X Close
Your Cart
Keep Shopping

Transforming Styles In Wrestling With Helen

Transforming Styles In Wrestling With Helen

In the United States the primary form of wrestling is called Folkstyle. It derives its names from the roots in catch wrestling at carnivals that populated the Americas during the late 1800 and early 1900’s. Submissions were removed for safety and it quickly became the style that scholastic and college level clubs practiced and competed with.


It was in the 1904 games in Saint Louis that brought in a few new ideas and also almost killed wrestling before it could even get started. The 1904 Olympics was the first to ever award Silver and Bronze for 2nd and 3rd place finishes. It was also the second Olympics Greco Roman wrestling was not present as the 1900 Paris Olympics dedicated that Greco was out and Aquatics was in for those games.

This came as a surprise as Greco Roman wrestling is actually French in Origin not Greek. Greek Pankration (essentially bare knuckle MMA) was the present grappling art during the time of Plato, not Greco Roman. So in Saint Louis being American and having large amounts of wrestling clubs allowed Catch as Catch Can wrestling in. 

This was not well received because of how violent Catch Wrestling was. So after that Olympics Freestyle became the only other form of wrestling the Olympic committee allowed. Americans embraced this and the history is not clear why colleges kept folkstyle instead of freestyle wrestling, but at the end of the day that is what we as Americans have grown up with. 

Check out the New Releases over at Fanatic Wrestling! Click Learn More!

Learn More


The problem becomes the different rule set once international competition is concerned. Things are scored differently and positions become difficult to understand when knowing what to do. To Score or to prevent from being scored on. 

Below is a quick chart to reference scoring and positions between Folkstyle and Freestyle wrestling. It will help you better understand what makes the two styles different. 




Takedown W/O Back Exposure

2 points 

1 point

Takedown W/ Back Exposure

2 Points 

3 Points 

Takedown Throw overhead / from feet to the back

2 points

3 to 5 points. Depending how the throw is landed. Overhead flat on back is 5 points.

Near Fall

Shoulder must be 45’ to ground 1-3 seconds 2 points , 3 -5 seconds is 3 points

Shoulders are 90’ to the ground for 5 seconds is a 3 point score.

Turns without count

No Score

Par Tarre (roll through) is 2 points

Push outs 

No Score 

1 point

Technical Superiority win (Tech Fall)

15 point lead

6 point lead


2 seconds full pin 

1 second full pin

As you can see the wrestling is similar but there are some major differences. There are not as many options for error in Freestyle. 

For instance in Folkstyle, a Gator roll used to tighten a front headlock and begin to create a attack score’s nothing. Same techniques in freestyle score’s two points. Do it two more times and you will win by a tech fall in freestyle. Do it two more times in Folkstyle and you are just more tired and dizzy.

As wrestlers wish to transition into international competition it is helpful to start training in the international style of freestyle. The good news is that a Folkstyle wrestler can transition easily with a few minor adjustments. 

Who better to help with those adjustments than an Olympic Gold medalist! Helen Maroulis is a monster on the mat. Her freshman year in Highschool she beat the wrestler who won the championship the year before by pinning him. She was the first girl to place in the state tournament ever. 

After highschool Helen went on to college and into international wrestling. She has made the transition seamlessly. From Highschool, College right into wrestling in her first Pan American Games. Where she went 3-0 winning Gold.

The Pans were in 2011 and Helen stepped the game up the following year taking on the best at the world championship. Helen came up short taking 2nd in 2012 and 3rd in 2013. 

In 2014 Helen put the world of wrestling on notice. Racking up wins everywhere. She took gold at the 2014 World Championships. Repeated that feat again the following year at the 2015 World Championships. 

2016 Helen Maroulis makes American History. In Rio De Janeiro Brazil Helen steps on to the Mat. Her first match is one of the best in the world, a wrestler from the Ukraine who has placed in a major event essentially every year since 2007.  Helen did not just beat her, she showed a dominating performance. With a final score of 12-1. 

The same thing happened the following round, Chinese wrestler steps up, two rounds later 10-0 win for Helen. To keep with her American ways she took down the next communist countries wrestler (North Korea) 7 - 4. She was unstoppable going into the finals. 

Sweden came next, in the form of a four time European Champion by the name of Sofia Mattsson. Sofia should have been the hardest opponent yet. Sofia and Helen met at the worlds several years earlier. Sofia beat out Helen by 1 point and it was down to the wire. Helen wanted that win back, and not a better place to do it than the Olympics.

 Instead of a showdown, it was just a throwdown. Helen outscored Sofia 8-0 and earned the Fall, securing her spot in the Gold medal match! Wrestling the super technical and dominant wrestler from Japan Saori Yoshida. 

Saori Yoshida is the most dominant female wrestler of all time. She won every major tournament since 2002. 3 Olympic Gold Medals, Every World Championship inbetween, that is 12 if you didn't know, and 4 Asia Games golds to top it all off. Saori is the GOAT of that division. It had been 15 years since she had seen a loss. 

Early on there was lots of  hand fighting but Saori got in on a deep single leg. For most wrestlers it would have been over, but Helen through a wizzer in that was strong and prevented the takedown, but it was not over yet Saori had a leg and time was ticking. The takedown was called and Helen was on the clock. Eventually giving up the first point to the Japanese legend. 

This seemed to Ignite the American, and after beating all the boys in 99 highschool matches, it was time for Helen to defy the odds again. The switch was flipped and Helen went on the attack!

After the first break Helen was on the mat quick while Saori stayed a bit longer in her corner. Helen wanted it and Saori knew it! They began to wrestle and Helen was all over Saori, aggressive tie ups and a throw by sent Sarori to her knees, Helen pounced it was now 2-1. 

Another aggressive set up and Saori had to decide whether to get tossed on her back or flee the mat, She chose the ladder and gave up a push out 3-1 with time ticking away. 

After review, the judges gave Helen the take down so it was now 4-1 with almost no time left. Saori went for broke, another deep single but Helen defended like a champion and made history becoming the first female American wrestler to win a gold medal in the Olympics and beating the unbeatable Saori Yoshida in the process!

This is what Helen does, defies the odds and Flips the Switch when she needs to. She has created an instructional on how to transition from Folkstyle into the Freestyle world, that covers all you need to know. 

Flipping The Switch by Helen Maroulis

She is an incredible teacher and in this 4 part series you will be given true nuggets of wisdom that turns a wrestler from folkstyle star into scoring machines in freestyle. Check out what the World and Olympic Champion has for you!