Chinese-style Wrestling

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Chinese-style wrestling (中国式摔跤) is a type of bare-handed wrestling played between two individuals. It is a competitive sport in which the winner is the wrestler who throws his opponent to the ground. It is one of the oldest traditional Chinese sports.

In ancient times, wrestling (shuaijiao), was called jiaoli, jiaodi, xiangpu, zhenjiao and shuaijiao, and only came to be called wrestling in modern times. It was originally played by hand-to-hand combat, developed from the bare-handed combat techniques of throwing, striking, kicking and holding. Five thousand years ago, our forefathers started wrestling activities. It was initially practiced for military purpose only, and began to be a mass sport and recreational game in the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC-AD 220). The royal families had special wrestling organizations which continued to evolve in the form of shanpuying (charity wrestling battalion) in the Qing Dynasty. In the last three dynasties of Yuan (1279-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911), wrestling became a sport of the Manchu and Mongolian peoples, and gradually evolved into the embryonic form of modern Chinese wrestling. In 1953, Chinese wrestling was included in the national competition sports program, and a national contest was organized. After that, national wrestling championships were held annually. The State Physical Culture and Sports Commission issued the Weight Division System for Chinese Wrestlers in 1956, and issued the Chinese Wrestling Regulations in 1957. These regulations were revised in 1986.

When a Chinese wrestling tournament is organized, the wrestlers are divided into ten categories by weight. A match consists of 3 periods of 3 minutes each, with two 1-minute intermissions. The athletes wrestle on an 8×8m mat. They wear special soft, durable wrestling short-sleeved vests, waist belts and long trousers. They are permitted to hold each other and grab each other’s waist belts and vests, but not the trousers. The judges award 3, 2 or 1 point to the wrestlers according to the manner in which they have thrown their opponent to the ground. The winner is the wrestler who gets the most aggregated points.