What is Grappling

Grappling is a style of Wrestling that combine technique originated in different sports such as Freestyle Wrestling, Sambo, Judo,Ju Jitsu, BJJ, Luta Livre and the aim of the sport consist in taking down and control the opponent on the ground and submit him using several kind of holds.

Being most of the fight spent on the ground, Grappling can be considered as one of the safest wrestling sport to practice.

This is testified by the lack of any serious injuries during the several national and international competitions that where held worldwide.

Grappling, thanks to his safe rules, is a sport that is practiced by people of all age, with competition held in several age category from kids to veterans.


History of Grappling

Grappling, of all the modern wrestling styles, is the closest to Ancient Greek wrestling or  Pále (πάλη), that was practiced in the old Olympic Games,  and at the time was at the time the most popular organized sport in Ancient Greece  with the first competition added to the Olympic Games that was not a footrace (it was added in 708 B.C.).

Just like Grappling, Ancient Greek wrestling rules stated that a point was scored when one athletes was able to make his opponent touch the ground with his back, hip, shoulder. A win was obtained by point or if his opponent decide to quit the match with a tap out.

Modern day Wrestling, that was developed as a sport in the 19th century, was divided in two styles, "Freestyle" and "Greco-Roman" wrestling, nowadays both Olympic sports.

While Greco-Roman wrestling is a style born in France during the Napoleonic period (at the beginning was called “French wrestling”), Freestyle wrestling take his roots from Lancashire wrestling, an historic wrestling style from Lancashire in England, very similar to modern Grappling.

Taking his origin from Lancashire Wrestling, as well as other sports like Judo, Ju Jitsu, BJJ, Sambo, during the 20th century, Grappling start to be practiced in different country in the world, mostly in Brazil, USA, Japan and later on in Europe and in Emirates.

Missing any official regulation, during last decades, several tournament where held worldwide, each one with his own rules.

Grappling became, during the 90’s, one the fastest growing sports.

In 2007 FILA, the International Federation that regulate the Olympic and non-Olympic wrestling styles, included Grappling into its field of activities, with the vision of unite the grappling community under standard international rules.

Was formed a committee to regulate the sport and straight forward and easy to understand rules were created.

The 1st World Championship was held in Lusanne, Switzerland, in 2008 and since then every year were organized national, continental and world championships with athletes coming from all continents.

In 2010 the sport reach the greatest honor when was included in the program of the SportAccord World Combat Games, the multi-sport games for fighting sports organized by SportAccord, the umbrella organization for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations that were organized for the first time in Beijing – China.

Grappling was then again part of World Combat Games in 2013 during 2nd edition held in St Petersburg – Russia with an increased quota of athletes.

In 2013, due to the risk of an exclusion of Wrestling from the Olympic Sports, voted by the IOC, the FILA Bureau voted for the exclusion of the sport of Grappling from its associated disciplines, with the aim of concentrate its effort on the Olympic Sports.

In 2014, thanks to the effort of FILA President Nenad Lalovic and FILA Vicepresident Mikhail Mamiashvili,  during the september Congress, where FILA Congress took the historical decision of change name to United World Wrestling, was voted to reintroduce Grappling among the associated disciplines from 1st January 2015. 

Waiting for Grappling reintroduction, from 20th to 23th November 2014, was held in Moscow the World Grappling Championship, organized by World Grappling Committee director Rizvan Bochkaev.


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