Folkstyle (what Remy describes as high school) is a rounded type of wrestling, where a few points are awarded for a few events in a match, but for the most part the goal is to pin the other wrestler. Highlights of this ruleset are a two-second pin count, many types of illegal holds and maneuvers, and ample time limits.

Greco-Roman is the older style of wrestling, what is usually perceived as Olympic wrestling. One of the main goals (at least in the Grecian times) is to get your opponent off the ground. This style is heavy into throws and makes allowances for starting on your feet more often.

Freestyle rules make it easier to get a pin (0-second pin count, if the shoulders touch, it's a pin), and also awards more types of maneuvers points. Just being in control and rolling your opponent 360 degrees gains you a point. The focus is on holds and on-the-mat wrestling, as opposed to Greco-Roman style. More thought and reflexes are required, and the match tends to move quicker.

Collegic wrestling adds the idea of gaining points for staying in control of the match, called "ride time". Any time a wrestler is in position that prevents escape or reversal, the clock is running in his favor. At the end of the match, if he has more than a minute of control time, he is awarded one point.

Contrary to what most people will say, wrestling is not a sport. You don't "play" wrestling. It is a lifestyle. You live it, eat it, breathe it. I trust completely my teammates from high school, and they trust me. It teaches you that you can overcome anything or anyone through hard work and determination, but also that there is always someone better than you. Even though it is a 'team' event, it is one on one. No one can help you, and it's all or nothing at all.

While watching WWF Smackdown tonight, I noticed something about the perennial question: "Is professional wrestling fake or is it real?"

That's a false dichotomy.

As far as I can tell, based only on observing things on TV, "perfessional wrassling" is both real and fake. I believe it's exhaustingly physical improvisation with a predetermined outcome.

I cannot doubt that, no matter how much of the rivalry and violence may be trumped up, the work these folks do demands athleticism in the highest degree. Even just pretending to beat the shit out of someone is a lot of work. At a minimum, what's real is the incredible effort put out by the wrestlers. They work at least as hard as any dancer or conventional athlete, showing agility merely by not breaking their necks.

On the other hand, the trash talk and rivalries among the wrestlers are probably scripted like a soap opera. As in any line of work, colleagues disagree with each other, but either these guys are so corn-fed that they can't help speaking in clichés or they've got most of their lines written for them.

The harm done in the ring, I'm guessing, is exaggerated. I think some injuries are genuine, but I think most punches are pulled, most impacts are softened, and most reactions are overstated. Occasionally, someone really is harmed. And in every match, people really are hurt -- that is, they feel pain as a result of their exertion and the fact that they're pretending to have been injured so far as to be unable to throw a pin.

Seen in this light, I think wrestling is a masculine fine art, just as ballet is a feminine fine art. (Say what you will about male ballet dancers and their visible packages; the form itself is unmistakably graceful and harmonious.) There's an element of improv, and an element of real violence, and taken together they form a spectacle unique in sports and in fine art.

Wres"tling (?), n.

Act of one who wrestles; specif., the sport consisting of the hand-to-hand combat between two unarmed contestants who seek to throw each other. The various styles of wrestling differ in their definition of a fall and in the governing rules. In Greco-Roman wrestling, tripping and taking hold of the legs are forbidden, and a fall is gained (that is, the bout is won), by the contestant who pins both his opponent's shoulders to the ground. In catch-as-catch-can wrestling, all holds are permitted except such as may be barred by mutual consent, and a fall is defined as in Greco-Roman style. Lancashire style wrestling is essentially the same as catch-as-catch- can. In Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling the contestants stand chest to chest, grasping each other around the body. The one first losing his hold, or touching the ground with any part of his body except his feet, loses the bout. If both fall to the ground at the same time, it is a dogfall, and must be wrestled over. In the Cornwall and Devon wrestling, the wrestlers complete in strong loose linen jackets, catching hold of the jacket, or anywhere above the waist. Two shoulders and one hip, or two hips and one shoulder, must touch the ground to constitute a fall, and if a man is thrown otherwise than on his back the contestants get upon their feet and the bout recommences.


© Webster 1913

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