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.
The term wrestling is attested in late Old English, as wræstlunge (glossing palestram).
Wrestling disciplines defined by FILA, are broken down into two categories; International disciplines (1) and folk disciplines (2).
1) According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, there are four current International wrestling disciplines acknowledged throughout the world. They are Greco-Roman (A), freestyle (B), beach (C) and amateur pankration (D).
A) Greco-Roman is an international discipline and an Olympic sport. In Greco-Roman style, it is forbidden to hold the opponent below the belt, to make trips, and to actively use the legs in the execution of any action. Recent rule changes in Greco-Roman increase opportunities for and place greater emphasis on explosive, ‘high amplitude’ throws. Pinning one’s opponent to the mat is one way of winning. One of the most well known Greco-Roman wrestlers is Alexander Karelin from Russia.
B) Freestyle 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.
C) FILA codified the current form of Beach Wrestling in 2004. Beach wrestling is standing wrestling done by wrestlers, male or female, inside a sand-filled circle measuring 6 meters (20 ft) in diameter with only two weight categories, heavy and light. The wrestlers wear swimsuits rather than special wrestling uniforms. Wrestlers may also wear spandex or athletic shorts. The objective is to bring the opponent to the ground, push them out of bounds or pin their shoulders to the ground.
D) Amateur pankration is a form of safe amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that incorporates techniques from multiple systems. Matches are fought with both grappling holds and by striking techniques.
2) 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.
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