What is Freestyle Wrestling?
Freestyle Wrestling is grappling in its purest form and one of the most ancient of all athletic events. The goal of modern Freestyle Wrestling is to pin an opponent's shoulders to the floor for a sustained period of time (generally between 1 and 3 seconds) or to outscore an opponent on points via takedowns, throws, reversal maneuvers and arm and leg holds.
Often called Olympic and/or amateur style wrestling, it is derived from centuries old contests in which 2 combatants compete in an attempt to subdue one another through a combination of strength and strategy.
Freestyle wrestling - the most popular wrestling style in the world - allows athletes to use their entire body in competitions.
History of Freestyle Wrestling
Almost every ancient civilization has engaged in some form of Wrestling; immortalized in murals, paintings and mosaics dating as far back as 15,000 years ago.
Culminating in the Olympic games of ancient Greece, Freestyle Wrestling matches were considered the high point of the competition with wrestlers’ status comparable to today’s high profile athletes.
Not limited to ancient Greece, variations of this wrestling style can be found in a variety of other ancient civilizations including ancient Babylonia, Rome, the Mayans and Aztecs, the Aryan civilizations of the Indian sub-continent, the Aboriginal peoples of the South Pacific and Australia, and the Inuit of the Arctic circle.
The sport made its appearance in the modern Olympic games in St. Louis in 1904, and has been a staple of the competition ever since. It continues to be recognized as one of the most physically challenging of all one-on-one contests in the history of sport.
Philosophy of Freestyle Wrestling
Unlike many Martial Arts, in which the philosophy can be as important as the art, Freestyle Wrestling does not ascribe or lay claim to any one particular ascetic or school of thought.
This is likely due to the fact that its origins were not as a means of combat or self defense, but rather as a sporting event pitting individuals against one another in a test of strength, stamina, will and technique.
Freestyle Wrestling as Self-Defense
Considered more of a sport than a fighting system, Freestyle Wrestling can serve as both. For example, one need only look to its success in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contests by experienced Freestyle Wrestlers such as Tito Ortiz and Mark Coleman, both past UFC Champions
Primarily a grappling sport, Freestyle Wrestling uses arm and leg holds, takedowns, throws and reversal maneuvers that can be extremely successful in subduing, controlling and pinning an opponent.
Although training revolves around organized competition, when used by a skilled practitioner, it can serve as a potent (and often under-estimated) means of hand-to-hand combat.
Freestyle Wrestling for Kids
Children commonly engage in some form of Wrestling; be it through school programs or as a part of normal play. As a result, most kids have an innate skill and love for it which is hard to deny.
Fun, fitness and confidence are just some of the benefits that kids of all ages can enjoy if they pursue it through instructional training; generally available to kids at the primary, junior, high school and collegiate levels.
Organized competitions take place on padded mats and are governed by rules, regulations and a referee that scores the match and ensures that wrestlers are safe.
Freestyle Wrestling for Adults
Those that have taken part in Freestyle Wrestling will attest to its benefits, both physical and psychological.
It offers a great aerobic and anaerobic cardio workout and is a highly effective means of isometric exercise, employing every major muscle group.
Amateur Wrestling Associations & Resources:
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