Freestyle Bullfighting is the art of engaging a bull bred specifically to fight, they are born to fight, not made to fight or be mean, it is a type of dance of man versus beast.
The bullfight itself is a 60 second competition with a whistle at the mandatory 40 second mark after which the bullfight can be “SOLD”.
Bullfighters are judged on and will gain points by how well they maneuver around the bull, working in close with the bull, staying in control, working in both directions and “SELLING” the fight. Bullfighters must maintain control of the barrel if the bull engages it.
A bullfighter will lose points by getting run over, run up the fence or not controlling the barrel if engaged. Bullfighters can gain extra points with jumps, barrel hops or walking down the bulls back using the barrel.
Each bullfight is scored 1 to 25 points by each judge on how strong the bullfighter fights and 1 to 25 points on how strong the bull performs. Two “JUDGES” points total a possible “100”.
Why is it “freestyle”? What is the difference of just bullfighters and Freestyle Bullfighting? “Just bullfighters”, also known as Cowboy Protection, have the primary job of keeping a bullrider safe. They are present in the arena when a bullrider gets onto a bull and enters the arena for his ride. In the instance the rider is hung up on a bull, they help the rider break free, they keep the bull from injuring the rider.
The fundamentals of Freestyle and Cowboy protection are basically the same. The object is to get the bull to focus on the bullfighter either to protect others or to Freestyle, akin to dancing.