Wrestling Types Explained

Wrestling is one of the most popular and beloved sports of all time. The sport has been around for centuries and it’s still widely enjoyed by millions.

Some say that wrestling was originally invented as a way to resolve disputes, but at some point, people started to actually compete in wrestling matches. Whether or not this is true, we will never know, but wrestling is certainly a very real sport today.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the oldest and most popular wrestling styles from all over the world. We will also see who the current champions are, and what they have been doing recently to help their sports evolve into what we enjoy today.

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wrestling types

How Many Types of Wrestling Are There?

There are hundreds of different wrestling styles in the world. Every culture has developed a variety of techniques and rules for contests in hand-to-hand combat, and they have been doing this for many thousands of years.

The oldest evidence we have of wrestling goes back to cave paintings from about 10,000 BCE. Some of these paintings depict scenes of wrestling matches, and they have been the basis upon which historians figured out how these ancient people used to wrestle.

There are dozens of different styles of wrestling practiced throughout the world today. There are over a hundred recognized national styles, and every single country has its own variation on how to wrestle. Some techniques can be found everywhere, while others are very regional.

Here’s a List of the Most Popular Wrestling Styles in the World Today:

Greco-Roman Wrestling – originally developed by the ancient Greeks, this form of wrestling is currently very popular among men all over Europe.

Folkstyle wrestling – this is the most popular style in the United States, and it’s a very effective form of wrestling that allows for a high level of creativity.

Freestyle Wrestling – this type of wrestling was originally developed by Native Americans. Today, it’s one of the most common forms of wrestling, especially in the US.

Collegiate Wrestling – this is another American style of wrestling that was originally created at universities across the country. It became an official NCAA sport in 1928.

Submission Wrestling – this is a very modern type of wrestling that emphasizes grappling techniques, joint locks, and chokes. This style is now practiced all over the world, but it was originally developed in Japan by legendary judokas like Karl Gotch.

Cumberland Wrestling – this is probably the oldest form of wrestling in England, and it’s believed to have been developed by Celtic tribes somewhere between 100 and 1000 AD.

Mongolian Wrestling – in this style, competitors try to throw each other down by twisting their bodies into unnatural positions. It’s considered a very spiritual contest in Mongolia.

Chinese Wrestling (Shuai Jiao) – this style of wrestling is over 4000 years old, and it’s still practiced today. In Chinese wrestling, the fighters use their clothing to grip each other and they try to throw each other to the ground.

Finnish Wrestling (Lappish Wrestling) – this is a very unique form of wrestling that’s only practiced in Finland. It’s similar to sumo wrestling, but the main goal is to make your opponent fall down by grabbing their legs.

Collar and Elbow Wrestling – this style of wrestling was developed in Ireland, in which two opponents grab each other by the collar and elbow and try to throw each other to the ground.

Cornish Wrestling – was also practiced by the ancient Greeks, but the modern version was developed in Cornwall, England.

Hawaiian Wrestling – this is a very unique form of wrestling that was developed by the native Hawaiians. It’s a very fluid and graceful style that relies heavily on throws and takedowns.

Irish Wrestlingthis form of wrestling was developed in Ireland, and it shares many similarities with both Greco-Roman and Cumberland Wrestling.

Lancashire Wrestling – this is another ancient form of English wrestling that’s very similar to Cornish Wrestling.

Devon Wrestling – this style of wrestling was developed in Devon, England and it’s very similar to Lancashire Wrestling.

Scottish Highland Wrestling – this is a very old form of wrestling that was developed by the Celtic tribes of Scotland.

Singhalese Wrestling – this is an ancient form of South Asian wrestling that’s still practiced in Sri Lanka today.

Catch As Catch Can Wrestling – this is a style of wrestling that originated in Britain and it’s also called “catch-as-catch-can” (or simply catch). This form of wrestling is currently practiced worldwide and professional wrestlers usually use the catch wrestling moves they learn to win their matches.

