Amateur Wrestling


Wrestling has a long history. It is the world’s oldest sports. Different work of antiquity such as Frescoes and statuary from Idia, Egypt, Greek and Babylon depict various wrestling holds, Stances and maneuvers. They used the same holds that are used by amateur wrestlers today and it was one of the brutal sport which was featured in a number of literature in Greek. It was also a number one sport in the Olympic Games. Europe and Brittany modified these early forms of westing to suit their own preference of the day and Medieval knights even added wrestling to their flighting repertoire.

  • Grappling vs. Wrestling

    Grappling is a term used to describe martial arts maneuvers and techniques that involve grabbing an opponent. Therefore, grappling is incorporated into most combat sports and martial arts, like judo, jujitsu, sambo and wrestling. To grapple means to engage in hand-to-hand combat, which is part of wrestling. However, the term grappling is also commonly used to specifically describe ground fighting, a fighting tactic common in Brazilian jujitsu. There are differences between grappling, or ground fighting arts like jujitsu, and the modern sport of freestyle wrestling.

  • Difference between Grappling & Wrestling

    The two major differences between grappling, when it refers to ground fighting, and freestyle wrestling, is the presence of submissions and the strategy of fighting. There are no submission holds -- like choke holds or arm bars -- allowed in wrestling like there are in grappling. Grappling allows you to put your opponent in a hold that causes extreme pain or a fear of injury and thus forces them to submit out of the match. To win the match in wrestling, you must score more points than your opponent using maneuvers such as takedowns, reversals, escapes, and near-falls, or put your opponent on his back and "pin" him by forcing both shoulder blades to touch the mat.
    Grappling techniques differ between the martial arts and freestyle wrestling. In wrestling, the top position is ideal for controlling and eventually pinning an opponent. When a wrestler pins his opponent, the match is immediately over. Wrestlers try to avoid being on their back, as it puts them in a position that makes them susceptible to being pinned. However, in some martial arts, being underneath your opponent and lying on your back can be an advantage. You can hold an opponent with your legs and perform submission holds while not being in a susceptible position yourself. Being on top or on your hands and knees makes you susceptible to a number of submission holds and moves that are not allowed in wrestling.

Different Kinds of Wrestling

A form of ancient martial art, wrestling evolved into a sport practiced all around the world. A number of wrestling forms exist, with the common denominator that punching and kicking are not allowed. The rules and scoring systems in wrestling vary from one regional variation to another. Bouts usually are won by forcing an opponent to submit by applying a painful joint lock or choke hold, by pushing him out of the ring or by pinning an opponent’s shoulders to the ground.

  • Catch Wrestling

    Catch wrestling is a traditional form of wrestling that uses submission holds as well as pinning to win a bout. Also known as catch as catch can wrestling, this variety of wrestling originated in rural England and often is associated with traveling shows in which carnival wrestlers would accept challenges from locals for money. Choke holds are not allowed in catch wrestling, but as many of the bouts at carnivals were unregulated, this rule was not always observed. Catch wrestling still is practiced in some rural locations, such as Lancashire and Cumbria in England, and many of the techniques have been adopted by modern mixed martial artists.

  • Sumo Wrestling

    Sumo wrestling originated in Japan, where it is the national sport. The aim of sumo is to drive your opponent out of the ring or force him to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet. Sumo wrestlers are normally very big and can weigh in excess of 300 pounds. Sumo wrestlers train at schools called stables, where they live, eat and sleep. The wrestlers are known for their diet of chankonabe, a calorie-rich stew of fish, meat, rice and vegetables. Wrestlers eat large quantities of chankonabe to develop their immense size.

  • Submission Wrestling

    Unlike other forms of wrestling, submission wrestling matches are not won by throwing or pinning an opponent but only by forcing a submission, usually through the successful application of a painful joint lock or choke. Submission wrestling bouts start in a standing position but quickly descend to the mat as each wrestler attempts to gain a superior position from which to apply a lock or choke. The techniques of submission wrestling form a large part of the skills seen in mixed martial arts and also form the backbone of Brazilian jujitsu, Japanese shoot and Greek pankration, considered to be the oldest martial art in the world.

  • Greco-Roman Wrestling

    An Olympic sport, Greco-Roman wrestling that takes place on a matted area marked with a large circle. Greco-Roman wrestlers are not allowed to perform attacks on the legs and must instead rely on grabbing their opponent around the waist or above. Bouts can be decided in a number of ways. Points are scored according to the successful performance of various wrestling techniques that demonstrate technical superiority, and the wrestler with the highest points total is declared the winner.
    Additionally, a wrestler can win a bout outright by throwing his opponent to the mat and pinning his shoulders down -- called a fall. If a wrestler is injured during a bout and unable to continue, the uninjured wrestler is declared the winner. While it is not the aim of Greco-Roman wrestling to push or throw an opponent out of the circle, doing so will score 1 point.

  • Professional Wrestling

    Professional wrestling is the most well-known form of wrestling. Modern professional wrestlers often are household names, such as Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H. Professional wrestling usually is choreographed so that the combatants know in advance who is going to win. Wrestlers often adopt specific personalities in the ring, either good or bad; bad wrestlers are sometimes known as heels. This results in a high degree of audience participation, as the crowd cheer on one wrestler and boos another. Despite being choreographed, professional wrestling is a tough, energetic and skillful sport, and a small error in technique or timing can result in serious injury.

Facts about Wrestling & Wrestlers

Wrestling is a traditional grappling sport that involves bringing an opponent to submission through martial techniques such as throws, takedowns, joint locks and pins. Originally developed as a Greco-Roman fighting art, wrestling has become commonplace in high schools and television programs throughout the country.

Wrestling History

The earliest documented wrestling match took place in the Eighth century B.C. at the ancient Olympic Games, according to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles. The Greco-Roman style of wrestling was registered in the modern Olympic Games in 1896, and has remained a staple in the Olympic Games since. In addition to Olympic wrestling competitions, smaller tournaments and bouts gradually appeared in the early 1900s, resulting in numerous high school and college wrestling teams.

High School Wrestling Moves for Beginners

Wrestling at all levels involves many moves designed to put you in control with the ultimate goal of outpointing or pinning your opponent for a victory. For beginner high school wrestlers new to the sport, instead of trying to learn all of them at once, start with a few basic moves. After you’ve perfected your technique, gradually add more moves to your arsenal.


Tournaments and competitions governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles use four divisions for scoring points in a wrestling match. Takedowns, worth two points, are scored when a wrestler brings their opponent down from a standing position. Reversals, also worth two points, are scored when a wrestler who is controlled by the opponent executes a move that allows them to assume a controlling position on top of their opponent. Pinning an opponent so that his back is on the mat or tilted farther than a 45-degree angle toward the mat can score two to three points depending how long he is pinned. Lastly, a single point is earned when a wrestler successfully escapes from an opponent and returns to a standing position.

Weight Divisions

The USA Wrestling weight division chart lists a variety of age and weight factors for determining a division. For example, two fighters who are born between 1995 and 1996, and who both weigh between 152 and 167 pounds, would be considered in the same weight division and eligible to compete in a best-out-of-three competition as of 2011. Since body weight can be a primary success factor in wrestling, these divisions attempt to create an even match between opponents of the same size. Unlike other grappling arts, such as judo or jiujutsu, competing wrestlers are determined solely on their age and body weight as opposed to belt rank or skill level.

Types of Wrestling

The two most common styles of wrestling practiced around the world are Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. The Mt. Lebanon School District Wrestling Regulations lists two additional wrestling divisions: Olympic wrestling and college wrestling. Televised professional wrestling leagues are generally not included in the list of wrestling divisions, due to the fact that these fights are often staged and are not determined by skill. One primary difference between freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling is that freestyle wresters are able to perform holds on the waist and legs, allowing for a greater variety of holds.

