The immediate reaction of many non-Spanish people to bull fighting is that it is sick, animal killing, unmoral entertainment. To many others around the world, though, bull fighting is a sport which involves courage, skill, and power, in a struggle between man and beast. This purpose of this paper is not to discuss the moralities of bullfighting though, it is to give some information on a sport which is loved by many throughout the world.
A bull fight, or corrida de toros, consists of three matadors, and six matches, which each take about 20 minutes to complete. These fights take place in a bull fighting arena, or plaza de toros. The least experienced matador will take the first and fourh matches, and the best matador will fight in the third and last matches.
The matadors are not alone. They are accompanied by three banderilleros and two picadores. The matador wears a brightly colored costume known as the suit of lights. His assistants wear less flashy costumes.
The movement from act to act in the bull-fight is divided by a trumpet blast. The first trumpet signals the paseo, or march of the bull-fighters. The second trumpet proclaims the entrance of the bull. The matador first watches his chief assistant perform some passes with the yellow and magenta cape, in order to determine the bull's qualities and mood, before taking over himself. During this period the matador is testing the bull's speed, power and tendencies to hook one way or the other. Information learned now is crucial for a successful fight
The third trumpet signals the entrance of the picadores, mounted on horse back, who carry long pikes with a steel tip which is prevented from going more than four inches into the bull's flesh by a metal guard. The bull carries its head and horns high, so the aim of the picador is to weaken the massive tossing muscle (the morrillo) between the shoulder blades. When the bull charges, the picador leans out and thrusts the pike...
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