The origins of wrestling date back to the dawn of history.
It is believed that wrestling as a system emerged at the moment when ancient people realised that various techniques and methods of fighting could help save their lives and provide them with food. The knowledge of wrestling techniques which may have originally been discovered quite by chance, developed over time and this experience was passed on from one generation to the next.
The first reliable information we have about ancient Greek sports, and in particular about wrestling, dates back to the end of the 2nd millennium BC. At that times wrestling was the privilege of aristocratic warriors, and victory in a fight was seen not merely as an indication of superior strength but also as proof of the winner’s divine origin. In 708 BC, wrestling was included in the programme of the Olympic Games. There were no fixed rules of wrestling, and often the rules to be observed were simply negotiated by the opponents before they fight. The most important element of wrestling was the throw, that is, a move that made the opponent lose his balance and fall on the ground.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, wrestling, like most sports, developed very slowly, largely due to the influence of Christianity. Sports were seen as a relic of pagan traditions and were thus prohibited in Christian nations. And when firearms emerged, wrestling started to lose its main practical application and developed into a sport. It was then that the modern system of sports wrestling began to develop.
Wrestling has been part of the Olympic Games program since 708 BC, and in modern era it has been included in the program of all the Olympic Games except fro those held in 1900 Games. In 1920, during the Olympic Games in Antwerp, International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles was established, and since then this body has established the rules for Greco-Roman wrestling, and later also for freestyle wrestling and, more recently, for grappling. The Association also supports the development and systematisation of traditional wrestling styles from different countries.