Lift Your Opponent

Lifting is a basic move typically used in an attempted takedown. Start by standing to the side or behind your opponent with your hips squarely beneath your shoulders. Wrap your arms around his waist and lock your hands. Pull your opponent into your body and lower your hips lower than his. While keeping your opponent tight against your body, push through your legs, drive your hips forward into your opponent and straighten your legs to lift him off the mat. Maintain control and safely lower him to the mat for the takedown. Avoid throwing or slamming your opponent to the mat because this is illegal.

Penetrating Shot

A must-know move is how to penetrate through your opponent’s defenses, namely their hands and arms. To do this, start in a staggered stance, lower your body toward the mat, shift your weight onto your back foot and take a step forward between your opponent’s legs with your lead foot. Roll forward over the toes of your lead foot and land on your lead knee. Bring you back foot up and plant it firmly on the mat as your reach forward to grab one or both legs of your opponent.

Learn to Escape

The escape is an essential move to take you from the bottom starting position, on your hands and knees with your opponent on top, to a standing position. Begin by moving your foot to the side, away from your opponent. For example, if your opponent is on your left holding you, move your right foot to the right. Simultaneously lift your right knee, plant your right foot on the mat, lean back into your opponent and push through your right foot to get up from the mat. Grab and pull on the wrist that’s around your waist as you quickly pivot and turn to escape his hold.

How to Stand

Two basic stances are used in wrestling — the square and staggered stance. In the square stance, your feet are parallel with each other and your weight is evenly distributed on both feet. In the staggered stance one foot is ahead of the other and more weight is on the front foot. With both stances your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your knees and hips are bent and you lower your body to lower your center of gravity. Lean forward with your chest over your knees and jut your butt backward. Bend your elbows, keep them close to your torso and hold your hands in front of your body. Keep your back slightly rounded, head up and eyes focused on your opponent.

Know How to Pin

The half nelson is one of the most common pinning moves. When your opponent is face down on the mat, slide either your right arm under his right armpit or your left arm under his left armpit. Put the palm of your hand on the back of his head, not his neck. While pushing on the back of his head, lift his arm up with your arm and move your body to the side of his body. For example, if you put your right arm under his arm and your right hand on his head, move to your right as you lift his arm. Slowly walk your feet forward and push into him with your upper body to roll him over for the pin.

The Best High School Wrestling Pin Moves

A wrestling pin move is the maneuver that wrestlers use to place the opponent’s shoulder to the mat and secure his body, pinning the opponent and ensuring victory. These moves are the methods used by professionals as well as amateurs, such as in high school wrestling. Learn the popular pin moves to improve your wrestling skills.

Half Nelson

The Half Nelson is a staple wrestling pin move that high school wrestlers use to pin an opponent when he is lying on his stomach in a flattened position. To perform, take one arm, place your arm across your opponent’s head and grab the arm of the opponent that is opposite your own. Take your other arm, place between the opponent’s legs and lock your fingers of both hands together. From here, move the opponent into the pin position.

Chicken Wing

The Chicken Wing is an effective way to pin an opponent when he is lying on his stomach in a flattened position. To perform, hook your arm through your opponent’s arm and pull his arm back and to the side, much like a chicken wing. Keep your arm bent at a 90-degree angle while driving your opponent’s elbow into his chest. Using your legs, fling your opponent into a circle until you are able to flip him onto his back. As the opponent lies on his back, release the chicken wing and begin to apply the half nelson in reverse. Next, you can move your opponent into the pin position.

Cross-Face Cradle

The Cross-Face Cradle move causes extreme discomfort to your opponent and allows you to place him into the pin position when he is in a crouched position. To perform, take your arm, bring it across your opponent’s head and grab the triceps that is opposite the arm you are using. With your free hand, bring your opponent’s leg upwards and lock your hands together. This position also allows you to force your opponent to concede, or give up, the match.

Three-Quarters Nelson

The Three-Quarters Nelson is an effective way to pin an opponent when he is on his hands and knees looking down. To perform, hook the bottom man’s ankle with your leg. Next, take your hand and reach under your opponent’s arm while placing your forearm across the base of your opponent’s neck. In this position, lock your hands at the wrist and apply pressure in a downward motion to force your opponent’s head under his shoulders. With your free leg, fling your opponent around and flip him over into the pin position.

List of Moves for Freestyle Wrestling

Freestyle wrestling is a respected sport that has been around since the early 19th century. It is a close cousin of Greco-Roman and Folkstyle wrestling and utilizes throws, locks and leg trips in an attempt to score points and pin the opponent’s shoulder blades to the mat. While there are a vast majority of freestyle moves, there are a few that can lead to success for wrestlers of any level when mastered.

  • Time to Sweep

    All styles of wrestling start from the neutral position -- with both wrestlers facing each other while standing. Then, the wrestlers try to take the other down. Take downs are an important aspect of wrestling and one of the most common freestyle moves is the leg sweep. To do the leg sweep, hold your opponent around the upper-chest area and use your leg to sweep his or her legs out from under his or her body. Combined with forward momentum, this should throw your opponent off balance and take him or her to the mat, also resulting in a take down and possible back points.

  • Head & Arm Throw

    Throws are very common freestyle moves from the neutral position. The head and arm throw is an effective move that can set up extra points and pinning combinations. To do the move, use one hand to grab your opponent's triceps while your other arm crosses behind your opponent's head, resting on his or her neck and meeting your other hand on the triceps. Step into your opponent with your outside leg and twist toward him or her by 180 degrees. Pop your hips upward and twist his or her upper body down toward the mat.

  • Front Head Lock

    The front head lock is a versatile move the can be performed from standing position or on the mat. With your opponent's head lower than yours, rest your chin on his or her back and place one arm around his or her head. Bring your other hand through their armpit area and lock hands, both their head and arm should be tightly locked together. This move can be used to implement a throw from the standing position or a roll combination on the mat.

  • Suplex

    The term "Suplex" has been made popular to the public through the professional wrestling industry; however, there are some key differences when it is performed in a freestyle match. While standing, face to face "bear hug" your opponent around the waist and lift him or her off the mat. Twist while throwing your opponent to ensure he or she lands on his or her back. A common variation is to lift while standing behind your opponent and fall backward while throwing him or her over your shoulder. Your opponent will probably land on his or her shoulder blades, so keep a tight grip for a chance to pin him or her.

Types of Wrestling Pins

In wrestling, the object is to pin your opponent’s two shoulders to the mat for five seconds. There are a number of moves used to achieve a pin. You must be in good physical shape and practice the pin moves until you become proficient enough to do it successfully in competition.

Half Nelson

One of the most basic wrestling pins in the sport, the half nelson begins with you on both knees straddling your opponent. He is beneath you, belly down on the mat. Slide your right hand under his armpit and put it on the back of his head. Push his head down as you roll your right hip down onto the mat. Slide your right shoulder under his right arm, pushing it up into his armpit. Lean forward, using your feet for traction. Roll your opponent over onto his back. Put your chest on his, resulting in a pin with his shoulders on the mat.

Cross-Face Cradle

From behind the opponent, put one arm across his face, grasping his opposite arm above the elbow at the triceps. Place your other arm between his legs, then slide your hand up, capturing his leg between your two arms. Join your hand over your wrist, which is still gripping his triceps, and don’t let go. Meanwhile, move your legs into the squatting position on the side of his body. Use momentum to rock the opponent over. He lands on his back, where both shoulders are pinned.

