Mostly wrestling is broken down into a couple of categories. These include Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Judo, Folkstyle and Sombo. A quick explanation will help those new to the sport to get a better grasp an appreciation for what they are watching.
When watching the Olympic Games, this is the kind of wrestling which you can expect. The modern version of freestyle wrestling originated in Great Britain and the United States and has fewer restrictions on an international level than any other kind of wrestling. An example of these limited restrictions is that in freestyle wrestling wrestlers are allowed to use their legs to subdue their competitors, except for the scissor-hold which is prohibited.
This style is also allowed to be presented at the Olympic level. It is however much more limited, and no grabs below the waistline of your opponent or using techniques using your legs to subdue him are allowed. This form wasn’t at all popular until about the 19th century.
The goal in this oriental style is to throw your opponent off his feet onto his back into submission. This kind of wrestling is based on five-minute intervals with both competitors standing upright, and as soon as that someone is thrown on the ground, the game continues to see if a pin is achieved. In Judo, no blocks or chock holds on wrestlers below 13 years of age are allowed. Wrestlers are required to wear no shoes and a white jacket and pants.
Folkstyle focus on takedowns and differs entirely from Freestyle. When being pinned down during Folkstyle, the wrestler can be down for no set time, and his opponent is aiming at winning as many points as possible during the down pin. This means that a wrestler can be pinned down for the entire period of the match. This is a popular choice in American high schools and colleges and is therefore also known as collegiate wrestling. The techniques used to keep your opponent pinned to the floor determine the number of points gained.
This technique is a combination of certain energetic aspects of Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Judo and was developed in Russia. The focus here is also to get your competitor off his feet and into submission. The pointing system works the same as with Freestyle, and the technique also prohibits chock holds. The benefit of learning Sombo is to master the method of getting out of holds.
When watching wrestling on the television, you will probably notice the lack of resemblance between professional wrestling and sport wrestling. On television viewers are entertained with a theatrical display of a rather dangerous form called catch-as-catch-can. Even though sport wrestling is considered to be a safe sport with a high involvement on school level, wrestling entertainment on television can be very dangerous at times. The main reason for opting for this kind of wrestling on TV is pure that professional sports wrestling lack the glamour required for entertaining the crowds.