Wrestling is a form of combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two (occasionally more) competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems.
Wrestling disciplines defined by FILA, are broken down into two categories; International wrestling disciplines and folk wrestling disciplines. According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, there are five current International wrestling disciplines acknowledged throughout the world. They are Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Grappling, Beach wrestling and MMA.
Freestyle wrestling is an international discipline and an Olympic sport, for both men and women. This style allows the use of the wrestler’s or his opponent’s legs in offense and defense. Freestyle wrestling has its origins in catch-as-catch-can wrestling and the prime victory condition in this style involves the wrestler winning by throwing and pinning his opponent on the mat. American high school and college wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling. Outside the U.S., one can find professional wrestlers who compete by the rules of freestyle wrestling.
Greco-Roman wrestling (or Graeco-Roman; see spelling differences) is a style of wrestling that is practiced worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in two three-minute periods, which can be terminated early by a pinfall. This style of wrestling forbids holds below the waist which is the major difference from freestyle wrestling, the other form of wrestling at the Olympics. This restriction results in an emphasis on throws because a wrestler cannot use trips to take an opponent to the ground, or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing the opponent’s leg.
Folkstyle/ traditional Wrestling
Folk wrestling describes a traditional form of wrestling unique to a culture or geographic region of the world that FILA does not administer rules for. Examples of the many styles of folk wrestling, include backhold wrestling (from Europe), Cumberland wrestling and Catch-as-catch-can (from England), kurash from Uzbekistan, gushteengiri from Tajikistan, khuresh from Siberia, Lotta Campidanese from Italy, koshti pahlavani from Iran, naban from Myanmar, pehlwani from India, penjang gulat from Indonesia, schwingen from Switzerland, tigel from Ethiopia, shuai jiao from China, and ssireum from Korea. Folk wrestling styles are not recognized as international styles of wrestling by FILA.