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m STYLE AND

Prof. Raj Petrov

FI LA
adidas

Published by FI L A , 1986

Prof. R A J K O P E T R O V

FREESTYLE AND
GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING

Published by F IL A
1986

Publisher: International A m a te u r Wrestling F ederation - F IL A


Editor: Milan E rcegan, F IL A President
Secretariat Office: A venue R u ch o nn et 3,
CH-1003 L ausanne

Printed by: FORUM" - Novi Sad - Yugoslavia - 1986

SUM M ARY OF CONTENTS


1.
1.1.
1.2.
2.
2.1.
2.2.
2.3.
2.4.
3.
3.1.
3.2.
3.3.
4.
4.1.
4.2.
4.3.
4.4.
5.
5.1.
5.2.
5.3.
5.4.
5.5.
5.6.
5.7.
5.8.
5.9.
6.
6.1.

PAGE

T h e value, role, and ob jective o f w r e s t l i n g ...........................................


The value and role o f w r e s t l i n g ...................................................................
Objectives o f com petitive w r e s t l i n g ...........................................................
Historic overview o f the d ev elo p m en t o f w r e s t l i n g ...........................
Origins, initial forms, and purposes o f wrestling
...............................
Wrestling in the ancient world
...................................................................
D e v e lo p m e n t o f wrestling up until the m odernizing o f the Olympic
G a m e s .......................................................................................................................
D e v e lo p m e n t o f wrestling after the revival o f the O lym pic G a m e s .
T erm in ology and classification o f wrestling t e c h n i q u e s ...................
General characteristics
...................................................................................
Wrestling t e r m i n o l o g y .......................................................................................
D e v e lo p m e n t principles o f descriptive terms for wrestling
technique
...............................................................................................................
Nature o f training for wrestlers ...................................................................
G eneral characteristics o f sports training
...............................................
Training activities in w r e s t l i n g .......................................................................
Organization o f wrestling t r a i n i n g ...............................................................
Training loads .......................................................................................................
Principles o f training for wrestling
...........................
T h e principle o f educational i n s t r u c t i o n .....................................................
T h e principle o f multivariate d ev elo p m en t
.............................................
T h e principle o f s p e c i a l i z a t i o n .........................................................................
The principle o f visualization
.........................................................................
The principle o f systematization, sequencing, and continuity . . .
The principle o f e x p e c t a t i o n ............................................................................
The principle o f accessibility
........................................................................
T h e principle o f continuity
............................................................................
The principle o f overload
................................................................................
Physical training o f the w r e s t l e r ...................................................................
General and specific physical t r a i n i n g .......................................................

17
17
18
19
19
19
22
24
26
26
26
28
31
31
31
32
33
36
36
36
36
37
37
38
38
38
39
40
40

6.2.
6.3.
6.4.
6.5.
6.6.
7.
7.1.
7.2.
7.3.
8.
8.1.
8.2.
8.3.
8.4.
9.
9.1.
9.2.
9.3.
9.4.
9.5.
9.6.
9.7.
9.8.
10.
10.1.
10.2.
10.3.
10.4.
11.
11.1.
11.2.
11.3.
12.
12.1.
12.2.
12.3.
12.4.
12.5.
12.6.
12.7.
13.
13.1.
13.2.
13.3
14.
14.1.

Improving the strength o f the wrestler


....................................................
40
The d evelop m en t of speed in the wrestler
............................................
43
D e v e lo p m e n t o f endurance in the wrestler ............................................
44
D e v e lo p m e n t o f flexibility in the w r e s t l e r ................................................
46
D e v e lo p m e n t o f skill and agility in the wrestler
................................
47
Technical and tactical d evelopm en t in wrestlers
................................
48
D e v e lo p m e n t o f m otor skills
.......................................................................
48
M etho d o lo g y o f technical and tactical training ....................................
49
Intensification o f the training p r o c e s s ........................................................
55
Psychological preparation o f the w r e s t l e r ...............................................
61
General characteristics o f psychological preparation
........................
61
Orientation and motivation o f wrestling activity
................................
62
D ev e lo p m e n t o f informational and analytical activities o f the
wrestler
...................................................................................................................
63
Regulating the psychological state
...........................................................
63
Physical health o f the wrestler
...................................................................
66
H ygiene for the w r e s t l e r ...................................................................................
66
W eight control and diet o f the w r e s t l e r ....................................................
66
Stimulants and drugs
.......................................................................................
68
Medical control and self-control o f the wrestler
................................
68
Traumas in wrestling
.......................................................................................
69
Massage for wrestlers .......................................................................................
69
Strengthening o f the wrestler
.......................................................................
71
Acclimatization o f the wrestler
...................................................................
71
Organization o f training sessions in w r e s t l i n g ........................................
72
The training lesson for wrestling
...............................................................
72
Wrestling theory sessions
...............................................................................
75
Individual wrestling t r a i n i n g ...........................................................................
75
Wrestling lessons
...............................................................................................
75
Organization and planning o f athletic preparation
............................
78
Planning for several y e a r s ...............................................................................
78
A nnual p l a n n i n g ...................................................................................................
81
Operational planning
.......................................................................................
85
Control o f preparation for the w r e s t l e r ....................................................
89
Control and review o f preparation
...........................................................
86
Evaluation o f the load for w r e s t l i n g ...........................................................
91
Control o f technico-tactical preparation in wrestling ........................
92
Tactical control standards ...............................................................................
94
Control o f physical and functional preparation in wrestling
. . .
95
Psychological control
.......................................................................................
97
Medical control
...................................................................................................
98
Wrestling preparation for children and adolescents . . . . . . . .
99
Level o f orientation for young wrestlers
................................................
99
Didactic and m ethodological level
................................................................100
The levels o f evaluation and control
............................................................100
Physical p r e p a r a t i o n ............................................................................................... 102
General physical preparation
..........................................................................102

14.2.
15.
15.1.
15.2.
15.3.
15.4.
15.A .
16.
16.1.
16.2.
16.3.
17.
17.1.
17.2.
17.3.
18.
18.1.
18.2.
19.

Specific physical preparation


.......................................................................... 102
Typ ology o f the strategy, technique and tactics o f wrestling . . . 119
The strategy o f wrestling
....................................................................................119
Wrestling t a c t i c s ....................i ............................................................................... 120
Tactics - T he key to mastering wrestling .................................................... 121
Wrestling style and its distinctive features
................................................139
Wrestling t e c h n i q u e ............................................................................................... 141
T he b iom echanics o f wrestling
........................................................................152
T h e use O f balance in wrestling ........................................................................152
U s e o f forces in wrestling ....................................................................................156
.......................
160
A nalysis o f wrestling techniques
T h e technique o f freestyle wrestling
............................................................166
........................................ 166
General characteristics o f wrestling technique
T h e techniques o f standing freestyle wrestling
........................................166
T h e techniques o f freestyle ground w r e s t l i n g .......................
207
G r ec o -R o m a n wrestling ....................................................................................... 228
G r ec o -R o m a n standing wrestling
................................................................... 228
G r eco -R o m a n ground wrestling t e c h n i q u e s ................................................242
H olding the o p pon en t in a danger position (final action o f hold) . 254

This b oo k as well as other FI L A program s was inspired by the O lym pic So


lidarity concept o f the IO C, which p layed a considerable role in this publica
tion.
On behalf o f all organizations affiliated with the FI L A , I wish to express m y
thanks to the President o f the IO C , Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, and to the
director o f O lym pic Solidarity, Mr. A . L o p ez, who through their understanding
and their m oral and financial support m ade a large contribution to the realiza
tion o f this book.

Milan E R C E G A N

President, FILA

PREFACE
For a long time now, there has been a need fo r an universal manual on the
m odern technological approach to specialized training.
Wrestling coaches were not the only ones concerned. There was also a need
fo r a training manual in the education sector - am ong the various schools and
universities where highly qualified professional managers were trained.
Wanting to fulfil these needs, Professor Raiko Petrov o f Bulgaria, m em ber
o f the B oard o f FILA, who has successfully com pleted all phases o f wrestling fro m com petitor up to coach o f the national team, professor, and man o f science,
assumed this considerable task.
He has p u t his vast know ledge and wide range o f experiences into this book,
giving coaches, instructors, professors, schools, and universities a basic manual.
On behalf o f the international wrestling community, I thank R aiko Petrov,
who has enriched wrestling theory and practice by this m ajor work.
Milan E R C E G A N

President, FILA

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
R. Petrov
1. D u travail d education de le n tra ln e u r. R ecueil. L e n tr a in e u r nous ra c o n te , Sofia,
1966 (in B ulgarian)
2. T erm ino lo g ie de lutte g reco -ro m ain e et de lutte libre. F izkultura S p o rt , Sofia,
1958 (in B ulgarian)
3. M anuel de lutte libre, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1961 (in B ulgarian)
4. M a nu el de lutte libre, N a ro d n a P ro s v eta , Sofia, 1962 (in T urkish)
5. L u tte libre, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1964 (in B ulgarian)
6. L u tte libre - V arsovie, 1965 (in Polish)
7. L u tte libre avec p h oto s et cinegram m es, M edicina F iz ku ltu ra , Sofia, 1966
(in B ulgarian)
8. L u tte libre, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1966 (in B ulgarian)
9. L u tte p o u r m inim es et cadets, M edicina F iz k ultu ra , Sofia, 1967 (in B ulgarian)
10. P rep a ra tio n physique d u lu tteu r, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1967 (in B ulgarian)
11. B io m ecan iqu e de la lutte, partie du m an u e l B io m e h an ik a na S p o rta , Medicina
F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1968 (in B ulgarian)
12. Strategie et tactique de la lutte, M edicina F iz ku ltura , Sofia, 1969 (in B ulgarian)
13. M anuel de lutte p o u r m inim es et cadets, M edicina F iz k u ltu ra , Sofia, 1971 (in
B ulgarian)
14. L u tte libre en p h o tos et cinegram m es, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1973 (Second
edition in B ulgarian)
15. L u tte libre, B ucarest (in R o m an ian )
16. P ro g ram m e unitaire d e n tr a in e m e n t et d instruction d e lutte, M edicina Fizkul
tu r a , Sofia, 1973 (in B ulgarian)
17. La gloire des vaillants, M cdicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1973 (in B ulgarian)
18. F o n d e m e n ts de la lutte p o u r enfants et adolescents, 1975 (in F ren c h , English, and
Spanish)
19. Le sp ort olym pique et le d 6 v elo p p e m en t h a rm o n ieu x de la perso nn alite de
lh o m m e . P ro blem es du m o u v e m e n t olym p iq ue, Sofia, 1975 (in Bulgarian and
F ren ch )
20. Objectifs d application des anciens jeux olym piques. Recueil Le m o u v em en t
olym piq u e et son role d an s la societe m o d e r n e " , Sofia, 1975 (in B ulgarian, Russian,
an d English)
21. La lu t te . R ecueil P ro b lem es de la p rep a ratio n des je u n e s sportifs, sous la redaction
de Kr. R a c e v , Sofia, 1976 (in B ulgarian)

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

22. A lgorithm isation des actions technico-tactiques da n s la lutte. B ratstvo na bogatiri , Sofia, 1975 (in B ulgarian a nd R ussian)
23. D e certains p ro b lem es de la lutte des minites et cadets. B ratstvo B o g a tire j , Mosco u , 1976 (in Russian an d B ulgarian)
24. L a lutte libre et la lutte g reco-rom aine. M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1977 (in
B ulgarian)
25. H e ritag e d idees e t e thn iq u e de P ierre d e C ou b e rtin . P rob lem es actuels du mouvem e n t intern atio n al o lym pique, M edicina F iz k ultu ra , Sofia, 1981.
26. L a lu tte, Sofia, 1978 (in B ulgarian, E nglish, an d R ussian)
27. C ad e ts sur le tapis, F IL A , 1978 (in B ulgarian, F ren c h , and English)
28. P erfe ctio n n e m en t de la m aitrise technico-tactique de lu tte u r, M edicina Fiz
k u ltu ra , Sofia, 1978 (in B ulgarian)
29. D e P ethique professionnelle de le n tra in e u r, fith iq u e sportive, Sofia, 1981 (in
B ulgarian)
30. D e v e lo p p e m e n t de la lutte bulgare a travers les siecles 1300 ahs de sp ort sur les
terres b u lg ares , Sofia, 1981 (in B ulgarian)
31. G loires des vaillants, M edicina F izk u ltu ra , Sofia, 1982 (R evised second edition
in B ulgarian)

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

The author o f this book, Raiko Petrov, is a professor at the


Georges D im itrov" Institute f o r Physical Training in Sofia. He
has been the coach o f the Bulgarian Team fo r 16 years and has
obtained high level results. He is the author o f m ore than 30 books,
150 scientific works, and m ore than 500 professional articles. He is
vice-president o f the Central Com mittee o f the Bulgarian Union fo r
Physical Training and Sports and has been president o f the Bulga
rian Wrestling Federation fo r m ore than fourteen years. He has
been a m em ber o f the FI L A B oard o f Directors since 1976.

INTRODUCTION
Wrestling is one o f the oldest sports and one which has to this day follow ed
the evolution o f m ankind. It is a sport which signifies, fo r all peoples, physical
strength and virility, a traditional m ethod o f im proving work capacity, g o o d
health, and the fighting spirit o f youth. Freestyle and Greco-Rom an wrestling,
sam bo and folkloric styles developed in every country on this planet, o f which
104 are_ m em bers o f the International Wrestling Federation (FILA).
During the last fe w years, judicious FILA policies fo r the developm ent o f
wrestling have brought about a num ber o f favorable changes. M odern wrestl
ing has developed on all continents, folkloric wrestling has received approval
from FILA as the fourth official style, while the rules o f competition have chang
ed the ph ysion om y o f style and the technical-tactical characteristics o f wrestling.
On the international mat, wrestling has becom ed m ore dynamic, m ore enriched,
and m ore beautiful. N ew names have been added to the glorious list o f ancient
wrestlers who stand out f o r their technique such as Dagistanl, Tahti, Balavadze,
Sasahara, Varga, Dietrich, Igumenov, Pojan, Lehtonen, D zedzic, Horvat, R o
bin, Valeev, Zger, Ivanicki, Vatanabe, A ik, M edved, Radev, Gabel, Yarigin,
etc. In the last fe w years, the expressive and esthetic fighting styles o f remarkable
wrestlers like Tediashvili, T om ov, Takada, Anderson, Rousso, Passarelli, Petkovic, Njoveni, Andiev, the Supron brothers, Belogazovi, Poljo, Kem p, G ib
son, Raich, Sterev, Seidi, Holidis, Tzenov, etc. can be used as a standard fo r
m odern wrestling.
Training is essential to reach a high level o f expertise in wrestling. Coaches
p lay a significant role in awakening interest and assuring the selection and prepa
ration o f elite wrestlers. The success o f competitors depends on the coaches theo
retical and practical knowledge, their teaching skills, and their enthusiasm fo r
work.
This b oo k is addressed to wrestling coaches and com petitors in various
countries. Its objective is to systematically raise the knowledge o f specialists
and their ability to creatively pu t them to use during training. The techniques fo r
G reco-Rom an style wrestling include som e work o f the Olympic champions D.
D obrev and Necho Berberov.
The author

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

1.
THE VALUE, ROLE AND OBJECTIVE
OF WRESTLING

1.1 THE VALUE AND ROLE OF WRESTLING


Wrestling is a h a n d to h a n d co m bat b etw een tw o co m p etito rs subject to certain
rules, during which each c o m p etito r tries to control the m o v e m en ts o f the o th e r
th ro ug h complex technical-tactical moves and by using all th eir physical an d psychologi
cal potential.
W restling was k n ow n by all peoples in all ages, an d was the principal m ean s of
physical stren g th en in g an d toughening. T o d a y , it is o n e o f the m ost p o p u lar sports
in the w orld because it bridges the gallant traditions of th e past with the ideals of
a balanc ed d e v e lo p m e n t for youth. T h e dynam ism , b ea u ty , and variety of techniques
an d tactics of. wrestling tran sfo rm com p etitio ns into richly em o tio n a l events which
captivate an d p ro m p t m e n o f all ages to the systematic practise o f wrestling. It is both
n atu ral a n d accessible as it does not require e q u ip m e n t a nd expensive facilities, and
because the division o f weight categories for wrestlers m ak e s it possible for all c o m p e
titors, no m a tte r their build o r weight, to co m p e te u n d e r the m ost equal conditions
possible.
W restling has tre m e n d o u s benefits on body conditioning a n d c o o rdin ation , and
has e ducational an d applied values. M any scholars, teachers, an d artists ov e r the ages
have idealized wrestling as a principal m eans o f physical fitness (H o m e r , Plato, A ris
totle, V itto rin o de F eltre, R abelais, de M o n taig n e, G u ts M uths, Spiess, L o ck e, Hegel,
D o b ro lju b o v , Lesgaft, S a n d b u rg , etc.).
T h e effect of wrestling on fitness increases w ork productivity, the capacity to work
physically and intellectually, life ex pectancy, an d the biological im p ro v em e n t of g e n e ra
tions. In d e e d , m an y em in e n t personalities such as S ocrates, P lato , A ristotle, P y th a g o
ras, A v icen n a, R oustaveli, Lincoln, Tolstoi, K o u p rin e , B o tev , T ag o re, Dim itrov,
W ien e r, T ito , etc. have practised wrestling to im prove their h ealth , streng th , and
willpower.
T h e scientific-technical revolution has crea te d conditions that rem o v ed man from
n a tu re , progressively dim inished his strength, and increased ecological pow er. The
p reservation o f m a n s health a nd capacity to w ork requires that physical exercise b e
com es a social need for everybody.
T aking into account the multilateral and powerful effects of wrestling, many authors
and experts re co m m e n d it as a c o m p le m en t to o th e r sports. It increases m an 's physical,
psychological, an d intellectual o u tp u t as well as his capacity for self-defense.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF COM PETITIVE WRESTLING


W restling, as an edu catio n al an d scientific discipline, is directed tow ard the p re
p aratio n o f highly qualified specialists. T h e o ry an d practice b o th play a role in its
learning.
T h e main objective o f a wrestling course is to give specialists the body of k n ow
ledge, skills, a n d experience necessary to b eco m e a coach as well as som e educational
ability. M a n a g e m e n t o f sport training is an integral process requiring the know ledge
o f a n u m b e r of principles a n d laws re lated to various disciplines such as th e th eo ry of
sports training, ed u cation , biom echanics, physiology, biochem istry, psychology, etc.
F ro m this point o f view, the theory of wrestling is interdisciplinary and helps control
th e m orphological, functional, m o to r, an d psychological d ev e lo p m en t of th e athlete.
W restling practise sessions n o t only give the know ledge a n d ways of carrying out
the various technical-tactical m o v em e n ts, but also help the sport specialist to u n d e r
stan d th e structure an d m eth o d s o f application o f a grea t n u m b e r o f physical drills
used for the p rep a ratio n o f wrestlers.
T h e main trends in the p re sen t d ev e lo p m en t o f wrestling as a scientific-educational
discipline are various:
- Q uick application and u nd erstan d in g of th e most recent scientific achievem ents
an d advanced experience in w orldw ide wrestling an d o th e r sp o rt disciplines,
- D etailed study o f biom echanical an d biodynam ic d evelop m en ts of technicaltactical m o v em e n ts an d complex dev elo p m e n ts on m eth od s o f training and c o nt
rol,
- T en d en c y to express in objective an d m a th em atical term s the p a ra m e te rs for
controlling the training process,
- R educing pre p ara tio n delays by rationalizing the training and recovery systems,
by starting the introduction to wrestling early, by using scientific devices and
facilities, an d by using films and video recordings as well as simulators,
- U nifying the system o f p re p a ra tio n of wrestlers an d on this basis, creating favou
rable conditions for creative participation by a vast range o f coaches an d c o m p e
titors.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

2.

HISTORIC OVERVIEW OF THE


DEVELOPMENT OF WRESTLING

2.1 ORIGINS, INITIAL FORM S, AND PURPOSES OF WRESTLING


T h e origins o f wrestling a re , very o ften, h idd en in n eb u lou s legends an d ancient
myths. T h e advent o f wrestling, along with o th e r types o f physical exercise, is a socio-historical process crea te d and m ain ta in e d by o bjective social n eeds. T h e first form s had
military applications. F o r e x am p le, in th e Icelandic glim a , E sk im o w restling, a nd the
Scandinavian styles, e t c . , the leg tackle was n o t very p o p u la r because it could not be a p
plied efficiently with the heavy clothing of the Nordics. T he wrestling of w arrior peoples,
particularly on h o rseb ack , was re la te d to e ith e r grasps o f the clothing: M ongolian
(b o k h ), T a rta ria n (ko u riash ), T a d jik e (goushi), o r K azak h (k o u rash ) wrestling; or
wrestling on h o rseb ack such as k azak h ( a o u d o ro s p a k an d sais), kirghize (o odarish) etc. T he m ore corpulent and stronger people p refered the types of wrestling which
utilized the waist-hold (the Slavs, Scandinavians, G erm an s, Gallics, Celts, G eorgians,
etc.) while for o th e r peoples quickness and technique were the most im portant (Japanese,
T urks, K oreans, C hinese, Indians, etc.). W h en , subsequently, wrestling becam e a sport,
styles blended and modifications occurred b u t, as a rule, the main force behind its deve
lopm ent rem ained the individual needs in term s of work and military applications.
T h e m ost striking p ro o f o f this is show n in th e rich frescos in the to m b o f B eni-H assan
(2,000 to 1,800 B .C .) in E g yp t, which display 400 wrestling positions. R esearchers
have b een struck by th e similarity b e tw ee n wrestling techniques o f the past with those
o f today, but n ev er m e n tio n e d th a t wrestling scenes w ere followed by many scenes of
military p re p a ra tio n and w o rk -related activities.

