You’ve Heard of Bullfighting, But What About Bull Leaping?
Animals| | By Robin Milling
Bullfighting is the oldest form of entertainment in Spain, with origins dating back to 711 A.D. It is a popular part of their culture: Several thousand Spaniards flock to their local bullring each week, reaching 1 million spectators every year.
In Logrono, Spain there is a kinder, gentler sport with bulls known as bull leaping, or “recorte.” No harm is done to the animals.
However, the sport does pose a danger to the “recortador.” Spaniard José Manuel Medina, a bull leaper, literally puts himself face to face with the bull.
“We face the bulls without any type of help or armor or sword or anything. Nor do we hurt the bull. It’s you against yourself,” he told Great Big Story.
Instead of whipping a cape, Medina taunts the bull to charge with his body. He does whatever he can — side-stepping, leaning over it, or even an aerodynamic somersault across the bull — to get out of its way as it’s charging towards him.
A panel of judges score the move — a jump or a dodge — from 0 to 10 in recorte competitions.
In September of 2016, Medina won first place at The Móstoles bullring contest.
Medina began practicing with little cows from the age of 8. He is well aware of the danger of being scooped up by a bull’s horns, but even becoming a father has not deterred him from the sport.
He puts all that out of his mind when he is bull leaping.
“The truth is, when I’m face to face with a bull, the only thing I feel is an immense happiness; the happiness I get from being face to face with such a beautiful animal. Everyone knows a bull can kill you, but I don’t think like that. I think the opposite. Bulls give me life. If you’re born a recortador, you die a recortador,” Medina told Great Big Story.
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