By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor
Thanks to television, the common idea of "wrestling" today is
the theatrical WWE entertainment. Anyone who watches this for
any amount of time can see the moves are staged and mostly
choreographed. The moves aren't easy, and because the
participants are usually very large and very strong, real
injuries do occur.
WWE athletes do train hard and are typically of elite
caliber. But they aren't wrestling. You don't do, for example,
drop kicks in wrestling. And in a wrestling match, the
contestants don't conform to pre-arranged outcomes, jump at each
other off of ropes, or stand there waiting for the other person
to complete a run and bounce from the ropes.
So what is wrestling?
Wrestling is a sport played between two players. Wrestling is
a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting,
throws, take downs, joint locks, pins and other holds. The
players fight unarmed with each other. In wrestling, a player is
declared a winner when he pins the opponent down.
There are many different styles and forms of wrestling.
Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, judo and sambo
wrestling are the four main forms of wrestling practiced
internationally. There are two wrestling styles that are
included in the Olympic program, they are freestyle and
Wrestling was introduced to the Olympics' schedule as a men's
event in the first modern Summer Games in 1896. Since then,
wrestling has been held in every Summer Olympics except the 1900
Games. Women participated in the freestyle wrestling competition
for the first time in the 2004 Summer Games. The rules in
women’s Wrestling are similar to those used in men’s Freestyle
Wrestling, but with some key variations – for example, double
head-locks are not allowed.
Olympic Wrestling Styles
In Greco-Roman Wrestling, a wrestler may not attack his
opponent's legs, nor use his own legs to trip, lift, or execute
other moves. The wrestler must wrestle from standing. But he
can't let the top of his head rest against his opponent’s chest.
This is called passivity, and will result in a call of "CONTACT"
by the official. The official will say "contact red" or "contact
blue" before actually indicating passivity by holding an open
palm hand in the air with the offender's color indicated. There
is also a slight relaxation in not requiring a high arch by the
attacker when a gut wrench is initiated on the mat, plus some
modifications on hand attack when escaping.
In freestyle wrestling, both the arms and legs may be used to
execute holds or to defend against attack. If legs are used as
part of the attack by an aggressor, no points are scored and the
wrestlers are returned to standing. Only one official needs to
see the leg usage for the move to be nullified. If legs are used
to prevent a move, the attacker receives whatever points are
gained, a caution point (or points), and choice of position. If
a throw from standing is blocked, the attacker receives 2 points
plus the position choice. If a move on the mat is prevented, the
attacker receives 1 point plus choice. In either case, the
offender receives a single caution.
The ability to effectively execute wrestling techniques
requires a combination of incredible strength, speed, and
training. Wrestling stylists generally work to take their
opponents to the ground and control them there by utilizing
clinches, locks, take downs, and throws. 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 using a
submission hold (for example, a submission choke hold as in MMA).
The majority of wrestling styles can be defined by techniques
such as clinching, take downs, take down 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.
Four common wrestling moves:
- Body lock: A hold where a wrestler locks arms around the
body of his opponent before taking him to the mat.
- Bridge: The arched position adopted by a wrestler to
prevent his back from touching the mat.
- Pin: To force an opponent's shoulders to the mat.
- Takedown: To take an opponent from a standing position
to the mat.
The above article was
edited to include the WWE comments, which were not in the
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