PLH : Inside The Awesome Holiday That Is Takanakuy Day

The annual Peruvian holiday includes fist fights, beer, and holiday cheer. 

2018 was a whirlwind year for combat sports.

Boxing reestablished itself as a premier sport in the minds of the masses. Mixed martial arts kept rising and kickboxing gained considerable market share.

Still, the beefs were everywhere!

Floyd Mayweather went on a social media campaign against 50 Cent and Oscar de la Hoya. Gervonta “Tank” Davis went on a campaign against his boss, Floyd Mayweather.

De La Hoya retaliated against Mayweather, tried to sign Tank, and then turned his sights to Dana White.

White kept playing all fighters not named Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov upped the ante in T-Mobile Arena.

On the athlete side, Terence Crawford showed he has a personality by stepping to Errol Spence. Tyson Fury went HAM on Deontay Wilder in the media and the streets of Los Angeles. The Charlo brothers started virtual beef with anyone including their “frenemies” Adrien Broner and Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

When you realize that the sports side of combat will not allow a true grievance settlement, there is only one remedy to employ: Takanakuy!

Peru You Did It Again!

Greatness lies in Peru. Their ancestors created Machu Picchu, The Inca Trail, and the fantastically named Lake Titicaca. But the Peruvians created an often overlooked legacy of mediation through melee.

Takanakuy, an event that gives people the chance to solve differences through fighting.

There are towns and farms nestled cozily in the vertiginous Peruvian Andes. At upwards of 12,000 feet these towns are remote and the mountainous people can be testy after years of staring at each other through the ropes, so to speak.

The environment of the Andes Mountains is brutal. The slopes are jagged and steep, food is scarce and danger is always ever-present. As the training and buildup for a professional fighting event, life is hard and no prisoners will be taken.

Then the annual festival of fisticuffs that occurs every December 25th in the town of Santo Tomas was birthed, Takanakuy.

HAPPY TAKANAKUY!

Everybody fights and it happens bright and early on Christmas morning. It starts with a few days of pregaming with spirited beverages and of course the obligatory dancing. Folks are dressed in costumes that combine the best aspects of traditional Andean horse-riding gear but are reminiscent of lucha libre masks.
Men, women, children, the elderly, hands wrapped with nothing more than scarves, are paired up. After a friendly hug they begin pummeling each other full-force in the face inside of the local bullfighting arena. There is a referee, however, the level of officiating is brutally minimized to a bullwhip to keep the fights from getting one-sided or bum rushed.
Disputes settled range from property disputes, stolen paramours or lifted livestock. However, some battle just because they haven’t been feeling you for a while.
In the rest of the world, where battles are framed around title contention and retention, it is refreshing to see the old school alive in Peru.
Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.