Ruslan C Pashayev - General Rules of Wrestling, 1840s, Germany

Ruslan C Pashayev - General Rules of Wrestling, 1840s, Germany

Special Thanks To: Ms. Eva-Maria Schweiger of Germany, Ms. Rosi Hörhager and Mr. Gernot Johannes Freiberger both of Austria.


Dear Friends,
I am happy to present my most recent find, it is the General Rules of Wrestling (German wrestling) as they appeared in the "Mittelfränkische Zeitung für Recht, Freiheit und Vaterland", № 180 (Volumes 13-17), Kürnberg, dated June 28th, 1848.

It is my third report to the Traditional Sports regarding the rules of wrestling (for both the amateurs and professionals) which were used in the 1800s in Germany. In my previous reports I talked about the popularity of freestyle wrestling Kür-Ringen in Germany in the first half of the XIX century. In that style all kinds of holds above and below the waist as well as tripping were allowed and to win the match the wrestler had to place his opponent flat on his back and keep him underneath in the restrained, immovable position called Festhalten for the previously agreed amount of time, or until the latter gives up any resistance from exhaustion not being able reverse his supine position and admits his defeat verbally. The main feature of that style was the fierce ground fight for the dominant, controlling, uppermost position.

My present report is about a different kind of wrestling which was popular in Germany in the 1840s. The reference (article) to this style the General Rules of Wrestling/ Regeln des Ringkampfes im Allgemeinen in German language will follow my report; that article was part of an advertisement of the wrestling tournament for the silver watch which was open to the 6 strongest local men. The promoted wrestling style allowed catch-holds of the body/trunk only (shoulders to the waist holds only); headlocks and holds around the neck, as well as tripping were prohibited. To win the match the wrestler had to place his opponent on both his shoulders to the “satisfaction of the audience” (or “fairly seen by the public”); any non-wrestling or brutal acts were strictly prohibited. The given rules do not specify whether the ground wrestling was allowed or not, but the fact that the fall has to be obvious for everyone present at the match makes it possible that it was a pinning fall which decided the contest – pressing down and holding both shoulders on the ground for 3 to 5 seconds is sufficient (i.e. German Gymnastic Society’s pinfall, or Complete Wrestling/Ganzer Ringkampf) and that assumes wrestling on the ground.

The links to my first two articles on the XIX century German wrestling:

Kind regards,
Ruslan C Pashayev
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 Ringen Rules 1840s