Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 20 >> Wittekind to Yttrium >> Wrestling


style, ground, wrestlers, hold, greek and hand

WRESTLING (from wrestle, AS. wrwstlian, wraxlian, to wrestle, frequentative of wrcestan, heel. reista, to twist, probably from AS. wriPon, feel. ells, OHG. ridan, to turn, twist, wrest). A sport in which one person tries to throw another to the ground. The rule with the Greek wrestlers was to secure three throws before the victory was decided. The wrestlers were accustomed to rub their bodies with oil in the belief that they secured a greater pliancy of limb. and doubtless also to check any excessive perspiration. In order to obviate the difficulty of grasping each other with firmness owing to the coating of oil, the wrestlers were required either to roll in the dust of the stadinin or to lie sprinkled with the fine sand kept for that purpose at Olympia. Should one of the wrestlers in a match fall and drag his adversary with him, the combat was continued on the ground. The Greek method of wrestling subsequently passed to the Romans, and by them way introduced throughout Europe. Grteco-Roman wrestling of to-day must not be confused with the ancient Greek method of wrestling, for it is neither a tariation of the ancient Greek or Roman. nor even a compound of the two. The Grieco-Roman style was adopted in France about the middle of the nineteenth century and is now the only recognized mode in that country. It was introduced into England in IS119 and I S70. In America it has become popular. The style proper does not begin until both men are on the ground.

'Tripping; which is the essence of the English game, is barred in the Gr(rco-Roman. of the distinctive style of wrestling, the fol lowing points are the most important. In the Cornwall and IJrron style, the wrestler is required fairly to throw his opponent flat on his hack before a decision eari be Won. In order to secure the throw, two shoulders and one hip must he on the ground, or two hips and one shoulder. This is called 'three points down.' The various arti fices used in this style of wrestling are called 'trips' or 'chips.' They include the following:

The flying mare, the inside lock forward, the inside lock backward, the double-lock, the fore hand play, the after play, inside and outside clamp, the pull under, and the cross-heave. In the Lancashire style, or catch-us-eat ehwan, unlimited action is permitted. It is the roughest of the English methods and is also one which most appeals to the athlete. Throt tling is forbidden by the rules, hut it is in variably resorted to. Tripping and catching hold of the legs are permitted, and in the tloor work the style comes nearer the French or Gra-co-Roman than any other method of wres tling. The most important trips are the double Nelson, the half and three-quarter Nelson, the lock, ham and leg, the dying mare, heave and leg-holding. The cleanest style and the one pos sessing the most simple rules is the Cumberland and Westmoreland style, in which the wrestlers on taking hold stand up chest to chest, each com batant placing his chin on his opponent's right shoulder, at the same time grasping him around the body, one man placing his left arm above the right of his antagonist. When both men have secured their hold and are reckoned as fair ly on their guard, the struggle begins. If one of them breaks hold, i.e. loses his grip, if yet on the ground and his opponent retains his hold. the one who has lost his grip is declared the loser. Similarly if either man touches the ground with one knee or any other part of the body, though he may still retain his hold, he is not permitted to recover himself and is, declared the loser. The Irish, or collar-and-elbow, style is as interesting as it is peculiar. The contest ants seize each other by the neck with one hand, and by the elbow with the other, and when one of them touches the ground with his hand, knee, back, or side, the fall is won. In Burma and throughout the East Indies wrestling has reached a high degree of development. The wrestlers are nude, and skill rather than strength is made to count.