Arm Bar with Wrist

Start in the referee position with your chin on his back. You are the wrestler on top, just to your opponent’s left. Grasp his left elbow with your left hand. Put your right arm on his waist in front of his right hip. Quickly pull his left arm out while still holding on to it. Push him down with your body, using your right knee to push him forward and off-balance. Grab his right wrist with your right hand and pull it outward. His belly is now down on the mat, legs flat. You are above him with your chest several inches above his back. Your left knee holds up most of your body weight. Your right leg is extended between his legs with the ball of your foot on the floor. Curl your wrist, then enclose his left arm inside your left elbow joint. When your chest is resting on his left elbow, push his left shoulder into his ear with your body, using both of your legs for leverage. Slowly move your feet into a walking position while crouched. Walk in a circle, rolling him over onto his back without releasing his arms. Finish the pin by leaning on your knees with your chest toward the floor. His shoulders will be on the mat. Hold him down until the referee signals a pin.

How to Do a Grapevine Pin in Wrestling

A grapevine pin traps your opponent by capturing both legs and both arms. Since he’s on his back with all four limbs immobilized, it’s virtually impossible to escape from this combination in the three seconds you have before the referee slaps the mat. Grapevine pins work best for wrestlers with long legs — they make it easier to wrap up the opponent’s legs and provide better leverage. You can enter a grapevine pin once you’re on top of your opponent and have his back facing toward — but not necessarily already on — the mat. Drive your opponent onto his back by slamming your chest into his. The more chest contact and pressure you can deliver, the better. This move is best if your body is perpendicular to your opponents at the beginning of the move. Hook your arms through your opponent’s arms while simultaneously rotating so your body is parallel to his. Pull up with your legs to lift his arms away from the floor. Wrap one leg around your opponent’s leg — the one closest to the leg you’re using. Use your foot and ankle to lock it in position. Once you’ve secured that leg, do the same with the other. Arch your hip forward while lifting your heels toward the ceiling. This picks up your opponent’s legs, pulling them off the mat. Keep driving downward with your hips and chest. Use your hands, which should still be near the mat, to keep your opponent from rolling you over in one direction or the other. Continue keeping the pressure on until you score your pin.

Tips: These instructions are for a double grapevine, the grapevine move most likely to result in a pin. You can use a one-leg grapevine — or “single grapevine” — to initiate a leg ride

How to Get the Banana Split on a Wrestler

In Greco-Roman wrestling, you are always looking for ways to pin your opponent. You need to have moves to get past any number of defenses if you want to successfully finish a match. The banana split is an effective way to finish your opponent off by pinning him to the mat in a position that is uncomfortable to be in and difficult to escape from. If you can lock it in, you’re well on your way to victory.

Establish your position. To lock in the banana split, you must have rear ground control of your opponent with your hips positioned behind his. If you get too high on your opponent’s back, you will not be able to properly lock in the hold, and you will leave yourself wide open for a reversal. Your hand nearest your opponent’s head should be working to control his wrist while your other hand should be gripped firmly around his waist. The foot inside your opponent’s feet should be used in a near ankle ride where you wrap your foot around his ankle to prevent him from standing up and escaping.

Secure your opponent’s far leg. Release your hand from his wrist and reach across his back, grabbing for your opponent’s inner thigh right above the knee. At the same time, with the hand you were using to grip his waist, reach down underneath his far leg behind his knee. Clasp your hands tightly right behind your opponent’s knee, making sure that you have a firm grip. This will be the leverage point that you will use to flip your opponent onto his back.

Using your outside leg that is not engaged in the near ankle ride, slip your leg between your opponent’s legs and place your foot on the back of his thigh right above his knee. This move is called a grapevine, and you will want to lock it in on your opponent as you reach for the far leg. When you flip your opponent over onto his back, you will extend this leg to apply pressure. As you lock in this grapevine, release your other leg from the near ankle ride.

Roll your opponent onto his back. Depending on where your opponent has his weight distributed, you can either roll back or roll through to flip him onto his back. If your opponent has his weight back, sit out and pull up on the far leg as you fall back. This will pull your opponent onto his back with his shoulders on the mat, and you will control both of his legs. If your opponent has his weight forward, push over the top of him with your leg that was in the near ankle ride, holding your opponent’s far leg tight. This will roll him all the way over onto his back, and you will have control of each of his legs.


The only way for your opponent to escape this hold is to break your control on one of his legs. Your grip must be tight on the leg you are holding as you dig your knuckles into the back of his knee. Your grapevine can be secured using your free leg to trap your foot, creating a figure-four with your legs that will give you added control over your opponent.


The banana split can put a great deal of pressure onto your opponent’s hips, which could lead to injury of the hips or groin. It is strictly against the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling to apply moves to inflict pain, so focus on controlling your opponent’s legs when he is on his back and not spreading his legs apart to apply extra pressure and cause unnecessary pain or injury. The move is legal if used properly to secure a near-fall or pin, but the referee can stop the match and deduct points if you are using the move simply to cause your opponent pain.

Top 10 Moves to Do in Heavyweight High School Wrestling

High school heavyweight wrestlers often resemble college wrestlers in a variety of ways. They’re larger than most of their classmates, often muscled more like a college student than a high school youth. Their larger bodies make some moves and strategies untenable. They can’t rely on speed the way a 105-pounder can. This means adopting the simple, reliable moves often seen in college wrestling, where the skill levels mean fancier techniques simply don’t work.

  • Hip Throw

    Low takedowns are riskier for heavyweight wrestlers. A hip throw involves grabbing an opponent's upper body, then bumping his lower body with a hip to throw him over your hips and to the ground. This avoids having to go low with a takedown.

  • Head & Arm Throw

    This is a variation of the hip throw, using the same basic mechanics of capturing the upper body and bumping with the hip. In a head and arm, the upper body capture places the opponent in a headlock while capturing the arm opposite your own. When you land this throw, your opponent will be on his back, stuck in a headlock you can use to affect a pin.

  • Fireman's Carry

    One of the safest low-line takedowns, a fireman's carry starts with capturing an opponent's arm by the wrist. You then drop to your knees between your opponent's legs, lacing your other arm beneath this groin. When you pull on his arm and push on his hips, it will topple your opponent forward to the ground.

  • Sit-out Escape

    This is one of the simplest and most common escapes from referee's position. It begins by leaning backward into your opponent while thrusting both feet forward until you're in a sitting position. From there, you can leverage yourself to your feed for a stand-up or reach behind to capture a leg and use a turn-in reversal.

  • Granby Roll

    One of the more dynamic moves in a heavyweight's arsenal, this roll uses an opponent's weight against him. Used when you are on your hands and knees with your opponent on top of you, you perform it by capturing one of your opponent's arms, then doing a forward shoulder roll. If his weight is high enough, he'll roll with you and end up on his back with you lying on top of him.

  • Chest-to-Chest

    A simple pinning technique that works better for heavier wrestlers, you do this move by lying perpendicular to your opponent with your chest tight against his. You can use your arms to capture his head or arm to prevent him from bridging. Your body weight will hold him flat long enough to get back points and maybe a pin.

  • Cradle

    One of the most recognizable pinning combinations in wrestling, a cradle works as well for heavyweights as any other weight class. You start a cradle by wrapping one arm around an opponent's head and the other around one or both legs. Clasp your hands together, then roll your opponent onto his back.

  • Tight Waist

    Also called a "deep waist," this move helps control an opponent from the "on top" position as he tries to escape. You simply wrap one arm around his stomach until you can grip his opposite ribs or armpit. This compresses his diaphragm while giving you a solid grip on his torso. Do not grab your opposite hand in a bear hug from this position -- it's an illegal hold.

  • Leg Ride

    A leg ride rarely pins an opponent but will reliably roll him over to score near fall points. Start a leg ride from behind your opponent by slipping one leg between the legs of your opponent, then wrapping it to trap one of his legs. Then grip his head or shoulder and arch your hips forward. This stretches and immobilizes your opponent. At that point, you can roll him over onto his back.

