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Wrestling is nothing new to the world, but a lot of people don’t realize the extent of its history. The combat sport has been around for much longer than people realize; wrestling dates all the way back to the Greek mythology 15,000 years ago. Here you can learn about the history of wrestling and how it has evolved over these 15,000 years.
Wrestling and Greek Mythology
Anthropologists and archaeologists have deciphered cave drawings found in parts of the world that prove that wrestling has been around for thousands of years. In Babylon, Greece, and Egypt specifically there have been plenty of references to prove the existence (and widespread popularity) of the sport.
Greek mythology isn’t shy when it comes to tales and battles involving combat between goods and humans. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh showed his role as a leader by wrestling the mighty Enkidu. Hercules was especially famous for his wrestling and there are many Greek myths referencing this.
Perhaps one of the most famous references to wrestling within Greek mythology is with the all-mighty God, Zeus. Zeus rose to be the ruler of the Earth because of the epic wrestling battle between him and his father, Cronus.
Types of Modern-Day Wrestling
Wrestling has changed dramatically since the times of the ancient Greeks. First of all, battles are no longer fought to the death but rather treated as competitions officiated by referees. Although wrestling is much more regulated than it once was, there are still plenty of different types of wrestling around the globe.
This Olympic sport has experienced recent changes to rules that places a greater emphasis on high-impact throws and punches. Although throwing a punch with full force is encouraged, it is completely forbidden to actively use your legs in any action, make holds below the belt, or trip your opponent.
Pankration is actually the style of wrestling that was common many centuries ago. “Pankration” originates from the greek terms pan and kratos, which literally means “the one who controls everything.” The modern-day form of pankration can be compared to MMA fighting that incorporates holds and strikes.
This international sport is featured in the Olympics and in competitions around the world for both men and women. It is also sometimes referred to as “catch” wrestling since it involves a good amount grappling holds and submission techniques to catch your opponent and bring him (or her) to the mat.
Is MMA the Same as Wrestling?
This is a common question since mixed martial arts looks very similar to wrestling in many ways. Yes, they are both combat sports involving one fighter trying to overtake the other, but they are actually very different. MMA does involve wrestling, but that is only one aspect. Wrestling techniques are a big part of it, but so is kickboxing and other forms of combats. You cannot compare the two or use them synonymously.