I hope that everyone has enjoyed my previous blog about Boxing, today I would like to talk about another American sport which has always been an alternative to traditional Eastern martial arts, this of course is Wrestling. In nearly every high school across the United States Wrestling is offered as a sport and an activity along with Football, Basketball, and so on. For years wrestling was seen as simply a sport and not necessarily a way of fighting or self defense, not until the Ultimate Fighting Championship began did people begin to notice how effective Wrestling could be for fighting. With fighters such as Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, to present day champions like Brock Lesnar, it is no evident that Wrestling is an essential skill for people serious about MMA and fighting/self-defense skills in general.
So what makes Wrestling so effective? Part of the reason is the conditioning involved, in my opinion there is no other sport that has more grueling conditioning than Wrestling. In High school we would run several miles a day, coupled with running stadiums, lifting weights, push-ups, sit ups, along with Wrestling drills and actually wrestling against other opponents. At present time, I feel that doing a Wrestling work out would be incredibly challenging. Another reason why wrestling is so effective are the techniques, a good Wrestler is a master of leg takedowns, which include the single leg, double leg, high-crotch, and fireman's carry to name just a few. On the ground, Wrestlers are able to turn over and pin people quite easily. When these tactics are taken into a real life situation, you can definitely see how a Wrestler has an advantage, they can take people down at will, and then use strikes that are not allowed in wrestling in order to win a fight. I have always said for years that if I had to fight a Varsity Wrestler or a Black Belt in Karate, I would rather fight the Black Belt in Karate, because a competent Wrestler would be quite scary to defend against. In reading this, please take note that I do not advocate fighting in the streets, my training, and my training tips and recommendations are given for people to defend themselves with in a situation that calls for such action.
In the end, I do not how I survived the training that I had underwent when I wrestled in high school, but I feel that the techniques and training I received was very beneficial to my current martial arts training. Wrestling game me an edge that I needed when I competed in Judo, since most Judo players legs were unprotected from takedowns, and often times Judo players who kept their chin down to avoid a choke hold were then vulnerable to a half nelson and pin. So where do you go to learn wrestling skills? Well currently most MMA schools have an instructor knowledgeable in wrestling, however, high schools remain the best place to receive such training, granted you receive permission from the coaches. A last resort would be to research books on the topic of wrestling, purchase a mat and practice those wrestling drills, for all you martial artists there, trust me the training and knowledge is worth it, regardless of the style you may currently practice.