  • Head and Arm Pin

    You can enter this move from a head and arm throw or get into it from a ground wrestling position. With your back to your opponent's belly, slip your near arm around his head and grip his opposite arm. Roll him onto his back with your weight across his chest. Capturing the head and neck will prevent him from bridging out, placing him in a position for an easy pin.

How to Escape a Headlock in Wrestling

The headlock, also known as a head and arm throw, is a common and powerful pinning technique. Due to the explosive nature of the headlock, it is a favorite among more experienced wrestlers. A pro can use it to quickly defeat wrestlers with less experience. However, this position can also be used to great affect by beginners. Even though a wrestler with a strong neck might be able to stave off being pinned by a headlock through sheer grit, the effort will leave them drained for later periods. Learning to escape a headlock is a vital skill for wrestlers of all levels.

Get your head out of his grasp as he tries to tighten the headlock. As soon as you feel your head being pulled, pull back as hard as you can. Push your opponent away with your arms in the same motion.

Walk along the ground so that your body is in tight with your opponent’s if you were unable to get out of the initial headlock. He will want to stay perpendicular to you to keep pressure down. Deprive him that pressure by eliminating the space between you.

Lock your arms around your opponent’s midsection. Get your arms as tight around him as possible.

Bridge off your heels toward your opponent. Staying bridged, shift to the other side. By keeping your arms locked while you do this, you will pull your opponent over the top of you. This will force him to bail out of the headlock.

Stay close behind your opponent as he bails out of the headlock to score a reversal.


A headlock can only be used around the head and an arm. A lock around only the head will result in a referee stoppage.

Most Devastating Wrestling Moves

In wrestling, the word devastating does not mean causing immense physical harm or permanent injury. It instead refers to the moves that are most likely to score significant points or achieve a pin and immediate victory for the wrestler performing the technique. That might not seem as exciting as a bone-breaking arm bar, but it can quickly, and sometimes dramatically, end a match.

Head & Arm

A head and arm is a pinning combination where one wrestler lies sideways on top of his opponent’s chest and wraps the head and one arm in a tight grip. This traps the opponent on his back while putting enough weight on his chest to make breathing difficult, which can be uncomfortable and even frightening. Head-and-arm combinations are effective in high school competition, but college-level wrestlers are often too experienced for this move to work.


The Spladle is difficult to initially execute, but if you can trap your opponent in this move it’s almost impossible for him or her to escape before you score the pin. To perform a Spladle, you wrap up one of your opponent’s arms in your legs and his other arm with your arms. Position his neck and head against your belly or side. His legs will be up in the air, making any kind of movement difficult. You secure the pin for this devastating move by pulling his head in tightly until his shoulders and back are against the mat.


The cradle is a devastating move in that it is likely to put an opponent on his back and hold him there long enough to get a pin. To execute a cradle, you wrap one arm around your opponent’s head and neck, and the other around one or both of his legs. Clasp your hands together and maneuver him onto his back. Your grip on his head and legs can prevent him from escaping long enough for you to win the match.


The Crossface is a defense against a takedown. It’s not a pinning combination, but it is devastating in that it can turn an opponent’s momentary advantage into an opportunity for you to seize control. The process is much like punching your opponent in the jaw. Instead of actually striking him, you instead lay your fist against his face and rub your knuckles and wrist along the sensitive parts of his jaw and nose. This will push your opponent away and give you control of his head — a situation you can convert into a takedown or pinning combination.

How to Escape a Full Nelson Hold

The full nelson hold, also known as the double nelson, originated in Greco-Roman wrestling. It’s very effective at holding and preventing an opponent from using his arms, though it has been banned from wrestling or any other form of competitive sport or martial art because it places a great deal of strain on the neck that can lead to spinal damage. Its uses in combat are limited to immobilizing and forcing and opponent to the floor. An inventive and dirty fighter trying to do someone actual harm might take the opportunity to drive a knee into the back or stomp on the back of an opponent’s knee to drop them to the floor. In most cases, this is something a street fighter might use to hold someone immobile so that a friend can beat the poor victim senseless or worse. For this reason, here’s a good method to escape this hold as you will likely have need to defend yourself against one or more opponent in the moments to follow.

Begin with your opponent grabbing you from behind, snaking his arms beneath your armpits, and then interlocking his fingers back behind your neck. From here, your opponent will exert pressure to push your head down and forward. This can be done to force you into submission or to put you down to the ground. This hold keeps your arms up, preventing you from reaching back behind yourself to grab your opponent.

Raise your arms up, elbows out the sides, with the tips of your fingers touching the inside of your opposite wrists. Form your hands into hooks and clench them closed around one another to form a single horizontal bar out of both your arms. Place the back of one of your hands against your forehead and flex your arms, pushing backward with enough pressure to halt your opponent’s attempts to push your head forward. By doing so, you have partially thwarted this hold in that your opponent has less control.

Take a wide step to your left with your left foot, bending at the knees to drop your center of gravity. Place your weight on your left foot and take a step with your right foot. It should form a U shape, traveling to your left, around your opponent’s left foot, and then out to your right to extend behind both his legs. At this point, you are in a perfect position to break the hold as your legs are right behind your opponent’s knees. Often your opponent will realize the danger of his position and release you of his own volition. If he does not, simply continue to Step 4.

Bend forward, bending deeply at the knees and digging into the back of your opponent’s legs. Grab hold of your opponent’s pants just above his knees. Straighten your back while lowering your body as if you were sitting in a chair to pick him clean off the ground. His weight is being largely supported by the hold around your neck, so lifting his lower body should not be difficult, even if he is larger than you. From this position, you can pivot on your right foot while twisting at the waist. Release at the appropriate moment to send your opponent flying in a sideways spin off to your right. Alternatively, you could simply fall backward, squashing your opponent between your back and the ground.

How to Perform the German Suplex in Wrestling

The German Suplex lands with a satisfying thud followed by thunderous applause. It may be the most exciting move in wrestling. Performed by professional and sport wrestlers, the German Suplex, otherwise known as the belly-to-back throw, has you slam your opponent over your head backward. The opportunity to perform the throw doesn’t come around very often, but when it does, it’s devastating to your foe and exhilarating for the crowd.
Stand directly behind your opponent. Wrap your arms around her midsection; above her hips and below her rib cage.
Secure your opponent using a butterfly lock. Wrap your left hand up and over your right forearm, grabbing across the forearm with your entire palm. Slide your right hand along the bottom edge of your left forearm and grasp the forearm as close to your left elbow as possible.
Lift your opponent off the ground. Bend your knees to lower your hips below your opponent’s rear end. Thrust your hips up into his body and lean back while maintaining a solid butterfly lock.
Set your hips for stability and power. Imagine you are sitting into a chair behind you as you lose your balance falling backward, lowering your hips and rear end into a deep squat.
Arch your back forcefully as your thighs become parallel with the ground. Simultaneously raise your butterfly-locked arms up and over your head while pushing off the mat using the balls of your feet and toes. Your goal is to make your opponent’s back land before your shoulders.
Finish in a neck bridge or back arch position. Continue to thrust your hips and arch your back until you cannot continue any further. Your opponent will absorb the impact, landing on her neck, shoulders or head.


Strengthen your hip thrusting ability with Olympic-style lifts, such as the dead lift.
If you are not awarded a fall by the referee when your opponent’s shoulders hit the ground, push through your heels to get top position after completing the Suplex.


Do not stop during the throw or rest your opponent’s body weight on your neck or face. This may lead to you landing first, absorbing the impact of the fall and your opponent’s body weight.
How to Do a Leg Sweep. In a self-defense situation, a leg sweep is usually a fight-ending move. The opponent is thrown off balance and can do nothing until he or she regains it, giving you an opportunity to deliver a devastating blow. Point sparrers love the leg sweep because it results in an easy opportunity to score a point.