2.2 W RESTLING IN THE ANCIENT WORLD


M an y writers look for th e origins o f wrestling in C hina o r in E gypt. This is the
w ro ng a p p ro a c h since all p eo ples in all ages have h a d som e form o r o th e r o f wrestling.
T h e first au th e n tic inform atio n on wrestling goes back to the time o f the Sumerians. T h e P o e m o f G ilg a m e sh w ritten in cuneiform ch aracters, recites wrestling
com p etitio n s from this period.
W restling in E g y pt en jo y e d a special respect. T h e m ost ancient depiction is found
in a sep u ltu re from the Fifth D ynasty (2 4 70-2320 B .C .) with drawings o f six couples of
children. This fresco is the first historical evidence o f wrestling b etw een children which
we know a b o u t a n d , given its artistic value, exceeds all o th e r Egyptian sam ples. T h e 400
draw ings from the to m b o f B en i-H assan , th e 219 drawings from the to m b o f B ahti III,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 1
and the 122 drawings from th e to m b of Sethi, show tha t wrestling in ancient E gypt was
characterized by varied techniques, g rou n d wrestling and rules close to th ose o f c o n te m
porary pro-wrestling. In figure 1 we can see basic position an d leg tackle techniques.
Wrestling blossom ed greatly in A n cien t G re ec e. T h e Hellenics elevated the c on
cept o f co m b a t b etw een tw o o p p o n e n ts to th e level o f science and art. A ccording to
certain m yths, the rules o f this sp ort were given to m an by the goddess A th e n a , through
intervention of th e h e ro Theseus. O th e r legends m a in tain ed th a t wrestling was invented
by H e ra k le s, H erm e s , Palestra, th e d a u g h te r o f H e rm e s , and others. This is why it is not
surprising th a t wrestling was a fu n d am en tal sp ort in the ancient O lympic G a m e s, staged
as an in d e p e n d e n t discipline, as the p e n ta th lo n s final event and in com bin ation with
boxing in a contest called pancratium .
W restling com petitio n s w ere not b ro k e n down into categories. T h e re was no set
length for a fight; it carried on until there was a winner. T o win, a contestant had to ta k e
dow n, thro w , o r flip his o p p o n e n t on the g ro u nd th ree times. A hold was good w hen the
w restler being th row n to u ch e d the g ro u n d with som e p art of his body above th e knees
(elbows, chest, o r back).
Studies d on e o n the type o f wrestling in A n cien t G re e c e are not com plete. T h e
most co m m o n m istake, m a d e not only by th e general public b u t also by several re p u te d
specialists, is to identify this wrestling with th e m o d e rn G re c o -R o m a n style. L iterary
a nd archeological w orks do n o t su p p ort this thesis. T h e w orks of H o m e r, Pausanias,
L ucian, P hilostrates, an d H elio d o ras do not state affirmatively tha t the leg sweeps and
leg trips w ere forbidden. M any frescos, drawings on vases, bas reliefs, and sculptures
show com petitive co m b a t positions with leg tackles o r leg grips. Particularly revealing is
th e wrestling of H eracles an d A n th a s (figure 2). D u rin g the O lympic G a m es a free style
wrestling called o rth o n a le s was practised. T h e m ost practised form o f wrestling was
alyndisiz. It lasted until the withdrawal o f on e o p p o n e n t a nd was largely used for train-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

ing. B ecause this type o f wrestling was not subject to a point system when the o p p o n e n t
was b ro u g ht to the m at, we can suppose th at it was fought on the g ro u n d as shown in
certain am p h o ral drawings an d described in the Illiad. W e can also look at o th e r types
o f wrestling w here to win, a w restler has to p ut his o p p o n e n t on his back.
T o u n d ers tan d how m o d ern G re c o -R o m a n style wrestling received an ancient n a
m e , we m ust go back a little bit in history. A fte r th e F ren ch R ev o lu tio n , wrestling
above the hips, practised in certain occidental countries, was rapidly spreading in
E u ro p e . O th e r peoples learned this wrestling from F ren ch wrestlers an d so called it
F ren ch wrestling . It was not until the en d o f the last c en tu ry th a t som e wrestling
militants a tte m p te d to settle accounts with their passion for an tiq u ity an d n a m e d this
wrestling G r e c o - R o m a n .
A s soon as wrestling b ecam e p art o f the Olympic p ro g ram as an in d e p e n d e n t disci
pline in 776 B .C ., it b ecam e a central sport o f th e games. A t the X V III A n cien t O ly m
piad in 708 B .C ., it was p a rt of the p en ta th lo n . T h e way the various disciplines in the
p e n ta th lo n d e v e lop e d is n o t com pletely clear. All au th o rs unanim ously agree that
wrestling was th e last decisive event for overall placing.
In the gym nasium s and palestra they m a d e the m ost o f the scientific achievem ents
o f the time. A n O x yrinkh p apyrus shows the level of wrestling m ethods. T h e ancient
G re e k s used th row d um m ies and special exercises similar to those being used today.
This is why in schools you see the inscription: First, learn wrestling at school, then
e n te r c o m p e titio n .

Figure 2
Wrestling in R o m an times developed from the rich heritage of the Etruscans (figure
3) a n d from the influence o f th e G ree k s. E v en though the R o m a n s rational mentality
viewed the com petitions as a sort of G re e k idleness , it did not tak e th em long to show
an interest in the O lympic G am es.
T h e R o m a n s lo o k ed fo r som ething m o re challenging an d p referre d ro u g h e r w restl
ing, the p an cratiu m , an d gladiator fights. Wrestling was im p o rtan t to the p re p aratio n
o f R o m a n soldiers and gladiators. T h e h eads o f arm ies an d R o m a n em p e ro rs were
chosen using wrestling com petitions.
W ith o u t going into detail on wrestling in all the ancient countries, th ere is a need
to em phasize its great d ev e lo p m en t an d direct link to the political and econom ic ev o lu
tion of society. T h e d e v elo p m en t of great em pires lead to an infiltration o f technical.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 3
tactical, and p rep a ra tio n m eth od s b etw een the different peoples. This thesis is su p p o r
ted by the d ev e lo p m en t and the similarity o f wrestling b etw een the F a r-E a st, C entral
Asia, the Scandinavian countries, the Caucasian region, the B alkan peninsula an d C e n
tral E u ro p e.

2.3 DEVELOPMENT OF WRESTLING UP UNTIL THE MODERNIZING


OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES*
D urin g feudal times, wrestling was intensively develop e d, but only regionally. It
was mainly used by feudal lords, but because it was so accessible it was also used by
peasants an d soldiers for physical an d m ental conditioning.
F u rth e r back in time, wrestling was being d eveloped in Jap a n . S um o is considered
to be the most ancient style. A ccounts o f it w ere m a d e in the ancient Im h o n n o k e C hronicals, the H eik e M onogatari an d T aih aike Epics. W e also know th at even in the First
C en tu ry , E m p e ro r Suinin ( 2 9 - 4 0 ) forced his n ob lem en to fight. T h e w inner was a very
strong m an called S ukune. His glory lasted o ve r the centuries an d today he is the h o
n orary p a tro n of J a p an e s e wrestlers.
In Iran, a variety o f wrestling styles w ere practised such as: Koshti, G uilan,
M assan d eran i, Kurdish wrestling, T urkish wrestling and m ountain wrestling. Persian
K oshti com petitions w ere fought in fo u r weight categories a nd the all-round c h a m
pions received gold bracelets and the title o f H e ro of the S ta te .
In times of peace, the feats of the T urkish Pehlivans (wrestlers) were p ro o f of
their bravery in times o f war. A ccording to the ren o w n ed T urkish traveller Evleya
* T h i s c o n v e n t i o n a l t i m e b r e a k d o w n is d i c t a t e d by b r e v i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .

Figure 4
Tchelebi th e re w ere m any wrestling schools (te k e s ) in T u rk e y well b efore the 15th
C entury. In som e o f th e m , m o re th an 300 wrestlers at a time w ere trained according to a
formal m etho d o lo gy . Wrestling schools b egan declining after th e 17th C en tu ry when
professionals cam e u n d e r th e po w er of the Sultans as well as organization o f th e large
com petitions.
In A sia, wrestling d evelop e d in all countries. In the y ear 221, a C hinese e m p e ro r,
T sin-C h i-H o uang , o rd e r e d th at all sport m atters be solved through wrestling. H e h im
self was a strong w restler as w ere m an y o th e r em p e ro rs (H an V ou , 1 4 0 -8 6 B .C .,
H o u a n g T eo u n g , 923-926). A ccording to the national H in d u epics, R a m a y a n a and Mah a b h a ra ta , wrestling was widely practised. A ccording to m yths, even B u d d h a wrestled
for the beautiful Princess G o p a.
F o r the M ongolians, wrestling b o k h was the principal sport. Since the third cen
tury it was a m an d a to ry sport along with equitation a nd archery.
G eo rg ian wrestling tc h id ao b a , A rm e n ia n wrestling k o k h , k o u re s h from
T o u v a , A ze rb a idjan ia n g ulesh , Pakistani k o ush ti , an d K o rean sireum -ha-k i
were all rich in technique.
Testim o nies o f the presence o f wrestling in the life o f the Russian people go back
to the 10th C en tu ry . In 1002, Prince Mstislav T chiornyj won a m a n to m an c o m b at with
the Prince o f Kassogs (A d y g he an s), the giant R e d ed y a . In various epic songs and le
gends the fights of Ilya M o u ro m e ts , D o b ry n ia N ikititch, Mishka Borissovitch and oth ers
are described. T h e Circle of A m a te u r A thletic S po rts played a large role in the d eve
lo p m en t o f wrestling in Russia. A t th e en d o f th e 19th and the beginning of the 20th
C enturies, wrestling athletes Ivan P o d o u b n y j, K limentij Boul, Ivan S hem yakin. G e o rg
L u rik h , Alex A b erg , G e o rg H a ck e sch m id t, Ivan K ashtaev, N ikolaj V a k h to u ro v and
Ivan Z aikin d o m in ate d the professional w orldw ide arena.
M ost wrestling research ers in E u ro p e try to link its dev elo p m e n t to ancient G re e k
and R o m a n traditions. T h e largely different rules an d leehniques o f traditional (folkloric) wrestling and the existence o f single co m b a t within nations having no contact with
these traditions, are evidence of the inconsistency o f these assertions.
A m o n g the know n varieties o f wrestling in E u ro p e , the styles considered the most
original are: the Icelandic glima , the schw eizerschwiegen , the T yrolian ran g e ln ,
Russian b e lt wrestling, th e R o m a n ia n trin te , the B reto n style in F rance, the British
styles, the T urkish g u re sh an d the folkloric wrestling of the Slavs of the south.
D uring the second half o f the 15th c entury, the first wrestling manuals were written
in G e rm an y . T h e oldest is d a ted 1443, and the w ork o f Fabien von A ucrsw ald T h e A rt
of W restling was printed in 1539 at W itte n b ers (figure 4). But a manuscript by the

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

w orldw ide ren o w n ed pa in ter A lb rech t D u r e r (1512) outclasses all the w orks o f this p e
riod. T h ro u g h 112 drawings, D u r e r shows the essentials o f wrestling techniques, as well
as n u m ero u s notes on the way the techniques w ere carried out and the possible risks as
sociated with the various holds. This b o ok as well as o th e r drawings by the well-known
p a in te r an d en g rav er Lucas C ranach were used as a basis for m any works on wrestling in
the following centuries. In the 16th century, new b o ok s on wrestling w ere written by
P e te r Floetler, Viril Salkas, H an s W u rm and R o u m ein de H ugues. In the 16th C en tu ry ,
G re c o -R o m a n wrestling spread widely in F rance. This F rench influence was transferred
by stu d en ts in G e rm a n y and by professional wrestlers in nearly every c ountry in
E u ro p e . Professionalism c o ntrib u te d to the quick d e v elo p m en t o f technique an d tactics
in wrestling an d w idened the gap b etw een wrestlers from the traditional school and
those from the elite.
Professional wrestling required com plete self-sacrifice for the sport, all-day train
ing, a special diet, a nd o th e r conditions not within the reach of the co m m o n people. In
opposition to this elitism" in wrestling and in p ro test against antisp ort plans and b e h a
viour, a m a te u r circles b egan a p pearing in wrestling clubs.
A t the beginning o f the 20th C entu ry, wrestling was the most p o p u lar sport in the
world. T h e em o tio n al level an d the crowds draw n by G re c o -R o m a n wrestling to u r
nam en ts in E u ro p e , catch as catch c a n com petitio n s in A m erica , and traditional
wrestling events were such that th ere h ad b een nothing like it e v er before.

2.4 DEVELOPMENT OF WRESTLING AFTER THE REVIVAL


OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
T h e d ev e lo p m en t of wrestling after the m odernizatio n o f the O lympic G a m e s p ro
c eed ed in th re e directions: professional wrestling, a m a te u r wrestling, and varieties of
traditional (folkloric) wrestling.
T h e revival o f the O lympic G a m e s o p e n e d up attractive perspectives on a m a te u
rism, but only five wrestlers took p art in the first O lympic to u r n a m e n t in 1896 in
A th e n s. A G re c o -R o m a n fight lasted until a win, even if it requ ired the m atch to be
b ro k e n an d con tin u ed the next day. In 1904, at the O lympic G a m e s in St. Louis, free
style wrestling was a dd ed . In 1920 the tw o styles b ecam e a p art of the O lympic G am e s
program .
A chronology o f the w orld wrestling cham pionships has n o t yet b een com pleted.
T h e first G re c o -R o m a n wrestling cham pionships occurred as follows: V ienna (1910),
V ienna (1920), Helsinki (1921) and S tockholm (1922). W orld cham pionships then c ea
sed, to be revived in 1950 at Stockholm. In 1951 in Helsinki, the first world c h a m p io n
ship in freestyle wrestling was held. In the following years, cham pionships for the two
styles (except for O lympic years) alte rn a te d every two years. Beginning in 1961 at Y o
k o h a m a , cham pionships for both styles w ere held every year.
A t the time of m o d e rn O lympic G a m e s, wrestling grew very rapidly. T h e n u m b e r
o f categories was 1 in 1896 and 7 in 1904, d ro p p in g to 5 and progressively stabilizing at
7 from 1924 to 1936, up to 8 b etw een 1940 to 1968 a nd today at 10. T h e differentiation
o f categories increased the weight range o f com petitors: from 46.628 to 71.668 kilos and
up in 1904 and from 48 to 100 kilos an d up in 1968. With the im p ro v em en t in skill of
c om p etito rs, the low weight limit for the heavy weight category was raised, respectively:
71.668 kilos (1904), 93 kilos (1908), 82.5 kilos (1912 to 1920), 87 kilos (1924 to 1960),
97 kilos (1968) and above 100 kilos up until th e present. T h e n u m b e r o f participating
countries and c om p etito rs has not sto pp ed increasing with the exception o f certain
Olympic G a m e s organized outside E u ro p e (1932, 1956, etc.).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T h e rules o f com petition are ch an g ed alm ost constantly. A t the e n d o f the last cen
tury, H u n g a ria n a n d Swedish specialists co n trib u te d th e best ideas. Following th e elec
tion o f T atikis as p resid en t o f F IL A , H u n g aria n influence to o k th e u p p e r han d. A s a re
sult o f so m e o f th ese changes, each wrestling style carried a different n u m b e r of c ateg o
ries, an d a m atch was to be fought in tw o periods o f 20 m inutes with 1 m inute rest b e t
w een each p eriod. A t this time th e m atch could also en d in a tie. C o m p e tito rs w ere eli
m in ated from a com petition following tw o ties o r two losses. In case of a tie in the final
m atch, the w restler having the most wins to his credit was p roclaim ed the winner. It
there was still a tie, the decision was m ade by looking for the com petitor who won in the
sh ortest time o r w ho was the lightest. In 1931, th e first official ruleb oo k was p rin ted in
Helsinki by V ictor Smeds. In 1937, th ere was a new edition o f th e rules featuring alm ost
exclusively the H un g a ria n system of scoring. A fte r the S econd W o rld W a r, th e rules
w ere discussed at the 1948 O lympic G a m e s, th en at a special m eetin g in A m ste rd a m in
1949 an d w ere not a d o p te d until th e C o n v en tion of F IL A in S tockholm in 1950.
T h e In terna tio n al A m a te u r W restling F ed e ra tio n (n a m e d F IL A in 1954) was h e a
ded after the war by Victor Smeds. In 1952, R og er Coulon was elected president. Follow
ing th e d ea th o f C oulon (1971), th e position o f p resident was held by the Secretary
G e n e ra l o f F IL A up until th at tim e, M. M ilan E rcegan.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

3.
TERMINOLOGY AND CLASSIFICATION
OF WRESTLING TECHNIQUES

3.1 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS


T h e technical n o m en c la tu re o f wrestling is m a d e u p of several h u n d re d holds, m a
ny cou n ters, c o u n terattac ks, an d com binations of holds. Study an d assimilation o f these
th o u san d s o f situations w ould be u n th in k ab le if we did not define the limits o f the
various technical m oves an d their classification. Classification is a way o f dividing up a
large n u m b e r o f subjects an d p h e n o m e n o n s into a system o f classes, types, an d varie
ties, using o n e indicator fo r each class.
T h e passage from th e whole to a p articular class is d o n e th ro ug h deductio n a nd dis
covery o f co m m o n characteristics. F o r exam ple, wrestling as a variety o f bilateral fight
ing can be divided into sport wrestling and folkloric wrestling. E ach class has its own
subsystems. A tta c h e d to sport wrestling are G re c o -R o m a n wrestling, freestyle wrestling
an d sam b o wrestling. T h e classes o f folkloric wrestling are considerably richer (see
diagram 1).
T h e IO C statutes define th e differences b e tw ee n a m a te u r wrestling an d professio
nal wrestling.
A n analysis o f the relationship betw een types an d varieties can de term in e single
com patible o r incom patible elem en ts, d e p e n d e n t o r in d e p e n d e n t, contradictory o r
o p po site, co m p ara b le o r in com parable. T h e d e p e n d en c e b e tw ee n sets an d the m e m b e r
ship o f various sets are illustrated in figure 5. U n d e r G re c o -R o m a n style wrestling (A )
we find, in th e following seq u en ce, Standing position te c h n iq u e (B ), S ouples (C)
and in th e sam e g ro u p O v e ra rm w aistlock (D ).
A s a conceptual system, term inology plays a m a jo r role in wrestling. T erminology:
- creates conditions for th e scientific d e v elo p m en t of theory an d practice
- gives a n am e to a lot of yet undescrib ed situations and m a ke s the m classifiable
- assures th e creation o f a professional language , m aking com m u n icatio n much
easier
- aids the systematization o f study an d training
- g uaran tees a verbal and m o to r link to help instruction a nd m a n a g e m e n t of m o to r
activity during a match
- provides ways o f unifying p ro g ram s an d planning.
3.2 WRESTLING TERMINOLOGY
E ach country has its own wrestling term inology. N am es o f holds can be traced
b ack to the e ra o f sanscrit writings. E p ictetu s, a G re e k p h ilo sop h er, said th a t during his
time holds w ere well established an d d esig n a ted .

W restling technique

Standing
technique
po sition

Fle xib il it y

B o d y hold from above

Figure 5
T he eth ym ology of term s which are used today by wrestlers in various countries is
com plicated and far reaching. T e rm s on wrestling technique have been used to describe
many things:
a)
T e rm s for similarities. U sed to nam e holds which by th eir configuration o r by
som e o th e r details resem ble som e p articular objects o r events:

W restling

T y p e s o f folk
wrestling

T ypes o f sport
wrestling

Freestyle w restling

G r e c o - R o m a n wrestling |
Sambo

Bel t w r es tl in g (R u s sia)
N o n - c o m p e tit iv e wrestl ing" ( R u s sia )
T r i n t e - d r i a p t e (M o ld av ia)
T r i n te - c u n e d ic e (M o ld av ia)
K u ria c h ( T a r ta r y )
K ourach (U zbekistan)
Sais (K a z a h s ta n )
K u r e c h (K a z a h s ta n )
O a d a r i c h ( K irghizia)
K u r e s (K irghiz ia)
K u r e c h ( T u v a R e p u b lic )
G a c h t i ( T a d z h ik i st a n )
G julech (A zerbaijan)
G jurech (Turkey)
K u ss a k - g u r e c h ( T u r k e y )

Ial la -gjurec h ( T u r k e y )
G o r e c h ( T u r k m e n is ta n )
H ib in ski ( T u r k m e n i s t a n )
T c h i d a o b a ( G e o r g ia )
K oh ( A r m e n i a )
K o u r d s a n - tu s tu u ( Y a k u t R e public )
H ip sag ai ( Y a k u t R e public )
B u h a r s k a i a gouch ti
( T a d z h ik i st a n )
B arild a ( M o n g o li a )
B o h ( M o n g o li a )
Sum o (Japan)
S c h w eiz ersc hin gen ( S w itz e rla nd)
Suisse libre ( S w itz e rla nd)
Catch (England)
L a n c a s h ir e ( E n g l a n d )

D e v o n s h ir e ( E n g l a n d )
M a z e n d e r a n i (Ir an )
G il a n (Ir an )
Kosti p e rs e (I ran )
Kusti ( P ak is ta n )
C a t c h as ca tc h c a n ( U . S . )
Range li (T yro l)
G l i m a (I celan d )
L u t te p o p u la ir e (B ulg a ria )
S u r e o u m - h a ki ( K o r e a )
B r e t o n n e ( F ra n c e )
L e o n n e (S pai n)
C a n a r i e n n e (S pai n)

-s i m i l a r i t y o f form: K a n ta r (C a n d a d o , in Spanish), chicken wing, goose wing


(Kaz k a n a d a , in T urk ish ), etc.
similarity of m o to r functions: ele v a to r , L a n g o sta (Spanish), v erto u c h k a
(R u ssian ), w hizzer , C ra b rid e , lever, lock, airplane, h alter, an ch o r, b e a r hug, etc.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

- s i m i l a r i t y o f action an d skill: souple ( S alto , Italian), (Souplesse , F rench),


etc.
T h e unitary ap p ro ach of th e in ventors o f term s from the different countries stands
o u t because of the similarity of synonym s. F o r e xam p le, the grapevine action (Sarm a)
is called L ian e by the F rench, L e g an d L eg Scissor by th e A m ericans; oviv and
zatse by the R ussians, tie ra by th e Spanish, etc. W rap p in g is called m a n c h e tte in
F re n ch , P a k e t in R o m a n ia n , a nd B o h c a in Turkish.
b) T e rm s describing a p art o f the body being controlled: in English, reverse waist
lock, h ead and arm , a rm d rag, in Russian, p rogibom s zahv atom za tuloviste ru k o i ;
d o ub le leg tackle and back heel, in G e rm a n (W u rf vorn mit fassen be id er B eine, etc.).
T h e main p re p a ra to ry actions are included in som e A m e rica n terms.
c) T erm s with the n am e of wrestlers: F a e irm a n wing , D ragiev h o ld , Sasahara S a rm a , E. Valeev h o o k , N elso n , etc.
d) T e rm s linked to the nam es o f countries. T h e y are generally fo rm ed to show the
skill acquired by certain wrestlers in a given country. T h e re are po p u lar term s such as:
T u rk rid e , J ap a n es e lock , T u rk lock , and recently B. D ouglas m en tio n e d the
Russian spin an d the Russian b e lt for gut w rench.
e) T e rm s showing how m any p arts of th e b o dy are being controlled: double or
single leg, d ouble arm lock, single a rm d rag , etc.
f) A rb itra ry terms: F o r ex am p le, B. D ouglas called th e souple the O lympic lift.
g) C o m p o site terms: T h ese are complex term s fo rm ed from synonym s a n d descrip
tions. E xam ples: S arm a with control by h an d lock (triceps), triceps collar or Ja p an e se
whizze, etc.
h) T h e m igration o f term s from one cou n try to an o th er. T erm in o lo gy is exchanged
in th re e ways:
- keeping a term in its original or transcribed form (souple, salto, cerek)
- translating o f terms
- com bining an accepted term with a n o th e r o ne (leg scissor a n d half-N elson), etc.
C o n te m p o ra ry term inology develops in th re e ways:
D escriptive term s
Synonymical terms
C o m p o site term s
A n analysis o f the traditional evolution of term s shows th at com posite term s are the
most w idespread.
T h e m odel for G re c o -R o m a n wrestling term inology was c re ated by the French.
D escriptive term s a re p re d o m in a n t and are b o th concise an d precise, e .g ., to u r de
h an ch e for hip roll, ep a u le r for putting th e o p p o n e n t on the sh o u ld er, waist lock for
ceinture av an t, etc. T h e first a tte m p t to scientifically d evelop term inology was do n e in
th e Soviet U n io n in 1940 by G .V . G o n tc h a ro v an d N .N . S orokin, an initiative taken
later by a n u m b e r o f specialists am o ng w hom A .P . K upstov is w orth mentioning.

