What is the difference between freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling?

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wrestling is one of those martial arts that has been around for ages, and it’s arguably the best basis for mixed martial arts. There are two main styles of wrestling today: Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling.

A brief history of Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling

Although named after two ancient civilizations, the Greco-Roman style is actually quite recent. This style of wrestling began in France in the early 19th century to incorporate ancient values ​​into the sport. The name “Greco-Roman” has been used to claim that this style of wrestling is similar to styles used by ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea, particularly during the Ancient Greek Olympic Games. Greco-Roman wrestling is practiced worldwide and was first part of the Olympics in 1896. It has continued to be part of the Summer Olympics since 1908.

Freestyle wrestling is a style of wrestling that is also practiced around the world. This style of wrestling has ties to “catch-as-catch-can” styles of wrestling, which involve using almost any technique to knock down and pin your opponent in order to win. Freestyle wrestling brings together the different traditional wrestling styles of sambo and judo.

Differences between Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling

Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling have essential similarities but also differences. Both involve battling against an opponent, teardowns, and rotates in an attempt to pin an opponent. The main differences between these two wrestling styles are:

1) Legs

One of the main differences between these two styles of wrestling is that Greco-Roman prohibits any hold below the waist, but freestyle wrestling allows you to use your legs as both defensive and offensive weapons. You can also use a two-legged or single-legged takedown to pin your opponent to the mat. Because of this major difference, these two wrestling styles use very different strategies and techniques.

Since you can’t use your legs to secure a takedown in Greco-Roman wrestling, you’ll have to rely a lot more on headlocks, body locks, and arm drags. Most Greco-Roman wrestlers also rely on an offensive technique known as a suplex, during which you lift your opponent into a high arch as they fall backwards. Even on the mat you are not allowed to use your legs. Therefore, you must use other techniques, such as a gut wrench and body wrenches, to turn your opponent’s shoulders to the mat.

2) Accompany an opponent on the web

Another major difference is how you throw your opponent to the ground. In freestyle wrestling, you can simply throw the opponent and reconnect with them later when they’re on the canvas to secure a favorable position. With Greco-Roman wrestling, however, you need to maintain contact with your opponent throughout the takedown for it to count. As a Greco-Roman grappler, you must accompany your opponent to the mat. If you lose contact with them, the referee will immediately stop the illegal hold.

3) Escaping a hold

Breaking away from a hold consists in refusing all contact with an opponent to prevent him from initiating a hold. If you do this during a freestyle wrestling match, the referee will charge you. This can also occur during Greco-Roman wrestling, but this style has rules governing the escape from a ground hold. Since you can’t grab your opponent’s legs in Greco-Roman wrestling, your opponent has to make sure they don’t put you in a position where you have to. This means that if your opponent finds himself on the ground, he will not be able to move forward to escape because this action will require you to hold your opponent’s thighs.

4) Orderly maintenance

During freestyle wrestling matches, if you and your opponent score no points after wrestling for a period of time, the referee may award an orderly hold. A coin toss is held to determine which wrestler gets the advantage. If you lose this draw, you must put one leg in the middle of the main circle, while the other leg remains outside. This gives your opponent a very clear chance to knock you down, which would give them a score in that round. If, as a disadvantaged wrestler, you don’t allow them to take you down, you win this round.

The rules are a bit different for Greco. If you both haven’t scored points after wrestling for a while, you’ll both alternate in parterre position. This position involves a wrestler kneeling and hands in the center of a circle, while their opponent positions themselves behind, either with one knee on the ground or standing. The wrestler in the lead after the standing portion of that round wins the floor advantage.

If you want to participate in mixed martial arts, a background in wrestling is a significant advantage. In the UFC, the most common takedowns are single leg and double leg, meaning freestyle wrestling has proven to be very effective inside the cage. Upright to take down stances are common in MMA, so Greco-Roman style wrestling skills can also come in very handy.

Greco-Roman wrestlers are better at slamming bodies, but freestyle wrestlers generally shoot and defend shots better than their Greco-Roman counterparts. Despite their differences, both styles have proven to be very effective inside the cage.

Robert J. King