Front Leg Sweep

See the opportunity. The leg sweep is best done when your opponent has one leg forward and his or her weight partially on it. Don’t be fooled by a disguised cat stance, in which one leg is forward but all your opponent’s weight is on the back leg–this is a trap designed to lure you closer before delivering a front-leg kick.
Move forward, inside your opponent’s reach. You can do this easily by delivering a punch as you move, which forces your opponent to block.
Place your front foot next to and inside your opponent’s front foot. Your big toe should be almost touching your opponent’s heel. Don’t leave too much space between your foot and your opponent’s or he or she will see the sweep coming.
Sweep your foot toward your other knee in an arc, contacting your opponent’s foot beneath the ankle bone while your foot is still on the floor. Use your foot to lift your opponent’s foot from the floor.
Deliver your blow. Your opponent will flail his or her arms to regain balance and keep from falling down, leaving his or her head and torso unprotected.

Back Leg Sweep

Penetrate your opponent’s defenses. This is most easily done using a grabbing technique that immobilizes your opponent long enough for you to move forward until your hips are in contact.
Move your forward foot behind your opponent’s back foot. This should be your right foot behind your opponent’s right foot (or vice versa) so you will be slightly turned away from your opponent, protecting your center. Your heel should be in contact with your opponent’s heel.
Adopt a forward stance. Without lifting your foot from the floor, suddenly sweep it back until it is the back foot of a forward stance. Your opponent’s leg will be lifted from the floor and he or she will be helpless.
Take your opponent to the floor. Once he or she is off balance, you can let go of your opponent and let him or her drop to the floor. Or you can hang on and lower yourself on top, placing your opponent in an arm bar while you deliver a blow to the head or ribs. You can also choose to perform the sweep so your forward stance is at an angle to your original position, allowing you to turn to the outside and throw your opponent.


Perform a hip check to help you sweep a heavier opponent. As your hips come into contact, shift your weight so your hip bumps into his or her hip, forcing your opponent to shift some weight off the back leg. Take care not to use too much force or your opponent will take a step to regain his or her balance, possibly unbalancing you. Many karate students mistakenly try to strike their opponent’s leg above the ankle when sweeping and are surprised when they are unsuccessful. If you lift your foot from the ground for a sweep, you will be forced to shift your weight to your back leg, robbing your front leg of power. Also, you will have to “wind up” your sweeping leg, which telegraphs your move to your opponent.


A front leg sweep gives you only a momentary advantage. If you don’t use that moment wisely, you will be too close to your opponent to defend yourself as he or she retaliates. In most point-sparring matches, the back leg sweep is illegal because of the high risk of injury.

How to Take Down a Guy Twice Your Size

Standing 5-foot-7 and weighing just 135 pounds, martial artist and actor Bruce Lee demolished the idea that a good big man will always beat a good small man. Of course, if you don’t have Lee’s skill level to balance the scales, a bigger person’s extra weight and superior reach can give him a big advantage over you. But even big people have vulnerable points on their bodies and leverage applied in just the right place, at just the right time, can trump size and reach.

Vulnerable Points

No matter how tough and muscle-bound a person may be, he is still vulnerable to a blow directly to the throat, eye gouges, and a cupped-palm blow directly against the ear or a kick to the groin. Any of these blows are a good precursor to a takedown, or can be used to create a window of opportunity for you to escape. Also, remember that where the head goes, the body must follow. If you can move your opponent’s head back further than his waist — for example, with an upward palm strike to the chin — you can imbalance him for an easy takedown.

Joint Locks

Use a large person’s likely inflexibility against him with standing joint locks. Practice stepping to the outside of your opponent’s body, outside the arm you’ll perform the lock on. Grasp your opponent’s hand with your outside hand, your fingers around the meat of his thumb and your thumb on the back of his hand, in line with his ring finger. Pull with your fingers as you press forward with your thumb, bending his wrist; use this leverage to bend his elbow too, if it is not bent already. Pivot on your inside leg as you step back in a circular motion on your outside leg, squatting slightly to lower your center of gravity. Keep your opponent’s bent wrist in front of you; this lever, combined with the movement of your body, will throw him to the ground.


Having your center of balance, a little lower than your opponent’s can be an advantage when doing takedowns. Here’s one to practice: Step toward the outside of your opponent’s body at a 45-degree angle, either inside or outside his arm on that side. If you’re outside the arm, use your far hand to pin it to his body. If you’re inside the arm, use your far hand to keep it away from you. Use your other hand to deliver an upward palm strike beneath the chin, unbalancing him by forcing his head and shoulders farther back than his waist. Swing your near leg forward behind the opponent, then swing it forcefully back behind or just below his knee. Push forward on his head as you do this to take him down backward.

A Word of Caution

Although these techniques can allow you to take down a larger opponent, a takedown alone isn’t necessarily enough to win a fight. Either use it as an opportunity to escape or commit to controlling your opponent on the ground until help can arrive. Increase your odds of success by practicing until the techniques become second nature, training against a variety of opponents so you can fine-tune the techniques for different body types.

How to Use Height as an Advantage in Wrestling

Wrestlers come in all shapes and sizes, and the best ones make the most of their physical attributes. Tall wrestlers might lack the lower center of gravity and brute strength found in shorter opponents, but they can exploit their reach and leverage advantage. Tall wrestlers are better when reacting to smaller opponents and countering with moves such as hip throws, cradles and sprawls. Practice helps tall wrestlers find their strengths and become more dominant on the mat.


Getting shorter opponents off balance helps the taller wrestler gain leverage and take control of the match. Tall wrestlers typically lack the power to “shoot” — or charge — their opponent and attempt takedowns. By exploiting your height advantage, however, you can counter shoots by using your long reach to grab the opponent’s ankle. Known as the ankle pick, tall wrestlers are successful when executing the popular move and gaining leverage. The ankle pick allows you to lift one opposing leg off the mat and sweep — or trip up — the other leg, resulting in a takedown. Tall wrestlers can maintain control throughout the match by gaining an early leverage advantage and staying on top of their opponent.


Tall wrestlers who quickly react to a smaller opponent’s aggressive charge gain immediate advantage of the match. The sprawl is an effective defensive counter when you have a height advantage. As the opposing wrestler charges, pull both of your legs back, drop to the mat and pounce on top of your opponent. Use your size advantage to reach under and lock up your opponent’s arms and flip him over to his back. After completing the sprawl, you can maneuver around and lock up your opponent’s waist.


Cradles are effective wrestling moves that reward long arms and legs. Use leverage to put your opponent on his back. Use one arm to apply a headlock, placing the other arm under one or both legs. The hands are pulled up and locked tight, driving the opponent’s head and knees together and forming the cradle. Tall wrestlers use their long legs for additional leverage and tilt the opponent’s upper body back toward the mat, setting up pin opportunities.

Hip Throws

Charging a smaller opponent is not a good strategy for the taller wrestler, but reacting to a charge helps you gain leverage and throw your opponent to the mat. Leverage gets the opposing wrestler off balance, and that is the best time to make the throw and set up a potential pin. Hip throws are effective moves for tall wrestlers with longer legs. After securing the opposing wrestler’s upper body in the standing position, your leg steps across his body and you gain leverage. With your hip slightly under the opponent’s hip after the crossover move, you lift up slightly and throw him backward to the mat.

The Best Takedowns for Short Wrestlers

Height can play a role in what moves a wrestler should keep in his arsenal. A sensible practice routine should focus particularly on the repetition of moves that are more likely to succeed for a wrestler’s particular height. This is especially true of takedowns, since both wrestlers are on their feet, making height a factor, as compared to moves on the mat, when both wrestlers are no longer standing and height is essentially neutralized. Both tall and short wrestlers can be effective as long as they learn to use their frame to their advantage.

