are very hard axemen. I use to notify internationally when they challenge anyone to a bet, but not outsider has ever interested.

    We are a little country but he have plenty of life. As an example, the same day Zaldua and Txapartegi competed each other but some hours before it in Azpeitia, a town 10Km from Azkoitia, a mountain running competition took part. We call it the vertical because they go up a mountain in the straight way. This year we had a sad, rainy, windy and foggy day but this wasn't an excuse for the 102 runners who took part, 98 of them reached the goal. Here you have a video of the 2016, there was a very good weather last year.



    This weekend we have two axemen challenges, the first one this Sunday in the pelota court of Doneztebe at 12:00. Jon Telletxea & Pello Telletxea vs Jesus Etxeberria & Miguel Angel Etxeberria in a bet consisting in cutting teen beech logs 1,25 meters in perimeter and four beech logs 1,67 meters in perimeter. 2000€ are in game.



    There is a neighborhood between Azpeitia and Azkoitia named Loiola , maybe someone will know it due to its sanctuary.



    This weekend they will celebrate their festival, this Sunday they will have a type of bullrunning for the childs, then the famous donkey race continued by stone lifters and at the end of the day the axemen.









    Xabier Orbegozo (Arria 5th) will compete vs Mikel Larrañaga, there will be an exibition too the elder Arria 2nd will work with Aritz Azpiazu Arria 6th in the debut of this young axeman. The people who goes there will enjoy live music all over the day and there will be inflatable playgrounds for the childs. I'm sure you have realized we love festivals and we have plenty of them in any little place of our lands.

    Axemanship is spreading through Spain, this is new custom there but there is a place were they are practicing it for 20 years. It's named El Espinar a little town of Segovia. All these years they organize a festival in honor of the gabarreros, axemen who earned their live in a hard way. These Segoviaans have adopted the Basque type of axemanship, buentrabajo chicos!!

    They do a lot of exibitions and they compete in Basque axemen competitions in single modality. But their most loved event is the festival of gabarreros, here you have a little video of an exibition in the festival of this year. Note specially how the boy cuts the standing log and the little log they cut in continuation. These axemen use to cut the pinus pinaster.



    If I haven't convinced yet you about visiting the Basque Country is a good idea let's use anther method, porn. Just the type of porn all type of people of all type of culture do like, top notch food in a beautiful place.

    Last edited by Ugaldie; 03-17-2017 at 04:39 PM.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Ugaldie View Post
    If I haven't convinced yet you about visiting the Basque Country is a good idea let's use anther method, porn. Just the type of porn all type of people of all type of culture do like, top notch food in a beautiful place with friendly people.

    Are we having a translation issue or did you actually mean porn? Not judging, just seems sudden and out of place.
    EDIT, Never mind. I started the last video. Indeed, you did mean porn.
    Last edited by Woodcraft; 03-17-2017 at 04:41 PM.

  18. #118
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    LOL, I have changed it three times in order to say what I want but I can't find the exact words. Thanks for pointing it Woodcraft!

  19. #119
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    Yesterday at 19:00 in the pelota court Ederrena of Urretxu 26 years old Julen Aranberri "Elgorriaga 2nd" competed versus 37 years old Xabier Dorronsoro in a bet consisting in cutting 12 kanaerdiko (1,25 meters in perimeter) beech logs. There were 2.000 in game.

    This was Xabier's third bet, he won both before this, and Julen's first bet. Xabier has been training with top axemen (or top former axemen) as Nazabal, Azurmendi, Zaldua, Iruntxiberri and Donato Larretxea. Here you have the video,



    As you see Xabier performed clearly better, he ended the challenge in 40 minutes and 26 seconds



    It took 11 minutes more to Julen to end it.


  20. #120
    Awesome.

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