7 Markers Of Global Wrestling Dominance


October 31, 2010 by David Gillaspie

The core of wrestling keeps other sports upright.

Without wrestling, every competition would sag. 

Who would watch the NBA without the hooking and holding?

What would replace tackling takedowns in football?

Sure the wrestling world has its ups and downs, losing college programs, adding the Olympic ladies.  But, is it any different than the ebb and flow of other global powers? 

Using reliable wiki lists, let’s look:

1.  Africa is the starting point of human evolution, and Mesopotamia the birthplace of civilization.  If you agree, then add Greece as the cradle of western civilization. 

These aren’t controversial beliefs in most circles; the regions are the brand names of origin theory. 

How well do they show up on the wrestling map?

Under a search for ‘amateur wrestlers,’ wiki listed no one from Africa, no one from Mesopotamia (or ‘ بلاد الرافدين’ in Arabic), and four from Greece since 1896 at the first modern Olympics.

The ‘AOO’ (Areas Of Origin) have a long way to go to make the wrestling team.  The SEC (South Eastern Conference) could take a lesson regarding their own college wrestling.  They are too important and too good not to have dominant programs, or any programs. 

They could change the face of the sport.

2.  Perhaps a check with the dominant empires of history, with an American history angle, gives a better example:

Greece still has four amateur wrestlers listed since 1896.  Italy (Roman Empire) has two since 1908.  England has none.

If the origins of western life and civilization are weak in wrestlers, where do they come from?

3.  The two greatest empires, according to the amount of land they controlled, were the British Empire and Mongol Empire.  

We already know how many British wrestlers made the list from their thirty-six million square kilometers of administrative area. 

Four come from Mongolia, and they used to rule thirty-three million square kilometers of earth.

Four.  Two in ’68, one in ’72 and one in ’76.  That’s pretty sparce for the old medieval empire.  

Two empires covered nearly three-quarters of the earth and they contributed four wrestlers? 

Puts the current times in better context.

4.  If wrestling doesn’t come from cultural development or empire building, then where?  Let’s look in on the center of style, the leader of fashion and dog crap on the sidewalk, France.

Three wrestlers since 1924.  And they show the world ‘how to live?’

It’s time to surrender…again.

5.  Great athletes can result from great populations; the more people you have to choose from increases the chances of finding better athletes to work with.

The British empire ruled the greatest number of people, 531 million.  The Qing Empire in China held 432 million.  Two Chinese wrestlers, one from 2000, the other 2004, made the current list, let alone any list from 1851. 

Where do wrestlers come from? 

6.  In fairness, Russia leads the list in number of wrestlers.  The Russian empire was third in land controlled, with nearly twenty-four million square kilometers in 1866, and third in population size with 176 million in 1913. 

They had the land and the people, but not the most land and the most people. 

With nearly sixty wrestlers on the list, what makes them so tough?

Russia fought the Mongols (four wrestlers), Napoleon (France has three), and Hitler (Germany has three), and won.  They also dropped the Iron Curtain to extend the USSR borders and add more wrestlers from their satellite nations.

That’s one way to do it.

7.  America landed nearly seventy wrestlers on the list.  The U.S. fought England (0), France (3), Spain (0), Italy (2), the Germans (3), Japan (5), North Korea (3), North Vietnam (0), Iraq (0), and Afghanistan (0).

That the U.S. and Russia (USSR) have the most wrestlers is telling. 

That the U.S. beat the USSR during the chill of the Cold War tells something more. 

Review the upheavals in modern Russia, Lenin and his Bolsheviks, Stalin and his Great Purge, then review American freedom of choice and free speech.  What you say in America might mean prison in Russia.

There’s a Russian joke where a man meets an old friend on the streets of Moscow after many years.

“Where have you been?” the man asked.

“Prison,” the other man said.  “Five years.”

“What did you do?”

“Nothing.  If I had done something, it would have been ten years.”

Know that you won’t be arrested for talking about wrestling; that you won’t be jailed for encouraging others to wrestle.  So go ahead.

If not now, then when?  If not you, then who?

Be a thumper and pay attention to your coaches and parents.

It’s the American way.


2 thoughts on “7 Markers Of Global Wrestling Dominance

  1. Draven Ames says:

    Very nice post here David. You have whole lot of information going on here. I’m a big NBA fan, so you had me at hooks and elbows (we don’t hold too much, unless rebounding… but shhhh)

    I think Wrestling still has a strong following here, if not mostly toward UFC. I have to admit, I love UFC. My buddy trained a few times with some UFC people here, in Portland. Hell, I went to school with Herman.

    Anyway, I never did wrestle a lot, but I like your writing and I always need someone to beg for knowledge from. Who better to go to for fight scenes?

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Matching wrestling, history, and writing is a tough balancing act. It get dense. Let me know if you find a fight scene you like, and why.


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