6 Different Forms of Wrestling Found Around the World

Wrestling has a long history that dates back to the traditional ancient Greeks and is one of the widely famous martial arts around the globe. It is practiced and loved by millions of people across the world.

Even though wrestling has different types, clinch fighting, grappling methods, joint locks, throws and takedowns, and also pins are the basic techniques for all forms of wrestling. Getting a dominant position over the opponent and making them debilitated using bodyweight is the key to winning in wrestling.

Depending upon the culture in which wrestling was developed, there are different principles and different versions of wrestling. There will be a unique version of wrestling in every country.

Here, let’s discuss some of the major forms of wrestling along with their important characteristics.

  • Freestyle

Freestyle is the most popular type of wrestling that is practiced all over the world. It is also featured in the Olympic games. In amateur wrestling competitions, freestyle wrestling is considered to be one of the six main variations. Throwing and pinning the opponent is the objective in freestyle wrestling. Therefore, the victory in this form of wrestling will be immediate. This style combines the concepts of sambo, traditional wrestling, and judo. For both offense and defense, freestyle wrestling uses the wrestler’s legs.

  • Greco-Roman

Greco-Roman wrestling is also a widely practiced popular wrestling form. In the 1896 Olympic Games, this style of wrestling was introduced for the first time. Since 1904, Greco-Roman wrestling has been included in every Summer Olympics. This style does not allow holding below the waist. Legs also cannot be used for offense and defense. The Greco-Roman wrestlers possess powerful upper bodies and can easily move heavyweights.

  • Sumo

Sumo wrestlers will have a weight of more than 300 pounds. The Sumo wrestling schools in Japan provide training for these wrestlers. These wrestlers will undergo strict training, resting as well as eating huge quantities of food that are rich in calories. The wrestlers are dressed in the briefest of trunks and will also have a wide belt around the waist. If the wrestler manages to get the opponent to touch the ground with their body other than the feet, he can gain a point. They can also perform subtle faints.

  • Folkstyle

American schools and colleges focus more on folkstyle wrestling. It is also known as scholastic wrestling. This type of wrestling is focused on providing healthy exercises for all ages and the rules vary according to the schools and colleges. Folkstyle wrestling is similar to freestyle wrestling in many ways. The wrestler can use legs for both offense and defense. Controlling the opponent is a characteristic of folkstyle wrestling.

  • Pehlwani

Pehlwani, also known as Kusti, originated in India and represents the Mughal wrestling style. The wrestlers of Pehlwani are referred to as Pehlwans and their teachers are called Ustad. Many elements of catch wrestling can be seen in Pehlwani.

  • Shua Jiao

Shua Jiao is a martial art from China and is practiced all over the world. It originated in the Qing Dynasty. The wrestlers of Shua Jiao wear a jacket called “Da Lian” with chaps over the pants. To lift the opponents, these chaps are used by the wrestler. The rules of Shua Jiao vary according to the location.