3.3 DEVELOPM ENT PRINCIPLES OF DESCRIPTIVE TERMS FOR


WRESTLING TECHNIQUE
T h e creation of term s for wrestling technique is related to the established system of
classification, to trad itio n, to sp ok en language. F ro m existing inform ation we can d e te r
mine the main term inology re qu ire m en ts as follows:
T h e term s must give a precise, concise, an d clear description o f all technical
actions.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T h e term s must co rresp o n d to specific ideas, using th e closest and most obvious
words.
T h e creatio n, putting into use, an d transcription o f term s must m eet the g ram m ati
cal req u irem en ts o f the language.
T h e term s must include recognized synonyms.
T h e descriptive term s must c o rre sp on d to the en tire technical action.
T h e n am es o f the holds must be arran g e d so that th ey reflect the characteristics in
th ree steps (see table no. 2):
1. Basic sign - p a rt o f the classification of the hold - tak ed o w n th ro w , rear t a k e
dow n, turno ve r, etc. It is allowed to replace a basic sign of the classification by a syno
nym (w rapping, windmill, etc.).
2. D efinition of the way the main action is carried o ut in relation to the wrestlers
body and body parts (back bend ing , front b endin g, bridging, with lock, etc.).
3. D ete rm inin g the way and the place w here control is applied (by the leg, the legs,
the outside arm , the arm s, the closest leg, the arm and the neck body lock with arm
control, as well as the directions (front, b ack , side, etc.).
T h e exam ples given clearly show the various ways of fo rm ing term s as well as the
difficulties of applying o ne unified a pproach.
T h e th ree steps show n for nam ing are not m an da tory. O n the co ntrary , reducing
the na m es has many ad vantages (see table 3).
T h e term s can be red u ced by eliminating certain signs an d th ose th at are not essen
tial.
Table 2
Indicator I

Indicator II

Indicator III

T hrow

back bending

with body lock and arm control

T h row

front bending

with arm and head control

T u rn o v e r

with lock

and chin control

Takedown

by duck u n d er

un d erarm

T u rn o v e r

crossover

from leg pick up

Tight waist roll


( G u t wrench)

bridge over

with leg h o ok on sam e side

Lock

ankle

with arm control

T hrow

front bending

with sw eep o r kick

For ex am ple, tak ed o w n on arm roll b ecom es 'a rm roll , h e a d an d far heel pick up"
- h ead and far h e e l , etc.
Table 3
Indicator I

In dicator II

by arm drag

T ak ed o w n
T u rn o v er

Indicator III

with lock


Freestyle anil Greco-Ronum Wrestling

Indicator I

Indicator II

T u rn o v e r

with lock and Nelson

F ire m a n s carry
o r W indm ill

sitting out

Indicator III

T hrow

with leg tackle

W indm ill

with body lock

Sweep

with arm control and body lock

"Sarm a

with arm lock

F irem an's carry - takedow n


" W r a p p in g

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

4.

NATURE OF TRAINING
FOR WRESTLERS

4.1 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SPORTS TRAINING


A ltho ug h the limits o f training are already well defined, all countries talk about
training as a way o f expressing the large n u m b e r o f p re p a ra to ry activities for m od ern
sports. In the absence o f a precise, c o m m o n definition, training is used both in the
bro ad and n arrow sense of the w ord. In the first case it a p p ro ach es the idea o f a larger
range o f sport p re p aratio n , while in the second case it is limited to the process of
exercise.
T h e concepts of instruction and training are often used indiscriminately by many
authors. In reality, instruction is a p a rt (a step) of training: the m etho d s, forms, and
specific ways o f carrying it o ut define its m ake-up . T h e ed ucatio n, study, and d ev elo p
m en t o f the wrestler are reciprocally related to the general system of training activity
and sports com petition.
T raining in wrestling is a scientifically fou nd ed an d organized process, aim ed at the
harm o n io u s d ev elo pm en t of practising athletes and at high level perform ances.
T o p perfo rm an ces in sport are c on ditioned by training an d fitness. Exercise leads
to specific structural and functional changes in the h u m a n body. T he best choice and ro
tation of exercises, the m eth o d s used, the correlation b etw een load an d recovery d e te r
mine the dynamics of developing given qualities and training in general. Training is
a pedagogical process, as it relates in m any im po rta nts ways to sports teaching, e d u ca
tion, and d ev elop m ent of wrestlers.

4.2 TRAINING ACTIVITIES IN WRESTLING


T h e w restlers training activities can be classified according to various principles.
Keeping in m ind th e essential objective they can be defined as follows:
1. T o be in top shape for a given wrestling com petition,
2. T o assure a w ell-rounded dev elo p m e n t and good physical and psychological
health,
3. T o develop w o rk , hygienic, and fighting habits.
Training activities are most often determ in dd with regard to athletic preparation:
1. T o instill good moral and strong motivation during training sessions and wres
tling com petitions,
2. T o perfect the m any m eth o d s of physical p re p a ratio n , to raise physical dev elop
m e nt and especially w ork capacity, to a higher level,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

3. T o assimilate, perfect, and u p d a te wrestling techniques and tactics,


4. T o im prove and widen theoretical prep aratio n ,
5. T o perfect psychological pre p a ra tio n . T o follow a good health plan and im prove
health.
Physical exercise is the main co m p o n e n t of training activities, for b o th physical and
technical p rep aratio n and o th e r aspects o f p repa ration . T h e a th le te s diet and the psy
chological and theoretical p re p a ra tio n have little in c om m on with exercise, but as ele
m ents of a general training system, they con tribu te to the w restlers dev elop m en t.

4.3 ORGANIZATION OF WRESTLING TRAINING


O rganizing training is a very com plicated process as it is related to managing
peo ple, an d to the functional an d morphological changes th a t are occurring. T h e re ac
tion an d a da pta tion of the body and the personality to physical loads reveal possibilities
which act as a feedback to th e p ro p e r internal effect during the training process.
O rganization o f wrestling training may o ccur u n d er several conditions:
1. O bjectives of the organization and activities by isolated periods or aspects of
p rep aratio n ,
2. Structure: the m a n a g e r (coach) - the su b ordin ate (c om petitor),
3. Inform ation on the starting position, d eve lop m ent possibilities, and expected
results,
4. Choice of alternatives (variations) for the realization of this objective,
5. E nsuring efficient organization and a good e n viron m e nt for prep aratio n ,
6. N o rm al exchange o f inform ation bo th th ro ug h direct contact and feedback.
Setting up the objective is the main task of organizing training (figure 6). The
objective(s) cann ot be arbitrarily chosen. T hey are related to practical conditions, such
as a co m p etito r or a team , a particular aspect of p re p aratio n , or p re p a ra tio n as a whole.
T h e structure for training organization is most often d ia g ra m m ed as an exchange
betw een the coach and the com p etito r. T h e c o ac h s responsibility is to provide clear
inform ation on training throu gh direct contact an d to widen the possibilities of collect
ing objective inform ation on the a th le te s condition an d b eh av io u r in an indirect way.
T h e dev elo p m e n t o f activities and the choice o f alternative ways and m eans to
reach an objective d ep en d on the initial condition of the system, the potential of the
wrestler and the coach, their mutual relations, available facilities, expected results, etc.
T h ro u g h discussion, pointless alternatives are elim inated (styles, m eth o d s, and m eans
o r ways) o r new ones can be added.
T h e d ev elop m ent of m odels is a research stage during the course o f training. This
d evelo pm ent precludes a good qualitative analysis of the inform ation on the status of
training and a rational forecast on the d ev elo pm en t o f the w restler a nd the future re q u i
rem ents of the sport.
C o m plete and partial m odels are d evelope d from the inform ation gathered. C o m
plete m odels repeat various aspects of ren ow n ed w restlers profiles o r give a general
idealization o f the best features characteristic of wrestlers. In som e cases, m odels are
m ade up o f a mixture of profiles (m orphological, biochemical, etc.) draw n from e m i
nen t wrestlers an d by cate gories, and are used as a com parison tool for personal d e v e
lopm ent as well as in the prep aratio n of o th e r wrestlers. Forecasting m odels typical of
the best wrestlers were d evelo ped u n d er the direction of A. N ovikov based on tho ro ug h
scientific studies. H ow close or how different individual characteristics (functional, psy
chological, m o to r, and others) are from the d evelo pe d stand ards serves as criteria for
evaluating the effectiveness of training m a n a g e m e n t. M odels w ere also developed in

Freestyle mid Greco-Roman Wrestling

COACH

C O M PET ITO R

EXPECTED
RESULTS

GOAL

DEVELOPMENT
PO SSIBILITIE S

DEVELOPMENT
O F TASKS

IN ITIA L
C O N D ITIO N

PLA N N IN G
(C H O IC E O F
A LTE R N A TIV ES)

T R A IN IN G LO A D

IM M E D IA T E
EFFECT

A D A PTA TIO N

C U M U LA TIV E
EFFECT

E N V IR O N M EN T

M OD EL FOR
A PPR A ISA L O F
A CTIV ITY

SEC U R ITY
C O N D ITIO N S

PERFORM ANCE

RESOURCES

Figure 6
Bulgaria (R. Petrov) on technical-tactical p rep aratio n according to p re d e te rm in e d sta n
dards o r to the style and characteristics of p ro b ab le com petitors.
A fte r dete rm in ing the results requ ired , a typical work p ro g ram , which includes the
project plan, the annual plan, an d the o p eration al plan, must be set up.
T h e way training activities are carried o ut is based on the com b in ed use of a di
verse set of principles, m eth o d s, and m eans of organizing training in accordance with
the distinctive individual features o f young wrestlers.

4.4 TRAINING LOADS


Planning o f training sessions is largely based on training loads. D e p en d in g on the
type o f exercise practised, the quality of the w o rk , the frequency o f training sessions,
the work intensity, etc., the training load is usually b ro k en dow n into small, m edium ,
heavy an d maximal. T h e reason for this b rea k d o w n com es from analyzing c o m p r e h e n
sive and precise m easuring and com parison factors for the various types of loads.
E xternally, the load is ch aracterized by volum e and intensity. V olum e is in turn

TR A IN IN G

SMALL LOADS

ph ase

M ED IU M LO A D S

H EA VY LOADS

VERY HEAVY
LOADS

Figure 7
characterized by the quantity o f training w ork carried out. T h e n u m b e r of training ses
sions, the length of sessions, the length of matches, th e cumulative weights lifted, the
n u m b e r o f kilom eters ru n, etc., are all considered as units o f m easu re. A s for th e inten
sity of a load, it is d e term in ed by the n u m b e r of repetitions o f a given physical exercise
by unit of time an d by the degree o f effort carried out. T h e quickness of execution, the
am o u n t o f resistance an d the length of rest b etw een exercises are th e w orking p a r a m e
ters of intensity. T w o o t h e r factors, complexity o f co ordin ation an d difficulty of e x e r
cise, also have to be taken into account in the external characteristics o f the load.
V o lum e and intensity form a dialectic unit. E a c h exercise is carried o ut to a d e te r
mined length an d intensity. Following exercise, significant functional changes o ccur in
the body of the w restler, changes which reflect internal aspects of the load.
O n e o f the characteristics of m o d ern training is the constant increasing o f loads
an d the discovery o f optim al co m binations b etw een volum e and intensity for each
wrestler a nd for each stage of training. High ad apta tion al changes occur with maxim um
loads for the individual optim al limits. R e st following training assures recovery of w a
sted resources at a higher level - the phase of supercom p ensation .
R ecovery as a result is as im po rtant as training. W e must, how ever, take into
account th at recovery must be in relation not only to the type o f external and internal
lo a d , but also to the h eteroch ro nism of the recovery process. Following a w o rk o u t, re
covery o f oxygen, pulse, blood pressure, psychological functions, energy resources, and
oth ers do not occur simultaneously. W e take advantage of various physical, p edag og i
cal, ph arm aceutical, an d psychological m eans to sp eed up recovery.
T raining sessions with a m edium load have a su pporting o r consolidating role re
garding the degree o f training. But re p e a te d sessions with m e diu m loads as well as long
intervals betw een training sessions cause a d ro p in perfo rm an ce.
Usually when a physical w orkload is given to an u n traine d or little trained wrestler,
the training effect is both faster and m ore significant. As the degree of training increa
ses, the significance o f functional changes is reduced. W h en loads exceed an individuals
optim al limits, changes b ecom e negative as functional possibilities diminish and we
arrive at w hat is called overtraining (figure 7).
T he length and frequency of training sessions and exercises determ in e the size of

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

the load. V o lum e as well as intensity can n o t be increased w ithout a limit. M edium loads
for wrestlers of high an d average level, for a ca le n d ar year, are show n in table 4.
T h e intensity of the load shows the d egree o f n ervous a n d n euro -m uscular effort
used. In m o d e rn sp ort, this intensity is particularly increased by a faster te m p o an d, to a
lesser d eg ree, throu gh a sh orten in g of rest perio ds, b etw ee n exercises. By k eeping c o n
stant the volum e a nd intensity o f the loads, the body quickly ad ap ts to th e new level. T o
stim ulate fu rth e r functional m easures it is necessary to change th eir correlation. Small
intensity loads p ro d u c e small but longlasting functional changes, as high intensity train
ing gives quick b ut less stable results. V o lu m e an d intensity m u st increase to g e th e r up
to a certain limit, after which changes o ccur in opposite p rop ortion s. V o lum e is increa
sed during the a th le te s p re p a ra tio n , then decreases before an d during com petitions,
while the intensity o f the load is in creased particularly during p re p a ra tio n periods
before im p o rta n t com petitions.

Table 4

T ype o f load
1.
2.
3.
4.

A m o u n t o f training
C o m p etitions
Rest
Physical and specific
p rep aratio n
5. Physical and specific
p rep aratio n

W restle rs at
m ed iu m level

W restle rs at a high
internatio nal level

240/270 days
18/25 days
65/100 days

260/284
23/32
55/80

264/320 days

380/480

528/640 hours

660/960

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

5.
PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING FOR
WRESTLING

5.1 THE PRINCIPLE OF EDUCATIONAL INSTRUCTION


This principle is applied by the coach during training as well as away from training.
E d ucatio n in a spirit of patriotism , h um anism , collectivism, willingness to w ork,
strength, justice, m odesty, honesty, etc., can no t h ap p e n without the unity an d persev e
rance of teaching re q u irem en ts and the positive personal exam ples set by the coach. He
must carefully use all m eans a nd o pp ortun ities th at arise during instructional training
sessions with the view o f raising the level o f consciousness an d dynamism o f wrestlers. It
is particularly im p o rtan t to define an d set objectives, tasks, a nd results exp ected during
d e te rm in ed physical exercises, holds, or tactical plans.
T raining sessions can be used as a way of finding creative solutions to technical
problem s and as a way for the c o m p etito r to establish tactics (only the c o m p etito r can
give the possible co un te rs, cou n terattac k s, etc.). P roblem s studied during instruction,
dev elo p m e n t o f goals in collaboration with the ath le te, p re p a ra tio n plans, definition of
duties, keeping of a logbook, etc., prove to be very efficient m ethods.

5.2 THE PRINCIPLE OF MULTIVARIATE DEVELOPMENT


T raining sessions must begin with m ultivariate physical p re p a ra tio n taking into
account the age and ability o f the com petitors.
T h e principle of multivariate d e velo pm en t requires th at wrestlers acquire a rich
and diversified tech niqu e, a high level of technical skill, and good psychological stabili
ty. A lon g with the control o ver actions affecting his athletes' body and personality, a
coach must also enrich theoretical know ledge an d give th e athletes a love for w ork,
sports, science, a nd art as well as a respect for ethics and beauty.

5.3 THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION


W he n it com es to o btaining the best p e rfo rm a nce s, p re p a ra tio n essentially b e c o
mes su bo rd ina te to the m ea ns and m e th o d s of wrestling.
Specialization and the multivariate d eve lop m e nt principle m a k e up a whole. P r e
paration o f young children (8 to 12 years) implies using m any m ean s o f general dev elop
ment. Parallel to increasing the a m o u n t o f specialized p re p a ra tio n , we must also give
him ample scope to w ork with general d e v e lo p m en t m e th o d s, as the w restler faces many
re qu irem en ts in a com petitive match.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

5.4 THE PRINCIPLE OF VISUALIZATION


This principle is particularly im p o rtan t for young wrestlers because they learn
b e tte r when they can actually see w hat is being taught. V arious m e th o d s are used such
as d e m o n s tra tio n , explanation with visual aids (pho to s, drawings, films, slides,
sketches, diagram s, videos) as well as direct observation o f training sessions and c o m
petitions.
It is very im po rtant that the d em o n stratio n s be very accurate and ac com p anie d by
visual explanations. E xp lanations must also include elem en ts o f th e hold which cannot
be seen , but felt. C o m p etito rs must not blindly copy the way the technique is executed
by wrestlers at a high level. T h ey must take into account their own aptitu des an d abili
ties.

5.5 THE PRINCIPLE OF SYSTEMATIZATION, SEQUENCING, AND


CONTINUITY
This principle requires a logical c onnection b etw ee n teaching m aterial, systematic
repetition o f exercises, acquisition o f m o to r skills with longlasting effects, an d a gradual
increase in the volum e an d intensity of the training load up to th e application of physical
loads at a high and m axim u m level.1
D u rab le m o to r skills are stren g th en e d through w hat is called repetition without
rep e titio n , a m e th o d by which the c o m p e tito r corrects his faults at each new execution
a n d looks for ways to reach perfection. It is thro u g h th ese principles th a t planning, o rg a
nization, an d progress o f the learning a nd training process are built. Study of technique,
ro tation of training, and exercising within a training session are su b o rd in ate to a regular
and logical sequencing, always going from th e simple to the com plex, the easy to the
difficult, the know n to the un know n.
First, it is necessary to study th e different types o f wrestling stances, the r e f e re e s
positions on the m at, distances, controls an d locks, m o v em en ts on the m at, then start
with the simplest g ro u n d holds. A fter learning som e gro u n d holds, som e basic ways of
leg locking o r the hip roll can be learn ed in the wrestling stance from G re c o -R o m a n
style wrestling. L a te r on, the various holds while in a wrestling stance a nd in a r e f e re e s
position on the m at are studied sequentially.
C o u n te rs an d cou n teratta ck s will be studied during training sessions after having
re p e a te d , b efore or a fter, the hold first studied. It would n ot be a p p ro p ria te to first
study counter-holds. If the young wrestlers know counters well, they do not properly
learn the throw s and cou nterattacks. T h e technical-tactical com plexes can be studied
following assimilation of the holds of which th ey are m a d e up. This principle covers
a whole series o f rules on training: an aerob ic training must be p re c e e d e d by aerobic
training, difficult holds must be studied following the necessary physical pre paration
for w arm ing-up muscles and joints, training must occur at optim al frequency, training
periods must be a ltern a ted with rest and active recovery periods.
T h e necessity o f continuity in p rep aratio n is also linked to this principle. All new
training pro g ram s should be d ev elop e d in relation to previous training an d to the e x p e
rience of the com petitor.

1 In our opinion, the principle of repetition in training must correspond to the principle of
systematization and sequencing, and does not require separate analysis.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

5.6

THE PRINCIPLE OF EXPECTATION

This principle is based on the anticipated d ev elo p m en t of the wrestler an d the ev o


lutional trend s in national an d worldwide wrestling. P re pa ration of schoolboys and ca
dets along this principle will en su re m axim um p erfo rm an ce at the senior level. The
n u m b e r of talents lost because o f prep aratio n which does not take into account the ex
pectation principle is considerable.
T o o o ften, classification req u irem en ts for schoolboys and cadets dev elo pe d by
sports organizations cause coaches to force training, without taking into account basic
m ethodical req uirem en ts. T h e system of c om petitions m ust parallel the p rep aratio n of
the athletes and e ncourage technical-tactical dev elopm ent.
Technical-tactical m e th o d s must c orrespo nd to the individual ap titu des o f young
wrestlers and to foreseen m odels o f future c ham pions over a period of four to eight
years. Y o u n g wrestlers m ust learn all holds an d m oves and m aster only the most fu n d a
m ental an d efficient ones.
T h e technical im p ro v e m e n t process d e p e n d s u po n the individual abilities of wres
tlers, but only after they have m a stere d th e basic techniques. It would be w rong to p e r
fect only o n e o r two holds right from the beginning. S om etim es a wrestler end s his
career with only th ese holds.

5.7 THE PRINCIPLE OF ACCESSIBILITY


This principle requires the coach to consider the specific variables such as age, h e
alth, physical and spiritual d e v e lo p m en t along with the d eg ree o f p re p a ra tio n o f the
w restler and the type an d am o u n t o f exercise p ractised. T h e a m o u n t of the physical load
and the holds studied m ust c o rrespo nd to the abilities of the co m p etito r. T he souple
should n ot be tau gh t before the wrestler has properly learn ed th e wrestling bridge.
Schoolboys and cadets who are not p re p a r e d for m atches o r com petitions with o lder and
h eavier wrestlers risk serious trau m a s a nd affections. Lost com petitions have a negative
psychological im pact and create inferiority complexes which are difficult to overcom e.
T h e first com petition is often the last c om petition for the young wrestler.
E x trem e reduction an d simplification o f exercises m ak es training boring and re d u
ces efficiency. T raining with a p a rtn e r o r partn ers in only o n e category does not help the
w restler to progress. If the difficulties are above th e capabilities of the c o m p etito r, the
effect is negative (low m oral, lack of faith in his own strength, etc.). T h e principle of
accessibility, requires th at each coach have solid scientific know ledge an d a high aptitude
for teaching. H e m ust a d o p t an individual ap p ro ach during learning and training activi
ties an d apply a large n u m b e r o f rules draw n u p by certain au tho rs on the principle of
individualization.

