Folkstyle wrestling is a physical full-contact combat sport, but like any sanctioned sport, there are very specific rules to be followed especially with regards to these folkstyle wrestling illegal holds. The goal of a folkstyle wrestling match may be to physically dominate and control your opponent, but that must be done without injuring him. There are some dangerous moves and holds that could seriously injure a wrestler or give his opponent an unfair advantage, and naturally those moves have been outlawed in most sanctioned amateur wrestling competition.
If you ever want to get involved in folkstyle wrestling, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with what moves you can legally use in a match and what you cannot. Below are just some of the moves that have been deemed illegal in high school and college folkstyle wrestling.
- Slams This may come as a surprise or a disappointment to those who became interested in wrestling after watching WWE, but forcibly picking up and slamming an opponent to the mat is illegal in folkstyle wrestling. A wrestler may hit the mat pretty hard in a legal takedown, but in most cases, his opponent doesn’t take him down with more force than what is necessary. It is the responsibility of a wrestler to ensure that his opponent is taken down safely.
- Hammerlock Pulling your opponent’s arm behind his back can be effective when it is done as part of a pinning combination, but pulling his arm too high on his back is dangerous. A full-blown hammerlock can serve no purpose than to hurt someone, which goes against the rules of a folkstyle wrestling match.
- Headlock A good headlock can be a great way to take an opponent off his feet and onto his back for a near-fall or even a pin, but it must be done legally. A headlock should also encircle one of your opponent’s arms; grabbing just his head is illegal and will lead to a penalty. Besides, encircling an arm will give you greater leverage and make the takedown easier, so it is in your best interest to perform the maneuver correctly and legally.
- Full Nelson This is a fairly common hold, but it is illegal in folkstyle wrestling. It’s a dangerous move that can severely injure a person’s neck. It also doesn’t allow for a reliable finishing action, making it useless in a wrestling match as well as illegal and dangerous.
- Intentional Drilling This covers a wide range of moves and holds, and refers to attempting to intentionally injure an opponent. Forcing an opponent to fall forcibly to the mat, bending the neck, arms, legs, back, or other parts of his body beyond their normal limits, or simply using holds as punishment are considered intentional drilling and will be penalized.
In the most ideal circumstances, folkstyle wrestling is no more dangerous than most contact sports. A good wrestler will stay within the rules of a match. There is no reason to use these or other illegal maneuvers, and they should be avoided at all costs.