WRESTLING PROGRAM

WRESTLING COACH: BABAK NOURZAD
2004 Olympic Games Wrestler
BIOGRAPHY

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FREESTYLE WRESTLING

Our Adult and Youth Wrestling Classes are taught by our Wrestling Coach Babak Nourzad, a 2004 Olympian wrestler for Iran. For Babak’s Complete Bio CLICK HERE! Learn from a world-class wrestler!

WRESTLING AT GRACIE BARRA WESTCHASE
Freestyle wrestling is fun. It is exciting, creative, and dynamic because you can score points from almost anywhere. A wrestler will receive more points for a spectacular throw, 5 points, than you do for a normal takedown, 1 point. Freestyle wrestling takes less control of your opponent to score points. Flip him/her to their back and get 2 points. You do not even have to hold him/her on their back to score but if you do, you will score 5 points for grand amplitude.

If your goal is to be a state champion or state placer, freestyle wrestling increases your chances dramatically. Freestyle wrestling will improve your technique, skill, and mat strategy.

This style of wrestling is intense, creative and challenging for those who choose to learn it. If you have high wrestling goals freestyle wrestling must be a part of your yearly wrestling plans. We look forward to helping you meet your wrestling goals.

Classes consist of Warm Ups, Drills and Practice. You may come and try a free class during any of our class times.

Private Training is also available, please contact our academy if you are interested or need more information!

Special pricing is available for high school and college students who participate in wrestling programs at their schools.


ABOUT FREESTYLE WRESTLING
Freestyle wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practiced throughout the world. Along with Greco Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic Games. It is one of the oldest organized sports in history.

American High School and college wrestling is conducted under different rules and is termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling.

Freestyle wrestling, like its American counterpart, collegiate wrestling, the ultimate goal is to pin your opponent to the mat, which results in an immediate win. Freestyle and collegiate wrestling, unlike Greco-Roman, also both allow the use of the wrestler's or his opponent's legs in offense and defense.

According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), freestyle wrestling is one of the four main forms of amateur competitive wrestling that are practiced internationally today. Others of the main forms of wrestling are Greco-Roman and Grappling (also called submission wrestling).


HISTORY OF FREESTYLE WRESTLING
Freestyle wrestling, according to FILA, is said to have originated in Great Britain and the United States by the name of "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling. "Catch-as-catch-can" wrestling had a particular following in Great Britain and the variant developed in Lancashire had a particular effect on freestyle wrestling. "Catch-as-catch-can" wrestling gained great popularity in fairs and festivals during the 19th century.

In catch-as-catch-can wrestling, both contestants started out standing and then a wrestler sought to hold his opponent's shoulder to the ground (known as a fall). If no fall was scored, both wrestlers continued grappling on the ground, and almost all holds and techniques were allowable. A Scottish variant of Lancashire wrestling also became popular which began with both wrestlers standing chest to chest, grasping each other with locked arms around the body and, if no fall was made, with the match continuing on the ground.

Also, there was the Irish collar-and-elbow style, where wrestlers started out on their feet with both wrestlers grasping each other by the collar with one hand and by the elbow with the other. If neither wrestler then achieved a fall, the contestants would continue both standing and on the ground until a fall was made. Irish immigrants later brought this style of wrestling to the United States, where it soon became widespread. Catch-as-catch can was the style performed by at least a half dozen U.S. presidents, including George Washington, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Because of the widespread interest in and esteem of professional Greco-Roman wrestling and its popularity in many international meets in nineteenth century Europe, freestyle wrestling (and wrestling as an amateur sport in general) had a tough time gaining ground on the continent. The 1896 Olympic Games had only one wrestling bout, a heavyweight Greco-Roman match. Freestyle wrestling first emerged as an Olympic sport in the Saint Louis Olympics of 1904. All 40 wrestlers who participated in the 1904 Olympics were American. The 1904 Olympics sanctioned the rules commonly used for catch-as-catch can, but imposed some restrictions on dangerous holds. Wrestling by seven weight classes was an important innovation in the Summer Olympics.

