Different Types Of Wrestling Found Around The World

Different Types Of Wrestling Found Around The World

Do you love the energetic sport of wrestling? If yes, how much do you know about this game? Did you know there are different types of wrestling variants in play worldwide? 

There are various variants of the wrestling sport which are popular in different countries around the world. Although some of these games are internationally approved by the federation, and some are not. One thing common in all the variants of this sport is that they are full of energy, entertainment, and enthusiasm.

In the article, we will tell you about various types of wrestling that are popular worldwide. 

Types of Wrestling

There are numerous types of wrestling variants that are popular among game enthusiasts of various countries. But we have selected some of the best for you below:

Freestyle Wrestling 

Freestyle wrestling is one of the most common variants of wrestling which is popular all over the world. It is one of the 2 styles of wrestling that are featured every year in the Olympic games. 

The final objective of freestyle wrestling is to pin and throw the opponent to the game mat. If a player is successful in doing this, it results in immediate winning for the player. One of the unique distinguishing characteristics of freestyle wrestling is players’ legs for defensive and offensive ways. This brings together the concepts of traditional wrestling, sambo, judo, and many more. 

Freestyle wrestling is also one of the 6 major variants of amateur wrestling practiced around the world in competitions. In 2020 at one point, the International Olympic Committee(IOC) considered removing wrestling from the list of sports Olympic sports list of 2020. However, due to serious backlash from the wrestling community around the world, this decision of the IOC was reversed. 

Greco – Roman Wrestling

The Greco-roman variant of wrestling is also one of the major types of wrestling in terms of widespread practice and popularity. This is one of the first styles of wrestling that was introduced during the first Olympic Games of the modern era in 1896. 

After it, this variant has been included in each iteration of the Summer Olympics from 1904. This variant of wrestling differs from freestyle wrestling as it does not allow holds below the waist. It also prohibits the use of legs for defensive or offensive purposes. Thus, this set of rules emphasizes throwing the opponent instead of trip takedowns or grabbing and hooking the opponent’s legs. 

Due to this set of rules, the Greco-roman wrestlers are known to have incredibly well-built upper bodies as they are able to lift and move heavy weight around easily. 


This wrestling variant is popular in Iceland. It is also the national sport of this country which is known for its naturally well built and strong men. The beginning of this art of wrestling was in Norway, but we can trace the history of origins as back as times of the Norse and Vikings. 

This style of wrestling is a standing style of this sport which has three major forms. These are:

  • Hryggtok, famous by the name of Back hold Grip.
  • Brokartok is known by the name of pant & belt grip. It features a contraption of leather around the thighs and waist. 
  • Lausatok, famous by the name of the free grip. 

The Lausatok variant out of these three is the most popular form of Glima wrestling. Other than this, participants can use a wide variety of holds in this game. 

The good thing about the Glima is that players can practice it outdoors as well as indoors. This sport of wrestling was traditionally taught as a type of combat art. One thing which makes this game different from the others is that it emphasizes technique instead of strength and brute force. 


This is a popular form of wrestling that is popular in the country of Mongolia, and it is famous by the name of Bokh. Bokh actually translates to “wrestler” or “wrestling” in Mongolia’s local language. This is a traditional Khalka style of Jacket wrestling from Mongolia. According to the rules of Bokh, touching the ground with anything other than feet results in defeat. 

Bokh is known to be one of the most vital parts of Mongolia’s culture. It is part of “Three Manly Skills.” The other two skills of this set are archery and horsemanship. 

Genghis Khan, the conqueror, and founder of Mongolia’s Empire, used the Bokh wrestling to keep his army in shape. He used it to keep them always ready for war and combat. The Chinese dynasty of Qing even held regular events which featured Bokh as a sport. In these events, Mongolian fighters and ethnic Manchu fighters used to go head-on in bouts. 


The sport of wrestling is known as the Pehlwani / kushti in India. This style originated in India and is a Mughal style of wrestling that was developed during the Mughal empire in India. 

The pehlwani style of wrestling is a mix of Persian kushti pehlvani and aspects from the native Malla-buddha from India. This term of pehlwani loosely translates to a dual or “Heroic Wrestling.” The players or contestants of this game are referred by the name of pehlwan, while the teachers or masters are known by the name of ustad. 

The elements of catch wrestling greatly influence this wrestling’s elements. 

One of the most famous practitioners of the Indian Pehlwani was Rustam-e-hind, who was famous by the ring name of “The Great Gama.” He is known as the greatest champion of Indian wrestling. 

Shuai Jiao 

The Shuai jiao originated from Beijing, the Chinese capital. It is a Chinese version of jacket wrestling that means throw and trip. This game is inspired by the Mongolian version of wrestling and was known as “Buku” during the Qing Dynasty. 

This was a form of combat wrestling which the imperial guard practiced during the ancient dynasties like Yuan, Jin, Liao, and Qing. They did this so that they could defend the empire and capital in times of war. The origins of the Shuai Jiao’s modern techniques can be traced to as early as the 1600s, and the Kangxi Emperor codified them. 

Traditionally the practitioners of the Shuai jiao wore a jacket during wrestling which was called “Da Lian.” This jacket had chaps over pants. It allowed the contestants to grab their opponents and lift them to throw. However, the rupees of this sport varied according to the various locations. Some of the rules include the technique of arm locking like in Beijing, while in places like Tianjin, it includes blocking and striking in basics. 

These are some of the most popular types of wrestling which are famous around the world. One thing which is common in all these styles is to throw or pin down the opponent for winning. 

Final Words

There are various types of wrestling popular around the world, which people enjoy and play enthusiastically. One thing which is common among all variants of wrestling popular around the world is that they need the players to throw the opponents. 

Out of the many popular variants of wrestling, freestyle wrestling is most popular and is also recognized by the world Olympic committee. 

Jatin Choudhary

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