In some countries, various types of women’s wrestling began to be cultivated long before its official recognition.
In the Soviet Union, it was born on the initiative of the Honored Trainer of the USSR L.B. Turilina, who trained athletes in sambo wrestling. In 1959-1960, the USSR champion in sambo, academician G.S. Tumanyan, organized a special course in combat sambo for students of the law faculty of Moscow State University. However, this initiative was not supported by the official authorities, although international judo and sambo tournaments were already held at that time. Women’s wrestling as such was officially recognized in the USSR only in 1990, and already in 1991 ten Soviet sambo wrestlers took part in the World Cup, and all ten took first places.
Women’s judo began to develop widely after the first women’s world championship in 1980. Ten years later, the first girls world championship was held under the auspices of the International Judo Federation, in which teams from 40 countries participated.
Since 1989, FILA has been hosting the women’s wrestling world championships. According to the rules, athletes are allowed to hold grabs below the waist and use their feet to influence the legs of rivals. In fact, this is a freestyle wrestling. (In the Greco-Roman style, wrestling is “without legs”, which implies that the athlete has strong arms and a developed shoulder and abdominal belt, and therefore freestyle wrestling is more suitable for women than classic. True, athletes are forbidden to use the freestyle wrestling considered the most dangerous the so-called double nelson: pushing his hands behind the opponent’s armpits from behind, the athlete presses his neck and neck with clenched hands, only a single nelson is allowed in women’s fights.) Nevertheless, the official name for this type of martial arts is Yonsky wrestling.
Initially, there were nine weight categories, later their number was reduced to seven.
Specialists note the high professional level of participants in international women’s wrestling competitions, especially representatives of Russia. The first national championship was held in 1991, 70 athletes participated in it. Mid 90s marked by the first successes of our athletes in the international arena. In 1995, Saniyat Ganuchaeva became the world champion, and in 1996 – Olga Smirnova. Every year the piggy bank of the Russian team is replenished with new awards. At the 2002 European Championships, Russians won three gold and two bronze medals.
Despite the growing popularity of women’s wrestling around the world (it is even included in the official program of the 2004 Olympic Games), opinions about it are far from unambiguous. Many specialists, primarily doctors, speak out against the spread of women’s wrestling, claiming that this is an extremely traumatic sport. It is believed that women wrestlers are injured more often than men. This is due to the fact that despite the greater elasticity of the muscles and ligaments, women have a weaker so-called muscle corset. In addition, women, unlike men, evade painful receptions not due to muscular efforts, but, first of all, due to greater – compared with men – flexibility, which is many times more dangerous for health.
In addition to the three types of wrestling cultivated under the auspices of FILA and the IOC (judo, sambo and “free”), women are also currently participating in amateur sumo wrestling and professional wrestling competitions – wrestling.