Sepak Takraw combines football volleyball and KungFu

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Asia, the most populous continent on earth, is the cradle and home of many games and sports. The notoriety of cuju today goes beyond the borders of the countries of the continent since it was recognized by FIFA as an ancestor of football. In the wake of cuju, we find many other sports such as dacau, jianzi but also Takraw. It is one of the most practiced sports on the continent. It is also considered a national sport in certain countries such as Thailand or Malaysia. What are the origins of Sepak Takraw and how is it practiced? So let's go and discover one of the most exciting sports practiced in Bangkok, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta... and which is gradually being imported into France and Europe.

History of Sepak Takraw

The name of this sport is a combination of two words. Sepak is a Malay-Indonesian word meaning "to kick" and takraw is a Thai word meaning "ball". In Laos, it is better known as Kataw, in Myanmar it is called Chinlone. The deep origins of this sport go back centuries. Like today, it was already a popular sport practiced by residents of many villages in Southeast Asia. Even if the rules have evolved somewhat, it originally consisted of a group of inhabitants, gathered around a circle, playing a ball while making sure to keep it in the air using all parts of the ball. body (thighs, feet, head, chest, etc.) with the exception of the hands and arms. It then spread to the royal courts, particularly in the royal court of Malacca where it was highly appreciated by the nobility. From the 19th century, the rules evolved and we saw the introduction of a net which separates the two sides of the teams.

It took on an international dimension when in 1965, “takrawbates”, a word used to designate fans of the sport, from several Asian countries, came together to create a federation, the SATAF.

In 1996, its notoriety and its institutionalization will expand at the global level with the creation of a world federation, the ISTAF bringing together countries in Asia, countries in Europe, America and Africa.

Takraw ball and field

Overall, Takraw is a combination of several sports including football, volleyball and Kung Fu. The rattan with which the Takraw ball was woven has been replaced by plastic.

It is a ball about fifteen centimeters in diameter and weighs between three hundred and four hundred grams.

The field which hosts the matches is thirteen and forty meters long, six and ten meters wide and separated lengthwise by a net one meter and fifty-five high.

In competition, teams are made up of three players who return the ball to each other without letting it touch the ground.

Sepak takraw rules

During a match, a team earns a point when it lands the ball within the boundaries of the opposing team. She loses some when the ball goes beyond the limits of the field. To win a match, you must win two rounds (a round is won when the team reaches twenty-one points or twenty-two in the event of a 20-20 tie for both teams). The players of a team, who can pass three times to each other, are allowed to play the ball with all parts of the body except the arms and hands.

An acrobatic and spectacular sport

The parts of the body most used to play the ball are the lower limbs and the head. We are therefore witnessing many wonderful actions. Its practice requires technique. The gestures are reminiscent of martial arts movements.

In takraw, a team is referred to by the Malay word “regu”. Two players called to play in the playing area are called apit kiri and apit kanan . The third player is responsible for serving and is called tekong.

Since the creation of the French Sepak Takraw Federation, numerous clubs have emerged in Paris, Essonne, Sainte-Geneviève, Toulouse, Lyon, Mulhouse, Nantes, Strasbourg and other cities in France. The French team, which also took part in the last King's Cup World Sepak Takraw Championship, the major competition in the discipline, had an honorable performance, although dominated by the Asians. To find out more and sign up for a Takraw club, you can join the Facebook community of 5,500 Takraw enthusiasts in France .

Do you want to learn how to play Takraw?

(1) Buy a Sepak Takraw Ball JugglePro by clicking here: Takraw Ball JugglePro

(2) Take a look at the video below:

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