Single Leg

The “single leg” takedown comes in many forms, but in the “low single leg,” the shorter wrestler uses his lower center of gravity and lower stance to lunge for his opponent’s leg from an outside angle. The “outside angle” means the attacking wrestler steps to the outside of the target leg, grabbing the heel while driving the shoulder just below the knee, with his head to the inside of the leg. The shoulder drive is important to finish the move because it throws the opponent off balance, causing him to go to the mat right away, or, if not, then allowing the leg to be picked up so the attacking wrestler can then force him to the mat.

High Crotch

The “high crotch” is another type of single leg takedown that can be effective for shorter wrestlers. While clinched with an opponent, the wrestler changes levels while throwing his opponent’s nearside arm past him as he shoots in, and throwing his own arm high on the inside of the opponent’s leg. The shooter finishes by lifting and rotating his opponent to the mat. When this move is executed perfectly, the lifting step is unnecessary, as the momentum of the initial part of the move causes the opponent to fall flat to the mat, while the shooter merely rotates around him to a control position.

Fireman's Carry

The “fireman’s carry” is a takedown that is set up just like the high crotch, but instead of throwing the opponent’s arm by, the shooter pulls the arm in tight under his own armpit. The shooter still throws his other arm high on the inside leg, and from his knees, sweeps his legs towards the opponent while pulling hard on the grasped arm until the opponent hits the mat. As the name suggests, the opponent is briefly draped over the shooter’s shoulders while the shooter grasps the same-side arm and leg, similar to how a fireman would carry someone.


The duck-under is a move that allows the shorter wrestler to exploit the height difference without shooting on the legs. While in a clinch, the shooter throws his opponent’s arm by as in the high crotch or the fireman’s takedown, but instead of drop stepping, the shooter turns outward, ducks his head under the arm, then turns back inward to gain control of his opponent. The shooter then finishes the move by forcing the opponent down to the mat. As with the high crotch, with perfect execution the momentum of the move often results in the opponent on the mat already.

Good Wrestling Moves for Heavyweights

No other weight class in wrestling requires a specialized technique more than the heavyweight class. Competitors who qualify as heavyweights weigh between 220 and 285 pounds and that prevents many from completing moves that lighter wrestlers can do. There are no rules limiting what moves heavyweights can try, but to be successful, heavyweights must study which moves work with their particular body weight and strength. Body locks are popular with heavyweight wrestlers because the move can be done completely from the standing position, and that is where a heavyweight has the most power. From a neutral position tie-up, drop your arms and bear-hug your opponent above the hips, making sure to trap one of his arms in the hug, according to Step to the side you have the arm trapped on to disturb your opponent’s balance, then begin to fall backward while twisting your hips to the side of the trapped arm. As you fall backwards, you will need to flip your back leg over to get your hips facing down toward the mat. When you have completed that motion, your opponent should be on his back.

Headlock Hip-Toss

Gary Johnston of “Fight Times” says that the headlock hip-toss is a crucial move for heavyweights. Since most heavyweight matches feature a large amount of standing tie-ups, it is easy to find opportunities to use the move. Use one hand to grab the back of your opponent’s neck; the other hand goes on his upper arm on the opposite side. Then rotate your hips into your opponent’s stomach, leading with the hip that corresponds with the hand you have on the back of the neck. Your arms will come close together after the explosive hip turn and you will be able to pull your opponent over your hip and slam him down on his back as you tighten a headlock.


The stand-up is generally the first bottom-position move wrestlers learn, due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Heavyweights especially use the move because it doesn’t require lowering the hips or twisting, which are difficult motions for heavyweights to make in a quick manner. From the referee’s position, you should violently clear your arm away from your opponent’s hand on your elbow and lift the opposite leg to make it a 90-degree angle. You will have one knee down and one foot planted. Simply explode the other leg up to get both feet standing, and cut your opponent’s grip to escape and earn a point.

Tight-Waist Arm Chop

Heavyweights have a hard time getting back up once they have been flattened. The best move to flatten your opponent onto his stomach is the tight-waist arm chop from the referee’s position. When the whistle blows, smash your opponent’s elbow with the hand that is there in the starting position and simultaneously shove him forward with your arm that is wrapped around his waist, according to a YouTube video featuring coach Matthew Moyle’s. Hold on tight with the arm around your opponent’s waist, and make sure to chop the elbow hard enough to make him lose his balance.

Takedown (Grappling)

In martial arts and combat sports, a takedown is a technique that involves off-balancing an opponent and bringing him or her to the ground with the attacker landing on top. The process of quickly advancing on an opponent and attempting a takedown is known as shooting for a takedown, or simply shooting. Takedowns are usually distinguished from throws by amplitude and impact, with throws being a subset of takedown. Takedowns are featured in all forms of wrestling and stand-up grappling.

  • Leg trip

    The leg trip is a technique in which the combatant uses his or her own leg(s) to off-balance an opponent, hence causing the opponent to fall to the ground. Leg trips are often integrated into more complex takedown techniques, and are also important in many throws. Takedown techniques that are pure leg trips usually involve controlling the body of the opponent, and impeding or destabilizing one or both of the opponent’s legs. Leg trips are featured in for instance freestyle wrestling, judo, sumo, and shuai Jiao while being an illegal technique in Greco-Roman wrestling.
    The scissor kick takes down an opponent by wrapping one's legs around the opponent.

  • Single leg takedown

    The single leg takedown (often shortened to single leg or single or single leg shot) involves grabbing one of the legs of the opponent, usually with both hands, and using the position to force the opponent to the ground. Typically, the lower part of the leg is pulled in one direction, while the torso or shoulder is used to press the body or upper part of the leg of the opponent in the other direction.
    There are several varieties of single leg takedowns. Some involve picking up and holding the leg by the ankle and are often known as ankle picks, while other varieties include the high crotch, in which the leg is held high up in the opponent's crotch area. The leg can be attacked either across the body ("inside") or from away from the body ("outside"). Single leg takedowns can also be executed in combination with a leg trip to the other leg, which additionally destabilizes the opponent.
    Single leg takedowns can be countered by sprawling or by hooking the lifted foot in the crotch of the aggressor (so it cannot be lifted further and to maintain a distance from the aggressor), and, where allowed, in combination with knee strikes to the head of the opponent.
    In judo and other martial arts, there are many classifications of different types of single leg takedowns. Variants of the high crotch correspond to sukui nage ("scoop throw"), where the opponent is lifted up from the ground, while the typical forward pushing single leg takedown is classified as morote gari ("both hands scoop"). Some techniques are more specific, for instance kibisu gaeshi ("heel trip reversal"), which is an ankle pick where the heel is grabbed, scooped up and the opponent is pushed and thrown immediately. In kuchiki taoshi ("one hand drop"), the opponent's leg is grabbed, pulled up, and used to push the opponent down to the ground in a split second. The technique was banned in judo competition by the International Judo Federation in 2010 except as a counter or combination.

  • Double leg takedown

    The double leg takedown (colloquially simply known as a double leg or even double) involves grabbing the opponent with both arms around the opponent's legs while keeping the chest close to the opponent, and using this position to force the opponent to the ground. There are several varieties of forcing the opponent to the ground, such as lifting and slamming, or pushing forward with the shoulder while pulling the opponent's legs. The double leg takedown can be countered similarly to a single leg takedown, by sprawling, moving away, and/or striking. The guillotine choke is also a good counter to a poorly performed double leg takedown.
    The double leg takedown is in judo also referred to as morote-gari, although some hold that a double leg takedown where the opponent is lifted into the air or swept sideways should be referred to as sukui-nage. Morote-gari, despite having been used by judokas for a very long time and being approved of by Jigoro Kano himself, was not accepted until 1982 by the Kodokan as an official judo technique. Being dismissed by certain traditionalists, the technique was banned in competition by the International Judo Federation in 2010 except as a counter or combination.
    Another form of a double leg takedown is the double leg and trip, in which the person shoots in and while holding both legs swings one of his legs around and pushes forward on the opponent while tripping the opponent's leg out from under him.