5.8 THE PRINCIPLE OF CONTINUITY


This principle assures control over m o to r reflexes an d d eve lop m e nt o f the degree
o f training of the wrestler. It is, th erefo re, realized through observations of o th e r princi
ples governing training.
This principle calls for regular instruction and training sessions, use o f m o d e rn and
quick inform ation m etho ds, p ro p e r instructional m eth o d s, study of the optim al a m o u n t
of technique within a training session, perfection of holds u n d e r various conditions and
with various opp on ents.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T h e criteria for realization of this principle are the level of perform an ces obtained,
pace o f athletic d e v e lo p m e n t, readiness for com petition , an d ex pected p e rfo rm an ce in
wrestling competitions,

5.9 THE PRINCIPLE OF OVERLOAD


This principle clearly shows the trend s in the d ev elo p m en t of m o d ern wrestling.
W o rk lo ad s as a specific stim ulus on the body cause positive changes when the strength
of the stim ulus exceeds the limits the body is used to.
W o rk lo a d can be increased by increasing the n u m b e r of training sessions within a
d e te rm in e d cycle, by increasing th e am o u n t o f the load during training, by parallely in
creasing th e a m o u n t an d the intensity (o r only intensity), o r by including difficult exerci
ses (bridge escape, belt pick-up, etc.). G ra d u a l increasing of the w orkload is the most
ap pro p riate .
T h e objectives and types o f p re p a ra tio n cycles d e term in e the different co m bina
tions which can be used for the various volum es an d intensities.
F ro m a teaching point of view, sport prep a ra tio n h a p p e n s prop erly and efficiently
w hen the principles governing training are followed and w hen their reciprocal relation
and correlation are a de qu ately poin ted out.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

6.

PHYSICAL TRAINING OF THE


WRESTLER

6.1 GENERAL AND SPECIFIC PHYSICAL TRAINING


Physical training is usually divided into general o r com plex physical training and
specific physical training.
G e n e ra l physical training precedes specific training. It aims to produce a large
m orphological an d functional base which will su bsequently su pp ort specific qualities.
G en eral physical training dom inates th e pre-training stage, but does not lose its signifi
cance in the successive stages o f the ath le te s general d evelo pm ent. G en e ra l physical
training occurs th rou gh diversified physical exercises having no close relationship to
wrestling and draw n from various disciplines such as gymnastics, basketball, track and
field and swimming. T h e use o f elem ents from sports o th e r th an wrestling reduces stress
before a com petition an d assures an efficient recovery after a d em an d in g w orkload.
A m o n g general training m eth o d s, the best are th ose which because o f their intensity are
similar to wrestling a n d , in particular, to the structure o f certain holds.
Specific physical training consists of developing specific abilities in conjunction
with specific aspects an d m o to r reflexes in wrestling. A m uscular response can be ex
pressed in term s of intensity, speed, and length, and re presen ts a complex synthetic re
sult o f several dynamic qualities. As training aims to im prove o ne o f these qualities,
especially at th e beginning o f physical training, it generally brings a b o u t an im pro ve
m e n t in o th e r dynam ic qualities. C onversely, when the o rd e r of the various stages of
training an d m eth od olog y are w rong, negative results can occur.

6.2 IMPROVING THE STRENGTH OF THE WRESTLER


M uscular strength can be defined as the ability to sup po rt and react to outside
forces. T h ere are th ree levels of muscular strength:
- the isotonic dynamic level
- the isometric o r static level
- the auxotonic or mixed level
Muscular strength used during wrestling m atches are at the isotonic and auxotonic
levels. T he isometric level, far from being an isolated state, frequently occurs in certain
holds, in keeping a bridge position, etc. In sports, the m yom etric system (reaction) and
the poliometric system (insufficient muscular effort for reaction) are the most im portant
for practical work.
C o m p a re d to o th e r sports, wrestling presents infinite possibilities for using the dif-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

ferent types of m uscular effort. T h e c om bination and presence o f different types of m u s


cular effort in wrestling, favors the h arm o n io u s d eve lop m e nt of all muscles.
Following an empirical analysis, it has been established that in wrestlers the
strength o f muscle groups used to carry ou t the main holds is relatively larger th an those
of the same groups o f muscles used in o th e r sports. T he prob lem of localized strength
training has been tre a te d by m any specialists, such as N. S O R O K I N E - 1953, R.
P E T R O V - 1959, A. L E N T Z - 1960, B. R I B A L K O - 1962, A. N O V I K O V - 1962.
T h e following types of strength are of prim ary im portance in wrestling:
1. Maximal strength which is the peak m uscular effort in muscle reaction,
2. Explosive strength which p rod uces the muscular contraction in response to an
external stim ulus,
3. Resistance strength which is the ability to maintain co ntinuous m uscular effort.
M a xim al strength can be im proved by the following methods:
1. C o u n terre actio n with maximal effort:
T raining consists of 4 to 6 exercises with each exercise m a d e up of 5 to 8 sets of 1 to
3 repetitions at 85 to 95% capacity o f maximal strength. This type o f training is not re
c o m m e n d e d for m o re th an once a week.
2. R e p e a te d effort:
T raining consists of 6 to 10 exercises each including 3 to 5 sets of 6 repetitions each
at 80% o f maximal strength.
3. R eactio n to progressively increasing intensity:
T raining consists in 7 to 9 exercises. T he main exercises designed for the biggest
muscle groups are carried o ut in 5 to 6 sets:
- a first set of 5 to 6 repetitions at 70% of maximal effort
- a second set of 5 to 6 repetitions at 80% of maximal effort
- a third set of 4 to 5 repetitions at 85% o f maximal effort
- a fourth set of 3 to 4 repetitions at 90% of maximal effort
- a fifth set of 1 to 3 repetitions at 95% of maximal effort, an d a sixth set with only
on e exercise at 100% o f maximal effort.
D u ring training one execution o f an exercise requiring maximal effort at 100% ca
pacity is m o re th an eno ug h. F or the rest of the w o rk ou ts, the intensity of effort should
reach 85 to 90% of maximal capacity.
T h e explosive strength of a wrestler represents his ability to reach p eak muscular
intensity in minim al time.
T h e most significant in this regard is the coefficient o f force gradation

m. q.
N o less im p o rtan t is the ability of the wrestler to pass o r go from one training plan to
a n o th e r , for exam ple from an isometric plan to an isotonic plan an d vice-versa within a
restricted time. Explosive strength is of m a jo r im portance during a match w hen, all
things being equal, the o pp on ents have an accurate and similar technical level. While d e
v elop m en t of maximal strength requires a relatively significant n u m b e r of auxilary e x e r
cises, th e d eve lo p m en t of explosive strength requires above all specific training exerci
ses. Training with a dum m y gives the wrestler the opportunity to develop maximal explo
sive strength during all phases o f the m o v e m e n t. T h e weight of the d um m y used is of
m a jo r im portance for d e v e lo p m en t of explosive strength; optim al weight varies from 40
to 60% o f the individual weight of the wrestler. T he height is a d a p te d to the average
height for the weight category.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

S p eed
E n d u r a n c e sp e e d
Short term endurance
M edium term endurance

00

Long term endurance


ce

X
CO

Physical e n d u r a n c e

Figure 8
W h e n im p ro vem en t o f explosive strength is requ ired , the proce d u re for explosive
effort is applicable in all types o f exercises and especially:
- exercises with quick repetitions and with a c ounter-reaction o f 20 to 40% of the
maximal coun ter-reactio n strength
- exercises with a quick change in the work plan (jum ping h ard, moving forwards
and b ackw ards, and lifting the partn er)
- isometric exercises with a quick maximal increase in tension.
T h e resistance strength of a wrestler is defined by his capacity to overcom e many
significant reactions during a match.
R esistance strength is d eveloped using many repetitions, preferably until e x h a u
stion, an d a reaction weight o f 30 to 70% of maximal effort as well as th ro ug h exercises
with a p a rtn e r o r weights. Particularly efficient results are o bta in ed th ro ug h application
of a m e th o d called circuit training. D u rin g the training of a w restler, this technique p r e
sents a n u m b e r o f advantages such as: the complex d ev elo pm en t o f m o to r skills and
functional capacities, time savings, the harm on iou s d ev elo pm en t o f the w restler, and
indifference to the circumstances su rrou nd in g a match and control o f training.
Circuit training consists in carrying out several exercises at a p re d e te rm in e d fixed
work load. T h e exercises are interspersed with rest periods. With the view of im proving
functional abilities, exercises which use the largest n u m b e r of muscle groups are intro
duced.
In c om bination with the p ro cedu res already m en tio ned , it is possible to introduce
exercises with a particular plan o f m uscular reactions, such as:
- Isometric exercises play a significant role in the developm ent of the wrestler, tak
ing into account the isometric effort in wrestling, time an d energy saved, etc. W rong
application of isometric exercises may have the effect of decreasing elasticity of m uscu
lar tissue, as well as coordination. It is im po rtan t to practise isometric exercises in c o m
bination with exercises of co ord in ation , flexibility, an d relaxation of muscles.
- Isokinetic exercises. T hese types of exercises require the use of a special machine
whdre the increase in training sp eed is autom atically m atched by an increase in the reac
tive strength. T h e m achine indicates the maximal value o f resistance strength o r reac
tion on each cycle of m o vem en t.
Rules to observe during strength training:
a)
T he rule of effort up to e xh austio n . N o m a tte r the m e th o d used, if we aim for
an increase in maximal strength, either through the increase of reactive strength or
through repetition of m ov em en ts, it is essential to reach a point o f e x hau stion .

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

b) T h e rule o f inverse proportionality. T he n u m b e r o f repetitions is inversely p ro


portional to the reactive strength.
c) T h e rule for differential proced ure. Strength training mainly includes exercises
using muscle groups which are most actively used during a match or for carrying out
holds.
d) T h e rule of p ro p e r o rder. D urin g training, it is particularly beneficial to start
with exercises for explosive strength which are followed by exercises for maximal
strength and by exercises for resistance strength (figure 8). W restling is an excellent way
to develop strength. H o w e v e r, training which only uses wrestling m eth o d s for athletic
training, is far from being efficient. It is essential tha t strength exercises becom e an in
tegral part of each training session. T h e n u m b e r o f strength training sessions is conside
rable in the pre-training period. A t least three training sessions per week are necessary.

6.3 THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPEED IN THE WRESTLER


F or a w restler, speed is the ability to carry o ut, within a limited time interval,
attack, defense, and co u n teratta ck moves. S peed can also be in terp re te d as th e expres
sion of strength in a short period o f time. F or wrestlers, speed d ep en d s to a large extent
on the quickness o f nervous impulses, of explosive strength, of muscle flexibility, and on
psychological concentration. Speed also d ep en d s on the pace at which the holds and
o th e r moves used during a match are carried o ut during training sessions.
S pe ed can be d eveloped through various m etho ds. H o w ev e r, in gen eral, intensive
exercises have to be carried o u t during a limited, maximal time period. R esistance at an
accelerated te m p o is particularly necessary for the w restler, not only for the execution
of various holds o r for a series of attacks, b ut also because it is o ften a d eterm ining fac
to r in the o u tc o m e of a match.
Speed can be im proved th ro ug h exercises simulating te chniques, o r by a quick ex e
cution o f a n u m b e r o f holds and counter-holds.
D e v e lo p m e n t of speed in wrestlers is achie ved through the following m ethods:
a) Exercises for perfecting m o to r reactions. In these exercises, the wrestler re
sponds to a whistle signal from the coach such as sprinting after a no rm al walk, sprinting
with a quick stop, ju m p s, turnovers, bridging from a lying down position, high crotch
pe netratio ns, etc. Fast calisthenic exercises, sprinting starts, sprints of 15 to 20 meters,
acrobatic exercises, ju m p s, throws, drills at a quick pace, relays, etc. can also be used.
b) Exercises u n d e r favourable conditions. This category of exercises includes v a
rious holds, cou nters, and cou nter-holds with p artn ers in an inferior weight category
u n d e r conditions of resistance o r total reaction, o r with d um m ies, as well as exercises
with small du m bbells, hill running, etc.
c) Exercises u n d er difficult conditions. T h ese exercises must be carried out at op ti
mal speed u n d e r training o r co m petition conditions with partn ers of a superior weight
category, starting from difficult situations, etc.
Execution of stere o ty p e d reactions with o ptim al speed. In o rd e r to im prove the
speed with which holds are carried o u t, it is essential to create the a p prop ria te psycholo
gical attitud e in a wrestler th ro ug h a m ental auto -speed mechanism . Following a bio
mechanical, biodynam ic, an d tactical analysis, m o vem en ts are refined an d simplified by
taking o ut unnecessary elem ents in o rd e r to achieve g re a te r speed in carrying out holds
and o th e r moves. Speed of execution can be im proved by training with p artn ers in an
inferior weight cate gory and by im proving explosive strength and joint flexibility.
S peed exercises are p re d o m in an t at the beginning o f training, an d are a necessary
elem ent in daily training. As com p etitio ns near, the n u m b e r o f exercises for strength
and speed is increased.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

6.4. DEVELOPMENT OF ENDURANCE IN THE WRESTLER


Physical e n d u ran ce can be defined as the ability of a wrestler to en d u re fatigue
while continuing to carry ou t, in an efficient m a n n e r , technical an d tactical elem ents of
holds during a match. T h e d e velo pm en t of e n d u ran ce is strictly d e p e n d e n t on functional
qualities o f the body, but is also influenced by m any o th e r factors. T h e functional quali
ties are, a m on g others:
- T h e capacities of the wrestler which d ep e n d on the am o u n t of oxygen supplied to
the body, and its assimilation. T h ese are found in the value o f th e oxygen exchange pe r
unit of time. A long period of muscular activity requires m o re intense breathing , m axi
m u m expansion o f the lungs, acceleration of the cardio-vascular system which increases
the h eart rate, the n u m b e r of capillaries, blood circulation, etc. It also increases the h e
moglobin level in the blood, the intensity o f tissue breathing , the b rea k d o w n o f ca rb o
hydrates and lipids u n d e r the action of oxygen, and the c oo rd in ated o p era tion of the va
rious functional systems.
- The anaerobic capacities of the wrestler which transform chemical energy contain
ed in m acro energetic com binations o f ph o sp h o ru s and glycogen into mechanical
energy u n d e r the a naero bic conditions o f the body e n viron m en t. A n ae ro b ic productivi
ty is related to the oxygen n ee d e d by the body and d e p e n d s on the acitivity of the fer
m en ts and the defense systems in the body, on glucose an d lactose reserves, and on tis
sue a d a p ta tio n to a low oxygen w ork rate.
T h e im prov em ent of aerobic and anaerobic capacities during training also influen
ces the level an d type o f e n d u ra n c e in a wrestler.
T h e physical e n d u ra n c e of a wrestler d ep en d s not only on the p o tential energy of
the body and on its ability to a d a p t, but also on the organic and functional level o f the
neurom uscula r system, the quality of nervous impulses and last but not least, the psycho
logical, technical, and tactical training of th e wrestler.
T h e re are two types o f physical endu rance:
a) general physical en du ran ce
b) specific physical en d u ran c e
a)
G en eral physical en d u ran ce is the ability of the body to w ork ov er a long period
at a m ed ium intensity. T h e aerobic capacities of the body rep resen t the physiological
equivalent o f this type o f en du rance. T h e re fo re , training must be designed to develop
the aerobic capacities of the body especially during the p re-training period of children
and adolescents. This o rien tatio n is also a feature in p rep a ra tio n and transition periods
for seniors, b ut is always p a rt o f the en tire training period.
A m o n g the main ways to d evelop general en d u ra n c e , we can m ention different
types of general training exercises, such as w eight training, g ro up and sports games,
calisthenics, rowing, skiing, cycling, and especially long an d m ed ium distance running
outdoors.
T h e main p ro ced ures for perfecting general e n d u ran ce essentially d ep e n d on the
specificity of exercises chosen. T h e most p o p u lar proce d u res are exercises with constant
repetition , intensity and pace, repetitions by intervals, variations, the mixed m e th o d ,
etc.
A detailed classification of general physical e n d u ran ce gives th ree categories o f ge
neral e n d urance: speed e n d u ran ce, strength e n d u ran ce , and bo th tog ether. It is then
very im portant to set as a goal the developm ent of general physical e ndurance as a whole.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

C o m b in e d strength and speed en d u ra n c e is of m a jo r im po rtance for competitive


matches. C on se qu ently, it can be said th at specialized training is o ne of the main factors
for reaching a high level of specific e n d u ran ce in developing strength.
b)
Specific e n d u ran ce is characteristic o f w restlers en d u ra n c e during matches,
or co m petitions as a whole. Specific e n d u ra n ce is d evelo ped th ro ug h special pre paratio n
exercises and th ro ug h different types o f holds. T h e d e v e lo p m e n t o f this type o f e n d u
rance requires the co m b in ed application o f various procedures.
1. T he interval m e th o d is one o f the m ost beneficial, especially in the context of
a tw o-period match o f a given duration . T h e main c o m p o n en ts which can be varied
during the course o f the p ro ced u re m e n tio n ed are the following:
- the duration o f a given perio d in the match
- th e intensity of the various parts of a bout
- the n u m b e r o f rounds in a match
- th e duration o f rest perio ds b etw een the various ro un ds o f a match.
T o arrive at a training m od el, th ese e lem en ts can be co m bined according to the
objective of the training session as well as th e age an d p re p a ra tio n level o f young w rest
lers. T h e du ratio n of various segm ents can be 1 + 1 + 1, with a o n e m inute rest in
b etw ee n , 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 , with a on e o r two m inu te rest in b etw ee n , with a 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 ;
1 + 2 + 2 + 1 o r 2 + 3 + 2 o r even 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 , etc. T h e se gm ents do not have to last
whole m inutes. If training starts with 6 o r 7 rou nd s o f two m inutes each, it is possible, as
training progresses, to redu ce the n u m b e r o f ro u n d s an d increase their intensity and
du ratio n to, finally, assimilate th e training m od el to co m petition m atches which are two
ro un ds of th ree m inutes with a on e m inu te rest b etw een rounds. T h e goal is th en to re
duce the n u m b e r o f rest p eriods b etw een the various ro un ds until the m a n d a to ry one
m in ute rest is reached. R ed ucin g the recovery pe rio d to less th a n o ne m inute is not r e
c o m m e n d e d . T h e rest period b etw een ro un ds o f a m atch must give the wrestler enough
recovery time so th at he can continue th e m atch during the second ro u n d with the same
intensity. G iven the fact th at the main goal o f training by intervals is to reach a m axi
m u m intensity during a m atch, the intensity o f each training session must be particularly
high. Intensity can be controlled during wrestling, within reaso n, using certain auxiliary
m ethods:
- standardizing the various parts of training, all parts having the same intensity
- progression o f the level of intensity; the level of intensity o f each subsequent
ro u n d of the training match is higher th an th e previous one
- alternating of various parts with different intensities.
2. T h e variable p ro ce d u re is applied with the view of intensifying the m atch. This is
do ne thro u g h progressive redu ctio n in the length of the ro un ds at a m ed ium intensity,
and inversely, by increasing the tension of the match. T h e effects o f training can be o b
tained by various means:
- unilateral regulation o f the sp eed of the match
- bilateral regulation o f th e speed o f the match
- holding a match with w arnings for passivity
- increasing the n u m b e r o f series of attacks on signals, w ithout stopping the match
- changing of partners; choice of a p a rtn e r in a superior o r inferior weight cate gory
for each new ro u n d of a m atch, for the last ro u n d , for each following m in ute, etc. Each
wrestler must p erform his p art o f the m atch with m ax im u m pressure and intensity
- holding the m atch until a certain n u m b e r o f points is scored.
3. T h e p ro c ed u re o f re petition is carried ou t by similar repetition o f training work
during several training sessions or by the double repetition o f short exercises, without
rest, in a training session. M aintaining the length o f a match is not always sufficient re a
son for application of the repetitive procedure.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

4.
T h e varied proced u re used for the length and intensity o f a m atch is applied
w hen im p ro ve m e nt of specific e n d u ran ce of the wrestler is w anted. In contrast to the
proc edu re by intervals, the different rou nd s o f the m atch are o f a longer d ura tio n , in the
o rd e r o f 3.5, 4, or 5 m inutes, and the overall th e training match lasts from 8 to 12 m in u
tes. M atches of a longer length are generally fought at m ed ium intensity. T he length of a
match can be progressively reduced and the intensity increased. In the varied procedure,
similar intensity parts can be p rese n t with altern ate increasing and decreasing in te n
sity parts.
T h e te rm to u r n a m e n t m a tc h e s describes the training models d evelope d and used
for the first time by Bulgarian specialists for the co m petition schedule of international
to u rn a m e n ts in 1955. T o u rn a m e n t m a tc h m odels use 3 to 7 training matches o ver 3 to
4 consecutive days. The n u m b er of matches is d eterm ined according to the level of train
ing of the wrestlers and th e supposed n u m b e r of m atches in the com petition. A train
ing m atch im mediately held following a match w ithout a rest gives a considerable
psychological and training lift to the wrestler. T o u rn a m e n t m atch es are organized d u
ring days o f the w eek in which th ere will be com petitions. T h e heaviest load is co m p le
ted during the third w eek b efore th e com petition. If there are four training days left, it is
re c o m m e n d e d in o rd e r to avoid fatigue and psychological depression, that a physical
p rep a ratio n training session stressing em otio nal aspects be organized during the third
day. This type o f training could include sports games, o u td o o r running, relays, etc.
D ev e lo p m e n t o f special end u ran ce in wrestlers requires exercises giving a hypoxic
effect, such as repetitions until exhaustion, attacks in series, bridge-overs, release from
the full N elson, hiking training, etc. Perfecting the technical level while very tired b e c o
mes very im po rtant given the considerable fatigue of wrestlers in the final m o m en ts of
a m atch and the changes which com e up in the m ak e-u p of holds.

6.5 DEVELOPMENT OF FLEXIBILITY IN THE WRESTLER


Flexibility is the range of m o v em en t o f the joints. It essentially de p en d s on the ela
sticity of muscles and join t ligaments. Systematic stretching increases the range o f m o
v e m e n t as well as the ability o f jo ints to su p p o rt a heavie r load. It should be n oted th at
all the great B ulgarian wrestlers had joints and muscles which were rem arkab ly flexible.
Plasticity a nd flexibility are best develope d from the age of 12 to 13 years. Y ou ng w rest
lers must work everyday to consolidate and stabilize their wrestling bridge. If b etw een
the ages of 14 and 18 years, flexibility is not m aintained and d evelo ped through regular
ap prop riate exercises, it begins to diminish.
O n e of the fu nd am en tal m eth od s used to learn the bridge is to go into a bridge
position from an inverted h ead stan d without the aid o f a partn er. T h e w restler must
o vercom e his natural reflex to p rotect himself and learn to fall backw ards by keeping
the centre of gravity projectioji point o u t of the support base in a lengthwise direction
(figure 9). P rem a tu re b ending of the knees limits the projection strength coming from
the a b d o m e n , which represen ts the main condition for the p ro p e r execution of the
chest projection. W he n projection is do ne with the chest while bending in the bridge p o
sition, the neck area can sup po rt and cushion a weight of 100 kilos. Obviously, special
training for the neck and chest muscles is necessary. T he hy pertro ph y of muscles is lin
k ed to morpho-physiological changes in the neck cartilage. Figure 9 clearly shows the
adaptive changes to the internal cartilage structure of the w restler practicing for two
years. W restlers from 16 to 18 years can d o the bridge exercises by adding s u p p le m e n
tary weight such as dum bbells o r dum m ies, or by training with a partn er.
An im p ro p er mix betw een strength, speed , and flexibility exercises can have a
harm ful effect on the range of joints, and the speed an d flexibility of the wrestler.

