The Ritual of Wrestling Wrestling: one of the oldest sports known to man and it is still alive today. For centuries men have been challenging each other in a test of strength, intellect, and skill in an honorable and respectful manner. Not only is there a history of wrestling in humanity, but there is also a history of wrestling in my family. My father wrestled and so did my brother before me. With the influence of my family, I also wrestled, and it helped shape me into the person I am today.
To me, and others all over the world, wrestling is more than a sport; it is a ritual that helps you grow mentally and physically unlike any ritual before it. One of the first accounts of wrestling that we can look back on is Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis. In this story, Jacob wrestles with an angel all night; some even believe that it was God he was wrestling with. The tale in Genesis 32 reads, “and Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.
When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, ND Jacobs hip was put out of Joint as he wrestled with him” (Gene. 32. 24-25). As you can see from the verse the angel simply touched his hip socket and Jacobs hip was dislocated. The question arises that if this was an angel, or even God, why did he have a problem wrestling Jacob when he could simply touch him and disable him? I believe that God did this to allow Jacob to grow as a man. Wrestling is still the same today as it was used in Genesis. When I stepped on to the mat I usually walked off of it a better man.
Wrestling is not seen with this significance only in the bible, but also n different cultures around the world. The Turkish are one of the many cultures that practice wrestling as a ritual. They view it much like I do, as a ritual that makes you into a person of honor and respect. In the Turkish culture wrestlers are viewed differently than others. In his article “The Development, Cultural Rituals of Turkish Oil Wrestling and the Transmission of Mystic Atmosphere in Practice” Errors states, “Thus pelican was call to only those who exercised wrestling.
Pelican meaner the brave, courageous, bold, generous, honest, moral and trustworthy in the Turkish culture” (91). Although wrestlers are unfortunately not viewed like that in our culture, I still believe that it takes a special person to be a wrestler. My parent’s didn’t want me to wrestle Just to make me a better person, but they also knew that if I wrestled it would keep me out of trouble. In a city in southern Russia called Suavity is one of Russian’s most prestigious wrestling schools in the country. Two Russian wrestling champions, brothers Adam and Vassar Satiety, run the school.
They created the school to keep kids out of trouble in the dangerous area. In Shutter’s article, “Fight Club” he writes, “it is meant to serve as an inoculation against extremism, or at least as a distraction from it, by offering the local kids a way out of the slums that does not involve ‘going to the woods,’ says Vassar, using the Russian slang tort Joining the insurgency I first started wrestling I thought it was Just for fun but my parent’s knew that if I had wrestling practice and matches all the time then I wouldn’t be getting into the normal teenage boy mischievousness.
If I hadn’t been in the wrestling room on certain days, ho knows if I would be here at all? The Russians used their club for more than Just getting kids out of the slums, they used it to help them focus their anger somewhere else. The Russian brothers were willing to do anything to keep the local youth from joining the insurgency and becoming tools of war. They used wrestling to channel their aggression in a safer way. Instead of going and fighting a war because of anger, you could simply step on the mat and release it all. Shutter writes, “… Hey have both inspired a generation of Chinches to channel their aggression into sport, becoming actors in a form of soft power” (86). I can think of countless times in my life where I have Just wanted to punch someone in the face, maybe a bit impulsive, but it’s true. Instead of unleashing a vast amount of anger onto that poor soul’s face I had learned to hold my anger in until the end of the day and release it at practice. This has saved me from numerous conflicts that would have had a bad outcome. Learning to control my anger is not the only way that wrestling has influenced the way that I live.
Wrestling is a very complex sport. Most people see wrestling and think its Just two guys in tights and funny headgear pushing each other around trying to get the other on his back; technically that’s right, but there is much more to it than that. In his article, “Wrestling more than Just a Complex Sport”, Day states, “The way they countered each other’s moves and maneuvered to gain a better position, it was almost like an art” (Day). In wrestling almost every move can be countered by another move. To be a really good wrestler, you have to know and memorize each move and its counter.
On the mat, it is a constant battle of forces trying to get the upper hand. One move is prevented by another, every action counts Just like in everyday life. The lesson that I learned from this is that everything you do in life has a reaction. You have to make the right moves so that in the end, you will win. One of the people who helped me realize this and played a big part in convincing me to wrestle was my father. I knew that if I wanted to get an insight on wrestling in my family, that my father would be the perfect person to talk to. My father, David Haney, is said to be “The Architect” of wrestling at my high school.
He was the Coach of the team for some mime, coaching two athletes to state championships and then later down the road played an influential role in also coaching my brother to a championship and collegiate wrestling for Appalachian State University. I asked my father what wrestling meant to him and he said, “Wrestling is not Just a physical battle but also a mental battle, which to me makes it more than Just a recreational sport but a way to not only make yourself a stronger person, but a smarter and more mature human being” (Interview, Haney).
Teaching my brother and I all about wrestling, my father new it would influence our lives for the better. I am thankful for my dad’s influence because I know that wrestling has helped me become the person that I am. Although wrestling has played a big part of my life and many others, some believe that the sport is out dated and irrelevant. This year the Olympic committee voted to drop one to the oldest sports in Olympic history (if not the oldest) from the 2020 games. This has created an outrage in the wrestling community. With games like squash and hush competing for the spot, you can imagine the anger of wrestling fans.
In his article “Olympic Committee Shockingly Drops Wrestling From 2020 Games” Smith writes, “Today’s announcement is particularly surprising because wrestling has been a part of the Olympics since the 1896 Games in Athens, Greece” (30). Wrestling is one of the founding events of the Olympics and they dropped it because of the lack of popularity. The Olympics used to be the ultimate goal for a wrestler; now the highest achievement you can get can only be acquired in college because the Olympic dream is being destroyed. Hopefully, wrestling will acquire inclusion before the 2020 games arrive.
Until that day, it needs to be known to the Olympic committee that wrestling meaner something not only to America, but also the world. Wrestling has a rich history around the world. People struggle with things every day and as written in the article “What wrestling meaner to the world” by T. R. Foley, “The sport of wrestling is the most direct representation of that most human struggle” (Foley). The people who voted to exclude wrestling obviously didn’t know that, “wrestling is the most widely participated sport in the history of the world” (Foley).
Some form of wrestling has been discovered on all seven continents. Now with the loss of Olympic wrestling, the ripple effect might slowly dissolve the cultural effect of wrestling. People agree all over the world that wrestling is more than Just a sport Just as I do. The loss of wrestling would be a loss of self-identity to the world. The ritual of wrestling meaner a lot to me and to the whole world. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be who I am today with out it. It has shaped some of the everyday morals that I live by. Like Jacob in the bible, wrestling helped me grow.
Like the Turks, restring made me into a respectable person, and like the Russian brothers wrestling has kept me out of trouble and helped me control my anger. There are so many things to learn from wrestling and if it is forgotten then so are all the morals that come with it. We need to make sure that the ritual of wrestling is around for generations to come.