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Men's rhythmic gymnastics

Gymnastic world is versatile and open to everyone. New gymnastic disciplines are developed continuously for example men's rhythmic gymnastics. This discipline is not that new but still quite unknown.

There are two different branches of men's rhythmic gymnastics and the branches are completely different. The first one is a Spanish branch that reminds very much of well-known women's rhythmic gymnastics. The only difference is sex. Gymnasts are using the same apparatus as women and they are also dressed in shiny unitards decorated with rhinestones. The rules and points calculations are also the same as for women. Spanish branch has been developed since the 2000s when men have started to participate in competitions together with women.

The founder and first champion in Spanish style is Ruben Orihuela. He has won Spanish championships in the senior category for 9 times many years in a row.

The second branch of men's rhythmic gymnastics is the Japanese branch which is a mix of gymnastics and acrobatics. This branch is completely different from traditional women's rhythmic gymnastics. Where women's rhythmic gymnastics is more airy and tender, men's rhythmic gymnastics is more martial and athletic. Japanese style combines gymnastics and acrobatics. The level of complexity is much higher in this branch. The unitards are also different and they are not decorated with rhinestones. Trousers are wider than in Spanish-style unitards. Rules are also different as well as apparatus.

Japanese men's rhythmic gymnastics is more complex than Spanish. There is a theory that the Japanese style originated from Japanese martial arts. Also, apparatus are referring to marital arts. For example, a stick reminds of a spear, a ring is a shield, and a club is a sword. The only apparatus relating to traditional rhythmic gymnastics is a rope. Even though men are also using clubs in rhythmic gymnastics, the clubs are pretty different from clubs that women are using.

In 1985 at World Cup in Tokyo men were performing in rhythmic gymnastics for the first time. It was a new and surprising experience for spectators from all over the world. Japanese public however liked the new sports as work with the apparatus was already well-known then from shinobi (ninja) arts.

Later first men's rhythmic gymnastics championship was founded in Japan. First competitors were from Asia, but later also Europeans have joined them.

Currently, Japanese men's rhythmic gymnastics is growing actively in 8 countries: Japan, Korea, Malesia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia, and Russia.

Men are also performing in duos with women.

Finally performance of a wonderful Japanese gymnast Kohei Ogawa.

What do you think of men's rhythmic gymnastics? Which branch is more interested and promising?


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