  • Duck Under

    In a duck under, the wrestler pulls the opponent's elbow forward and away from the body, lowers his own head, and ducks under the opponent's arm in an effort to get behind or at least beside the opponent; from this position the opponent can be taken down by lifting and throwing or by a leg trip.

  • Fireman's Carry

    The fireman's carry is a takedown technique that resembles a common method of carrying an injured victim by firefighters. When implemented on the right side of the opponent's body, the attacker's left hand pulls the opponent's right elbow forward so the attacker's head goes under the opponent's right arm. At the same time, the attacker's right hand grabs the inside of the opponent's right thigh and lifts, while the attacker rises and drives to his left, bringing the opponent down to the ground on his right side.

  • Under Hook

    A single under hook involves putting an arm under the opponent's arm, and holding the back of the opponent's midsection or upper body, while a double under hook involves doing this with both arms. Either can be used as the basis for a takedown because under hooks offer the potential for control of the opponent's upper body.

  • Over Hook

    A single over hook, or whizzer, involves putting an arm over the opponent's arm and encircling it. It can be used as a takedown maneuver by putting substantial weight on the targeted arm while pulling the opponent's other arm across his body, and eventually stepping over behind the opponent.

  • Bear Hug

    In a bear hug, the arms are wrapped tightly around the opponent's midsection, sometimes with one or both of the opponent's arms pinned to the opponent's body, so that the opponent's chest is held tightly to the attacker's chest. From this position the opponent can be taken down, sometimes by lifting and tilting and sometimes with the aid of a leg trip.

  • Spin-Around

    The spin-around is often used as a counter to an opponent's attempt at a single- or double-leg takedown. When the opponent shoots for the legs, the targeted wrestler sprawls his legs part way back and then quickly moves around behind the opponent.

  • Snap Down & Spin-Around

    In a snap down, both hands are placed on the back of the opponent's neck, and when the opponent's head is held low or is becoming lower both hands pull down sharply, propelling the opponent's head and therefore body toward the ground. Simultaneously the attacker steps around behind the opponent.

Wrestling - Quick Guide

Wrestling – Overview

Wrestling is a physical combat sport. It is one of the most exhausting sports, both mentally and physically and probably this is the reason why that moment gives immense pleasure when you win a bout in this match. This game demands not only sound physical fitness but also an unbreakable confidence and character that define true sportsman spirit.

A Brief History

The ancient drawings on the caves trace back the game to 3000 BC. Wrestling was introduced into the Olympic Games in 708 BC. During early nineties, freestyle format was introduced into wrestling where an individual is allowed to hold his opponent above or below his waist by using his arms and legs. The game got immense popularity in United States and Great Britain.

Just like freestyle, Greco-Roman was another style of wrestling that was equally popularized but unlike freestyle, the wrestlers could use their arms and upper bodies and could hold only those parts of their opponents. Earlier ten categories were used to present in Greco-Roman style. Later in 2004 Olympic Games, modification was made that confined 8 categories.

Wrestling – Objective

The objective of each wrestler is to pin the opponent and establish own superiority without violence. While doing so, the wrestlers perform various techniques such as taking down, joint locks, pins, and grappling holds.

The judges award points for each successful move to pin down your opponent. The team having maximum points at the end of the match is declared as winner.

Wrestling – Regulating Bodies

An international governing body named United World Wrestling (UWW) is for the sport of wrestling. It was formerly known as International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles or in French, Federation International des Luttes Associate’s (FILA).

It oversees wrestling at the Olympics. It presides over international competitions for various forms of wrestling, including Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling for men and women. UWW sets rules and regulations and holds international competitions in the following wrestling styles.

Wrestling – Participating Countries

Wrestling is present in the Olympic Games since its inception. Since its introduction to Olympiad Games, the popularity and demand of this game by different nations grew exponentially. Many Asian and non-Asian countries have their active participation in this category of game.

Some of the dominating Asian countries participating in Wrestling are Japan, Iran, India, Uzbekistan, and South Korea. In 2014 Asian games, Yogeshwar Dutt of India bagged the gold medal in men’s 65 Kg freestyle category and Rio Watari of Japan bagged gold medals in women’s 63 Kg freestyle category respectively.

Similarly, many non-Asian countries have shown their talents in events like summer Olympics. Countries such as Russia, USA, and Azerbaijan are dominating in the competitions. In 2012 Summer Olympics, Jordan Burroughs of USA bagged the gold medal in men’s 74 KG freestyle category while Natalia Vorobieva of Russia bagged gold in women’s 72 Kg freestyle category respectively.

Wrestling – Equipment

Wrestling is the low-key game as far as the number of special equipment are concerned. The wrestlers compete in the area which can take the shocks of their actions. The wrestlers enter the game area hands-free.

Wrestling Mat

Wrestling mat is the primary equipment required in the game. The mat is designed such that it protects the wrestlers and enforces the rules for each style. The wrestling mats come in various versions such as High-school mats, Practice mats, and International Mats.

International Regulation Wrestling Mats

The dimensions of mats must be uniformed and adhere to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Guidelines.

Wrestling Singlet

Wrestling singlet is a garment of one piece that covers the torso of the wrestler. For protection of the shoulders, straps are provided over it.

Singlet is made of Lycra or Nylon. It is mandatory to wear if the wrestler is participating in tournaments. A particular team wears singlet of a single color.

Wrestling Headgear

Wrestling headgear is not an essential item, but it is necessary enough to wear a headgear if you are playing in a higher-level match where it can get more physical. There is a single size head gear available that can fit all with adjusting straps.

Headgears are designed to protect the wrestler’s ears. Without headgears, a wrestler may suffer from “cauliflower ear” which occurs after someone gets repeated hits to the ear. Wrestlers are likely to have cauliflower ear because their ears may be hit while they’re in a match. These blows can damage the shape and structure of the outside of the ear.

Wrestling Shoes

The shoes need to be very soft and lightweight. This is because the wrestler needs to feel light during the match. Unless you are playing for very long hours, this is also not a mandatory item to invest in.

Wrestling Kneepads & Mouth Guards

Kneepads are used for the protection of knees. During the shooting process most of the wrestlers get hurt on their knees, so this is an essential item.

On the other hand, mouth guards are used to protect the teeth of the wrestler during the match. These are like braces that the wrestler wears inside of his mouth.

Wrestling Bands

Generally, two types of bands are used in a match: red and green. One wrestler is given red band and other is given a green one. These are needed to be placed on the ankle of the wrestler.

Bands make the identification and scoring of the wrestler easier for the referee. The referee has these two types of bands with him wrapped on his wrists.

Wrestling - Playing Environment

Wrestling is an indoor sport. Apart from the area allocated for wrestling match and viewers, the playing environment involves a jury of three officials −

Wrestling - Important Terms

Before you start playing this game, you need to understand its frequently used terms. Let us discuss some of the basic terms that we are going to encounter frequently in a wrestling game.

Wrestling - How to Play?

Wrestling is the combat game of power as well as strategy. The wrestlers need to anticipate the forthcoming moves of the opponent and answer them with equally powerful move. Wrestlers enter into the playing area and go into the center circle marked on the mat. Let us see a few basic moves the wrestler’s employee while playing.

Half Nelson & Crotch

This is one of the simple yet important moves of the wrestling. The main part of this move is the crotch that is barred in Greco-Roman Wrestling. Here is how you do it.

Scissors on the Body

Here is how you do it. 

