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Celtic Wrestling



International Federation of Celtic wrestling

The FILC is an international association that regroups small federations of traditional wrestling from several countries of Western Europe. Its organisation is not based on the states, but on the regions of its members. It has been created in 1985 in Cardiff.

The FILC is at the same time confederation and federation. It doesn't take decision over the rules of the practised styles, but controls the organisation of the championships (once per year).
2005 Championship  :


President :
Willie Baxter, 13 Balvie Road, Milngavie Glasgow, G62 7TB (Scotland)
E-mail :

Secretary :
Jean François Hubert, 9 square Alexandre Fleming, 357OO Rennes (France)
E-mail :

Délégué aux affaires extérieures :
Guy Jaouen. (33) 298 25 59 71
E-mail :

Web Sites : www.gouren.com (Breizh),
www.scotwrestle.co.uk (Scotland),
www.luchaleonesa.net (España),
www.federacionluchacanaria.com (España),



The activity of the FILC is the organisation of courses, conferences, seminaries, competitions and championship of traditional wrestling to valorise the work of the federation’s members. To the origin, the FILC had for only members the federations of the British Islands, plus Brittany; either countries where the Celtic language was still spoken under different shapes.

The FILC has since 1985 welcomed new federations of traditional wrestling that found in this opportunity a means to spread their image to the international level. The present members are the small federations from Ireland, Cornwall (Great Britain), Northern England, Scotland, Iceland, Sweden, Fryslan (Netherlands), Salzburg (Austria), Sardinia, Leon (Spain), from the Canary Islands and Brittany.

The styles practised during the championships are solely the Back-Hold and the Gouren, in fact the styles of the origin. These styles are only used during the championships for numerous federations. Indeed, if Scotland and England practice the Back Hold, Cornwall the Cornish wrestling (close to the Gouren), and Ireland, Fryslan and Brittany the Gouren, all the other federations practice their own wrestling style all the year: Iceland and Sweden do the Glima; Salzburg the Ranggeln, Sardinia the S’Istrumpa, the Canaries Islands Lucha Canaria and Leon the Lucha Leonesa. Competitions in the other styles sometimes take place, out of the championship.

The FILC always put forward a particular sport spirit. Thus, it is said that, in a particular country or region, its policy must be done in harmony with the general setting for the promotion of the culture of this country or region, with wrestling as an element of this culture; or that the sporting part of the competitions is not more important than the human meeting beside the championship; that to win is not the most important thing. The traditional culture of the hosting federation is also always put forward at the time of the meetings (music, dance, gastronomy, etc.), as an integral part of the events, with active involvement of the delegations and not solely as a folk spectacle.

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