Ancient Olympic Wrestling

Ancient Olympic Wrestling back in Ancient Greece had many similarities with today’s Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling. Back in Ancient Greece, there were many fewer rules than the modern Olympics and Professional Wrestling Associations have.

Ancient Olympic Wrestling

The first known match in Ancient Wrestling match took place in approximately 708 B.C.

Ancient Olympic Wrestling

Different  kinds of Ancient Olympic Wrestling

There were also two different kinds of Ancient Olympic Wrestling both with their own sets of rules, even though the rules were only a few, it was how the matches were fought, the holds that were used and how the victor won the match that was the main differences. During the wrestling matches, the opponents would smother themselves with olive oil and some form of dust, this way it was easier for them to grasp each other as they fought in muddy pits.

Rules of Ancient Olympic Wrestling

Some of the rules of Ancient Olympic Wrestling were there was no punching, you could not gouge your opponents eyes or face with your fingernails, tripping and biting were also not allowed. Other than the few things everything else was legal. As previously stated there were two kinds of Ancient Olympic Wrestling.

Ancient Olympic Wrestling

1) Kato Pale, which was ground wrestling and the opponents fought until one of them gave in, by raising his arm with his index finger raised to admit defeat. The second style of wrestling in the ancient Olympics was called.

2) Orthia Pale, which was upright wrestling. The rules were the same except in the upright wrestling style you had to throw your opponent to the ground three separate times in order to win the match. Men and boys were also able to compete and they were the only two classes, instead of today’s wrestling where it is classified by weights.

Ancient Olympic Wrestling

Greek Wrestling Olympics

One of the most famous wrestlers during the Ancient Olympic Wrestling Games was a man named Milon of Croton who won his first championship in the boys class and went on to win five Olympic championships and thirty-two overall wrestling championships.

Back then the Olympics lasted five days and the wrestling was on the third and fourth days, where usually the boys who were usually seventeen to twenty years old competed on day three and then the other men on day four. Day five of the Olympics held no sporting events; usually, it was just for closing ceremonies and honors.