We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Bullfighter do?

Jessica Ellis
By
Updated Feb 24, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bullfighting is a traditional form of entertainment in which a bull is taunted and stabbed to death by a bullfighter. The activity, which has roots in ancient religious customs, is popular throughout Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. A bullfighter, sometimes called a matador or torero, is renowned for great courage and skill by proponents of the entertainment. To detractors, bullfighting constitutes the torture and killing of an animal for entertainment and bullfighters are considered by many to be guilty of animal abuse.

In traditional bullfights, there are actually several different types of toreros. Some, called picadors, stab the bull with a lance or spear to enrage and weaken the animal. A banderillero rides a horse very close to the animal and stabs it with barbed stakes, often topped by colorful flags. After the bull has lost sufficient blood and become angered, the final bullfighter is brought out to finish the killing.

The final bullfighter, called the matador, often wears a colorful uniform consisting of short pants, a white shirt, and heavily decorated jacket. Many also wear a traditional cap, and carry a red cloak. The uniform of the matador is particularly important in traditional bullfights throughout Spain and Portugal, although less formal events in other countries may use different costumes.

The matador fights on foot, armed with his or her cape and a sword. The brightly colored cape is used to entice the bull to charge, so that a matador can display athleticism and skill by artfully dodging. After the charges have sufficiently exhausted the already-injured bull, the matador then stabs the animal to death. The final stroke is meant to go straight into the heart of the bull, killing it instantly and, according to proponents, with little pain.

Matadors often rise from the ranks of picadors and banderilleros, gaining practice by taunting and killing younger, smaller bulls. After sufficient training, an aspiring bullfighter undergoes a special test. Upon passing the test, the bullfighter is thereafter referred to as a matador.

A bullfighter risks his or her life in their profession, for which many people consider them brave or heroic. Detractors point out that killing a maimed and exhausted animal may lack the glory attributed to the act, yet the bullfighter does put his or her own life on the line for the job. In cultures where bullfighting is popular, matadors are often regarded as courageous, cool, and fearless.

Since the origin of the entertainment, bullfighters have been almost exclusively male. In the latter half of the 20th century, a few women did successfully pass tests to become full-fledged bullfighters, only to be met with considerable derision and criticism. Female bullfighters have become somewhat symbolic of feminist movements throughout Latin America. One matadora, Cristina Sanchez, is frequently cited as a poster-child for female empowerment after a successful career in the ring.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.