Wrestling refers to contests where two person physically engage one another in an attempt to gain control, often by utilizing hand-to-hand techniques designed to throw their opponents off balance and knock them down. History of Wrestling is very long.
History of Wrestling
Wrestling is an Old English term that seems to have originated some time previous to 1100 A.D. However, wrestling as a practice is much older than that. Along with this, there is no specific line that can be drawn, as is the case with some other martial arts styles, when it comes to the evolution of wrestling. Nearly every culture boasts a form of hand-to-hand combat designed to throw opponents off balance.
Reinforcing this, cave drawings in France from over 15,000 years ago appear to depict people engaged in acts of wrestling. A grappling style originating in China called Shuai Jiao is reportedly over 4,000 years old. Artwork in Egypt shows people engaged in wrestling before 2,000 BC. Further, both the Greeks and Romans engaged in the martial art to a great extent as well.
In Europe, many of the styles of wrestling were originally rather loosely organized. Eventually these became more organized, however, which led to the style of Greco-Roman wrestling. Greco-Roman wrestling refers to a style of grappling where lower body attacks are disallowed (all throws are executed using upper body clinches and holds). From there, Greco-Roman and modern freestyle grappling competitions became formal in continental Europe and money prizes were offered to the victors.
Along with this, European nobility often practiced the art of wrestling, and by 1896 Greco-Roman wrestling was so popular that it was added to the initial Olympic Games. Freestyle wrestling (1904) and women’s freestyle wrestling (2004) were both also eventually included.
Characteristics of Wrestling
The majority of wrestling styles can be defined by techniques such as clinching, takedowns, takedown defense, holding, and more. Additionally, some wrestling styles, such as catch wrestling, utilize submission holds or techniques meant to force an opponent to give up or face the consequences of a joint lock or choke hold.
Basic Goals of Wrestling
Wrestling stylists generally work to take their opponents to the ground and control them there by utilizing clinches, locks, takedowns, throws, and more. From there, the goals of what wrestlers do tend to depend on the style in question.
Sometimes wrestlers may have the goal of pinning their opponent. Other times, they may hope to end the fight utilizing a submission hold.
Wrestling Styles Recognized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
- Greco-Roman Wrestling
- Freestyle Wrestling
- Beach Wrestling
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