Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Editorial / Photo Essay

The Little Bullfighters of Mexico

  • Photographer
    Christina Simons

Salvador and Tadeo, aged 6, Mexican boys, attend matador training school in Mexico City. They train four hours every Saturday and Sunday morning. Since the age of 5 they have been learning the craft of bullfighting which begins with a set of horns used to emulate the movement of a bull and respond accordingly with grace and style in custom with tradition. In time they will work with small cows before ascending to be a Novillero to fight smaller bulls. The bullfighting pre-season called the Corrida de Novillos is a proving ground for young fighters who aspire to attaining the title of Matador de Toros. The boys both obsessively hope to one day become professional matadors. Cristóbal, aged 10, has been fighting bulls for more than one year and has been training for only 2 years. Due to his tremendous talent and promise he has been sponsored by famous bullfighter "El Juli" to train with some of the greatest bullfighters in Spain. Cristóbal considers what it means to him to fight the bull; “To fight a bull is something beautiful, there are a lot of emotions… adrenaline, excitement and facing the bull is the most beautiful thing. I know that danger is always there. As a torero you always are afraid but this is normal, but it makes you stronger and helps you to take control of the situation. To take control of your fear is what is needed and from that point you move ahead.” And on being gored by a bull “It is an occupational hazard.”