Wrestling has been around since the beginning of civilization. The earliest records of it were carvings found in caves in southern Europe that are estimated to be over 15,000 years old (National Wrestling Hall of Fame). It is known as the oldest sport and it has changed a lot over time. Wrestling is a combat-based sport that has been around for thousands and thousands of years. In this time the rules, the styles, and the way it’s done have been changed. These are the changes that have been made to wrestling over the last 15-20,000 years. Wrestling has been around for over 15,000 years and it’s changed a lot.
Wrestling started in Ancient Greece as an Olympic Sport. Wrestling has been an Olympic sport since 776 BCE. (Britannica). The first Olympic Games were held in Greece, 776 BCE. Which including wrestling. At the games in Athens, wrestling tournaments were held but there were no weight classes and the wrestlers wrestled under similar rules to current day Olympic wrestling. The most famous wrestler from Ancient Greece was a man named Milo of Croton. Milo was a wrestler from Crotone, Italy that was a six-time Olympic victor and was claimed to be the best and most known wrestler. Wrestling was not as popular with Rome as it was to Greece and with the fall of the Roman Empire, we did not hear much about wrestling until about 800 CE.
In Persia the rulers would hire mercenaries, these mercenaries used a style of wrestling called Koresh. This loose style of wrestling allowed wrestlers to grab the pants of their opponent, which were usually made of leather. The goal of the sport was to momentarily get their opponents back flat on the ground. Soon after Turks and Mongols invaded and Mongolian wrestling was created. In Mongolian wrestling or bökh wrestling slap their thighs to show they are both ready. The goal of bökh is to get your opponent’s back, knee or elbow touching the ground. Mongolian wrestling or was very popular and even received royal patronage. The sport then became the national sport of modern Iran. Mongolian wrestling is still around to this day but there are other styles similar to Mongolian wrestling like sumo which was created around the same time Mongolian wrestling was.
Sumo is a style of wrestling that was created in Japan. Sumo is a belt-wrestling style that involves forcing your opponent out of a 15-foot circle or to force them to touch the ground with any body part other than the soles of their feet (Britannica). The wrestlers wear only loincloths and grab their opponents by their belt to move them and attempt to push or throw their opponent out of the circle. In Japan, sumo wrestling became so popular it received Imperial patronage between 710 and 1185, it also became a very popular spectator sport. Around this time the Shoguns took over the Japanese government with the help of the Samurai. The Shoguns eventually banned public sumo events and the sport wasn’t seen again until the 1600s. Sumo is still a very popular sport in Japan and is practiced today. Wrestling became popular all over the world, even in Europe, with many different styles practiced.
The first accounts of European wrestling occurred in the middle ages around the 13th century. London was said to the first place to hold an official match. In England, a style often called Cornwall and Devon was created. The style was a kind of Cornish wrestling that was usually taught to knights of the Holy Roman Empire. Wrestling was very popular and books were made with instructions of the sport. Even the English Kings, Henry VIII and Charles II and the French King Francis I were known patrons of wrestling. In later ages, wrestling became something people enjoyed spectating. Over the next centuries, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling were the most known and practiced styles. These are the styles that are mostly used today with the exception of folkstyle, which is the style used in highschools and colleges over the US.
Today the styles Greco-Roman, freestyle, and folkstyle are the most known and used styles in the US. Greco-Roman is a style that combines Ancient Greek and Roman styles. In this style, you are rewarded when you throw or slam your opponent as it is encouraged. In freestyle, the main goal is to get your opponents shoulders against the mat for a couple of seconds to get a pinfall. Folkstyle is a style used in highschools which is a lot like freestyle except the rules try to protect the wrestling from being injured by not allowing slams that are not controlled.
Wrestling has been around for a very long time and the sport has had a lot of styles and changes over time. The number of different types of wrestling other countries have are endless and there are many types that I haven’t listed. In the future people will create new types of wrestling. The possibilities of wrestling are endless. It has been around for over 15,000 years and it can only be improved.
Wrestling has been around for a long time and in that time many things have changed. Wrestling is one of the most known Olympic sports and there are many styles practiced all over the world. This sport teaches discipline and hard work and is a great sport to try.