Judo – this type of wrestling was developed by Japanese people. It involves technique and strength, but it is not as rough as other styles on this list.

Sambo – this type of wrestling originates from Russia. Sambos are really versatile fighters who have mastered many different techniques for combat.

Sumo – the rules of sumo wrestling allow the contestants to push each other out of the ring or make them touch the ground with anything but their feet.

What Is the Most Popular Type of Wrestling?

Nowadays, the most popular form of wrestling seems to be freestyle wrestling. Many people see it as a modern version of Greco-Roman, and that’s probably because both styles were originally developed by Europeans.

Most countries in Europe participate in freestyle wrestling, and this is reflected in the multitude of European wrestlers at the top level today.

The current world champions are Jordan Ernest Burroughs from USA and Taha Akgul from Turkey.

What Type of Wrestling Is Real?

Unlike professional wrestling, classic wrestling is not fake, just like any other martial art. We should remember that all wrestling styles were developed as a way to resolve conflicts without anyone getting seriously hurt.

Wrestling matches are basically two wrestlers who can actually push each other out of the arena or cause a competitor to touch the ground with anything but their feet, they can also try to rotate each other’s bodies into different restraining positions and all this is done under the supervision of a wrestling referee.

What Is the WWE Style of Wrestling?

WWE wrestling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world today. It’s a simulated sport, but it’s been designed to look extremely real thanks to carefully choreographed moves and dialogue between athletes and announcers.

In general, WWE matches are faster-paced than other styles of wrestling. Most wrestlers specialize in certain types of moves, so they can help each other during a fight. Wrestlers are divided into face and heel categories depending on whether fans like them or not.

What Is the Oldest Style of Wrestling?

If we’re talking about the oldest form of combat where people try to push each other out of the ring, you might need to look back several thousand years in history. Mongolian wrestling is believed to be one of the most ancient types of wrestling in existence today.

What Style Is High School Wrestling?

High school wrestling is a great way for teenagers to engage in an intense and fun activity together. Participants need to be well-rounded athletes who can participate in various sports, such as track, gymnastics, or football (American style).

The rules of high school wrestling vary based on the state where events are held; however, contestants usually compete within a circle painted on the floor. Matches can be won by forcing an opponent to touch the ground with any part of their body other than the bottom of their feet.

What Style Is College Wrestling?

Collegiate wrestling is very similar to high school wrestling, but there are some minor differences. For example, collegiate wrestlers often wear special clothes that distinguish them from their opponents; they also compete in a square enclosure that measures 8 x 8 feet.

The collegiate competition also requires contestants to score two points within 30 seconds (in case of injury) or 5 minutes (in case of a tie).

What Style Is Olympic Wrestling?

There are numerous forms of wrestling that are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but freestyle and Greco-Roman were officially added to the Olympics in 1904. Contrary to what many people think, these styles have very little in common with their ancient predecessors. Both styles are very dynamic and athletic.

These days, most people refer to Olympic wrestling as freestyle because it allows contestants to use their legs more than the older style of wrestling; this is why athletes with strong back muscles (such as Burroughs) used to dominate Greco-Roman competitions.

What Wrestling Style Is Best for Self Defense? 

There isn’t a single wrestling style that can be considered the most effective for self-defense purposes. Although some styles are definitely more popular, it’s important to realize that there are many different types of wrestlers with unique fighting techniques.

For example, Greco-Roman wrestlers usually rely on upper body strength since they’re not allowed to use their legs to tackle their opponents. Freestyle wrestlers, on the other hand, might use a wider variety of moves depending on what type of competitors they’re fighting against.

What Wrestling Equipment Is the Most Popular?

A wrestler will obviously need a wrestling singlet, headgear, shoes, and kneepads. They can also get useful items like wristbands or ear guards if they want to. Although the mentioned wrestling equipment is optional, most competitive wrestlers use them on a regular basis.

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