|Olympic sport||Greco-Roman and freestyle|
Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be theatrical for entertainment (see professional wrestling), or genuinely competitive. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two (occasionally more) competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems.
A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one combat. In many combat sports, a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the opponent. Common combat sports include mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling, fencing, savate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Sanda, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, HMB, Sambo, Kyokushin, and Kūdō, sometimes even Ninjutsu.
In hand-to-hand combat, grappling is a close fighting technique used to gain a physical advantage such as improving relative position, or causing injury to the opponent. Grappling covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts that are practiced both as combat sports and for self-defense.
Clinch fighting is the part of stand-up fighting where the combatants are grappling in a clinch, typically using clinch holds. Clinching the opponent can be used to eliminate the opponent's effective usage of some kicks, punches, and melee weapons. The clinch can also be used as a medium to switch from stand-up fighting to ground fighting by using takedowns, throws or sweeps.
The term wrestling is attested in late Old English, as wræstlunge (glossing palestram).
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.
Wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of combat. The origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings. Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport. Literary references to it occur as early as the Old Testament and the ancient Indian Vedas. In the Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Jacob is said to have wrestled with God or an angel.The Iliad, in which Homer recounts the Trojan War of the 13th or 12th century BC, also contains mentions of wrestling. Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata contain references to martial arts including wrestling. In ancient Greece wrestling occupied a prominent place in legend and literature; wrestling competition, brutal in many aspects, served as the focal sport of the ancient Olympic Games. The ancient Romans borrowed heavily from Greek wrestling, but eliminated much of its brutality.
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon. It was merely a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire but greatly expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire.
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.
During the Middle Ages (fifth century to fifteenth century) wrestling remained popular and enjoyed the patronage of many royal families, including those of France, Japan and England.
Early British settlers in America brought a strong wrestling tradition with them. The settlers also found wrestling to be popular among Native Americans.Amateur wrestling flourished throughout the early years of the North American colonies and served as a popular activity at country fairs, holiday celebrations, and in military exercises. The first organized national wrestling tournament took place in New York City in 1888. Wrestling has also been an event at every modern Olympic Games since the 1904 games in St. Louis, Missouri (a demonstration had been performed at the first modern Olympics). The international governing body for the sport, United World Wrestling (UWW), was established in 1912 in Antwerp, Belgium as the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA). The 1st NCAA Wrestling Championships were also held in 1912, in Ames, Iowa. USA Wrestling, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, became the national governing body of U.S. amateur wrestling in 1983.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
St. Louis is an independent city and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world. The city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, and the 22nd-largest in the United States.
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, one wrestling event was contested. It was organized and prepared by the Sub-Committee for Wrestling and Gymnastics. Five competitors from four nations competed.
Some of the earliest references to wrestling can be found in wrestling mythology.
Wrestling bouts are described in some of the world's mythologies.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia that is often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh, king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur. These independent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic in Akkadian. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version dates to the 18th century BC and is titled after its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī. Only a few tablets of it have survived. The later "standard" version compiled by Sîn-lēqi-unninni dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC and bears the incipitSha naqba īmuru. Approximately two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered. Some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.
Gilgamesh was a historical king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, a major hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, and the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem written in Akkadian during the late second millennium BC. He probably ruled sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC and was posthumously deified. He became a major figure in Sumerian legends during the Third Dynasty of Ur. Tales of Gilgamesh's legendary exploits are narrated in five surviving Sumerian poems. The earliest of these is probably Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, in which Gilgamesh comes to the aid of the goddess Inanna and drives away the creatures infesting her huluppu tree. She gives him two unknown objects called a mikku and a pikku, which he loses. After Enkidu's death, his shade tells Gilgamesh about the bleak conditions in the Underworld. The poem Gilgamesh and Agga describes Gilgamesh's revolt against his overlord King Agga. Other Sumerian poems relate Gilgamesh's defeat of the ogre Huwawa and the Bull of Heaven and a fifth, poorly preserved one apparently describes his death and funeral.
