Wrestling is one of the oldest competitive sports still practiced today. Almost as soon as man could walk upright, he had to defend his territory and fight for food and that often involved wrestling. Wrestling can be defined as a combat sport that involves grappling, throws, locks, chokes and pins; while most forms of wrestling do not permit punching and kicking.
Types of Wrestling
An international as well as a traditional sport, there are many forms of wrestling. Almost every country in the world has a type of wrestling that is unique. Some, like Sumo and Judo from Japan, are very well-known but catch wrestling from Lancashire, England is less so.
In one form or another, wrestling has been part of the modern Olympics, since their inception in 1896 and also featured in the ancient Olympics. Recently, wrestling was in danger of being dropped from the program; but luckily for wrestling, this ancient sport earned a reprieve and will again be part of the Olympics.
While there are many forms of wrestling, the types of wrestling seen in the Olympics are Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle. The main difference between these two disciplines is that in Greco-Roman wrestling, you are not allowed to grab your opponent around the legs or use your legs for offence or defence, whereas in freestyle wrestling you can.
Rules vary from one type of wrestling to another, but the basic premise for all forms of wrestling are the same – throw your opponent on their back and hold them there. Also, points are awarded for things like takedowns, reversals and showing technical superiority so that if no fall occurs, one of the wrestlers can be awarded victory by the referee.
Benefits of Wrestling
Wrestling is predominately an anaerobic sport that can develop strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, core strength and power. Very energetic, wrestling can burn upward of 600 calories per hour making it a great way to manage your weight.
The ability to maintain a low centre of gravity, keep your balance, defend against and elude your opponent’s attacks are also important skills that wrestling can help develops.
In many ways, a wrestling match is not unlike a game of chess; as each wrestler tries to out manoeuvre his opponent. This helps improve mental acuity, strategic thinking, and determination too.
Some of the added benefits of wrestling include:
- Increased metabolism leading to weight loss and/or maintenance of healthy body weight
- Greater flexibility and strength
- Improved fitness and endurance
- Development of confidence, self-discipline and determination
- Competitive strategies and critical thinking
Wrestling and MMA
Wrestling is an intrinsic part of MMA, as many MMA fighters use wrestling techniques to take an opponent down and control them on the ground. Many MMA fighters have a strong wrestling background, and some wrestlers have gone on to achieve great accolades in the MMA arena, including Brock Lesner, Bob Sapp and Ken Shamrock.
No sport is entirely safe, especially concerning martial arts, but the lack of striking in wrestling means that this sport is safer than many. Participants train with people of a similar weight and level of experience, which further reduces the risk. Wrestling techniques are non-lethal, and a tap-out, a sign of submission, brings the move to an end before injury can be sustained.
Warming up and training under the close supervision of an experienced coach will also significantly reduce the risk of injury. If you are in Brisbane and want to try out wrestling under the supervision of one of our qualified coaches, be sure to come in to Arena Fitness MMA in Springwood or contact us.
Wrestling is suitable for men, women and children and participants are generally paired with opponents of a similar size, weight and build to make training as safe and beneficial as possible.
Learning to Wrestle
Whether you want to compete in wrestling, want to add it to your MMA repertoire or are simply looking for a great way to get and stay in shape, the best way to learn this dynamic sport is to train with a professional coach. Doing so will reduce your risk of injury to a minimum and ensure you learn how to apply the techniques of wrestling properly.
You don’t need lots of expensive equipment or fancy clothing to enjoy wrestling – unrestrictive workout clothes and flat athletic shoes are sufficient to begin with. And don’t forget your sweat towel and water bottle – you’ll need them both!
Try wrestling for FREE!
Still not sure whether wrestling is for you? No problem! Why not come in and try one of our free wrestling classes in Springwood, at Arena Fitness MMA. Check out our other locations in the Brisbane area to find the best Arena for your training.
As famous wrestling coach Dan Gable once said, “More enduringly than any other sport, wrestling teaches self-control and pride. Some have wrestled without great skill – none have wrestled without pride.”