Figure 9
From a m ethodological point of view, the structure of training must m ee t planning
an d systematization requirem en ts. Exercises must be chosen according to the range of
joints and carried o ut in several repetitions. Flexibility can be w o rk ed on by exercising
with a p a rtn e r, or a d u m m y, o r cou nterbalancing weights. W he n there are indications of
exhaustion in a w restler, the exercises should only be d o n e to consolidate the bridge.

6.6. DEVELOPMENT OF SKILL AND AGILITY IN THE W RESTLER


T h e level o f skill in a wrestler represents his ability to learn an d carry out complex
m o vem ents, as well as to react quickly in an a d e q u a te m a n n e r in u n exp ected situations.
This quality is defined by the particularly com plex structure which links m o to r d evelo p
m e n t and morphological qualities. A skilled wrestler orients himself m ore quickly and
m o re accurately in complex an d unusual situations which can occur during the course of
a m atch and reacts by using the most ap p ro p riate techniques and tactical methods.
T h e skill o f a wrestler is d e term in e d by the following factors:
- the level o f general and specific m o to r reflexes
- the level of his m o to r abilities an d especially his speed a nd flexibility
- the aptitu de to react quickly to m o to r activities.
Exercises for skill d ev elop m ent are varied in term s of structure, range, pace,
rh ythm , and intensity. E ach exercise which d em an d s and develops skill is useful for the
wrestler. Skill is d evelo pe d through various acrobatic exercises, by ju m p in g on a spot or
moving, th row s, pushes, throwing, diving, and running. T hese exercises are introduced
during the p re p a ra tio n perio d o f the training session, but must be limited because of the
d em an d in g physical effort and considerable nervous tension they require. Special
p rep aratio n exercises, especially the technical execution o f holds, are of great value.
Skill can also be dev elo pe d throu gh execution of know n e lem ents in unusual situa
tions by creating new co m binations of techniques and tactics, by using unusual solu
tions, throws from the w rong side, wrestling in a redu ced a rea , executing various holds
and counter-holds, etc.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

7.
TECHNICAL AND TACTICAL
DEVELOPMENT IN WRESTLERS

7.1 DEVELOPMENT OF MOTOR SKILLS


Technical an d tactical training in wrestlers is carried ou t in a parallel m an n er. T h e
correlation b etw een m o to r skills m akes it possible to develop new habits on the basis of
old. F or exam ple, once the front leg tak ed o w n is assimilated, it is easy to also learn the
throw with the sam e control. In som e cases, there is a m utually negative influence
betw een m o to r skills. W restlers often know groups o f holds very well, such as locks
and leg sw eeps , b u t can no t correctly apply th em with a single o r double leg an d viceversa. Assimilation o f com binations and technical-tactical complexes is d on e through
auto m atizing the m o to r skills related to the various holds and by integrating them into
the m o re complex psycho-m otor system. It should be n oted th at m o to r skills are c o rr e
lated to the level of physical and psychological abilities. C hanges in these abilities may
considerably modify m o to r skills.
M o to r skills are d eveloped throu gh systematic w ork during several closely related
stages. T hey are:
1. a logical, algorithmic stage which is a creative process for research and verbalpsychological m odeling o f technical and tactical actions
2. a m o to r stage which is the au tom atization of various skills
3. a correlation stage which is the regulation an d sub o rdination of auto m atic c o m
po nen ts in a m ental activity.
T h e com binations o f holds are e ch oed mentally as a verbal psycho-dynamic p ro
gram . T h e wrestler anticipates the events and before the a ttack, begins using the c o u n
ter-reaction process. A wrestler is at an advanta ge in a given situation if he develops dy
namic p rogram s in advance by taking into account all possible signals. W e will try to
illustrate the above m en tio n ed m echanism by using a simplified technical an d tactical
model for d eterm ining the w restlers cou nter-reaction according to the defensive refle
xes of his o p p o n e n t (figure 10). A th lete A , following a logical-algorithmic a p p ro ach , ex
trapolates the c ou nter-reactions from his o p p o n e n t by planning a d e q u a te m ethods
o f attack.
Following an atte m p t by A to apply a side tu rno ver, replies with an arm lock.
T h e situation allows for th ree different types o f holds, especially the head lock, the
t c h e r e k (olympic lift), an d the s a r m a (leg ride). Disregarding outside circumstances
an d individual technical-tactical preferences, the ou tco m e is d e te rm in e d by the current
stimuli.
W restler A perceives mainly the visual and kinesthetic stimuli. T h e c o u n ter-rea c
tion is related to the expected reaction an d the a tta c k e r moves quickly to a new plan of

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Putting the
hand
in a support
position

Releasing the leg

Pelvis pick-up

Taking the arm

Lying on the
chest

action, the F is to the tu rn o v e r with h ead lock and arm -pit control. W restler A predicts
B s intentions as well as his algorithm o f actions, and develops som e assum ptions abo ut
possible actions according to a subjective vo lum e, structu re , and diagram. A s the
w restler is waiting, he sets up a plan o f reactions. H o w ev er, w hen th e stim ulus do es not
m atch the assum ed reaction, the decision is delayed an d the attack may be limited.
W h e n th e leg has b een freed o r th e hips lifted, the atta c k e r can go to a tc h e r e k (O ly m
pic lift).
T h e s a r m a hold used at the beginning o f a turn o v er can also be used following a
lifting o f the hips, o r a crossface, o r a com bination of the two. D ev e lo p m e n t o f plans
on possible attacks following the o p p o n e n ts reaction and their application to typical si
tu ations gives the training process an intellectual an d creative dim ensio n, while redu c
ing the length o f training th ro u gh an e m phasis on technical fine-tuning, tak e d o w n effi
ciency, and wrestling esthetics.

7.2 METHODOLOGY OF TECHNICAL AND TACTICAL TRAINING


A lth o u g h the learning process can be distinguished from the d ev elo p m e n t process
in spo rt, they are still inte rre lated . T h e d ev elo p m en t process is g e a re d tow ard im p rov
ing the tactical aspects of holds, diversifying all the possible co m binations and te chni
cal-tactical com plexes, as well as perfecting their space an d time execution param ete rs
such as rhy thm , speed , acceleration, resulting force from all forces at play, a nd im b a
lance.
W e must em phasize the im portance o f developing the stru ctu re an d co nten ts of the
training process, as well as organization, sports eq u ip m e n t, an d forms of control for in
dividuals, team s, and groups. Table 5 shows an educational an d training plan.
D u ring the p eriod o f learning and d eve lop m e nt o f holds, the coach must tak e into
account the features of the different phases o f the training process for m o to r skills, as
well as specific individual characteristics o f the athletes.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Table 5
D ef in iti o n o f su b je c t

D efin in g p r o b le m s and
d e v e lo p in g th e s tr u ctu r e
a n d co n tin u it y to solve
them

A nalysis o f c u r r e n t
c i r c u m s ta n c e s a n d futu re
requirem ents

O rg a n iz a ti o n o f g e ne ral
s tages o f tr a in in g an d
d e t e r m i n a ti o n o f th e ir
le ngth a n d p e o p l e
re s pons ib le

D e v e l o p m e n t o f a d etail ed
p la n

D e t e r m i n a t i o n o f final an d
i n t e r m e d ia r y o b je cti ves

C h o ic e o f tr a in in g
procedures

D e v e l o p m e n t o f m o d e ls
s ho w in g c o n t e n ts , m e th o d s ,
an d p r o c e d u re s fo r tra in in g
a n d co ntrol

A ssessment

V erif icati o n th ro u g h
analys is o f th e m o d e l
efficiency

A naly s is o f re s ult s a n d th e ir
co rrel at ion to th e obje ctiv es ,
ta sk s , p r o c e d u r e s , a n d
e s ta b li s h ed m e th o d s

C o r r e c tio n a n d prac tic al


app lic a ti on

A pp lic a ti o n

Pract ical o r g a n iz a tio n

R e p e a t e d ap plic a ti on
with a t t e n t i o n to indi vidual
n ee d s

C o n t r o l o f th e i m m e d i a te
a n d c u m u la tiv e effects a n d
focu sing o n th e nec es sary
co rr e c tio n s

A coach may choose an analytical o r synthetic p ro ce d u re according to a w restlers


training level and to the complexity o f the hold. T he analytical p roc edu re divides a hold
according to its logical steps.
T h e coach starts with the learning o f th e initial stance th en goes to control, execu
tion, an d to the final m o v e m e n t. It is possible to apply the analytical p ro ced ure to the
entire main m o v em en t of a hold without destroying the dynamic c h a racter of its b io m e
chanical principles.
A fter the different parts have been learned , th ey are dynamically blen ded in ex e
cuting the entire m o vem en t. T h e analytical m e th o d is largely applied at the beginning of
learning. H o w ev er, it is not re c o m m e n d e d th a t the holds be b ro k e n down if w restlers
have learned them th ro ug h the synthetic procedure.
H olds which do not lend them selves to a b reak d o w n require a synthetic learning
proced ure. H olds are carried o ut w ithout inte rru ptio n an d are, of course, in trod uced by

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

precise and th oro ug h explanations. Execution of the hold in slow m otion allows the o b
servation o f certain details which are not identifiable at a norm al speed.
Besides the d em o n stratio n and repetition p roced ures, the training process for
wrestlers also includes a n u m b e r of verbal processes such as explanations, talks, o r dis
cussions. T h e re are also som e auxiliary variations to the verbal p ro cedu res such as
ord ers, instructions, com m an d s, etc., with the aim of organizing the training process.
A n o th e r category includes a series o f appreciative w ords such as co rrect", g o od ",
w ro n g , and so on to direct the execution of a move o r group of moves.
The learning and developm ent process for holds depends on the age, previous train
ing, and individual characteristics o f athletes, but also on the training m eth o d. Figure
11 shows the reciprocical relationship betw een the coach an d the ath lete, the relation
ship b etw een verbal an d audio-kinesthetic com m un ication and the fo rm ation of a
visual, acoustic and dynamic picture to g eth er with an idea of technical and tactical
actions.
V e r b a l C o m m u n ic a tio n

W o r k capa city

Dem onstration

O b s e r v a ti o n

S peec h

H earing

D em onstration

A ssim ila tio n

- c o n c e p t a n d im ag es
-visual
- ac oustic
- d ynam ic

1
I
Coach

A th le te

Visual a n d K in es th e ti c C o m m u n ic a tio n

Figure 11
D espite considerable differences in the structure of holds and the abilities of athle
tes, assimilation of technique is d o n e th ro ug h a general methodological plan. T h e learn
ing process of holds does not necessarily require the exact application of th e pro p osed
plan. It is equally impossible to assure th a t during a training session all methodological
p ro ced ures are followed. T he diagram th at follows shows the m ethodological principle
of acquiring the technique of holds.
T h e fun da m e ntal principles for mastering a hold can be sum m arized as follows:
1. A c cu rate term inology for the hold; th a t is its na m e and an explanation o f its effi
ciency,
2. T ech n iq u e drills as well as exercises for developing muscles which play a m ajo r
role int the execution of the hold,
3. G e n e ra l theoretical im itation o f characteristics an d tactical conditions preceding
ex ecution of a hold,
4. D e m o n stra tio n o f the hold by the synthetic m e th o d from the initial static stance
o r while moving. S u pp lem e ntary explanations to help d evelop precision o f the dynamic
im age,
5. Step-by-step dem o n stratio n of th e holds from the initial static stance and quick
definition of objectives,
6. D escriptive o r actual repetition o f the hold,
7. Step-by-step execution of the hold by athletes from the initial static stance and
on both sides,
8. Execution of a hold in its entirety, from the initial static stance and on bo th sides
with p a rtn e r or dum m y,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

9. R ep etition of the hold from a static o r dynamic initial stance with p a rtn e r, s ta rt
ing with zero resistance and gradually increasing it,
10. R epe titio n with explanations of the erro rs com m itted ,
11. R epetitio n of execution,
12. D em o n stra tio n o f th e different types of controls an d elem ents for prelim inary
tactical p re p a ra tio n o f the hold from the initial static or dynam ic stance,
13. R epetition o f variations from the initial static o r dynamic stance, with p a rtn e r
o r d u m m y , starting with initial zero resistance and increasing it gradually,
14. Perfecting of the hold by putting to g eth er all the constituting elem e nts within
com binations and technical-tactical complexes,
15. Perfecting o f holds u n d e r norm al and competitive conditions.
L earning an d d ev elo p m e n t o f techniques an d tactics in m o d ern wrestling holds r e
quires application by the coach o f a series o f n u m ero u s d ifferentiated pro ced u res during
training, as well as m a rk e d accuracy in the learning m e th o d s of th e material to be cove
red. This objective is realized th ro ug h application of d ifferentiated methodological p r o
cedures, som e o f which are similar to conventional procedures.

T h e most frequently used methodical p roc edu res are:


1. M ethodical p ro ce d u re based on im itation.
T h e learning of holds is realized through application of exercises of a similar struc
ture which im proves dynam ic abilities an d favours the d ev elo p m en t of m o to r skills.
T hrow s with a p a rtn e r o r d u m m y are particularly efficient in this regard.
2. M ethodical p ro ced u re based on increasing resistance,
Initial execution of the hold is do ne with nearly no resistance from the partn er.
With the progressive m astering o f m o v em e n ts comes a doubling in resistance strength to
a level nearly as high as in co m petition matches.
3. M ethodical p ro ced u re based on changing of p artn ers,
In order, to perfectly m as te r a hold, a training process is used w hereb y the partners
are ch ang ed and co upled with athletes of different height, w eight, style, a nd training.
4. M ethodical p ro ced u re based on changing the type o f m atch.
D e p en d in g on th e objectives of the training session, it is possible to organize
conventional free m atch es, controlled m atches, o r com petitive matches to g e th e r with
their variations.
5. M ethodical p ro ced u re based on m od ulating th e rh y thm ,
This pro ced u re aims at developing the ability to regulate the rhythm of a m atch as
well as perfecting special resistance.
6. M ethodical p ro ced u re with su pp osed o p p o n e n t,
In this p ro c e d u re , the coach gives the p a rtn e r a series of technical and tactical
tasks, such as execution of a specific type of defense o r c o un ter-h old , wrestling in the
style o f a k now n o p p o n e n t, etc.
7. M ethodical p ro ced ure based on execution w ithout visual clues,
This p ro c ed u re is used to im prove functions in the m o to r, vestibulary, an d tactile
system during training o f certain m o to r skills. H olds a nd exercises are do ne without vi
sual control.
8. M ethodical p roced ure with assistance from the coach.
T h e train er m ay help execute a hold by correcting control with his h an d , by ho ld
ing, o r lifting the o p p o n e n t. He may also c o m m e n t, give signals, or explanations.
9. M ethodical p ro ced ure with execution o f so m e details.
Only certain details of a hold are executed.

Diagram for the Study and Development


of Wrestling Technique
Terminology
of the hold

Related exercises

Theoretical characte
ristics of the hold

Demonstration

analytical

Practical execution

Symetrical execution
left

dynamic

slow motion

standing

right

while moving

Execution

Analytical execution

Dynamic execution

Detailed work with wrestling


dummy. Detailed work with
_________ partner_________

with wrestling dummy


with partner

Symetrical
execution

Practical
execution

Variation of
resistance

Tactical introduction
a
Indicated execution

Aid of the coach

ideal

Handicap
Complex execution
Conventional opponent
Accelerated execution
Figure 12

10. M ethodical p ro ced ure with analytical execution,


A hold is carried out throu gh successive stages.
11. M ethodical p ro ced u re with synthetic execution,
Technical action is ex ecuted in its entirety.
12. M ethodical p ro ced u re with execution from a static stance,
This p ro ce d u re is used w hen a hold is executed on the spot or from a p re d e te rm in
ed initial stance o r control.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

13. M ethodical p ro ced u re with execution in slow m otion,


A hold is d o n e in slow m otion in o rd e r to b e tte r record its characteristics or im p o r
ta n t details.
14. M ethodical p roced ure with corrective execution,
In the case o f a hold which is badly ex ecuted , the w restler rep eats the hold by
trying to com m it an e rr o r o pposite to the original one so th at the p ro p e r variation is an
in term ed iate solution. T h e re fo re , a wrestler w ho in a p en etratio n falls by mistake on his
two knees instead o f falling only on on e, is, in the repetitions, not suppose to touch the
m at with his knees.
15. M ethodical p roce du re with execution on signal,
W h e n w orking to perfect a hold, the positions from which it can be executed are
d eterm in ed. T h e se situations represen t the signals for application o f a hold. They
can am o u n t to a certain attitud e, a distance o r control of the o p p o n e n t, a specific time, a
certain spot on the m at, a verbal signal from the coach, o r other.
16. M ethodical p roce du re throu gh dynamic execution,
A hold is executed in a dynam ic series of m o vem en ts a nd u n d e r conditions similar
to th ose prevailing during a com petition match.
17. M ethodical p ro ce d u re through acceleration,
This p ro ced u re is applied to help reduce the length o f execution of a hold. T he
w restler must constantly try to execute the hold at a higher speed th an the usual speed
of execution.
18. M ethodical p roced ure through sym etrical execution,
H olds are executed from b o th th e left and th e right.
19. M ethodical p ro ced ure through analogical execution,
This pro ced u re consists of multiple repetitions of a hold u n d e r similar conditions.
20. Methodical p ro ced u re th ro ug h complex execution,
A ccording to this p ro c e d u re , the execution of holds is in teg rated into technical-tactical complexes and combinations.
21. M ethodical p ro ced ure th ro ug h c o ordin ated breathing,
T h e wrestler b re ath es according to th e stru cture and characteristics o f the physical
effort p ro d u ce d to execute a hold.
22. M ethodical p roced ure through actual o r descriptive execution.
This p ro ced u re consists o f actual o r descriptive application of holds u n d er different
situations.
23. M ethodical p roced ure for technical-tactical steps,
This p ro cedu re allows for com plete execution o f certain technical-tactical actions
and especially holds, counter-holds, technical-tactical com plexes, tactical variations,
etc.
24. M ethodical p roc edu re based on execution with handicap,
U n d e r competitive conditions, it is possible to establish as an objective the applica
tion of holds while giving the o p p o n e n t an advantage in term s of control, position,
points, etc.
25. M ethodical p roce d u re with tactical in troduction,
This p roced ure rep resen ts the application o f a n u m b e r of technical-tactical actions
leading up to the holds.
Following application of several p ro ced ures and m etho ds for perfecting technique,
wrestlers must fully m aster the structure o f fun dam ental holds to g eth er with their varia
tions, doing them on both sides, and from various starting positions.
D ev elop m e nt o f technical and tactical aspects of holds may be realized through
multiple repetitions u n d e r varied conditions an d with different partners.
T h e learning process of a new hold starts by restricting the main functions of holds

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

previously studied. In this regard , we have established a system of restricted application


of holds already assim ilated, while creating a n u m b e r of circumstances which favour
the learning of new holds. It is w orth m en tion in g th at even during meetings at the in ter
national level, restrictions on application of basic holds have b een imposed.
B ecause of the results o f practical w ork carried o ut by o u r specialists, we m aintain
that if after several efforts a hold has not been mastered, it may be temporarily ab a n d o n
ed. It has often been o bserv ed that, after a pause of 10 to 12 days, the wrestler has in
d e e d assimilated the m o v em en t. This lag in assimilation of m o to r actions may find
a psycho-physiological ex planation in the th eoretical w orks of C laynem it an d C aplan.

7.3 INTENSIFICATION OF THE TRAINING PROCESS


T h e logical-algorithmic proce d u re holds e n o rm o u s possibilities for intensification
an d optim ization o f training. It allows for th e introduction o f qualitative p a ra m e te rs and
d e v e lo p m e n t o f a plan n ed training process.
A p plication o f the logical-algorithmic a pp roach along with technical and tacti
cal m o v e m e n ts might cause m any p rob lem s, such as:
T h e decoding of algorithms throu gh logical analysis o r th ro u gh synthesis of a cqu ir
ed experience.
T h e composition of algorithms on the basis of recorded laws for optimal im plem en
tation of the training process. Figure 13 shows th re e variations for carrying ou t a tchere k (olympic lift), three co unter-holds, as well as co rresp on din g c o u n te r-c o u n te r
holds.

C o un ter-ho lds
counter-holds
C O U N T E R -H O L D S

A lgorithm s have a certain universality in the sense th at precise rules may resolve
several technical-tactical p rob lem s of the sam e type. A ccording to the type and n u m b e r
of technical-tactical m o ve m e nts, algorithmization may apply in on e situation o r in a
chain of events. T h e study of algorithms is necessary for the p ro p e r and efficient func-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

tioning of th e training process. T h e application of algorithms m eans selecting an alter


native am o ng a set o f given solutions. In this regard, the p ro p e r wrestling logic a pp ears
to be largely d e p e n d e n t u p o n an accurate evaluation of the assum ptions. T h e applica
tion o f algorithms assum es th e presence of feedback inform ation tow ards control of
execution according to th e difference betw e en the actual a nd plan n ed o p era tion of the
controlled system at a given time. C on tro l is achieved according to the following d ia
gram:
Table 6

Indication of stimulus

Action (reaction)

Reverse indication
(corrective stimulus)

T h e application o f certain specific p ro ced u res are w orth mentioning.


