Bullfighting - Jesulin de Ubrique

Jesulin de Ubrique

Jesús Janeiro Bazán was born on 9 January 1974 in Ubrique, a village set in the mountains of Cádiz, near the historic mountain town of Grazalema, and famous across Andalucia for its leather industry. Jesulín wanted to be a footballer but, instead, pulled by the lure of bullfighting and the glory it might offer, he became a matador.

Under the instruction of his coach, Rafael Ortega, he represented the Cádiz Bullfighting School in a competition in the town of Mijas, in Málaga, which he won. In Ronda's famous Pedro Romero bullring he fought three-year-old bulls for the first time and in Nîmes in France he faced a four-year-old bull and qualified as a bullfighter.

Four years later, in the large bullring at the town of Puerto de Santa María, near Cádiz, he faced six bulls in a bullfight fought in honour of women. A televised event where all the spectators, press, camera crew, officials were women. He finished the 1995 season having fought 164 bullfights. To this day no other bullfighter in the history of this sport has achieved such a feat.

In 1999 Jesús took a break in his career and in 2001 he returned to the arena. However, at the end of this season he was involved in a serious traffic accident that left him unable to fight for a year. In 2003, recovered from his accident, he returned to the arena with his characteristic way of tempering.

When I say tempering, I refer to the main discussion surrounding Jesulín's technique and also his own philosophy about the corrida. It could be said that the bullfighter from Ubrique brought one of the most significant verbs to the sport of bullfighting, to temper. In the field of bullfighting this verb is the quintessential factor in a well-fought corrida, and it has a lot to do with the rhythm of the bull's charge.

It is defined as the ability to run the hand that holds the cape at a very exact speed when the bull passes under, or it can also be about adapting the movement of the cape to the speed at which the bull comes charging.

In neither case should the animal clash with the cape. Learning this skill is not easy and ever since Jesulín became a bullfighter and built up his entourage of fans, he has flirted with this method and it has made him famous.

However later on when he tried to recapture the true art of bullfighting, the crowds who once filled the arenas, were not interested. The fans saw him as a common opportunist, which said a lot because after his career break and the accident, Jesulín de Ubrique took a more realistic view of his personal and professional life, something that is now very noticeable in the arena. Now he performs for the fans, he is a slave to the fans.