Enkidu (𒂗𒆠𒆕 EN.KI.DU3, "Enki's creation"), formerly misread as Eabani, is a central figure in the Ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu was formed from clay and water by Aruru, the goddess of creation, to rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance.
Greco-Roman wrestling and contemporary freestyle wrestling were soon regulated in formal competitions, in part resulting from the rise of gymnasiums and athletic clubs.
On continental Europe, prize money was offered in large sums to the winners of Greco-Roman tournaments, and freestyle wrestling spread rapidly in the United Kingdom and in the United States after the American Civil War. Wrestling professionals soon increased the popularity of Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, worldwide.
Since 1921, United World Wrestling (UWW) has regulated amateur wrestling as an athletic discipline, while professional wrestling has largely become infused with theatrics but still requires athletic ability. Today, various countries send national wrestling teams to the Olympics, including Russia, Iran, Turkey, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Gambia, the United States and several ex-U.S.S.R. nations.
In Switzerland the local derivate of the German ringen, called schwingen, is a popular folk sport with local Schwingfest where regional competitions are played throughout the country.
Wrestling disciplines, as defined by UWW, are broken down into two categories; International wrestling disciplines and folk wrestling disciplines. UWW currently recognizes six wrestling disciplines in all. Three are Olympic disciplines: Greco-Roman wrestling, men's freestyle wrestling and female wrestling (i.e., women's freestyle wrestling). The other three are amateur pankration, belt wrestling alysh and beach wrestling.
Greco-Roman is an international discipline and an Olympic sport. In Greco-Roman style, it is forbidden to hold the opponent below the belt, to make trips, and to actively use the legs in the execution of any action. Recent rule changes in Greco-Roman increase opportunities for and place greater emphasis on explosive, 'high amplitude' throws. Pinning one's opponent to the mat is one way of winning. One of the most well known Greco-Roman wrestlers is Alexander Karelin from Russia.
Freestyle wrestling is an international discipline and an Olympic sport, for both men and women. This style allows the use of the wrestler's or his opponent's legs in offense and defense. Freestyle wrestling has its origins in catch-as-catch-can wrestling and the prime victory condition in this style involves the wrestler winning by throwing and pinning his opponent on the mat. American high school and college wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling.
Pankration, from the Greek words pan and kratos meaning "the one who controls everything", is a world heritage martial art with the distinction of being the only martial sport in the ancient Olympic Games from 648 BC to 393 AD. Modern amateur pankration is a form of mixed martial arts (MMA) that incorporates techniques from multiple systems. Matches are fought with both grappling holds and by striking techniques.
UWW, then known as FILA, codified the form of beach wrestling in 2004. 7 meters (23 ft) in diameter. The style originally mirrored the rules used before the use of wrestling mats, and beach wrestling has been regarded as the oldest version of international competitive wrestling. The wrestlers wear swimsuits rather than special wrestling uniforms. Wrestlers may also wear spandex or athletic shorts.Beach wrestling is standing wrestling done by wrestlers, male or female, inside a sand-filled circle measuring
The international rules have been modified in 2015 by UWW, with the current rules allowing wrestlers to score points via takedowns, pushing their opponent out of bounds, or bringing the opponent down to their back.In addition to the annual World Beach Wrestling Championships, beach wrestling has been contested at Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games, Down Under Games, Mediterranean Games and expected to be contested at the upcoming 2019 World Beach Games.
Folk wrestling describes a traditional form of wrestling unique to a culture or geographic region of the world that FILA does not administer rules for. Examples of the many styles of folk wrestling, include backhold wrestling (from Europe), Cumberland Wrestling and Catch-as-catch-can (from England), kurash from Uzbekistan, gushteengiri from Tajikistan, khuresh from Siberia, Lotta Campidanese from Italy, koshti pahlavani from Iran, naban from Myanmar, pehlwani from India, penjang gulat from Indonesia, schwingen from Switzerland, tigel from Ethiopia, shuai jiao from China, and ssireum from Korea.