1. T h e axiom atic p ro ce d u re,
A s a general rule this p ro c ed u re is based o n deductive finding o f tactical laws and
their application to wrestling. A s an ex am p le, we give the following rules (or axioms):
P en etratio n with do w nw a rd push o n the arm s , Benefit from the directed effort of the
o p p o n e n t , P ro ceed to throw an o p p o n e n t in sw eat only after control is stab le , etc.
2. T h e p ro ble m atic o r creative p ro ced ure,
T h e coach gives athletes so m e p ro ble m atic situations to solve. This p ro ce d u re is
particularly efficient w hen applied in th e d ev elo p m en t of wrestling techniques an d tacti
cal com plexes, as well as in the solving of theoretical tactical pro blem s o r in the progress
of m atches according to a d eterm in e d objective.
3. Technical-tactical m odeling p ro ced u re,
This p ro c e d u re constantly aims at assimilating th e training process with a precise
technical-tactical model. This ty pe of modeling, which is the most fre q u en t, consists of
developing well defined technical-tactical situations an d com prehensive technical-tactical wrestling systems with specific partners. T h e m o d eled training sessions follow th e se
ries of steps indicated below according to the expected opp on ents:
a) D e v e lo p m e n t o f a specific m odel for an o p p o n e n t b ased on inform ation o f his
physical, m orphological, and functional abilities; his technical-tactical an d psychological
skills, an d his cu rren t fitness level.
b) A d e q u a te training of an athlete selected for a conventional o p p o n e n t model.
c) D ev e lo p m e n t of a mini-strategy, i.e. of a tactical plan based on exp ected o p p o
nent.
d) R ealization of strategies related to b o th m odels during the actual m atc h (see
fig. 14).
4. P ro g ra m m e d training procedure.
This p ro ced u re is b ased on th e d e v e lo p m en t o f two types of algorithms, such as:
a) algorithms on technical-tactical objectives
b) algorithms on teaching activities of th e coach
M o d ern sports use special machines, te x tbo ok s, and p rog ram s of limited effective
ness for p ro g r a m m e d training. T ex tb o o k s are w ritten according to two basic principles:
selecting the correct answ er a m o n g the prop osed solutions and filling ou t voluntary
blanks in a given description. In wrestling training, technical-tactical m o v em en ts are
p ro g ram m e d by dividing the material to be studied in several parts, arran ged in a con-

Opponent

Information for
the opponent

Development of
wrestling mini
strategy against the
opponent

Development of
theoretical model
on the opponent
Figure 14
Preparation of
a conditional
opponent according
to a theoretical
model

Practical assimilation
of the mini-strategy

Training with
conditional
oponnent

Competition with
actual opponent

sistent m an n er. It is also possible to p ro g ra m steps of different holds as well as the entire
system for studying te chniques and tactics, technical-tactical com plexes, etc.
Assimilation of material to be studied, including the conventional m ethod of study,
may b e realized throu gh various p ro ce d u res o r types o f study, such as:
- C on tin uo us study o r study in segm ents w h ere holds are learn ed in a definite o r
d er, im posed by the study plan , o r w here all holds belonging to a given class are learned
b efore going to the next class,
- Selective o r linear study w here the coach selects a n u m b e r o f holds according to
the a th le te s p erfo rm an ce, style,
- Study in reverse, which is changing the direction of the learning process o f a
hold. S om e wrestlers with a m ore passive psychological attitud e are no t ready to assimi
late the front bending throws following th e souples. In this case the coach may study
a n o th e r type of hold and go back later to th e hold, which fo r th e m o m e n t, the wrestler is
not able to learn,
- Recursive study, which is going back to a technical m o v e m e n t already studied in
o rd e r to perfect it even m o re,
- Sporadic study w h ere the study of holds is free, accidental, and without any
scientific basis.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

- C oncentric study w here the holds to be studied are organized in a cycle allowing
for repetition of the main technical m ov em en ts, their d ev elo p m en t, and the study of
new technical points,
- Cyclical study, which is the study of a cycle of holds classified in a logical and
structural basis. F o r exam ple, this may be a generic cycle including all souples, front
b end ing throws, the firem an s carry, etc.
Figure 15 shows 16 variations of the front b ending th ro w , the study o f which is b a
sed on the cyclical m etho d. H olds which are m ore suited to the style o f the individual
w restler may be perfected by the selective, recursive, and concentric pro cedu res,
- C o m b in ed study organizes the study of holds according to the basic logical rela
tionships in which com binations and technical-tactical complexes are based. Figure 16
shows various c om bination possibilities. D e v e lo p m e n t of prelim inary m odels for tech
nical m o v em en ts as well as their selective planning an d study b ecom es strictly essential
to the m o d e rn training process. Figure 17 shows 15 variations of p en etra tion . T h e study
of these variations can be carried o u t following the c om bined p ro ce d u re with increased
emphasis on the most efficient variations.

FRONT
B E N D IN G
THROWS

Figure 16

Figure 17

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Learning o f problematic subjects


P ro g ram m ed study m aterial can an d must be studied by problem atic study p ro ce
dures. It can be analyzed th ro u g h a three c o m p o n e n t structure: the goal, the m eans, and
the conditions o f the action. W ithin p ro b lem situations, the objective, the pro ced u re,
and the place o f action may rem ain u n k now n. T h e B ulgarian N ational W restling T eam
selections b etw een 1 9 5 4 -5 6 used similar study m ethods. A w restler must be ready to
m ake quick decisions during the course o f a m atch. T o do this, it becom es obvious that
the w restler m ust have h andy m any solutions to the p roblem s, so that the training p ro
cess b eco m es a creative process. A lth o u g h a w restler c annot guess all the m oves of his
o p p o n e n t, he m ust know the reciprocial relationship b etw een the different positions,
situations, an d holds, an d ev alu ate in the most efficient way possible, ways to attack or
defend. T h e m o d e rn w restler must firmly believe, like the chess player A L E H I N E , in
his ability to always be a m ove a h e ad of his o p p o n en ts.

Specific learning and development methodology


T h e richness o f wrestling tech n iq u es, as well as the existing differences betw een
the biom echanical an d biodynam ic characteristics o f holds, requires application o f a
special m ethodical p ro c e d u re d uring learning a n d d ev elo p m en t of the m ain classifica
tion g roups o f wrestling techniques. T h e specific learning and d ev elo p m en t m e th o d o
logy is based above all on the p ro p er breakdow n o f the hold into parts o r stages. Follow
ing this b rea k d o w n , a series of general and special training exercises is dev elo p e d for
each phase o f the hold. T h ese series o f exercises are g eared tow ards developing strength
and speed capacities of the muscle g roups participating in the execution of holds, as well
as im proving resistance, c o o rd in atio n , an d the range o f m o v em en t o f the joints concer
ned.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

8.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION
OF THE WRESTLER

8.1 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION


By its n a tu re , a wrestling m atch consists o f an exchange o f com plicated technicaltactical m o v em en ts w h e re intelligence, feelings, w illpower, and the physical qualities of
w restlers interplay. Pedagogical an d scientific ob serv ations show equalization of w rest
lers m o to r abilities an d stren g th s, as well as technical skills. F aced w ith this equaliza
tio n , a w restler is forced, in o rd e r to be a w inner, to use all his creative and m ental ca
pacities, be ratio n al, co ntrol his e m o tio n s an d w illpower, and d evelop his inform ational,
sensory, and m o to r systems.
T h e o b ject o f psychological p re p a ra tio n is to u n b alance the forces at play in sports,
so th a t, in a w ay, it goes against any unifying trend.
Psychological p re p a ra tio n is d irected to w ard s m ultiform and integral dev elo p m en t
o f a w restlers psychological p o te n tial an d p ersonality as a w hole, to allow him to o p ti
mally a d ap t to com plex m atch an d co m p e titio n situations.
W restling m atches re q u ire full a tte n tio n , w illpower, self-control, and co n cen tra
tion. Situations m ay ch ange within o n e te n th o f a second and o ften, em o tio n al states are
changed accordingly. It is difficult to attac k a n d to d efend at the sam e tim e, to hide your
feelings an d to discover those o f y o u r o p p o n e n t, to k eep a cold front w hen the nerves
are very ten se, to m ak e decisions w ith o u t timely in fo rm ation, to be flexible in tactical
m ovem en ts, an d th e n , a t th e sam e tim e, to faithfully p ersu e the assigned goal. This
c an n o t h ap p e n w ith o u t prelim inary psychological p re p a ra tio n which is scientifically
b ased, p u ttin g to g e th e r psycho-tactics regarding th e c om petition and a good ability to
c ontrol various psychological states b efo re an d d uring wrestling. Psychological p re p a
ration is a full p a rt o f physical, technical, tactical, a n d theoretical p rep aratio n . It is at
the sam e tim e o n e o f their c o m p o n e n ts, their su p e r-stru ctu re, and their regulator.
E v en th o u g h th e psychological aspect plays a d o m in an t role in the general p re p a r a
tion of a w restler, its co m p o n e n ts ta k e sh ap e practically in an im perious and special way
as an extension o f physical p re p a ra tio n o r technical-tactical p rep a ra tio n . C onventional
training is u sed fo r m o to r, technical a n d tactical p u rposes. In this context, psychologi
cal p rep aratio n b eco m es an u n co n tro llab le process. T h e d ev elo p m e n t of psychological
aptitud es an d qualities m ay be p a rt o f a plan to be carried o ut th ro u g h o u t the learning,
training an d co m p etitio n p erio d s, tak in g into a ccount th e ideas, biological ch aracte
ristics, social status, w o rk , im m ed iate e n v iro n m e n t, daily life and education of the
w restler. W hile p lanning training, it is necessary to sep a ra te the general psychological
p rep a ra tio n from th e specific psychological p rep ara tio n .
Specific psychological p rep a ra tio n is a im ed to w ards creating a state o f psychologi-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

cal aw areness for a specific c o m petition. W h a t is called pre-com petition psychological


p rep a ra tio n is p rep a ra tio n aim ed at carrying o u t c o n crete tasks for future com petitions,
tactical thinking, stren g th en in g th e w re stle rs confidence about his ow n strength, and
controlling his em otional state. D uring practice, a coach and a wrestler carry out psycho
logical p rep aratio n for a c o m p etitio n to arrive at the best a g reem en t for an upcom ing
match.
U n fav o rab le reactions b efore th e start o f a com petition, the so called fit of n e r
ves, show u p in w restlers in the form o f tension, inflexibility, intense mobility, c h a tte r
ing, distraction, irritability, over-estim ating the o p p o n e n t, non-stop thinking about
the com p etitio n , o bservations o f the o p p o n e n t, w arm ing-up before necessary, frequent
elim ination o f u rine, etc.
i n the ev en t o f an unfav o rab le state before the start of a co m petition, the goal
should be to reduce nervousness. W h a te v e r the em o tion before a m atch, we must try to
bring in a n o th e r e m o tio n which w ould change th e direction o f thoughts and feelings
(m axim s, songs, verses, an ecd o tes). A coach should always be able to find the right
w ords o r reasons to stop o r decrease the exhausting effect of nervous tension. A c o m p e
titor does not have to stay for the entire com p etitio n , so that he may save his nervous
energy. H e should watch his main o p p o n e n ts only as a tactical m easure.
T h e re are m any solutions to avoid an unfav o rab le fit of nerves before a com peti
tion, such as som e reassuring w ords from, the coach, good w arm -up, a relaxing or stim u
lating massage, a ru b with cold w a te r an d self-relaxation.
T h e w arm -up also has an influence on th e psychological condition by im proving
m oral, o vercom ing tension, equalizing the in teraction b etw een the ups and dow ns of
em otions.
Psychological p rep a ra tio n su b seq u en t to a co m petition requires particular a tte n
tion, as it is th e analysis o f this last co m petition th at sets the a th le te s attitude tow ards
com petition and training objectives, the co ntrol o f asthenic em otions pro v o k ed by a
failure, the affirm ation of fighting qualities, the increase of know ledge. T o give back
faith to a d efeated athlete an d to relate it to new reasons and perspectives are im p o rtan t
psychological req u irem en ts, which are the responsibility of the coach.

8.2 ORIENTATION AND MOTIVATION OF WRESTLING ACTIVITY


O rien tatio n consists o f a com plicated dynam ic process of objectives, req u irem en ts,
interests, ideals, an d visions o f the world which d e te rm in e the dynam ism and realization
of the w restler in the sport, as well as his social attitude.
A th letes p ursue goals which are b o th within reach and a long way off, m ore o r less
high, personal, an d social. T h e dynamics and the degree to which the sports objectives
are realized d ep en d on the individual. In tern al strength which encourages a w restler to
carry out o n e activity o r a n o th e r is created by m otivating the personality. T h e reasons,
as well as the objectives, are rela te d to vital m oral, intellectual and esthetic re q u ire
m ents, and to interests consciously realized by the person.
G iven that the internal contradictions regarding m otivation determ in e serious in
consistencies and faults during competitions, a coach must classify and assess individually
the value, mobility, and reliability o f reasons and objectives o f w restlers, so that the p e
dagogical intervention may becom e a way o f regulating the m otivational system. A
coach must put considerable effort into m aintaining positive m otivation for athletes
when there is a heavy training load (along w ith his educational obligations or familial
obligations), when the co m p e tito r must regain confidence in the next victory, when the
w restler who has won a world cham pionship title has no reason to continue his athletic
activity.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

8.3 DEVELOPMENT OF INFORM ATIONAL AND ANALYTICAL ACTIVITIES


OF THE W RESTLER
In the course o f a hold d uring a m atch, a w restler receives and analyzes the most
varied in form ation co ncerning the position o f an o p p o n e n t, his own body position, the
referee, the m a t, an d , in relation to this, defines his sub seq u en t behaviour.
D ev elo p m e n t of intellectual qualities is o n e o f the im p o rtan t qualities for the ath le
tic grow th o f a co m p etito r. A w restler must above all have an accurate idea of all holds
by relating any perceived visual signals to his m uscular and m o to r activities. Clean and
stable rep resen tatio n s o f holds, the creatio n o f new ideas, the study of ideas, technicaltactical com plexes, etc., increase the psychological capacity o f a w restler.
W restling sessions req u ire a good a n d accu rate m em ory. A good m em o ry consists
of rem em b erin g m any holds, c o u n ters and c o u n tera tta ck s, com plexes, tactical m ethods
and theoretical questio n s, w ithout which the realization of high level perform ances
w ould be unth in k ab le.
T h e a tten tio n o f a w restler com es th ro u g h as reliability in all instances. It concen
trates on the execution o f certain holds a n d , at th e sam e tim e, must follow the o p p o
n e n t, the signals o f the referee, the tim e, the m a t position.
T h e rapid transferring o f a tten tio n from one o bject to a n o th e r is typical of w res
tlers with a high level o f technical skill. It is well know n that no o ne can do tw o things
at once if he c a n n o t d o th em separately. So a coach m ust, by his actions, try to influence
the stability, co n cen tra tio n , division, and co n c en tra tio n of a w restlers attention during
training for a match.
T h e rapidity, accuracy, flexibility, an d o rien tation of the tactical thinking of a
w restler is in relation to his state o f p rep a ra tio n , his individual characteristics, and his
state o f mind b efore the start o f a c o m petition. A com plex study of an o p p o n e n t and a
tactical plan are impossible to u n d e rta k e w ithout draw ing up an accurate and in d e p e n
d ent w ell-thought o u t tactical m odel.

8.4 REGULATING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE


T h e psychological state is m any sided. It nearly always consists of em o tio n al, intel
lectual, and willful states, which are p a rt o f a complex n e tw ork of dynamic interrelations.
B ecause of the particu lar im p o rtan ce o f this q u estion, we will be going into a lot of
detail a b o u t the d ev elo p m e n t o f self-confidence in a w restlers own strengths (N .D . L e
vitov, P. P etro v , E. G u en o v a an d o th ers). Individual characteristics, results o f training
for co m p etitio n , the gradient o f the state of psychological alertness, the strength of d e
pressive agents, self-regulating skills, are all factors th a t condition the self-confidence of
a wrestler. Self-confidence d ep en d s on th ree m utually related elem ents:
a)
T h e cognitive ele m e n t. This provides in form ation on an o p p o n e n t, the situa
tion, and a w restlers own ability and advantages. It represents the knowledge and aw are
ness of objective possibilities to p erfo rm according to expected results. This elem ent is
based on self-analysis an d self-assessment of p re p a ra tio n , aw areness o f a w restler's own
abilities, an d on an em o tio n al analysis not influenced by the abilities of o pponents.
A ccording to C lip ared , fear is not felt only by those who cannot avoid specific d a n
ger. In o rd e r to dev elop in form ation systems regarding psychological self-confidence, it
is necessary to intellectualize training, to perfect the steps for revealing the o p p o n e n t,
to teach an ath lete to carry o u t a p ro p e r self-analysis o f skills, so he is able to study the
personality an d fitness level o f his o p p o n en ts.
T h e cognitive elem en t is a signal which creates esthenic and asthenic em otions.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

E very o n e can walk on a b e a m which is on the g ro u nd with his eyes closed. B ut if the
beam is sitting at a height o f 20 m eters, few p eople will try it, w ithout changing the
objective conditions to cross, an d those w ho d o it, will fall, because of paralysing fear.
b) T h e em o tio n al elem e n t. This is characterized by the enthusiasm , vitality, good
disposition, good h u m o u r, em otio n al enth u siasm , etc. D e e p em otions and im pulses re
main at the ro o t o f w rong a n d inaccurate decisions.
A coach, w restler, a n d psychologist must be capable of controlling an em otional
state by d eterm in in g a n d changing the a m o u n t, intensity, and strength of em otional
stim ulents, by chaneling psychological tension th ro ugh volitive actions.
T h e ap titu d e for self-analysis is very im p o rta n t for a w restler as it acts as a way of
regulating his em o tio n al states.
c) T h e volitive elem en t. This e le m e n t is related to general self-confidence acquired
through p ro p e r p re p a ra tio n , belief in the positive result of com p etitio n , readiness for
concrete actions, volitive capacity o f the individual, etc. Its reciprocal relationship and
correlation with cognitive an d e m o tio n al e lem en ts are evident.
D ev elo p m e n t o f volitive qualities is an im p o rta n t period in the w ork o f a coach
with a w restler. In life, as well as in sp o rt, volitive qualities show them selves in unlim i
ted ways.
Those w ho are capable of doing a little m o re , even w hen they think they can no
longer d o an y m o re, are able to win the big cham pionships. F or these reasons, training is
o rien ted to w ard s the d ev e lo p m e n t o f all aspects o f willpower.
a) O rien tatio n to w ard s a precise goal. T h e o bjective must be a little above the ca
pabilities o f a co m p etito r, b u t not at a level con sid ered unattainable.
b) Initiative. This is a w restlers a p titu d e for assum ing an objective and carrying
o ut the strategic an d tactical tasks necessary fo r its realization. T o o close supervision
by a coach an d u n ask ed for advice in co m plicated situations generally deprive a w rest
ler o f all creative intentions an d ind ep en d e n ce.
c) Discipline. O b serv atio n of healthful habits for athletes and discipline within the
team , respect fo r com p etitio n rules during the course of com petitions, correct b e h a
viour tow ards referees, o p p o n e n ts , te a m m a te s, respect for public o rd e r show civilized
b eh av io u r an d voluntary discipline. C o m p e tito rs are also req u ired to follow a tactical
discipline by referring to essential re q u irem e n ts o f a tactical plan and tactical indica
tions o f coach.
d) D eterm in atio n an d audacity. T h e s qualities cover a large are a and are essential
for carrying o u t a tactical plan. A d e te rm in e d an d audacious w restler is ready to fight
w ithout h esitation, even against stro n g er o p p o n e n ts. T h a n k s to d eterm in atio n , a w res
tler carries o u t holds w ithout fea r o f co u n tera tta ck . His thinking is directed tow ards the
assigned objective an d n o t tow ards his own m ovem ents.
Fear o f loosing nearly a m o u n ts to failure. A w restler must then lead a tight m atch
on a strictly individual basis against fear. P ro p e r p rep aratio n and control com petitions,
through which th e co m p e tito r can realize his own capabilities, are the best rem edy
against fear o f fatigue.
O ver-confidence is harm ful as it is a source o f negligence regarding training and
causes red u ced atten tio n to the m o v em e n ts o f an o p p o n e n t during matches.
e) Consistency. This c h aracter trait a p p e a rs in the persistent and com pelling desire
to reach an assigned objective: winning a specific com petition. T h e virility show n by a
w restler in his a rd o u r for training, o r when wrestling until the finish with all his strength
is a sure sign o f consistency. Self-control saves an athlete from panic or o th e r difficul
ties; it provides him with th e capability of m aking the m ost judicious decisions.
First o f all, an ath lete must know himself in o rd e r to properly train his willpower.
Following is a plan o f th e principles which m ust govern self-education along with a criti-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

cal evaluation o f a w restlers c h a ra c te r, beliefs, ideas, w eak or positive aspects of his


w illpower, his feelings a n d inclinations.
A cco rd in g to A .T . P o u n i, the principles o f self-education are the following:
1. A c o m p etito r d o e sn t d o w h at he w ants but w hat he has to do,
2. H e must always w ant to im prove in everything he does; be capable of doing
everything an d alw ays in an e x em p lary way; be able to ju dge the results and c o n seq u en
ces of his beh av io u r,
3. Be a severe ju d g e o f himself, looking for the causes of failures and insufficien
cies in himself.
A w restlers self-control is linked to the app ro v al o r disapproval o f his actions. In
difficult m o m en ts, he should b e able to m u tte r to him self o r say loud and clear: H old
on a little lo n g er , I still have stre n g th , Slow d o w n , F a ste r , etc. Self-training is
one o f the m o d e rn ways o f training willpower.
Giving o rd ers to oneself, setting u p a task a n d carrying it o u t with firmness are
som e ways to build a stro n g an d effective willpower.
C onfidence in his ow n strength is an active stabilizer on the general physical condi
tion. This com es o u t in various ways b efo re a co m petition.
- general confidence in his own capabilities
- confidence in a good standing for the com p etitio n
- confidence in the o u tc o m e of the match.
T o particip ate with success in c o m p etitio n s, an ath lete m ust self-regulate his psy
chological states at a high level. This can be d o n e th ro u g h various ways:
Previous instruction in accu rate self-diagnosis an d conscientious control allowing
the overco m in g o f psychological b arriers an d a regulation of psychological states.
Self-training.
Hypnosis.
D ev e lo p m e n t o f th e psychological state o f self-confidence regarding the outcom e
o f a co m p etitio n , an d stim ulation o f th e intellectual function of willpower.
R ed u ctio n o f an d a d a p ta tio n to em o tio n al factors and stress (change o f atm o sp h e
re, misinformation on the strength of the o p p o n e n t, interrupting conversations regard
ing failure, know ledge o f th e clim ate, etc.).
R eactivation o f m o tivational factors (change o f objectives, responsibility to the
te a m , social im p o rtan ce o f w inning, etc.).
Settling dow n an d co ntrol o f em o tio n s th ro u g h w arm -u p , m assage, show er, w alk
ing, shifting the atte n tio n an d conversations to insignificant subjects (reciting poem s,
songs), visual co rrectio n o f trem o rs, etc.
Self-en co u rag em ent an d self-praising by talking to oneself.
Raising th e m o ral by rep ea tin g enco u rag in g p h rases such as I am a c h am p io n , I
am well p re p a r e d , I am th e stro n g e st , I am still stro n g , etc.
Setting u p o f ow n obligations a n d self-encouragem ents: hold o n , be a m a n ,
stay ca lm , etc.
Im agining of p refe rre d holds and e lem e n ts of a tactical plan.
Psychological p re p a ra tio n is a com plex task u n d e r the responsibility of a coach,
psychologist, an d ath lete. T h e decisive role, h o w ev er, goes to a coach w ho must be trai
ned to be all at the sam e tim e an athletic specialist, a psychologist, and a teacher.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

9.
PHYSICAL HEALTH OF
THE WRESTLER

9.1 HYGIENE FOR THE WRESTLER


T o stay healthy a n d im prove his athletic p e rfo rm an ce, a w restler m ust observe a
set o f rules for g o o d personal an d public hygiene.
A d e e p an d refreshing sleep allows the body to re cu p erate its strength and its ca p a
city to w ork. A w restler should sleep b etw een 8 to 10 h ours, and try to be in bed by 11
p.m. D uring competitions, the sleep of athletes is som ew hat disturbed. In this case, under
the prescription o f a d o cto r, sleeping pills can be given. S om e specialists use sleeping
through hypnosis as a last resort in o rd e r to p erm it a quicker recovery.
It is not reco m m e n d e d th a t c o m p e tito r sleep b efore a com petition. If a w restler is
in the habit of taking a n ap w hen he is tired, he must w ake up at least one h o u r before
the co m petition. H e should then p ro ceed with a good rub dow n with cold w ater and
w arm -up exercises.

