Ram Fighting is an old tradition originally developed from the West Java Region. Because of its age-old practice, this form of fighting has already developed its own set of rules and interesting preludes. Today, ram fighting in Bandung is followed and admired by many.
The rams are prepped by giving them silver triangular accessories to be put around the neck. During the more prestigious fights, they are dressed in leather coats. During games, the fighting arena is packed with trucks, pick-ups and a handful of luxury vehicles. One by one, rams are unloaded carefully to be placed in a row of wooden posts. The ram fighters are classified into different weight categories similar to how boxers are weighed against each other in time for a match. While their masters complete the registration forms, the rams wander freely in the wide field while waiting for their turn.
The loud and intense sound of the trumpets and drums signal the beginning of the fight. Hundreds of spectators then cheerfully and impatiently watch the empty fighting arena soon to be filled with intense rams. For the safety of the spectators, wooden fences are always put up around the fighting arena to prevent the ram from getting out of the arena and heading towards spectators.
The first fight is always the most intense. Drums are continuously beaten to boost the enthusiasm of the rams as well as the excitement of the crowd. The two animals are then placed at a distance that directly faces its opponent. When the signal is given, the rams rush towards each other and literally lock their horns. The fight is then a match of head-butting until the ram that runs away from its challenger or falls down is stated the loser of the match. The rams can lock horns instead of pummeling each other with repeated blows. In such instances, the referee will then be the one to blow the whistle and drag them apart.
Also similar to a boxing match, if neither of the fighters run away or falls down, the ram that has accumulated the higher number of points is declared the winner. A ram can gain a point not only for its boldness in attacking its opponent but also due to the attractiveness of its horns, the type and color of its wool and its pose when about to attack its challenger.
Ram fighting has become extremely popular especially during major fighting events such as the Championship Cup in the West Java Governor or other provincial-level ram fighting events. Watching ram fights is usually free of charge, so it is an ideal activity for those who are tight on budget. Sunday mornings are usually the days for ram fighting not only in Bandung but in many other parts of the West Java Region.
Although seemingly beautiful and tamed, these rams ultimately go wild in the arena to the happiness of the roaring crowd. Because of this, ram fighting in Bandung has then become an interesting and exciting form of entertainment that every visitor of the city should experience.