Folk wrestling styles are not recognized as international styles of wrestling by UWW.
Oil wrestling (Turkish : yağlı güreş), also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil. It is related to Uzbek kurash, Tuvan khuresh and Tatar köräş. The wrestlers, known as pehalvan meaning "champion" wear a type of hand-stitched lederhosen called a kispet, which are traditionally made of water buffalo hide, and most recently have been made of calfskin.
Unlike Olympic wrestling, oil wrestling matches may be won by achieving an effective hold of the kisbet. Thus, the pehalvan aims to control his opponent by putting his arm through the latter's kisbet. To win by this move is called paça kazık. Originally, matches had no set duration and could go on for one or two days, until one man was able to establish superiority, but in 1975 the duration was capped at 40 minutes for the baspehlivan and 30 minutes for the pehlivan category. If no winner is determined, another 15 minutes—10 minutes for the pehlivan category—of wrestling ensues, wherein scores are kept to determine the victor.
The annual Kırkpınar tournament, held in Edirne in Turkish Thrace since 1362, is the oldest continuously running, sanctioned sporting competition in the world. In recent years this style of wrestling has also become popular in other countries.
Collegiate wrestling (sometimes known as scholastic wrestling or folkstyle wrestling) is the commonly used name of wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States. This style, with modifications, is also practiced at the high school and middle school levels, and also for younger participants. The term is used to distinguish the style from other styles of wrestling used in other parts of the world, and from those of the Olympic Games: Greco-Roman wrestling, and Freestyle wrestling. Some high schools in the U.S. have developed junior varsity and freshman teams alongside varsity teams. Junior varsity and freshman wrestling teams restrict competitors not only by weight, but also by age and the amount of wrestling a competitor can partake in. For example, some junior varsity and freshman competitors are not allowed in tournament competition due to the amount of mat time a wrestler would accrue in a short time period.
There are currently several organizations which oversee collegiate wrestling competition: Divisions I, II, and III of the NCAA, the NAIA, the NJCAA, and the NCWA. NCAA Division I wrestling is considered the most prestigious and challenging level of competition. A school chooses which athletic organization to join, although it may compete against teams from other levels and organizations during regular-season competition. The collegiate season starts in October or November and culminates with the NCAA tournament held in March.
Sambo is a martial art that originated in the Soviet Union (specifically Russia) in the 20th century. It is an acronym for "self-defence without weapons" in Russian and had its origins in the Soviet armed forces. Its influences are varied, with techniques borrowed from sports ranging from the two international wrestling styles of Greco-Roman and freestyle to judo, jujitsu, European styles of folk wrestling, and even fencing. The rules for sport sambo are similar to those in competitive judo, with a variety of leg locks and defense holds from the various national wrestling styles in the Soviet Union, while not allowing chokeholds.
Professional wrestling is often concluded in a raised ring; akin to boxing. Although advertised as contests, they are actually exhibitions with winners generally pre-determined. Professional wrestling has traditionally been based on catch wrestling holds, although earlier forms existed based on Greco-Roman wrestling.
Sometimes referred as "American-Style" professional wrestling, companies such as WWE, Impact Wrestling and ROH run touring professional wrestling events throughout the world. Fights are highly theatrical, with dramatic stories such as feuds between fighters developed and performed as part of build-up and promotion for matches. Before its increase in popularity in the mid 1980s, professional wrestling in the United States was organised as a cartel of regional monopolies, known as "territories." Wrestling in some of these areas (particularly the Southern and Midwestern United States) was performed in a relatively less theatrical more serious style, which could vary from realistically sporting to darkly violent, depending on local preference.
A different style of professional wrestling evolved in the United Kingdom and spread across Western Europe (where it was known as "Catch" in the non English speaking countries of mainland Europe.) Traditionally in this style, there was less use of storylines and angles to promote the matches which, for the most part, had the atmosphere of real wrestling competition. In many countries such as the UK, this form of professional wrestling achieved mainstream popularity with television making household names of its stars, but later declined and was supplanted both on television and in wider culture by imported American wrestling. Some promoters in the UK (and to a lesser extent France and Germany) still produce live shows in this style but face stiff competition from more American-styled rivals.