9.2 WEIGHT CONTROL AND DIET OF THE W RESTLER


Artifical weight loss in a w restler is related to changes in the functional system of
the body. A ccording to specialists, a w eight loss o f 2% does not influence the ability
to w ork. A body can b eco m e accustom ed to absorbing a lesser a m o u n t of w ater and to
perspiring, w ithout h arm , from 2 to 2.5 kilos of w ater. A reduction in weight of 3 kilos
for the lighter w eight categories and up to 4 kilos for the heavier categories is considered
norm al. A lowering o f weight below the set stan d a rd s may cause unfavorable functional
changes, especially in w restlers less th an 21 years o f age w ho are insufficiently trained
and who lose weight in the w rong way.
W eight loss occurs w hen th ere is a decrease in th e fat reserve and a loss of w ater in
the body. If a w restler w ants to lose m o re th an 5 kilos, he should start to lose the weight
30 to 35 days before a co m petition in o rd e r to b e, just before the co m petition, at a
weight o f 1.5 to 2 kilos above the weight limit for his category. D uring intensive training
(at a te m p e ra tu re o f a b o u t 25 deg rees), th e w eight loss can be from 1.4 to 2 kilos during
one training session. T o have a contin u o u s weight loss, a w restler should not drink
a large am o u n t of w ater n o r use a lot o f salt. W h en he perspires a lot, a w restler can
drink w ater th at is lightly salted. If n o t, he c an n o t q uench his thirst because w hen the
body perspires, it releases its w ater as well as the salt.
Steam b aths an d saunas play an im p o rta n t role in the m o d e rn way o f losing
weight. T h e time a p erson can stay in a steam b ath is strictly individual. A w restler may

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

go in a sau n a 2 to 3 tim es an d stay th ere from 20 to 30 m inutes. B etw een his stays, he
can rest from 20 to 30 m in u tes on a bunk. If he is thirsty, he m ay m oisten his lips with
lem on w ater w ith o u t drinking the w ater. T o perspire m o re , it is reco m m e n d e d th at the
p erson tak e a h o t sh o w er (70) b efore going in th e sauna or to rub himself with pure al
cohol. A session in the sau n a is co m b in ed with n o n -sto p moving and wiping of the body
using a w o o d en knife, a b ru sh , a tow el, etc., to increase perspiration. A massage may
also be used. D u rin g a session like this, th e loss o f w eight can be from 1.5 to 3 kilos.
A sau n a can be very beneficial afte r intense an d exhausting training. It can be used
as a way o f relaxing muscles an d o f elim inating pain following h eate d m uscles . A for
ced loss o f w eight im m ediately b efo re a com p etitio n is w rong. T h e night before weigh
ing, a w restler m ay sleep with a w eight which is 500 g over his category if he has not
lost w eight, an d from 300 to 400 g in cases w h ere he has previously lost from 4 to 5
kilos. F or a m o re sensible weight loss, it is b e tte r if he decreases calories and w hat he
eats in o rd e r to use up the fat reserve in his body.
Calories can be decreased by 30 to 60 calories p e r kilogram of weight, but in no case
m ust this be d o n e for anim al pro tein s (fish, eggs, m e at). T h e daily portion by weightkilo must co rresp o n d to 2.5 g o f pro tein s, 1.5 g o f lipids, and 4 g o f glucides (V .A .
G esselevitch).
D u rin g a weight loss, it is p referab le to ea t m o re often (5 times a day) while eating
sm aller quantities.
T h e loss of kilos n o t only disturbs the w ater-salt balance, b ut also the electrolytical balance o f the body. This causes som e w eariness o r reduction in psychological stabi
lity. T h e re are special drinks m ad e u p o f various com b inations of salt and vitamins to
reestablish the electrolytical balance.

Table 7
D istribution o f fo o d (according to p rofesso r N .P . Ja ko vlev)

Division for a day

B reakfast

L unch

Snack
(non obligatory)

D in n er

M orning training
E vening training

30-35%
30-40%

35-4 0 %
30-35%

5%
-

30-35%
25-30%

If the w restler d o es not lose w eight, the p ro tein content of the daily p ortion by
kilo-weight o f the w restler is 2.4 to 2.5 kilos, 2 to 2.1 kilos for lipids, 9 to 10 kilos for
glucides (o f for a total o f 65 to 70 kilocalories). .
T h e diet o f a w restler must be rich in p h o sp h o ru s (3.0 to 3.5 gram s according to
N .N . Jakovlev) and in potassium - fresh vegetables, fruits, fruit juices, etc. (U . N jo k er.
K. G agguzo).

Table 8
M a xim u m calories fo r the senior categories o f wrestlers
C ateg o ry

Calories

52 kg
57 kg

3 .3 8 0 -3 ,6 4 0
3 ,7 0 5 -3 ,9 9 0

C ategory
78 kg
90 kg

Calories
5,0 7 0 -5 ,4 6 0
5,6 5 5 -6 ,0 9 0

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

C ateg o ry

Calories

C ategory

C alories

68 kg
70 kg

4 ,0 9 5 -4 ,4 1 0
4 ,5 5 0 -4 ,9 0 0

100 kg
+ 1 0 0 kg

6 ,3 0 5 -6 ,7 9 0
6 ,7 9 0 -6 ,7 9 0

T he use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco is incompatible with the athletic activity
o f a w restler. It creates co nditions o f o v ertraining, holds up d ev elo p m en t of a w restler,
and disturbs his health.

9.3 STIMULANTS AND DRUGS


Artificial stim ulation has b een a p a rt o f sport for a long tim e. T h e re are p h a rm a
ceutical m ean s o f increasing psychological an d physical capabilities, overcom ing n e r
vous tension, m aintaining a b e tte r m orphological built, decreasing w eight, etc. It is p e r
missible to use stim ulants which red u ce recovery tim e, m aintain energy and help in
crease th e gen eral capacity fo r w ork w ithout, h o w ever, dam aging the health of an
athlete. T o this effect, various co m p le m e n ts are used such as vitam ins, to act as m e ta b o
lic catalysts, a m ixture o f m ineral salts to m aintain the electrolytical balance, various
proteinic biostim ulators, etc.
T h e use o f stim ulants as a way o f increasing resistance during training and intense
co m p etitio n , an d stretching th e capabilities o f certain organs and systems during
athletic activities are co n train d icated for th e h ealth o f athletes and are inadm issible, in
regard to th e ethics an d rules related to d ru g control.
D ru g s can cause failure d uring co m p etitio n , strongly disturb the h ealth of an ath le
te an d , in som e cases, cause d ea th . It is illegal to secretly use, w ithout effective medical
control, any ph arm aceu tical m eth o d s. In his activities, a coach m ust above all base his
b ehav io u r o n the h u m a n ita ria n principles o f sports and his civil responsibilities.

9.4 MEDICAL CONTROL AND SELF-CONTROL OF THE W RESTLER


H eavy training requires particu lar a tte n tio n o n the part of a sports d octor. H e must
first o f all follow th e h ealth o f co m p e tito rs, th e am o u n t o f the loads, the rest, weight
loss, diet, etc. Periodic and pre-competition examinations are necessary for all wrestlers.
Self-control allows a w restler a n d a tr a in er to k e e p track o f the condition of the
body and to define the type o f load required accordingly. A n athlete keeps a detailed per
sonal self-control log in which he writes o bjective and subjective d a ta (see table 9).
Table 9
D ates
O bjectives
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Moral
A p p etite
Sleep
W eight
Pulse

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

D ates
O bjectives
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

Spirom etry
D y n a m o m e try
B reak s in diet
C o n ten ts o f training an d results
D esire to train
T raining en d u ran ce

9.5

TRAUMAS IN WRESTLING

A cco rd in g to 1. A K riatch k o a n d A .M . L a n d a , trau m as which occur during training


are divided as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Sprains
D istension and tearing o f muscles
Bruises
Fractures
D islocations
O th e r (fainting, scratches, etc.)

40.0%
13.0%
31.0%
11.0%
3.5%
1.5%

T o p ro tect w restlers from tra u m a s, it is essential to rem ove anything which may
cause a tra u m a d uring training, such as:
a) L ack o f o b serv atio n o f o rganizational rules and m eth o d s during training and
com petitio n s (sim u ltan eo u s w restling m atch es with m any w restlers, m atches b etw een
w restlers o f d ifferent categories, in a p p ro p ria te w a rm -u p , etc.),
b) D ev iatio n from the sta n d a rd s regarding in frastructure to ensure the safety of
training and com p etitio n s (eq u ip m e n t, inv en to ry , condition of the m at, shoes, etc.),
c) Insufficient medical control. P re m a tu re d adm ission o f athletes into training for
com petitio n after injuries o f illness,
d) Lack o f observ atio n o f special m ea n s fo r p ro tectio n a n d disease control,
e) U n fav o u rab le m eteorological conditions d uring training o r com petition,
f) R eso rtin g to fo rb id d e n , d a n g e ro u s, o r b rutal holds.
Training session m ust be organ ized so th a t they avoid injury to wrestlers.

9.6

M ASSAGE FOR WRESTLERS

M assage is a classical way to increase th e functional w ork capacity, and contribute


to health an d psychological balance. H a n d massage is the most widely used m e th o d , but
massage u n d e r w ater, with vibrators (m echanical) a n d through suction are also very
efficient.
T h e length, intensity, and type o f tech n iq u e used for a massage dep en d s on the
objectives, as well as the individual characteristics o f a w restler. T he following types
o f massages are used:
1. M assage for recovery
2. M assage for training
3. M assage in p re p a ra tio n for co m petition

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

4. M assage b etw e e n m atches in a co m petition


5. Massage as tr e a tm e n t
Massage used for recovery in o rd e r to rem o v e m oods limiting the w ork capacity
of an ath lete, req u ires good sensitivity o f distal phalan ges on the p art of the m asseur as
well as a good know ledge of a n ato m y . T h ro u g h massage, the m asseur can find signs of
possible injury, elim inate local accum ulation o f chemicals in the muscles, im prove the
mobility jo f jo ints o r resto re muscle v olum e after atrophy d ue to injuries.
Massage for training is used m ost o ften for ath letes undergoing intensive training.
A ccording to N. A . P o d rez, a Soviet specialist, a training m assage for wrestling c o m p eti
tors must last 1 h o u r an d for heavie r categories 1 h o u r an d 20 m inutes. A massage takes
into' account th e condition o f th e c o m p etito r, the sensitive spots, and the type o f tra in
ing. D u e to the massaging effect o f wrestling itself, com petitors are less sensitive to
a light massage. In freestyle wrestling, the limbs tak e p recedence over the back. A .N .
B irukov reco m m en d s taking into a ccount the size of the body being m assaged, weight,
stom ach , and tightness o f the muscles (see table 10).

Table 10
W eight o f th e athlete
in kilos

L ength of the m assage session


in minutes

U p to 60
U p to 75
U p to 100
M o re th an 100

40
50
60
m ore than 60

A training massage is given from 2 to 6 h o u rs after training. U n d e r norm al condi


tions, w restlers benefit from a training massage 2 to 3 times a w eek. A t the e n d of
a w eek , a massage is followed by a b ath which exerts a com plex effect on the body.
T h e massage m ay be general o r partial.
Massage b efore a m atch is d o n e to help w arm -up the athlete, to w ork tow ards
optim al excitm ent of the nervous system a n d the n euro m u scu la r system , to regulate
m oo d s (nervousness) preceed in g th e start o f a co m petition, etc.
A w a rm - u p massage is d o n e 20 to 30 m inutes before the start of a com petition and
lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. Particular emphasis is given to joints. In the case of start-up
fever , a calming massage o f 8 to 10 m in u tes is re co m m e n d e d , and in the case of a p a
thetic start-u p , a session o f 10 to 12 m in u tes o f energetic m ov em en ts and vibrating
kneads. T he massage must be given a b o u t 5 to 6 m inutes before the start o f a match.
M assages for o n e m inute rest periods d uring a m atch use light strokes, vibrating
kneads, and m uscular tapping. Only the arm s and legs are w orked on. W h en an arm has
been massaged, it has to be lifted u p o n e o r tw o times to facilitate the flow of blood.
A m asseur can help a w restlers b reathing. A massage on the fascicule of nerve fibers
on the h ead has a stim ulating effect.
A massage b etw een two m atches can decrease accum ulated m etabolites and re
fresh a wrestler for the next m atch. This massage is light and of short d uration. P arts of
the body with injuries are tre a te d with a relaxing massage; it is unadvisable to massage
recent injuries.
As it is impossible to use massage for athletes of all levels, the coach m ust organize
mutual massage b etw een wrestlers. Self-massage can also be p art o f the daily routine of
each wrestler.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

9.7 STRENGTHENING OF THE WRESTLER


S tren g th en in g n o t only preserves a w restlers h ealth, but it also increases his
capacity for functional w ork. It goes to g eth e r with training an d the physical health of an
athlete. E ach co m p e tito r must follow several m a n d a to ry rules and follow them strictly.
Stren g th en in g is d o n e in the following way:
1. D o w arm -u p exercises every m o rn in g (in u n d e rw ear or jogging-suit),
2. W ash with w arm w ater following the m o rning gymnastics and dry with a towel,
3. G argle with w arm w ater m o rning an d night, daily,
4. W ash the feet in w arm w ater b efore going to sleep, and if possible, walk in bare
feet,
5. T ak e a show er in w arm w ater (from 25 to 10 to 15 centigrade),
6. G e t a good b re a th o f fresh air a n d lay in the sun,
7. G o for a walk outside afte r a meal,
8. Sleep with the window o p en ,
9. D ress lightly an d com fortably.
S trengthening is suictly individual; it, h ow ever, requires systematic, successive,
and regular application.

9.8 ACCLIMATIZATION OF THE WRESTLER


T h e ad a p ta tio n o f a w restler to new climatic conditions takes a period of 7 to 25
days. This does not m ean th a t th e process o f acclimatization is finished. Following this
tim e, a w restler m ay ta k e part in com p etitio n s an d give a high level p erform ance. P arti
cipation in co m petitions is best d uring the first days after the start or after the sixth day.
Scientific research by several au th o rs (G ro b , D ugal, G .M . D anichevski) has p ro
ven that acclimatization is a process linked to a diet high in calories and to large consum p
tion o f ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
T o reach th e quickest a n d most efficient acclim atization, com petitors must conti
nue th e training sessions (with re d u c e d loads), aplly th e strengthening process, and have
a diet rich in calories an d vitamins. T raining in high altitude conditions increases the
functional capabilities o f th e body. This training is p a rt o f the p rep a ra tio n o f all w rest
lers in the h igher levels. T h e first days o f w ork d uring training periods, should be dosed
carefully, taking into c o nsideration th a t the eu p h o ric feeling of w restlers may be
a misleading ind icato r o f th eir w ork capacity.
D u rin g p rep a ra tio n for large intern atio n al com p etitions, it is re c o m m en d ed that
climatic conditions o f the host city be studied a n d th at training be organized as much as
possible, u n d e r the conditions closest to those which th e w restlers are used to (te m p e r a
ture, humidity, altitude, time o f c o m p etitio n , etc.).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

10 .

ORGANIZATION OF TRAINING
SESSIONS IN WRESTLING

T h e principal ways o f p rep arin g w restlers consist of: the training lesson, theory, in
dividual training an d training for com petitions.

10.1 THE TRAINING LESSON FOR WRESTLING


T h e training lesson has b een a d o p te d in m an y countries. In the language o f w restl
ing, various term s define th e wrestling lessons: training, training sessions, m atches,
etc. T h e co n stan t an d gen eral o b jective rules reg arding this lesson also apply to the
theo retic w o rk as well as to th e practical w ork. T h e lesson is structured w ith an intro
duction, an d p re p a ra tio n , basic an d final m aterial.
T h e training lesson is q u ite is q uite varied. T h e educational tasks include: study
sessions, study an d training sessions, an d training sessions.
In th e last few years, th e length o f th e special sessions has increased to 2 to 2 1/2
hours. T ab le 11 showing th e length o f training sessions for wrestling is based on the new
perspective o v er d ev e lo p m e n t w ork.
T h e in tro d u cto ry p a rt o f th e lesson (see table 12), lasts from 3 to 10 m inutes. T h e
intro d u ctio n which aims a t organizing th e g ro u p , assigns the w orking tasks, stresses to
the w restlers th e edu catio n al im p o rta n c e o f th e lesson, and increases their psychological
an d m o to r activities.
T o reach these objectives, th e intro d u ctio n m u st p ro ceed as follows: alignm ent of
the g ro u p , d evelop a relationship with the coach, in troduction, explanation of tasks, re
lated exercises, etc.
T h e p re p a ra to ry p a rt o f th e lesson lasts a b o u t 15 to 35 m inutes. T h e essential tasks
in this p a rt aim to increase th e b o d y s general capacities to w ork, to develop the basic
m o to r qualities an d to p re p a re th e basic p a rt o f th e lesson. This is d o n e through general
develo p m en t exercises, moving gam es and relays, gymnastics exercises using m achines,
acrobatic exercises, simple types of w restling, tech n ique exercises, b rid g e exercises,
etc.
W a rm -u p is p a rt o f th e p re p a ra to ry p a rt o f th e lesson. It starts with the general d e
velo p m en t exercises, th en goes to th e special exercises. T h e structure of th e exercises in
the p re p a ra to ry p a rt m ust co rre sp o n d to the stru cture o f the technical-tactical m o v e
m en ts which are studied a little while after.
T h e basic p art o f th e lesson lasts from 30 to 105 m inutes. This part aims to study

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

the techn iq u e an d tactics o f w restling, a n d to dev elo p m o to r and psychological qualities.


T h e m o st is m ad e o f special p re p a r a to ry exercises, the study of co-tactical m o vem ents
by wrestling pairs an d various types o f matches. T h e w ork on developing the m o to r q u a
lities h ap p e n s successively: sp eed , d ynam ic stre n g th , flexibility, resistance. A t the end
of the p re p a ra to ry p erio d , the b rid g e is practised.

Table 11
L en g th of w ork sessions in minutes

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

P re p arato ry g ro u p
School boys
C adets
Juniors
E spoirs an d seniors up to the
1st level inclusive
6. E xperts

Study

Study and training

Training

6 0 -9 0
6 0 -9 0
90
9 0 -1 2 0

6 0 -9 0
6 0 -9 0
90 -1 2 0
90 -1 2 0

6 0 -9 0
90
9 0 -1 2 0

9 0 -1 2 0
9 0 -1 2 0

120-140
120-140

9 0 -1 2 0
120-140

Table 12
Table guide sh ow ing division o f tim e f o r training lesson in wrestling
L ength o f th e lesson
in m in u tes
60
80
90
100
120
140

Parties of the lesson


Intro d u ctio n

P re p a ra tio n

Basic

Final

3 -1 0
3 -1 0
3 -1 0
3 -1 0
3 -1 0
3 -1 0

1 5 -2 0
2 0 -2 5
2 0 -3 0
2 0 -3 0
2 0 -3 0
2 0 -3 5

3 0-35
35-50
50-60
6 0-70
7 0-90
8 5 -1 0 5

5 -1 0
5 -1 0
5 -1 0
5 -1 0
5 -1 0
10

T h e final p art o f the lesson lasts from 5 to 10 m inutes. D uring this section the work
load is d ecreased an d th e body b ro u g h t to a n o rm al state following w ork. This can be
done th ro u g h q u iet w alking, light ru nning, relaxation exercises, b reathing exercises,
gam es, an d finally, exercises in psychosom atic groups.
The study session
T his session is used especially for studying new m aterial. T h e length of this session
d ep en d s on age the d eg ree o f p re p a ra tio n o f the w restlers, the stage of p rep aratio n ,
the freq u en cy o f training. It varies in length from 60 to 120 m inutes. Only w ork sessions
at training time at school last 45 m inutes.
The study and training session
T his session is o rie n te d to w ard s learning a n d d eveloping technique and tactics, and
tow ard increasing th e functional, m o to r, an d psychological potential o f the w restler. It

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

lasts b etw een 60 to 140 m inutes. T rain in g for technical-tactical d ev elo p m en t (T T D ) is


also included in this session. T h e stru ctu re is identical to the one of the study session,
but the basic p a rt includes along with study, new technical-tactical elem en ts, detailed
deve lo p m en t o f controls, stances, distances, holds, c ounters, c o u n terattack s, etc. E ach
session includes a bridge e sc ap e and a flottering o ut o f the b rid g e .

