Wrestling is a sport about control. Controlling not only your opponent in the form of eventually pinning
them to the mat, but also about learning to control oneself. When starting a wrestling class, you first
learn how to control yourself in the form of warm-ups. With exercises like gymnastic like rolls, cartwheel, and such, you learn how to be healthy and move.
After this you then usually have partner
drills to problem solve or to get more time to drill a certain concept that a coach deems needing more
repetition. Usually, a coach will have a longer “warm-up” for the sake of reducing injury but also so you
can start to learn how to communicate with your body. If you are doing the warm-ups and feel
something is “tight or sore” then you know you have a limitation you need to work around.
people are never taught how to deal with pain and how to establish personal discipline to adjust training
due to personal pain. Personally, as a coach, I make warm-ups go from solo work into partner work to
allow people to learn how to push themselves but also start gaining skills they didn’t have before. Once
all the warm-ups are done you start the process of how to control another person. This is probably less
challenging than learning how to control oneself but has been proven to be more engaging for people as
well as more fun. I mean everyone usually does something because it is fun, even if it is a slightly
“different” kind of fun. Wrestling is unique in that it teaches you how to not only control someone from
a standing or “neutral” position but from the ground as well. Unlike other Combat Sports wrestling is
not based on hurting someone, though like other combat sports it is physical and things can escalate.
From the top position you learn how to control and eventually try to pin someone on there back. This
back in the day was considered the greatest form of dominance, being able to make a person get stuck
to a limited space and not be able to escape. Still to this day a pin is considered a form of domination.
From the bottom position you are learning how to control your opponents’ movements so that you can
reverse or escape the bottom position. I say control loosely because anyone who has wrestled or done
a combat sport from the bottom position knows there can be very limited or greater control depending
on who you are going against. Control is a key ingredient in wrestling and has always been its focus
regardless of the style of wrestling your doing (i.e. Collegiate, Freestyle, Greco-roman, Shootstyle, etc).