Mongolian Wrestling (Bukhiin Barildakh) is descended from the fighting methods used by the armies of Genghis Khan (1162-1227) who created the largest ever land empire during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, stretching at one time from the walls of Vienna in the west to the eastern seaboard of Korea in the east. In building his empire Genghis Khan raised the level of Mongol military training to unprecedented heights, with a level of organisation that was reminiscent of the Roman Empire.
Barildakh was originally the primary hand to hand fighting method of the Mongol armies, and was used both on horseback and when dismounted. In its original pre-sporting form it can include variously swordsmanship (iild), trident (tseree), other weapons methods (zebtseg), kicking (ushiglukh), striking (tsokhikh), choking (baralzouraj alakh) and locking (balikh) techniques; but it is for the grappling methods and throws (barildakh) that it is best known today. A technique-limited sporting form of Barildakh is one of the three main events in the Naadam, or national sporting events of Mongolia, along with archery and horse racing. There are many different styles and approaches, which developed originally along the lines of the various sub-tribes that make up the Mongol peoples.
Barildakh remains the basis of hand to hand combat in the modern Mongolian armed forces.