Wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of combat. The origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings.
Wrestling, sport practiced in various styles by two competitors, involving forcing an opponent to touch the ground with some part of the body other than his feet; forcing him into a certain position, usually supine (on his back); or holding him in that position for a minimum length of time. Wrestling is conducted in various styles with contestants upright or on the ground (or mat).
Wrestling was probably the most popular sport of the ancient Greeks. Young men belonged to palaestras, or wrestling schools, as the focal point of their social life. Illustrations of wrestling on Greek vases and coins are common throughout all periods of ancient Greece, but all that can be told from it is that the style was loose wrestling and that wrestlers, as did all Greek athletes, competed naked. Wrestling was part of the Olympic Games from 776 BCE. There were two wrestling championships in these games: a toppling event for the best two of three falls; and the pankration (Latin: pancratium), which combined wrestling and boxing and ended in the submission of one contestant. Upright wrestling was also a part of the pentathlon event in the Olympic Games, a bout being fought to a clear-cut fall of one of the wrestlers. The most famous ancient Greek wrestler was Milon of Croton, who won the wrestling championship of the Olympic Games six times. Wrestling was less popular among the Romans than it had been with the Greeks, and, with the fall of the Roman Empire, references to wrestling disappeared in Europe until about 800 CE.