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Spider Fighting the Tradition

Updated on February 7, 2015

The Sport of Spider Fighting

Spider fighting is a big sport in Japan and the Philippines.

The Kumo gassen is an annual traditional event of spider-wrestling match. This event is a long unbroken tradition for four hundred years. Most people in Kajiki rear samurai spider. All the spiders in the event are female Black and Yellow Argiopes. Spiders are raised carefully and live with their owners, free to wander in the house and make cobwebs around.

Spectators and players gather here to watch hundreds of spider match and the game goes on for seven long hours. Japanese spiders who are mostly black and white Agriopes, which is a kind of garden spiders, are called "samurai spiders." In the Philippines, spider fighting culture is major sport and many Filipino children are engage in this kind of game.

Normally a spider will not fight another spider in nature. This fighting, biting and wrestling that gets the spectator excited is provoked by the humans who participate.

Note: Personally I don't condone with this sort of activity. I feel that it is cruel. I'm only showing that something like this exist. I have a fascination and special respect for spiders. I use to fear them. I feel that I have toughen up a bit over the years and can even live with spiders as long as they don't get too close. Though I have been guilty (despite my name) to vacuum up a spider or two.

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The spider, called the "Kamae" is placed on the end of a stick. The opposing spider, called the "Shikake" is then placed on the stick, but separated from the "Kamae". After the referee pulls his hand away, the spiders face off and the match begins.

The spider that wraps the opponents rear-end in its white silk wins. The spider that bites the opponents rear-end wins. And, the spider that cuts off the dragline of the hanging opponent wins. Due to the quick speed of the spider's movement, the split-second action of the match is judged by the sharp, keen eye of an expert referee.

Spider Fighting in the Philippines

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Spider Fighting and Children

Strange Sport

The practice is now generally discouraged since it damages educational performance of children. They spend too much time hunting and training spiders that lessons and homework are missed. They might also be attracted to gambling. Ordinances against the sport are now in effect in some cities. The sport might also be indirectly responsible for crop damage since spiders are useful in controlling insect pest populations.

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Spider Facts

I am not an insect!

A spider is not an insect and belongs to a special class called Arachnida. They have no wings or antennas. A spider has 8 legs and can run and jump. Spiders catch their prey by spinning webs that the insects fly into and get trapped by the sticky threads. A spider must be careful not to entangle itself upon its own web. Many people are afraid of spiders, but they are an important part of our ecosystem. They eat bugs for us that are considered pests. Most spiders will not bite, and only a few are considered dangerous.

Spiders have two body segments. The front segment is called the Cephalothorax. The spider's eyes, mouth fangs, stomach, brain and the glands that make the poison are on this part of the body. The legs are connected to this part, as well. Most spiders have eight eyes, but some have less. Spiders also have these tiny little leg-ish things called 'pedipalps' that are beside the fangs. They help to hold prey while the spider bites it.

The second part of the body is called the Abdomen. The back end of the abdomen is where the spinnerets, the silk producing glands, are. The spider's body has an oil on it to keep the spider from sticking to it's own web.

Spider's legs are covered with many hairs. The hairs pick up vibrations and smells from the air. At the end of the legs are, at least, two small claws. Spiders have 48 knees. Eight legs with six joints on each.

Spiders do not have a skeleton inside their bodies. They have a hard outer shell called an 'exoskeleton'. Because it is hard, it can't grow with the spider. So young spiders need to molt, or shed their exoskeleton. The spider must climb out of the old shell through the cephalothorax. You can imagine how hard it must be to pull all those legs out! They are pretty helpless at this point. Once they are out they must stretch themselves out before the new exoskeleton hardens. This gives them a bit of growing room. As adults, they stop growing and do not need to molt.

Male spiders are usually smaller than females.

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Orb and Black Widow Spider

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Black Widow Spider on the right

(The link for these is located above on this page.)

Black and Yellow Argiope

Black and Yellow Argiope

This spider is an argiope, which is a group of large spiders that hang head down in the center of their webs waiting for prey. All agriopes belong to the family of arachnids known as the Orb Weavers, because of the eccentric webs that these spiders weave. Often times, an agriope web will have zigzag bands, as did this spider, which was seen at Up Yonda Farm last summer. Black and Yellow Argiopes are good to have around, because they eat bees, hornets and wasps.