Japanese professional wrestling, also known as puroresu, is also treated more as a sport than the entertainment style of wrestling common in North America. As with British/European wrestling, there are fewer and less contrived storylines and angles and there is a similar atmosphere of realistic sporting competition. Techniques include use of amateur or shoot wrestling tactics in addition to hard hitting martial arts strikes and complex submission maneuvers. This means that the wrestlers are more prone to injury.[ citation needed ] Popular Japanese wrestlers include Rikidozan, Giant Baba, Antonio Inoki, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Shinya Hashimoto and Keiji Mutoh.
Mexican professional wrestling, also known as lucha libre, is a style of wrestling using special holds. Most performers, known as luchadores (singular luchador), begin their careers wearing masks, but most will lose their masks during their careers. Traditionally a match involves the best of three rounds, with no time limit. Each luchador uses his own special wrestling style or "estilo de lucha" consisting of aerial attack moves, strikes and complex submission holds. Popular luchadores in Mexico and Puerto Rico are El Santo, Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras, Perro Aguayo, Carlos Colón, Konnan, La Parka and Místico. Several wrestlers who performed in Mexico also had success in the United States, including Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio (Jr.) and Dos Caras Jr./Alberto Del Rio.
In France in the 19th century, early professional wrestling shows in the Greco-Roman style were often performed at the circus by the resident strongmen. This style later spread to circuses in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia where it was a staple part of circuses in the Soviet era, where it was often advertised as "French wrestling."Ivan Poddubny achieved major stardom in his homeland and beyond during the interwar period.
The rapid rise in the popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) has increased interest in wrestling due to its effectiveness in the sport.It is considered one of three core disciplines in MMA together with kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Already in the early stages of MMA development, wrestling gained respect due to its effectiveness against traditional martial artists. Wrestlers, Dan Severn, Don Frye, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture and Mark Kerr went on to win early Ultimate Fighting Tournaments. Ken Shamrock won the first UFC Superfight Championship in the UFC and was also the first King of Pancrase in Japan.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan stated: “I personally think that the very best skill for MMA is wrestling, I think that’s the number one base to come from because those guys just flat out dictate where the fight takes place [standing or on the ground]." "There is no better base for entering into mixed martial arts than the highly successful competitor as a wrestler. The competitive wrestlers, the highly successful amateur wrestlers have such tremendous mental toughness. If you can just get through the room, the wrestling room practices at like really high level universities, NCAA division one teams; those guys are savages. The stuff they go through, just the overtraining, just the mental toughness that you have to develop."
Successful fighters in modern MMA who began their training in various forms of wrestling include former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero, 2009 world champion and ONE FC Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, former Olympic wrestler and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, Brock Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion who was a NCAA wrestling champion in 2000 and former Pride FC Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson, who competed extensively in collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestling before beginning his career in mixed martial arts.
Pankration was a sporting event introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was an empty-hand submission sport with scarcely any rules. The athletes used boxing and wrestling techniques, but also others, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground. The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging out the opponent's eyes.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from various combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The term gained popularity when newfullcontact.com, then one of the largest websites covering the sport, hosted and republished the article. The question of who actually coined the term is subject to debate.
Submission wrestling or combat wrestling, is a form of competition and a general term for martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission through the use of submission holds. The term "submission wrestling" usually refers only to the form of competition and training that does not use a gi, or "combat kimono", of the sort often worn with belts that establish rank by color, though some may use the loose trousers of such a uniform, without the jacket.
Greco-Roman (US) or Graeco-Roman (UK) wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practiced worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908.This style of wrestling forbids holds below the waist; this is the major difference from freestyle wrestling, the other form of wrestling at the Olympics. This restriction results in an emphasis on throws because a wrestler cannot use trips to take an opponent to the ground, or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing the opponent's leg.
Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling. There are two international wrestling styles performed in the Olympic Games: freestyle and Greco-Roman. Both styles are under the supervision of United World Wrestling. A similar style, commonly called collegiate, is practiced in colleges and universities, secondary schools, middle schools, and among younger age groups in the United States. Where the style is not specified, this article refers to the international styles of competition on a mat. In February 2013, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to remove the sport from the 2020 Summer Olympics onwards. On 8 September 2013, the IOC announced that wrestling would return to the Summer Olympics in 2020. The rapid rise in the popularity of the combat sport mixed martial arts (MMA) has increased interest in amateur wrestling due to its effectiveness in the sport and it is considered a core discipline.
Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic games. American high school and college wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling.
Sambo is a Soviet martial art and combat sport. It originated in the Russian SFSR in Soviet Union. The word "SAMBO" is a portmanteau for samozashchita bez oruzhiya, which literally translates as "self-defence without weapons". Sambo is relatively modern, since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. It was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts.
Matthew James Lindland, also known as The Law, is an American retired mixed martial artist, Olympic wrestler, speaker, actor, coach, entrepreneur and politician. He won the Oregon Republican Party's nomination for the Oregon House of Representatives, District 52 seat on May 20, 2008. He also started an apparel company named Dirty Boxer. In mixed martial arts, Lindland has competed primarily in the Middleweight division for the UFC, Strikeforce. Affliction, the IFL, Cage Rage, the WFA, and BodogFIGHT.
United World Wrestling (UWW) is the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling; its duties include overseeing wrestling at the Olympics. It presides over international competitions for various forms of wrestling, including Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling for men and women, as well as others. The flagship event of UWW is the Wrestling World Championships. It was formerly known as the FILA, having assumed its current name in September 2014.
Kevin Andre Jackson is an American Olympic gold medalist wrestler and former professional mixed martial arts competitor. After retiring from active competition he became the head wrestling coach at Iowa State University, having been hired in 2009 after Cael Sanderson moved to Penn State University. Before joining Iowa State, Jackson was a four-time All-American, first for Louisiana State University and then for Iowa State, where he was the NCAA runner-up in 1987. He stepped down from his position in 2017.
USA Wrestling is the organization that currently governs freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States. USA Wrestling is also the official representative to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and to United World Wrestling (UWW) and is considered the national governing body of the sport at the amateur level. Their mission statement is, "USA Wrestling, guided by the Olympic Spirit, provides quality opportunities for its members to achieve their full human and athletic potential."
UWW United World Wrestling is the Amateur Wrestling World Championship organized by the United World Wrestling.
Wrestling and grappling sports have a long and complicated history, stretching into prehistoric times. Many traditional forms survive, grouped under the term folk wrestling. More formal systems have been codified in various forms of martial arts worldwide, where grappling techniques form a significant subset of unarmed fighting.
FILA Grappling was a non-striking hybrid combat sport sanctioned by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA). A form of submission wrestling influenced by freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, and sambo, it applied submission holds and choking techniques in order to make the opponent abandon the fight. FILA ceased sanctioning the sport in 2013.
The European Wrestling Championships is main wrestling championships in Europe.
Ethnosport is a set of traditional styles of physical activity, methods of their preservation, and their development, as described in the ethnosport theory of Russian cultural anthropologist Alexey Kylasov.
Wrestling has deep historical roots in Armenia. Wrestling existed in the Armenian Highlands since ancient times. Armenians have their own variant of the game called Kokh. It was recorded that King Tiridates III of Armenia won the Ancient Olympic Games in wrestling in 281 AD. During the Soviet era, wrestling became one of the most practiced sports in Armenia and remained popular after Armenia's independence in 1991. Armenian athletes have been successful at international competitions in the last two decades. Many have become World and European champions, both in Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling. Over half of the fifteen Armenian Olympic medalists and the two gold medal winners were wrestlers.
The various styles of wrestling include:
Aaron Pico is an American mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler, currently signed to Bellator MMA where he competes in their Featherweight division.
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