Since 1921, FILA, which has its headquarters near Lausanne, Switzerland, has set the "Rules of the Game", with regulations for scoring and procedures that govern tournaments such as the World Games and the competition at the Summer Olympics. These were later adopted by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) for its freestyle matches. Freestyle wrestling gained great popularity in the United States after the Civil War. By the 1880s, tournaments drew hundreds of wrestlers. The rise of cities, increased industrialization, and the closing of the frontier provided the affable environment for amateur wrestling, along with boxing, to increase in esteem and popularity. Amateur wrestling teams soon emerged, such as the wrestling team of the New York Athletic Club, which had its first tournament in 1878. Professional wrestling also developed (which was not like today's "sports-entertainment" seen today), and by the 1870s, professional championship matches offered allowances of up to $1,000.

Nineteenth century wrestling matches were particularly long and especially Greco-Roman bouts (where holds below the waist and the use of the legs are not allowed) could last as many as eight to nine hours, and even then, it was only decided by a draw. In the 20th century, time limits were set for matches. For more than forty years into the twentieth century, freestyle and its American counterpart, collegiate wrestling, did not have a scoring system that decided matches in the absence of a fall. The introduction of a point system by Oklahoma State University wrestling Coach Art Griffith that gained acceptance in 1941 influenced the international styles as well.

By the 1960s international wrestling matches in Greco-Roman and freestyle were scored by a panel of three judges in secret, who made the final decision by raising colored paddles at the match's end. Dr. Albert de Ferrari from San Francisco who became vice president of FILA, lobbied for a visible scoring system and a rule for "controlled fall", which would recognize a fall only when the offensive wrestler had done something to cause it. These were soon adopted internationally in Greco-Roman and freestyle.

By 1996, before a major overhaul of FILA rules, an international freestyle match consisted of two three-minute periods, with a one minute rest between periods. Today, wrestlers from Post-Soviet states, Iran, U.S.A., Bulgaria, Cuba, Turkey, and Japan, have had the strongest showings. Many collegiate wrestlers have moved on to freestyle competition, particularly internationally with great success.


MATCH SCORING
In freestyle wrestling, as well as in Greco-Roman wrestling, points are awarded mostly on the basis of explosive action and risk. For example, when one wrestler performs a grand amplitude throw that brings his opponent into the danger position, he is awarded the greatest number of points that can be scored in one instance. Also, a wrestler who takes the risk to briefly roll on the mat (with his shoulders in contact with the mat) could give a certain number of points to his opponent. Scoring can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Takedown (1 to 5 points): A wrestler is awarded points for a takedown when the wrestler gains control over his opponent on the mat from a neutral position (when the wrestler is on his feet). At least three points of contact have to be controlled on the mat (e.g. two arms and one knee; two knees and one arm or the head; or two arms and the head).

(5 points): Five points are awarded for a takedown brought about by a throw of grand amplitude (a throw in which a wrestler brings his opponent off of the mat and controls him so that his feet go directly above his head) either from the standing or par terre position into a direct and immediate danger position.
(3 points): Generally, three points are awarded for a takedown brought about by a short amplitude throw that does not bring his opponent in a direct and immediate danger position or for a takedown in which a wrestler's opponent is taken from his feet or his stomach to his back or side (a throw of short amplitude) so that he is in the danger position.
(1 point): One point is awarded for a takedown brought about by a wrestler taking his opponent from his feet to his stomach or side such that his back or shoulders are not exposed to the mat and while in this position holding him down with control.

