History of Wrestling






Mention wrestling in the UK and, to many, it conjures up visions of what used to appear on our television screens called ‘Professional Wrestling, WWE or ITV World of Sport.’ There is no parallel whatsoever to be drawn between so called ‘Professional Wrestling’ and the modern Olympic styles of wrestling. The former is an entertainment and the latter a sport. There are two Olympic styles of wrestling, namely Freestyle and Greco-Roman.

Native Styles
There have been many forms of wrestling practised throughout the UK since ancient times. Chief of these was the ‘Lancashire’ or ‘Catch-as-Catch-Can’, ‘Westmoreland and Cumberland’ was another, whilst Devon and Cornwall had their own particular style.  These styles are still practised today but by far the most prevalent is Olympic Freestyle.

Sport Governing Bodies
The British Wrestling Association Ltd (BWA) controls the Olympic sport of wrestling in the UK. The BWA is in turn affiliated to the world governing body, United World Wrestling (UWW). This allows our top wrestlers to compete in international competition such as the European and World Championships and, subject to qualification, the Olympic Games.

The BWA Board, which is made up of open-interviewed Directors and representatives from each Home Nation, governs the sport in the UK. England is divided into three regions (North/Midlands/South): the other Home Nations are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Financial support for Wrestling, from Exchequer and National Lottery funding, may be granted by Home Nation Sports Councils

Rules Governing Wrestling 

The Rules governing Wrestling are laid down by UWW. The BWA has adopted the UWW Rules in relation to all its domestic competitions with a slight variation in respect of age groups relevant to schoolchildren, cadets and junior wrestlers.

Broadly speaking wrestling bouts are decided by way of a fall (both shoulders of an opponent pinned simultaneously to the wrestling mat for 2 seconds) or by way of points assigned to specific actions or holds by the officials in charge of the bout.

Wrestling bouts are scheduled as 2 x three-minute rounds with breaks of 30 seconds for seniors and juniors. Cadets and schoolchildren are the same but with two 2 minute rounds.

General Information
The BWA has a modern constitution and policies including Anti-Doping, Equality and Safeguarding. We welcome all to participate and become members of our Association – irrespective of age, gender, creed, ethnicity or ability.

We appreciate that not all those interested in our sport seek to aspire to international or even competitive status. There exist many other opportunities to be associated with Freestyle Wrestling, such as by becoming a referee/judge or other official and we welcome all such enquiries.

Wrestling is one of humankind’s most natural activities. It promotes levels of fitness, strength, agility, confidence and self-esteem second to none.

Why not give it a try? We await your call.
For further information contact Barry Pollin at the:
The British Wrestling Association Ltd
The British Wrestling Academy
41 Great Clowes Street
Tel: 07977 201505
Email: operations@britishwrestling.org
Website: www.britishwrestling.org 


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