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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Ramos

My first Bull Fight

^^ Photo creds to yours truly ^^

Bull Fighting - a physical contest that involves a human and a bull in which he publicly tries to subdue, immobilize, or kill a bull.

Please keep in mind this is an opinionated site. I understand people have beliefs and morals but when it comes to someone else’s culture or someone else’s belief system leave it at the door.

I have a deep appreciation for Bull Fighting. Not the actual act, but the art of it all. Now before I go in depth I think its important to understand that I do feel bad for the bulls but I understand the meaning and respect it.

In total, there are 7 days where participants run alongside the bulls through the city of Pamplona. The run is usually composed of the six bulls to be fought in the afternoon, six steers that run in herd with the bulls, and three more steers that follow the herd to encourage any reluctant bulls to continue along the route. Yes, each day 6 bulls run, and 6 bulls are fought.

Here is a breakdown of a bull fight so you can better understand the procedure.

Stage 1

of bullfight is called the Tercio de Varas (third of lances). During this stage the bull enters the ring and is tested to allow the matador to observe how it behaves when charging and how fierce it is. Two picadors then enter the ring on horses and stab the bull's neck when it charges. This causes the bull to lower its head and also helps to make it less dangerous to the matador.

Stage 2

of a bullfight is called the Tercio de banderillas (third of flags). During this stage three banderilleros try to stick two banderillas (sharp sticks) into the shoulders of the bull, which makes the bull angrier but also makes it weaker.

Stage 3

of a bullfight is called the Tercio de Muerte (third of death). During this stage the matador again enters the ring, carrying a sword and a red cape hanging over a wooden rod. The matador performs a series of passes, ending when the bull is killed with the sword thrust between its shoulder blades and into the heart.

The matador has only 15 minutes to KILL THE BULL timed from the moment of the first pass.

In some cases when a bull performs so well that the crowd waves their handkerchiefs prior to the kill, the dignitary presiding over the bullfight can pardon the bull. Once pardoned it cannot be used in another bullfight because it would be too dangerous. The matador is given the great honor of freeing the bull.

All 6 bull fights I saw, the bulls died. It was an incredible experience. I felt so bad for these bulls, but I learned to appreciate the significance. There are few instances where Man & Animal are in combat like that. In fact, I don't think it is ever the case. Not since Roman times.


When I bought my tickets from a scalper in front of the stadium, he asked if I wanted sun or shade. He told us (6 of us) that the sun is where the party is and the people who sit in the shade are the ones who are there to actually watch the fight. Of course, our first bull fight we wanted to actually watch the fight and that is what we did. The stadium is old, really old, mostly concrete and the chairs were just as old. In fact, they were very uncomfortable (but there is joy in that as well.) I have one vivid memory outside of the bull fight itself & it is a memory I won’t ever forget and it was one of the biggest example of hospitality that will resonate with me always. I had the pleasure of being surrounded by locals, locals knew we were travelers. The local I so happened to be sitting by, had brought in tomato’s from his farm. In Spain they speak spanish. However, it is not Spanish you would hear in Mexico, but one of four different dialects you would hear in Spain. We could communicate, but our words were very different. We meant the same just couldn’t speak the same. This older gentleman, I would say he was around 50, give or take 5 years, invited me to indulge some of his tomatos (I wasn’t always a fan of tomato’s). However, if someone invites you to partake in something on foreign soil, you partake & let me tell ya. THESE WERE THE BEST TOMATOES OF MY LIFE. He would pull a tomato out, slice it with his knife, salt it, pass it to me. Back and forth. Back and forth, for the first half of the bull fight until there was no more left. I bonded with this individual over some tomatoes while I watched a bull fight in Spain. He showed me hospitality, he showed me friendship. His name was Santiago & he left a solid impression on me.

Let me put this into perspective. These bulls can weigh up to 2,400 lbs! Lol they are massive, & are no joke. They are being toyed with by a 16 year old bull fighter. Can you believe that a 16 year old toys with an animal of this size. I don’t think I can truly explain what it is like to see this individual taunt a bull. With every swoop of the cape it was majestic, awe-ing, and just spectacular!

Appreciate culture. Your way is not the right way.

& remember



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