A Rundown of Top Wrestling Styles

May 11, 2018 at 4:27 am Ron Mullinax

A comprehensive guide to different styles of wrestling: Things that keep the audience glued

wrestling styles

Apart from the glamour, the glitz, and the spotlight of the wrestling world, the sport can be best characterized by moving, faster confrontations, coupled with the ability to endure ’til the end. Some wrestlers like Bret Hart will use some fast-paced moves that don’t demand much strength but take advantage of his opponent’s momentum instead. He will use the ropes, but he isn’t clumsy on rebounding.

Perfect adoption of wrestling styles has taken the sport to the next level. Professional wrestling styles can be divided into two main categories—namely, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling. Here are brief descriptions of both styles and an additional wrestling style.

Greco-Roman wrestling

The first one of this list of wrestling styles is Greco-Roman wrestling. In this style, the competitors try to gain control over each other by using locks, throws, and clinching techniques. The holds can be executed only by using the upper body, with the final goal of pinning the opponent’s shoulders to the mat.

When a wrestler manages to attain that, “victory by fall” is declared. If not, the match continues ’til the end of regular time, and finally, the winner is decided on the basis of technical points earned. Except for the 1900 Paris Olympics, Greco-Roman style has been a consistent part of all Olympic Games since its inclusion to the ancient games in 1896.

Freestyle wrestling

The second most common among the top wrestling styles is freestyle wrestling. Here, the opponents try to gain control over each other by utilizing locks, throws, clinching techniques, and leg trips. Unlike the Greco-Roman style that only allows the utilization of the upper body, all freestyle holds can use legs in order to finally pin the shoulders of the opponent to the mat. Winning is declared either by fall or according to the technical points earned. Except for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, freestyle wrestling has been consistently part of all Olympic Games since its inclusion in 1904.

Folkstyle wrestling

It falls under those styles of wrestling that are geographically based. Folkstyle, also known as collegiate-style wrestling, is a form of wrestling native to the United States. This style is practiced in educational institutions and in many wrestling clubs in the United States. What makes this style different from freestyle is that a wrestler has to hold the shoulders of the opponent to the mat for at least one second in order to earn a fall. In this style, wrestlers get rewarded with near falls that help them earn two or three points.


What’s your favorite style of wrestling? Feel free to share in the comments section below. Check out my book, Fritz Von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw, to learn more about wrestling styles. You can also share your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



Reactor Wrestling Club. 2018. “Styles Of Wrestling.” Accessed January 29, 2018.

Wrestling Western Australia. 2017. “Wrestling Styles.” Accessed January 29, 2018.

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