  • Put your opponent on the mat and secure it by rolling him under your body.
  • Perform a half nelson by suddenly pushing his head down on his left side. During this time the opponent will try to resist.
  • Jump in such a manner that he will slip between your legs.
  • Roll above him as shown in the below picture.
  • Adjust the feet in a grapevine manner and this will result in a sure shot fall.

Bar & Further Arm Hold

Here is how you do it. 

  • Put your opponent on the mat and secure it by rolling him under your body.
  • Perform a half nelson by suddenly pushing his head down on his left side. During this time the opponent will try to resist.
  • Jump in such a manner that he will slip between your legs.
  • Roll above him as shown in the below picture.
  • Adjust the feet in a grapevine manner and this will result in a sure shot fall.

Toe & Ankle Hold

This move can be well secured when the wrestler will be on the mat. 

  • While working on the right side, draw the left foot of the defensive grappler up.
  • By holding the toe, slide under his right leg.
  • To complete the hold before the defensive player rises up, put your right hand under him and grab the imprisoned left ankle.
  • This process will give a less pain and the opponent will gladly give up.

Wrestling Headlock

The perfect time to apply the headlock is when your opponent is on his hand and knees on the mat. This position is suitable because in this case the hand is locked with the head.

This is how you do it.

  • If you are present on the right hand side of your opponent, push down his head, resting the left arm heavily on the head.
  • Now try to get inside the right arm of your opponent
  • Grab your own left hand just below the wrist.
  • Now securely lock his head by drawing it towards your arm. This makes the defensive player helpless and with a little effort he can be forced on to the mat.

Quarter Nelson

If you want to shift the grip, then this is the best move for you. This is how you do it.

  • If you are present on the right hand side of the opponent, put your left hand under his right arm pit.
  • On the other hand, position your right hand on the back head of the opponent with palm facing down.
  • Try to grasp your own right wrist with your left hand followed by applying pressure.

Wrist Lock & Arm & Leg Grapevine Hold

Go for this move when your opponent is over you. When you are dealing with such situation.

  • Grasp the left wrist of your opponent with your right hand.
  • Do the arm grapevine by encircling your left arm.
  • Grapevine the left leg of the aggressor with your own left leg.
  • Now with a grapevine twist, you can make your opponent fall on the mat.

Wrestling - The Rules

In wrestling, a pin (or a fall) is when you bring down your opponent on his/her back with any part of both shoulders or both shoulder blades. Your opponent’s back or any body part said above should stay in contact with the mat for at least two seconds.

If nobody gets pinned, the wrestler who scored the most points during the match is declared as a winner. Let us see the rules regarding points and illegal actions on the mat.

Wrestling – Weightage of Points

There are multiple ways you can score points of the following weightage in a wrestling match legally.

  • Takedown (2 points)
  • Escape (1 point)
  • Reversal (2 points)
  • Near Fall (2 pints if lasts for 2 seconds or 3 points if lasts for 5 seconds)
  • Penalty Points (1 or 2 points)

Wrestling Rules Regarding Illegal Holds

The referee can penalize you for:

  • Grabbing the singlet, the mat, or the headgear.
  • Locked or overlapped hands: If you are down on the mat in control of your opponent, you cannot lock or overlap your hands, fingers or arms around your opponent’s body or both legs unless −
  • You have fulfilled the criteria for a near pin of your opponent.
  • Your opponent stands up and has all his/her weight on two feet.
  • You have lifted the opponent off the mat.

Wrestling Rules Regarding Technical Violations

The referee can penalize on the violation of the following rules.

  • Going off the mat or forcing your opponent off the mat to avoid wrestling.
  • Leaving the mat during the match without the referee’s permission.
  • Reporting to the mat not properly equipped or not ready to wrestle, or with the illegal equipment at the time of starting the match.
  • Bringing roughness in the game unnecessarily.
  • Conducting oneself indecently or unsportsmanlike.
  • Incorrect starting position or false start

The first and second time you are penalized, your opponent is awarded one point. The third time you are penalized, your opponent is awarded two points. The fourth time you are penalized, you are disqualified.

The rules for various wrestling styles in the Olympics and international championships are different.

Wrestling - Scoring

While you start practicing this combat sport, you must become aware of various techniques of scoring and signaling used by referees. You also must know the categories of Wrestling Championships.

The following table lists the points that are assigned for different cases in a match:

Cases Points
1 Point
1 point (after 1 Warning)
Technical Violation
1 Point
2 Points
2 Points
Near fall(Injury)
4 Points
Near fall (2 sec)
2 points
Near fall (5 sec)
2 Points

The following table lists the different cases of scoring points for the team:

Cases Points
Fall (Pin)
6 Points
Tech Fall (margin 15+ points)
5 points
Major decision (margin 8-14 point match)
4 Points
Decision (Major 1-7 match point)
3 Points
Major Decision (margin 8-14 points)
4 Points

Wrestling – Champions

Every participating country has its own governing body to organize the game successfully throughout the calendar. Here is a list of some important tournaments in this category.

  • Asian Games
  • Olympic Games
  • World Championships
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Continental Championships
  • Mediterranean Championships

Based on the wrestler’s weight, the terms used are as follows:

Weight Term
115 pounds (52 kg)
139 pounds (63 kg)
150 pounds (68 kg)
161 pounds (73 kg)
Super Lightweight
170 pounds (77 kg)
181 pounds (82 kg)
Super Welterweight
192 pounds (87 kg)
203 pounds (92 kg)
Super Middleweight
214 pounds (97 kg)
Light Heavyweight
231 pounds (105 kg)
Junior Heavyweight/Cruiserweight
231 pounds (105 kg Minimum)

Wrestling – Hall of Fame

Yogeshwar Dutt

Many wrestlers have left and are still leaving their mark on various championships and international tournaments.

Popularly known as ‘Yogi’, this Indian wrestler comes from North Indian state of Haryana. He won gold medal in 65Kg freestyle event conducted during Asian games in year 2014 in spite of going through the trauma of his father’s death 10 days before the games.

Yogeshwar also bagged a gold in 2003 Commonwealth Games. He is a recipient of the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2012 given by the Government of India.

Natalia Vorobieva

She is a Russian wrestler born in Tulun, Soviet Union. She is World Champion, runner-up 2013 and bronze medalist in 2013 year. She is also the holder of a number of titles at the youth levels.

Natalia had an immense inclination towards wrestling and she entered into this power sport when she was 10. Her mother inspired her to take up this sport. Today, she is a well-known sportsperson of wrestling, the men-dominating game.

Artur Taymazov

Arthur is an Ossetia-Uzbek wrestler and Uzbekistan’s most decorated Olympian. He is from Tashkent. He decided to wrestle at the age of 11 years, when a freestyle wrestling club was opened in his village.

He participated in London Olympics 2012, Beijing Olympics in 2008, and Athens Olympics in 2004 in which he received gold medal in 120Kg freestyle wrestling.

In the Asian Games conducted in years 2000, 2006, and 2010, Arthur received gold medals in 130 Kg freestyle wrestling.

Armen Nazaryan

Armen is an Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler who represented Bulgaria. He won the European Championship six times in 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2003. He won World Champion three times (in 2002, 2003, and 2005).

Armen also has to his credit two Olympic titles. He was recognized by the FILA as the best fighter of the year in 1998 and 2003. He was awarded as coach of the year for all sports in Bulgaria in 2013.

Sushil Kumar

This World Championship gold medal winner hails from a Hindu Jaat family of Delhi, India. He started wrestling at the age of 14. He started taking lessons in freestyle wrestling at Chhatrassal Stadium Aakhada (Wrestling School).

He won two gold medals in Commonwealth Games, once in 66Kg category at Delhi in year 2010 and another in 74Kg category at Glasgow in 2014. He also won a silver at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Canada Pro Wrestling School: WFPC, Calgary