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sport in which two unarmed opponents grapple with one another. The object is to secure a fall, i.e., cause the opponent to lose balance and fall to the floor, and ultimately to pin the supine opponent's shoulders to the floor, through the use of body grips, strength, and adroitness.

One of the most primitive and universal sports, wrestling was probably known in prehistoric times. In ancient Greece, wrestlers were rated second only to discus throwers as popular Olympic heroes. The Greeks practiced two forms of wrestling—upright and ground. Wrestling was also included in the pentathlonpentathlon
, composite athletic event. In ancient Greece it comprised leaping, foot racing, wrestling, discus throwing, and casting the javelin. The modern pentathlon, an Olympic games contest for men since 1912, comprises a cross-country horseback ride, a cross-country run, a
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 and the pankration (combined with boxing); the most famous Greek wrestler was MiloMilo
or Milon
, fl. 500 B.C., athlete of ancient Greece, b. Crotona. He won numerous victories in wrestling at the Olympic and Pythian games. He is said to have carried a heifer on his shoulders through the Olympic stadium, killed her with a blow of his fist, and
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 of Crotona. Homer's account of the match between Ajax and Ulysses (Iliad, XXIII) is one of the world's greatest wrestling stories. Wrestling tournaments were held in medieval Europe, and the sport has remained popular throughout history.

Distinctly different styles of wrestling exist today. In Japan, for example, two types of wrestling styles are popular—sumo and jujitsu (see judojudo
, sport of Japanese origin that makes use of the principles of jujitsu, a weaponless system of self-defense. Buddhist monks in China, Japan, and Tibet developed jujitsu over a period of 2,000 years as a system of defense that could be used against armed marauders and yet
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). Sumo, in which the object is to force the opponent out of the ring, is quasireligious in nature and involves much ritual. Most of its participants weigh 300 to 400 lb (135–180 kg). For centuries wrestling has been the center of life for the Nuba in Africa, who wrestle only after covering themselves with symbolic ash. In the traditional Turkish style of Pehlivan, wrestlers wear leather breeches and cover themselves with oil; the Shwingen style of Switzerland and the Glima of Iceland feature grips on the opponent's belt; the Cumberland-Westmoreland style from Britain relies on holds that bend opponents backward; in Central Asia, wrestlers still compete in Kuresh wrestling passed down from the Turkmen centuries ago.

Nearly all nations embrace the two types of wrestling contested in the Olympics: Greco-Roman and freestyle. Greco-Roman, most popular in continental Europe, prohibits tripping, holds below the waist, and the use of one's legs. Freestyle wrestling is most popular in the United States and E Europe. This form permits tackling, tripping, and leg holds. High schools and colleges in the United States employ a style that approximates freestyle. In nonprofessional wrestling, contestants are classified by weight. Wrestlers earn points for certain maneuvers and the highest accumulated total wins if there is no pin during a match. Professional wrestling in the United States, which is a form of entertainment rather than a sport, has enjoyed several periods of popularity; it relies on colorful showmanship and media exposure.



a kind of sport, consisting of an individual fight between two athletes according to prescribed rules. The art of wrestling has been well known since ancient times among many peoples. In ancient Greece wrestling was the final part of the Olympic Games. The many different national forms of wrestling are a basic part of national holidays in Georgia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tataria, and elsewhere. In international sports the four types of wrestling that have developed are Greco-Roman, freestyle, judo, and sumo. In freestyle, Greco-Roman, and judo wrestling, world and European championship competitions are held; the program of the Olympic Games includes competition only in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Wrestling competitions are conducted on a special mat which measures 8 × 8 meters; a match cònsists of three periods of 3 minutes each, with 1-minute breaks for rest. The athletes are divided into prescribed age groups and weight categories. A match takes place in a standing, upright position, or on the mat (when one of the wrestlers is on his knees, lying on his chest, on his side, or in the “bridge” position).

The winner in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling is the wrestler who has forced his opponent to touch the mat with both shoulders. If this does not occur during the time of the match, then the winner is the athlete who earns the greater number of points for technical moves successfully carried out. If the number of points is equal, a tie match results. In Greco-Roman wrestling, in contrast to freestyle, holds below the belt are not allowed, nor are moves with the legs and feet, such as a backheel.

Wrestling facilitates the development of strength, quickness, agility, endurance, a sense of balance, and coordination of movements. With medical supervision wrestling is permitted from the age of 12.

In 1921 the International Amateur Wrestling Federation (FILA) was founded, and the wrestlers of the USSR have belonged to this organization since 1947. In 1959 the Wrestling Federation of the USSR was established.

World fame was gained long ago by the Russian wrestlers I. Poddubnyi, I. Shemiakin, I. Zaikin, and others. Great popularity in the USSR as well as abroad is enjoyed by the following Soviet wrestlers: Olympic champion and three-time European champion I. Kotkas; world champions and Olympic champions G. Kartoziia, A. Kolesov, A. Ivanit-skii, A. Medved’, and I. Bogdan; and five-time world champion A. Aliev.


Klassicheskaia i vol ‘naia bor’ba: Pravila sorevnovanii, 2nd ed.
Moscow, 1963.
Sportivnaia bor’ba. Moscow, 1968.


What does it mean when you dream about wrestling?

This dream could indicate that the dreamer is grappling with a problem in their personal or professional life. Wrestling might also suggest that the dreamer is wrestling with ideas or habits that may need to be brought into control.


any of certain sports in which the contestants fight each other according to various rules governing holds and usually forbidding blows with the closed fist. The principal object is to overcome the opponent either by throwing or pinning him to the ground or by causing him to submit
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More research and preventive measures are needed to prevent fractures among wrestlers in Tehran.
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