See the wonders of wrestling as you look back to its history
In the United States, wrestling is a favourite sport, which explains the multiple live shows that are broadcasted on multiple televisions. People would even flock in large stadiums just to see their favourite wrestlers dominate the centre ring.
Watching an exhilarating match of wrestling is something you need to experience. The movements of the wrestlers toss and turn the matted floor, fighting for dominance. Though at the end of the match, there should only be one victor to take home the coveted championship belt.
As interesting as it seems, the contact sport has a rich history, which explains the glory that it exhibits today. Get to know more about it when you continue reading this article.
Researchers have found a cave in Bayankhongor, Mongolia that has paintings all over its walls. These paintings consist of two naked men grappling with one another all the while a crowd of people surrounds them. It has been said that these paintings date back to 7,000 B.C.
More clues are spotted along with the lands of Mesopotamia. Some artworks depict the epic story of Gilgamesh, written in cuneiform. This story explains the form of hand-to-hand combat of two wrestlers, grappling each other’s belted waists. Later on, this was revealed to be known as belt wrestling.
Though there were no records of actual wrestling, people in Ancient Egypt illustrate pictures of the contact sport. These were first seen in the tombs of Niankhknum and Khnumhotep. Aside from that, more wall paintings have emerged during the 11th and 12th dynasties of Beni Hasan. During this period, wrestling-themed murals dominated the palaces and other places. Moreover, these were said to contain 400 couples of wrestlers, and they also had different refereeing codes as well as the rules of the sport.
Wrestling is the world’s oldest sport since it started way back in the Ancient Greek period. Young men from all islands of Greece would enter wrestling schools also known as palaestrae. While fighting, it is common for wrestlers to compete naked and paintings on Greek vases can prove this claim.
Aside from that, wrestling became part of the Olympic Games in 776 B.C.E. During this time, there are two wrestling championships, which are the toppling event and the pankration. For the former, the competition is based on the best 2 out of 3 falls. This means that the wrestler must pin both shoulders of his opponents down on the floor for one second. On the other hand, pankration is a mixture of wrestling and boxing. In this competition, a competitor must let their opponent submit to be crowned as the victor.
The most famous and heralded wrestler of the Greeks was Milon of Croton, who is a student of the philosopher Pythagoras. The wrestling champion has won a total of 6 Olympic championships, 10 wins in the Isthmic Games, 9 wins in the Nemean Games and 5 wins in the Pythic Games.
Unfortunately, wrestling, as well as other Olympic games, were shunned and prohibited during the reign of Emperor Theodosius I. This, in turn, has made the celebration of sportsmanship sink down and become latent but not forgotten.
Moving forward, the rulers of Persia started hiring Turkic mercenaries around 800 C.E. These soldiers brought a new wrestling style called Koresh or loose wrestling. This form has taken long grips, and wrestlers wore tight leather pants as a form of uniform. Moreover, this type of competition ends when the loser falls on the floor briefly on his back.
The Koresh has spread among different cultures, especially when the Turks took over the Muslim domain. However, things changed during the Mongolian invasion, and a new wrestling style has emerged. The Mongolian style of wrestling became the favourite of the royalties, which made it become the national sport of Iran.
The emergence of wrestling in Asia
Outside the European continent, Asia also has its style of wrestling known as Sumo. This originated in Japan, and it is a belted style of wrestling that involves pushing. The goal here is to push the opponent out of a 4-metre circle. Aside from that, sumo started as a submission spectacle that had imperial patronage from the royal families. In the 17th century, this sport was elevated to a professional level, and it was widely recognized across the country.
When the Renaissance period took over, wrestling became the sport of the rich. Only those who belong in castles and palaces can grapple with opponents. Aside from that, numerous painters, writers and philosophers celebrated the sport. This made them express their interests by producing works of art that encouraged other people to try wrestling. Additionally, an artist from Germany, Albrecht Durer, created the first book for wrestling in 1500, which later became the manual of the sport in 1512.
In 1894, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was able to re-establish the Olympic Games after a long hiatus during the Dark Ages. This catalyzed the creation of numerous sports federations and committees. In that same year, the first Olympic Games were held and consisted of numerous sports, including wrestling.
During this period, there were no weight categories yet, which means that everyone regardless of weight competed with one another. Aside from that, the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling applied, and it only allowed holds above the waist and forbid any leg wraps. After numerous days of sparring, the first Olympic champion emerged, and he is known as Schumann, a German athlete.
Modern and professional wrestling
Since wrestling was considered a royal sport, those who had no access to the elite took a different approach and formed troupes. They began travelling in the different provinces of France to showcase their talents. This, in turn, made the wrestlers join circus shows and use their bodies as a form to entertain the audience.
Jean Exbroyat, a showman, created the first modern wrestling circus troupe and created a new style of wrestling. Flat hand wrestling is a style where wrestlers are not allowed to execute holds below the waist. Consequently, the French influence has spread in different countries of Europe, which made the sport even more popular.
During the 20th century, wrestling had a decline in popularity due to the rising fame of boxing. Despite that, this paved the way for freestyle wrestling, which has weight divisions for fair fighting. Aside from that, this wrestling style now has a time limit of three-minute. From there, the Americans devised a way of judging the match fairly, in case there was no fall. With a time limit, judges can observe which wrestler had the most control throughout the match.
Wrestling as a sport
Having the history of wrestling at hand, it is time for you to learn more about the mechanics of wrestling.
What is the sport all about?
Wrestling is a combat sport that requires the two wrestlers to grapple with one another and see who will yield the power to submission. The goal of the sport is to make an opponent pinned down the floor with their back laying flatly.
There are three wrestling match levels known as the high school, collegiate and professional competitions. Most of these matches would last for around 20 minutes, and if there were no pins of falls, the judges would compute the scores they have tallied to determine the winner.
Equipment and gear
In terms of location, wrestling matches would require a spacious gymnasium that can be covered with large mats. As for the uniform, wrestlers need to wear singlets, which are tight-fitting outerwear that grants the players maximum mobility and zero restrictions. Aside from that, the tightness of the singlet helps prevent wrestlers from taking their opponents by the clothes.
Other wrestling gear involves strong-gripping shoes that prevent the wrestlers from slipping off the mat. Aside from that, athletes are required to wear headgear to protect the head from sudden blows and possible concussions. Additionally, a mouth guard is also needed so the teeth and gums would not break.
There are certain moves that wrestlers are not allowed to do during matches. This involves tossing opponents in the air and taking them on the ground head-first. These moves can create serious problems and injuries for people, which is why it is prohibited.
In terms of technicalities, wrestlers are fouled with these following conditions:
- The wrestler steps out of bounds or mat
- The wrestler fails to wear complete equipment and gear
- The wrestler intentionally grabs the opponent’s clothing
- The wrestler demonstrates improper body position before making contact.
Wrestling is an interesting sport to dive into, and it is one that you should learn more about. You can do so when you read fun blog articles here in Peachstate Wrestling Alliance.