How Old is Wrestling?

Wrestling is one of the earliest sports known to man. Many hundreds of scenes of wrestling matches are sculptured on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. And they show practically all the holds and falls known to us today.

So wrestling as an organized and scientific sport was probably introduced into Greece from Egypt or Asia. But there is Greek legend that it was invented by the hero Theseus. Wrestling was an important branch of athletics in ancient Greece.

The Greek wrestlers used to rub oil on themselves and then rub fine sand on the soil, to afford a better hold. The champion wrestler of the ancient world was Milo of Croton, who scored 32 victories in the national games, and had six Olympic victories.


In Japan, where wrestling is very popular, the first recorded wrestling match took place in 23 B.C. The Japanese have a style of wrestling called “Sumo”, in which weight is very important. Some Sumo champions have weighed as much as 135 kilograms, and were tremendously strong, but still quite light on their feet.

In Britain, wrestling was cultivated even in earliest times. Did you know that King Henry VII liked wrestling and was considered to be very good?

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