This is the spider most commonly used for spider fighting in the Philippines.

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© 2009 Sandy Mertens

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    • profile image

      jbarnhart41 7 years ago

      Great Lens! I had never heard of that before.

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 7 years ago

      Amazing! I never knew anything like this existed. I kinda like spiders. I have spiders like the yellow and black in my garden in August and September and I enjoy watching them. They weave awesome webs. I couldn't bear to watch the spider fighting video. Even if they are "bugs" I think that's cruel.

    • carny profile image

      carny 7 years ago

      Very interesting. I haven't heard of spider fighting before.

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 7 years ago

      A very colorful lens. Spider fighting is also new to me but I enjoyed reading the information and love the way you have presented your material with good pics and layout. Angel Blessing.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 7 years ago

      Very interesting and nice looking lens. I still think this is too odd sport! =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Fascinating - you learn something new everyday on Squidoo!

    • Lynx92 profile image

      Lynx92 7 years ago

      Some people do have unusual pastimes!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I especially love how you did the intro module with the spider web. This is a neat looking lens even though it is full of spiders. Great work.

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      I had no idea there was spider fighting going on anywhere! This is an education, for sure! What a niche! Wow!

    • bry lm profile image

      bry lm 7 years ago

      Okay I am totally FREAKED OUT by spiders but you did a great job on the lens....! :)

    • bry lm profile image

      bry lm 7 years ago

      Okay I am totally FREAKED OUT by spiders but you did a great job on the lens....! :)

    • profile image

      roysumit 7 years ago

      Human beings may have some crazy ideas to satisfy their pleasures but you have made a great page out of it. Excellent work and five stars for it.

    • profile image

      Deeishere 7 years ago

      Wow, this is interesting. I never heard of spider fighting before. Amazing.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      Eww! Outside I would never bother em...come into my house and the stompin' ensues! This is weirder to me then cock fights in Puerto Rico.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 7 years ago from Idaho

      Very cool page, love the layout and design...lol...my daughter would hate it and run out of the room she is petrified of spiders! Welldone!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Spiders and their webs fascinate me but I don't like to get too close to the creatures. They are quite beautiful and eat pesky insects, so I do honor them. Nice lens, Sandy.

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 7 years ago from FL

      I have never heard of spider fighting, wow, nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      OHHH I hate spiders... yet find myself glued looking at all these pictures. would have never thought of doing a lens on spiders,

    • profile image

      tdove 7 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      Welcome to the Nature and the Outdoors Group

      Lizzy

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I hate spiders, I do suffer from arachnophobia, yet I am drawn to read lenses on them..go figure. I learned something, I never would have tough that spider could fight!

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 7 years ago

      Welcome to the Going Buggy group!

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK

      Am loving your background image in your introduction. I love spiders myself.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      This is the weirdest thing I've heard of. When i read the title I thought I was going to learn of a way to fight the ever increasing spider population. LOL. Very interesting to say the least. The things that people do to pass the time...

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 7 years ago

      Cool lens. Never heard of spider fighting before...learned something new. You might enjoy my: daddylonglegs or my minicow lens.

    • profile image

      AntionetteTate 7 years ago

      you have a very insightful lens 5*

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I didn't know about having Spider fights. Maybe I will start training my 4 writing spiders. Lensrolling this great lens to Writing Spiders.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

      I had never heard of Spider Fighting before. I hope that all the spiders in my house fly off to Japan to join in the spectacle.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      maybe i star fights to whit my friends :D

      but they are afraid :( i get somewone us not ;D ty for the idea

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 6 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      I know a little about spiders (and robots.txt), but zilch about their fighting prowess. An interesting and unusual lens, Sandy.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a fascinating subject, I've never heard of it before, so thanks for telling me about it.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      I've never heard of a spider fight before, and this is very interesting.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Spider fighting? Now I think I've seen everything. Amazing ... and interesting ... and rather disturbing. Great lens, though!

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 6 years ago

      Wow I had no idea there was such a thing, or that spiders fought. I guess I always thought they stayed in their own spots.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      I am ok with spiders...I like them more on paper than anywhere else.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I wonder what makes man enjoy watching creatures fight, even spiders, it seems so strange.

    • TimothyArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 4 years ago from Chicago area

      I didn't know you could get spiders to fight each other. Does PETA know about this?

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