The History of Greco-Roman wrestling

Greco-Roman Wrestling

Is a wrestling style that was first contested in the 1896 Olympics and has since gained a lot of popularity.

As more people keep joining Greco-Roman wrestling competitions, the desire to understand its history keeps growing. Here is all that you need to know about the history of Greco-Roman wrestling.

The origin of Greco-Roman wrestling

The term GrecoRoman was used to denote the derivation from similar forms of wrestling in ancient civilizations, especially around the Mediterranean Sea.

The United World Wrestling reports that the style could have been developed by a Napoleonic soldier named Exbrayat Jean who called the style flat-hand.

Jean took the game a step further by crafting special rules. He established that there should be no holds below the waist or torsions that can result in pain on the opponent.

The rules made the game even more popular because everybody could get involved without worrying about feeling pain or getting hurt. The term Greco-Roman was coined by Bartoletti Basilio to ensure that the game underscored the ancient values.

Later in the 18th and 20th centuries, many personalities tried adding value to the game by citing connection to ancient aspects. Joham Guts, in his work Gymnastics for youth in the 18th century mentioned a type of school boys wrestling that did not include holding the lower parts of the body.

Promoting Greco-Roman wrestling

Greco-Roman Wrestling was practiced in most European cities. By the 19th centuries, there were small tournaments held in every city. For example, the Russian Czar paid 500 Francs to help wrestlers train and compete in his tournaments. However, Greco-Roman wrestling did not grow rapidly in Britain because leaders preferred other types of wrestling.

By the close of the 19th century the game was so popular that it was adopted in the Olympic Games. In 1896, the game was one of the major competitions in the Modern Olympic Games in Athens. Since then, the game has been an important component of every Olympic.

The legendary Greco-Roman wrestler, Hackenschmidt

The history of Greco-Roman wrestling cannot be complete without mentioning the Russian Lion, Hackenschimidt. In 1898 at the age of 21, Hackenschimidt won the tournament after defeating more experienced players. He had only practiced the wrestling for just 15 months before heading for the modern Olympics.

Later in 1900, Hackenschimidt won major tournaments in St. Petersburg and Moscow in top international competitions. He also defeated Jenkins from the US and won a lot of matches both in Europe and away. Before turning into a physical education advisor, Hackenschimidt had won over 2000 competitions in Greco-Roman freestyle.

International Amateur Wrestling Federation took over Greco-Wrestling in 1921

Before being taken by IAWF, Greco-Roman competitions were becoming very hostile. Many players used body slams, head butting, and even choke-holds to weaken opponents. In some cases, caustic soda was used to weaken the opponent. Besides, the matches took too long.

During the 1912 Olympics, the match between Ivar Boehling and Anders Ahlgren lasted for 9 hours before a draw was declared. After IAWF took over the sport, the timelines have been shortened while harmful moves such as head butting and neck-shocks were forbidden.

Must Have Gear to Compete in Wrestling

Wrestling is one of the most captivating sports and many people cannot walk away from the television when games start. If you decided to start wrestling, the thrill would be even more. To be allowed to compete, you need the following gear.

Wrestling shoes

The shoes are very important and should be packed first before anything else. Though wrestling at lower levels might be a little lenient, players in competitive wrestling must have the right shoes. The shoes should be light, fitting and feature the right arch support for extra stability. It is advisable to select laced shoes for easier adjustments on demand.

Wrestling uniform

In wrestling, all players are required to have the right uniform. The least that will be accepted is a pair of shorts and a workout tee shirt. The ideal uniform should be loose but not oversized or baggy. The target should be getting a uniform that allows you to make the right move with no restrictions. If you are fighting at the competition level, it is advisable to follow the recommended theme in terms of colour, patterns, and even design.

Head gear

Because wrestling involves bringing the opponent down, it is not surprising to fall with a thud and harming the head. To guarantee your safety, it is a requirement that you have the right head gear in all competitions.

Head gears are available in different sizes to allow all wrestling enthusiasts get a perfect fit.  For beginners, the head gear is soft while those for more experienced wrestlers are harder and heavier.

Wrestling Singlet

Singlet is a single garment that looks like a special tee-shirt joined with a wresting short. Singlets are made using nylon or Lycra to give the user extra elasticity as wrestling intensifies. Teams of opposing sides wear varying colours on the ring.

Mouth Guard

Wrestling can get very rough and result to injuries if players do not have all the protection. Just like you secured the head, the mouth and chin need to be protected using a mouth guard. The guard will help to prevent injuries on the lips, teeth, and cheeks.

Wrestling kneepads

As you shoot the opponent down or try to force the way up, you do not want to risk your knees. Many wrestlers who do not use the knee pads find themselves at high risk of injuries and staying out of the game as they recover. Make sure to get fitting wrestling kneepads and secure them well before the competition begins.

Best Wrestling Colleges in the US

While wrestling is always fun and enthralling to watch, every fight presents new challenges to wrestlers. To become a top wrestler, you have to get the right skills preferably from one of the top colleges. The colleges have put intensive wrestling programs that will equip you with all the needed skills to become the best in the ring. In this post, we bring you the list of the best wresting colleges in the US.

The art of success in wrestling by the top colleges

To get the coveted title of a champion at any level, it calls for hard work, commitment, focus, and patience. Most importantly, you have to seize every opportunity to get down and wrestle. The top colleges have programs where wrestlers keep practising under the watch of the trainers. You can also utilize local clubs, camps, and open fields to practice various skills.

Everything demands patience. Well, you cannot wake up and expect to become a champion because the trainer has introduced a new trick. Rather, every skill requires practice to perfect. It is advisable to learn one skill after the order to become an all rounded wrestler and apply the best in competitions.

The moves only work rarely if you lack the right set up or you lack the right counter to the opponent. Wrestlers must learn to read the moves of the opponents and prepare appropriately to counter or make a move. At higher levels, you will be able to apply both (move and counter) and wrestle like a pro. That should be the target.

No matter how high you are placed at the college, regional, or national level, you can only keep sharpening the skills by taking on those who are better than. They will demonstrate that there is a lot that needs to be done and, therefore, keeps you motivated to improve progressively. In addition to taking those who are better than you, you have to keep the eyes on the world wrestling champions and how they did it on television, YouTube and individual websites.

Best Wrestling Colleges in the US

College Score ’12 U.S. News Rank APR [Out of 1,000] National Ranking ’11/’10/’09 STACK Factor
1. Cornell 100 15 967 2/2/5 24
2. Wisconsin 92.51 42 956 10/4/9 72
3. Stanford 91.40 5 972 11/28/NR 192
4. Iowa 90.68 71 972 3/1/1 24
5. Virginia 89.07 25 978 23/15/34 132
6. Minnesota 88.63 68 961 7/7/14 84
7. Ohio State 87.91 55 953 29/8/2 132
8. Penn State 83.07 45 928 1/9/17 48
9. Lehigh 80.86 38 985 8/17/28 12
10. Oklahoma 80.78 101 976 16/5/31 120