  • Reversal (1 point): A wrestler is awarded one point for a reversal when the wrestler gains control over his opponent from a defensive position (when the wrestler is being controlled by his opponent).
  • Exposure also called the Danger Position (2 or 3 points): A wrestler is awarded points for exposure when the wrestler exposes his opponent's back to the mat for several seconds. Points for exposure are also awarded if one's back is to the mat but the wrestler is not pinned. Criteria for exposure or the danger position is met when 1) a wrestler's opponent is in a bridge position to avoid being pinned, 2) a wrestler's opponent is on one or both elbows with his back to the mat and avoids getting pinned, 3) a wrestler holds one of his opponent's shoulders to the mat and the other shoulder at an acute angle (less than 90 degrees), 4) a wrestler's opponent is in an "instantaneous fall" position (where both of his shoulders are on the mat for less than one second), or 5) the wrestler's opponent rolls on his shoulders.  A wrestler in the danger position allows his opponent to score two points. An additional hold-down point may be earned by maintaining the exposure continuously for five seconds.
  • Penalty (1 or 2 points): Under the 2004-2005 changes to the international styles, a wrestler whose opponent takes an injury time-out receives one point unless the injured wrestler is bleeding. Other infractions (e.g. fleeing a hold or the mat, striking the opponent, acting with brutality or intent to injure, using illegal holds, etc.) are penalized by an award of either one or two points, a Caution, and a choice of position to the opponent. A wrestler whose opponent regularly refuses to take an ordered hold is awarded a point.
  • Out-of-Bounds (1 point): Whenever a wrestler places his foot in the protection area, the match is stopped, and one point is awarded to his opponent.
  • Stalling (1 point): A point awarded to the attacking wrestler whose opponent flees the hold or refuses to start.

VICTORY CONDITIONS IN FREESTYLE WRESTLING
Compared to collegiate wrestling, the main style done in U.S. high schools, colleges, and universities, freestyle wrestling involves a greater emphasis on explosive action by both wrestlers, as opposed to one wrestler's dominance and control of the other.

A match can be won in the following ways:

  • Win by Fall: The object of the entire wrestling match is to attain victory by what is known as the fall. A fall, also known as a pin, occurs when one wrestler holds both of his opponents' shoulders on the mat simultaneously. In Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, the two shoulders of the defensive wrestler must be held long enough for the referee to "observe the total control of the fall" (usually ranging from one half-second to about one or two seconds). Then either the judge or the mat chairman concurs with the referee that a fall is made. (If the referee does not indicate a fall, and the fall is valid, the judge and the mat chairman can concur together and announce the fall.) A fall ends the match entirely regardless of when it occurs.
  • Win by Technical Superiority (Also called Technical Fall): If a fall is not secured to end the match, a wrestler can win a period simply by points. If one wrestler gains a six-point lead over his opponent at any time in the period, scores a five point throw (a throw where the person's feet go directly above his head, also called a throw of grand amplitude), or scores two three point takedowns (taking an opponent from his feet to their back or sides so that there is shoulder exposure), the current period is declared over and he is declared the winner of that period by technical superiority. If a wrestler wins two out of three periods in this way, he is then the winner of the match by technical superiority.
  • Win by Decision: If neither wrestler achieves either a fall or technical superiority, the wrestler who scored more points during the period is declared the winner of that period. If the score is tied by points at the end of a period, the winner is determined by certain criteria. First, the number of cautions given to each wrestler for penalties; next, the value of points gained (that is, whether a wrestler gained points based on a one-, two-, or three-point move); and finally, the last scored technical point are taken into account to determine the winner of the period. Generally, the wrestler who scored the last technical point would be awarded the period. If the score is tied at zero at the end of a period, the wrestlers go through a 30-second overtime procedure known as The Clinch in which the wrestlers are required to enter the clinch position and wrestle until a point is scored, or until one of the wrestlers breaks the clinch.
  • Win by Default: If one wrestler is unable to continue participating for any reason or fails to show up on the mat after his name was called three times before the match begins, his opponent is declared the winner of the match by default, forfeit, or withdrawal.
  • Win by Injury: If one wrestler is injured and unable to continue, the other wrestler is declared the winner. This is also referred to as a medical forfeit or injury default. The term also encompasses situations where wrestlers become ill, take too many injury time-outs, or bleed uncontrollably. If a wrestler is injured by his opponent's illegal maneuver and cannot continue, the wrestler at fault is disqualified.
  • Win by Disqualification: Normally, if a wrestler is assessed three Cautions for breaking the rules, he is disqualified. Under other circumstances, such as flagrant brutality, the match may be ended immediately and the wrestler disqualified and removed from the tournament.