Zurkhaneh is a deep-rooted Iranian traditional sports. It is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Traditional Iranian wrestling (koshti) dates back to ancient Persia and was said to have been practiced by Rustam, mythological Iranian hero of the Shahnameh epic. While folk styles were practiced for sport by every ethnic group in various provinces, grappling for combat was considered the particular specialty of the zourkhāneh. The original purpose of these institutions was to train men as warriors and instill them with a sense of national pride in anticipation for the coming battles.
Zurkhaneh sports are played individually and also in groups. They are divided based on whether or not they use accessories in two groups:
1. Accessory-activities including Sang Gereftan, Milgiri, Shena and Kabbadeh Zadan
2. Non-accessory-activities including stretching and warm up, foot tapping, spinning and heroic