A bullfighter's job is very unique in that he has to react to a situation in a proper way, so that to lessen the chance of a dangerous situation. We get very few tools, but what we do have is our minds. We typically work as a 2 or 3 man team to cover all 360 degrees around the animal, and rely on nothing but reaction and our own decisions to make sure everything goes as planned.
Sometimes, you will see bullfighters give each other and other personnel in the arena hand signals dictating a prediction or assumption of the situation to follow. There is typically debate on whether or not these hand signals are needed or even wanted. There are some that swear by them and use them constantly, whether are typically correct or not. Then, there are others who pay no mind to them and take the situation as it comes.
However, I myself have witnessed first hand other arena personnel being very gratious for knowing these hand signals (judges, gate personnel, barrelman, etc.).
Some examples and their meanings are shown below. We are not saying use them is right, wrong, or indifferent, we intend to inform. Even if you're only a spectator, watch out for these next time you find yourself in front of a set of bucking chutes; what ensues when the fist comes out might be exciting.
Comment below on YOUR thoughts on hand signals!
6/8/2017 09:47:25 am
I my self use hand signals as I feel it is good for everyone in the arena to know what may come. The one I use most is the mean bull sighn. Most arena personal like knowing ,if they don't already, if the bull is mean or not. Coming to the conclusion that they are necessary.
To me, hand signals are a double edged sword. As I haven't been fighting that long, I find that when I get the signal that a bull is mean, I hesitate to go when go is necessary. If I don't know, then I treat every bull the same, without hesitation. This may be different for guys who have fought longer and have overcome the hesitation, but fighting for as little as I have, I'd much rather not know what a bull is known for. When it comes to pinky wraps or a green rider, they are handy, but at the end of the day, I've seen world champs get two jumped just as fast as someone who is green. Getting out of a hang up may be different for them, but respectively, I'd much rather not know or have an assumption. To me they aren't necessarily all that important.
6/8/2017 02:12:26 pm
Since the first time I ever fought, hand signals have been used. I like knowing as much as I can about the situation before it happens. There is by no means any disrespect to anyone by using hand signals but could positively help after their ride. Bullfighters aren't always close enough to talk and the hand signals is a good way around the communication barrier. In addition, bullfighters should be prepared for every bull whether they're mean or not. Every person that has taught me to bull fight has said "always expect the worst, but hope for the best." Stay safe out there boys and stay hooked up! 🐂
4/21/2023 09:46:41 am
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