The training session


T his session aim s to dev elo p a n d p erfect functional, technical-tactical and psycho
logical capabilities o f th e w restlers using com plex m ethods. It varies in length from 60 to
160 m inutes. A s far as the p ro p o s e d tasks are co n c ern ed , the em phasis may be p ut on
the d ev elo p m en t o f a specific quality o r on perfecting o n e technical-tactical move.
In th e p re p a ra to ry section, the w restlers are paired. F o r the training m atch, the
w arm -u p co rresp o n d s to the p re p a ra to ry p a rt o f the o th e r training sessions. F o r the
w restler, th e w arm -up rep resen ts an im p o rta n t m o m e n t in his training an d his c o m p eti
tion activities. T o b e able to start a m atch at a quick p ace, he m ust put his body through
a w o rk session b efo re th e c o m petition. This session may consists of a set of general d e
velo p m en t exercises an d specific p re p a ra tio n exercises lasting from 10 to 20 m inutes.
T h e general p re p arato ry session for w arm ing-up lasts from 8 to 10 m inutes.
T h e final tactical details are cleared up during the w arm -up; the psychological state
is also reg ulated before the co m petition. O n e o r tw o m inutes before the com petition,
the w restler m ust stop all exercises so th a t he can loosen his muscles and set his a tte n
tion only o n the m atch coming up.
In th e basic p art, th e training session am o u n ts to wrestling b etw een com petitors in
conventional, freestyle, control o r com petitive m atches. T he conventional m atches ge
nerally p ro ceed according to tasks assigned by th e coach. In these m atches, the holds
and th e tactics used are set in advance. T h e tasks can be purely technical o r tactical, or
both. T h e study m atches (use to learn new elem en ts and holds) as well as holds without
a thro w are used with th e conventional matches.
Freestyle type m atches are close to actual com petitions. T hey follow the individual
plan o f the c o m p etito r o r th e plan o f the coach. T h e coach may require a faster pace,
m ore holds, holds set o u t in advance, co u n ters, etc. H e may also m ake changes to the
rules o f co m petition by increasing the length o f a m atch, decreasing the rest periods,
forcing wrestlers to fight on the g ro u n d , etc. W h e n a fall occurs, the m atch does not
stop.
C om petitive m atches, which ta k e , place d uring actual com petitions, rep resen t the
p eak test on the w restlers p re p a ratio n . T hey are identical to control m atches which are
used to verify th e degree o f training an d decide on a te a m for a specifical com petition.
Following the m atch , th e w restler benefits from an active rest, o f 6 to 10 m inutes
with b reath in g and relaxation exercises, then pro ceeds to a co m p lem en tary w ork for
technical-tactical d ev elo p m en t an d im p ro v e m e n t o f specific qualities - the most current
being stren g th , resistance, and flexibility (30 to 60 m inutes). D uring training matches,
the coach may ask the main com p etito rs to change p a rtn e rs or, after a rest from 20 to 25
m inutes, organize a second training match.
T raining sessions are carried out with a high work load during com petition times
and are essential to ge in shape.
T h e training sessions for general physical p re p aratio n use o th e r sports disciplines
such as - football, b asketball, rugby o r weightlifting, o r com bined training with e m p h a
sis on the d ev elo p m en t o f a specific quality (strength training, speed training, speed
resistance training, aerobic training, flexibility training, etc).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Following p eriods o f com p etitio n o r an intensive training, training sessions are


usually o f th e recovery type.
10.2. WRESTLING THEORY SESSIONS
In m o d e rn w restling, the w restlers w ho possess the best scientific-technical know
ledge b eco m e th e best p erfo rm ers. B esides th e wrestling theory sessions, courses are
held on sport physiology, psychology, ethics, hygiene, an ato m y , etc., which contribute
to m astering th e sport.
Som e th eo ry w ork sessions are closely related to the study and training process.
T h e form s m ost often follewed are:
1. Analysis o f w restlers who have m aste re d the sport and of their potential for fu r
th e r d ev elo p m en t,
2. Analysis o f th e qualities o f p ro b a b le o p p o n e n ts and assigning of tactical tasks,
3. Analysis o f training an d sports com petitions,
4. Discussion o f th e results o f exam s on psychological, athletic and educational
functions,
5. D ev elo p m e n t of individual annual future plans.

10.3. INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING TRAINING


T h e individual w ork o f w restlers is d o n e not only to develop self-control, d y n a
mism and in d ep en d e n c e , but also to provide for b e tte r use of free time in the interest
of athletic p rep aratio n . T h ese sessions are held w ithout a coach, but in m ost cases, ac
cording to his instructions and suggestions. A s th e aw areness and experience of athle
tes becom es b e tte r k n o w n , individual training can be used m ore often according to the
c o ach s instructions. T h e w ork to be carried o u t afte r training sessions and control over
it is a way o f stren g th en in g an d b ro adcasting the m e th o d s of individual p reparation.

10.4. W RESTLING LESSONS


A. Study lessons on new m aterial with young p eople b etw een 14 to 16 years o f age.
D ate
T im e
Place - wrestling room .
Facilities: m ats, d u m m ies and sports e q u ip m en t.
T h em e:
1. Study o f new m aterial - a new hold.
2. Review o f hold previously studied.
Tasks:
1.
session
2.
3.

C o nsolidation of know ledge on m aterial studied during the previous training


on wrestling.
Study o f hold.
D ev elo p m e n t of quality.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T im e

M e th o d

I. In tro d u cto ry p a rt including


alignm ent, verification,
com m unicating th e th e m e of
w ork

2 -3 min.

N otes on exterior aspect,


e q u ip m e n t, etc.

II. P re p arato ry p a rt including


gen eral d ev elo p m e n t and
specific p re p a ra to ry exercises.
D ev elo p m e n t o f physical
qualities.

12-25 min.

V aried exercises for a general or


specific effect: gradual increasing
o f the load.

4 5 -6 0 min.

E m p h asis on precise execution with


gradual increase of the p a r tn e r s
resistance.
C o rrection of mistakes.

C on ten ts

III. Basic p art


1. Review o f hold o r material
studied in previous work
session (15-20 m in.)

2. Study o f new material


(2 0 -2 5 m in.)
- description
- d em o n stratio n
- execution in slow m otion
- correction o f m istakes
- execution by the g roup
- second d e m o n stra tio n ,
etc.
3. Study m atch in pairs,
application o f holds
simulateously o r successively

U se o f descriptive and synonym ous


term s. Tactical p rep aratio n for
a hold.
A c c u rate visual indication.

2 x 3 min.

Im plem entation of the holds


studied during training sessions.
Follow-up p ro p e r assessm ent
(spelling out of rules or
c o m p lem en tary am o u n t of w ork).

5-10 min.

G ra d u al decrease o f load and


excitation,

4. Free play o r w orking tow ards


raising the specific
resistance of the wrestler.

IV. Final part


Exercises while standing o r
moving to relax the muscles
an d calm b reathing. Analysis
of the work session; freing
o f the group.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

B.

W restling lesson, study training and control m atch for high-level wrestlers

D a te
...................................................................................................................................................
T im e ...................................................................................................................................................
Place:
wrestling ro om
Facilities: sto p w atch es, gong, refere e sticks, table showing points and warnings.
T h e m e : C o n tro l wrestling with a given team
T asks:
1. T o acquire c o m p etitio n experience
2. T o study the o p p o n e n t
3. T o d e m o n s tra te the tech n iq u es learned
4. T o establish the d eg ree o f acquired skill in the sport

C o n ten ts

1. In tro d u cto ry p a rt

T im e

M e th o d

5 -8 min.

Review of sport ethics and


o bservation of com petition rules

1. A lig n m en t, bow
2. A ssigned tasks
3. Pairing
II.

P re p a ra to ry p a rt

2 0 -2 5 min.

1. Assigning o f tactical tasks


2. Individual w arm -u p
a) G en e ra l d ev elo p m e n t
exercises
b) Specific p re p arato ry
exercises an d exercises
with p a rtn e r
3. R est before the match
III.

Execution of tactical tasks

Basic part

R eco very after the match

1. W restling m atch
2. A ctive rest
3. C o m p le m e n ta ry work
a) Perfecting o f tech n iq u e
b) Exercises for strength
resistance
c) Exercises for consolidation
of the wrestling bridge"
IV.

2 0 -2 5 min.
20-25 min.
3 -5 min.

Final part
R elaxation exercises

5 -8 min.

R elaxing of the body

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

11.

ORGANIZATION AND PLANNING


OF ATHLETIC PREPARATION

O rg an izatio n o f athletic p re p a ra tio n is b ased on the constant objective laws g over


ning th e dynamics o f th e load for training a n d for com petitions. It is m ad e up o f three
types o f cycles:
1. Macrocycles - last six m o n th s, o n e year o r several years;
2. Mesocycles - last a b o u t o n e m o n th ;
3. Microcycles - c o rresp o n d to a w eekly training cycle or to cycles of several days.
T h e volum e an d intensity o f diversified training sessions are set to develop the fit
ness level o f th e athlete. W ithin the essential training tasks, th ere are th re e periods:
1. T h e p re p a ra to ry p erio d - w h ere th e foun d atio ns for the future d ev elo p m en t of
fitness are established,
2. T h e com p etitio n p eriod - w h ere th e a th le te s fitness m aterializes through spe
cial p rep a ra tio n a n d p a rticipation to com petitions,
3. T ran sito ry p erio d - which allows for an active rest and passing to a new training
cycle.
T h e tasks, th e length, an d th e con ten ts o f th e different cycles are related to a n u m
b e r o f factors:
1. Level o f training, age, an d objectives o f m aximal perfo rm an ce,
2. T h e scheduling o f sports com petitions,
3. T h e w ave form grow th curve o f fitness, acquisition and loss o f fitness,
4. T im e set aside for professional activities a n d school,
5. M axim um poten tial for varying th e v olum e and intensity o f the load, assuring
recovery following heavy training an d aggravated psychological state following a c o m
petition (stress caused by a co m petition).
M a n ag em en t o f th e a m o u n t o f training is best accom plished th ro u g h planning and
throug h the p ro p e r organization o f th e p re p a ra tio n of the w restler over a n u m b e r of
years.
11.1.

PLANNING FOR SEVERAL YEARS

T h e periodic organization o f th e O lym pic G a m e s provides a good o p p o rtu n ity for


pluriannual planning in fo u r y ear cycles. In the last few years 6-year planning cycles h a
ve also b een used. G en era l and individual plans predict and define the develo p m en t of
the w restler o r th e team .
T h e define realistically the d ev e lo p m e n t p o tential of a w restler, it is necessary to

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

start o u t with so m e accu rate characteristics (age, a n th ro p o m etrical and functional data,
energy type, technical-tactical skills, th eo retic k now ledge, vision of the w orld, volitive
qualities, o ccu p atio n , etc.).
It is essential to correctly set th e m ain objective o f p rep a ra tio n which is in general a
first place in com p etition s, along with the general benefits of wrestling fo r the indivi
dual.
D ev e lo p m e n t o f fo u r y ear plans is b ased on th e following characteristics:
1. T o increase aw aren ess an d in terest, th e main and auxiliary tasks are optim al,
long term , an d interesting,
2. D u rin g w o rk with young w restlers, p re p a ra tio n for the w hole y ear an d during
the tw o first years is o rganized in an an n u al training cycle; during the third an d fourth
years, th ere are two training cycles an d a b o u t tw o com petitions reg ard ed as an increa
sed training load,
3. W h e n th e n u m b e r o f years increases, th e length of the p re p a ra to ry period d e
creases an d inverse relation to th e length o f th e com p etition,
4. T h e n u m b e r o f specialized mesocycles an d com petitions increases each year,
5. T h e s p o r ts schedule in relation to th e study a n d training y ear does n ot generally
coincide with th e cale n d a r year,
6. In th e cycles, p eriods, years, an d in th e q u ad rie n n al cycle, w e see a correlation
nearly p ro p o rtio n n aly con v ersed to the dynam ics o f general physical p rep a ra tio n and
special physical p re p a ra tio n , the volum e a n d intensity, instructions, an d m astery,
7. W ith th e passing o f y ears, with the m astery o f m o to r skills for the various holds,
technical an d tactical w o rk increases the c o m b in atio n s and technico-tactical blocks,
8. C o m p lete continuity is assured b e tw e e n th e various cycles, periods, and years
th ro u g h p re p a ra tio n and increasing o f th e load (in v olum e and intensity),
9. T h e plan exam in es in detail th e fu tu re pro sp ects for study and w ork o f c o m p eti
tors,
10. L o n g te rm plans o f six years m ay be d raw n u p for young w restlers with talent.
M O D E L D IA G R A M Q U A D R IE N N A L PLAN
Plan
F o r the p re p a ra tio n o f c o m p e t i t o r .......................................................................................
in the 68 kilo categ o ry o f ........................... city .............................................................................
for the p erio d b etw een 1985 to 1988.
I.
B rief list o f c o m p etito rs characteristics
(perfo rm an ces, age, physical d e v e lo p m e n t, technico-tactical p re p a ra tio n , etc.).
11. O bjectiv es an d tasks o f th e p re p a ra tio n .
A . O bjective o f p re p a ra tio n :
1. T o p rovide th e w restler w ith th e best physical p rep a ra tio n possible for future
com petitio n s, gen eral as well as special, technico-tactical, m oral, and volutional,
2. T h e c o m p etito r m ust be classed as follows:
Y ears
(com petitions)

C ity
cham p io n sh ip s

N atio n al
ch am pionships

1985
1986
1987
1988

I
I
I
I

II
I
I

C on tin en tal
cham pionships

O lym pic
G am es

I
I

up to
second place

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

B. P rep aratio n tasks:


1. E lev atio n o f th e gen eral an d special physical p re p a ra tio n level,
2. M o re extensive study an d m asterin g o f tech niques with regard to individual
characteristics o f p ro b a b le o p p o n e n ts an d in the d e v elo p m en t o f technique and tactiques in wrestling,
3. M asterin g o f active an d a ttack tactics in wrestling,
4. Building o f a m orally u n d e stru c ta b le spirit a n d volative stability,
5. M astering o f special and gen eral th eo re tic k now ledge,
6. O rg an izatio n o f rational medical c o ntrol a n d establishm ent of strict hygienic
sports habits.
N ote: th e tasks m ay be d ev elo p e d in m o re detail and separately for each year.
III. P rep aratio n : stages a n d division o f training load.

Table 13

Years and
stages
1
1 st stage
1985
2nd stage
1986
3rd stage
1987

4th stage
1988

Periods

2
p re p a ra to ry p eriod
com petitive p eriod
transitory p eriod
p re p a ra to ry p eriod
com petitive p eriod
transitory p eriod
p re p a ra to ry p erio d
com petitive p erio d
transitory p eriod
p re p a ra to ry p eriod
com petitive p eriod
transitory period
p re p a ra to ry p eriod
com petitive p eriod
transitory p eriod
p re p a ra to ry p eriod
com petitive p eriod
transitory p eriod

Length

3
5 m onths
5 1/2
1 1/2
5 m o n th s
5 1/2
1 1/2
2 1/2 m.
2 1 /2
1/2
2/3 m.
3 1 /2
1 1/2
2 1/2 m.
3 m o n th s
1 1/2 m.
1 1/2 m.
3 1 /2
1 m o n th

Relationship
between

Amount
of training

Number of
Competi tions

PPG

PPS

80%
40%
90%
90%
35%
90%
60%
30%
95%
55%
25%
90%
60%
25%
95%
50%
20%
95%

20%
60%
10%
30%
65%
10%
40%
70%
55%
45%
75%
10%
40%
75%
5%
50%
80%
5%

6-7
6-8
4-5
6 -8
7-9
4 -6
7 -9
8-9
4 -6
7-1 0
8 -1 0
4 -6
7-8
8 -1 0
5-6
8 -1 0
8-11
4-6

3-4
7
3
8
-

2
5
-

1
6
-

2
5
-

1
3
-

A n ev aluation system o f six m arks, showing the volum e, d eterm in es the degree of
orientation regarding dev elo p m en t o f physical qualities, technical qualities, tactical q u a
lities, m oral an d volative stability, an d th eo retic p re p a ra tio n (days o f w ork, n u m b e r of
trainings, w o rk load for strength).
V . Stan d ard s o f control
Physical p rep ara tio n (see table n o 14)
Technical p re p a ra tio n (see table no 15)

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Table 14
P hysical preparation - S ta ndardized n orm s
Steps (exercises)

1985

1986

1987

1988
85.0 kg

1. Lifting

70.0 kg

77.5 kg

82.5 kg

2. T hrow ing

80 kg

95 kg

105 kg

110 kg

3. Squats

15 times

25 times

35 times

40 times

4. R u n n in g fo r 100 m

13 sec

12.6 sec

12.4 sec

12.2 sec

4.3 sec

4.2 sec

4.1 sec

4.0 sec

6. R u n n in g for 1,500 m

5.2 min

5.05 min

4.57 min

4.52 min

7. L ong ju m p

4.85 m

5 .1 5 m

5.30 m

5.40 m

8. T hrow in g o f d u m m y in
o n e m inute

15 times

17 times

20 times

20 times

9. Falling into the bridge


in 30 sec

14 times

17 times

18 times

20 times

5. R u n n in g fo r 30 m

Table 15
Technical preparation
L earn ed
techniques

Principal w eaknesses
in technique

Tasks to be controled and


p erfected

Lifting in the
d ouble leg lock

a) position o n 2 knees

a) to study the mill


(crotcklift)

b) does n o t k e e p th e h ead
parallel to o p p o n e n ts
body

b) m ust perfect the body


hold from b o th sides in
the bridge position

c ) .....................

c ) .................

O th e r aspects included in p re p a ra tio n (by th e y ear) are p la n n e d according to simi


lar diagrams.
T h e stan d ard s o f c o ntrol in th e p re p a ra tio n o f te ch n iq u e also establishes the n u m
ber o f holds, co u n ter-attac k s, a n d technico-tactical blocks which m ust be learned.
V I. Study an d w ork possibilities
T his section gives edu catio n al institutions, courses, evening courses at universities,
etc., which th e co m p etito rs m ay a tte n d an d c o m p lete. It is also taking p a rt in planning
for im p ro v em en t, qualifications for w ork a n d self-instruction.
V II. E d u catio n and medical control
T h e type an d o rganization o f c u rre n t planning have b e e n established, as well as
planning o f a m edical c o n tro l system a n d m easu res to insure hygienic habits for the
athletes.
11.2. ANNUAL PLANNING
T h e system for an n u a l planning o f the p re p a ra tio n of w restlers is not the sam e in
various countries. T h e m ost obvious similarities are:

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

1. Planning by a nnual o r sem estrial training cycles (according to the classic dia
gram ) co m p o sed o f th re e periods: p re p a ra tio n , co m p etition, and transition. In som e in
stances, the transition p eriod is not p lan n e d b e tw e en tw o cycles,
2. A n n u al planning by dividing th e y ear into training cycles according to the n u m
ber an d type o f com petitions,
3. A n n u al planning by com bining th e com p etitio n periods with the training cycles
(according to com petitions).
F o r planning the p rep aratio n o f B ulgarian w restlers w ho are to p -ra n k e d , we use
the th ree p erio d d iag ram , by organizing p re p a ra to ry p erio d com petitions with o p p o
nents of a m ed iu m strength w ith o u t special p re p a ratio n (figure 18). A long stretch of
c om petitions and specialized training for a large n u m b e r of com petitions destroys long
term training an d lowers the w re stle rs possibilities for a principal com petition. T w o a n
nual cycles m ust th en be p lan n ed with the em phasis on the p re p a ra to ry period. E ach p e
riod is m ad e up o f sep arate tasks an d specific contents.
T h e essential tasks during the course o f th e p re p a ra to ry p eriod are to p re p a re the
w restler for all aspects o f the p erio d o f c o m petition. T h e length of the p re p a ra to ry p e
riod varies from 4 to 6 w eeks (for the year) an d d e p e n d s on the age, p re p a ra tio n of the
com p etito r, an d the ath le te schedule. This p erio d also generally includes tw o stages:
1. A gen eral p re p a ra to ry stage - d o m in a te d by general physical p rep a ra to ry , volu
me, and training sessions, which are o f a longer length. T h e study and m astery of new
techniques plays has an im p o rta n t place in the w ork. T h re e types of mesocycles are
p lann ed during this stage:
a. an intro d u cto ry mesocycle - ch aracterized by a gradual and regular increase in
the training load,
b. a chock mesocycle, which is distinguished by a significant increase in the load,
c. a stabilization mesocycle - which ensures th e consolidation an d increase o f the
functional an d technico-tactical capacity for w ork.
2. Special p re p a ra to ry stage - which has an increase n u m b e r o f special training ses
sions and an increase in the intensity o f th e load. Planning can be d o n e for com petitions
of a light o r m edium intensity w ithout disturbing th e rythm of p rep aratio n . In Soviet
wrestling literatu re, this stage is m ad e up o f two mesocycles:
T h e tasks set o u t for the com p etitio n p erio d are the following: to raise the level of
physical qualities, im prove th e stability of m oral and will p o w er, to pursue perfectioning
of technique and tactics, to p re p a re and have the c o m petitors participate in c o m p eti
tions. T h e com p etitio n p eriod lasts from 6 to 8 m onths. Since athletic form can not be
m aintain ed for a long time at a high level, the co m p etition p eriod is subdivided into m e
socycles (according to th e n u m b e r an d type o f large com petitions).
E ach mesocycle is th en divided into th ree stages com p o sed of from 1 to 6 to 7 m e
socycles (see table 16).
Table 16
E xam ple o f division o f m esocycles

L ength o f stages

D u ratio n o f cycle
in days

p re p a ratio n

co m petition

pre-com petition

28
35
42

7
11

25
25
28

3
3
3

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

L e n g th of stages

D u ra tio n o f cycle
in days

p re p a ra tio n

com petition

pre-com petition

49
56
63
70

16
21
21
28

28
30
35
35

5
5
7
7

W e have also succeed ed in uniting th e tw o m o st a d vanced planning systems (by p e


riods an d cycles o f com petitions).
T asks in the p re p a ra to ry stage are:
a) multiple ways o f increasing physical p re p a ra tio n
b) co rrectio n of faults b ro u g h t o u t in previous com petition and m astering of
technique a n d tactics
c) increasing psychological stability
d) b ro u g h ten in g th e gen e ra l an d special th eo retical prep aratio n .
A special p rep a ra tio n is p ractised d uring th e course of the co m petition stage,
which is su b o rd in ate to the re q u irem e n ts o f a particu lar com petition. It is m ad e up of
participation as well as a technico-tactical analysis o f the com petition.
T h e stage following th e com p etitio n (from 3 to 10 days) is reserved for the active
rest.
T h e length o f the various stages d ep en d s on th e type o f com petitions, the intensity
o f p re p a ra tio n , the size o f th e training cycle, etc. T h e com petition stage for large inter
national com p etitio n s is stretch e d o u t, as a rule, over 35 to 45 days.
D u rin g th e transition p erio d , th e n u m b e r o f trainings and intensity of the load is
gradually red u ced . A significant decrease in th e load has an unfavorable effect on the
body an d o n future p re p a ra tio n .
T h e an n u al training a n d study plan for a tea m , group o r c o m p etito r is developed
according to the following d iagram used as a model:
1. O b ject o f p re p a ra tio n - is d efined as general tasks for ranking during the year,
2. P resen t tren d s in th e evolution o f wrestling. W e start with characteristics in the
c u rre n t d ev elo p m en t o f wrestling a n d capabilities o f eventual o p p o n en ts,
3. Analysis o f p re p a ra tio n d uring th e past year. T h e objective of the analysis is to
include all aspects o f p re p a ra tio n (with as m uch q u antitative d a ta as possible). T h e
starting level o f the c o m p e tito r o r te a m is established,
4. P rep aratio n tasks. T h ese are defined according to start up objectives and ca p a
bilities. T h e p u rp o se o f the training for th e various aspects of p re p a ra tio n , the m eans
and m eth o d s o f training are d ecide d,
5. T h e team is selected. W e display the list o f a n u m b e r of com petitors and the
principles w ho p resid ed in th e choice for com petitions,
6. P articipation in com petitions. W e clear u p the com petitions schedule,
7. T raining loads. W e establish the v o lu m e, intensity, and type of load (days of
training, rest, an d of com p etitio n , the a m o u n t o f training, the hours o f training, m a t
ches, loads lifted, kilom eters),
8. T h e course of training, th e stru ctu re an d length of cycles and the dynamism of
training loads by a n n u a l, sem i-annual cycle, p eriods, mesocycles, stages, etc. are
show n,
9. P rep aratio n planning. A diagram on the p rep arative techniques is used to show
the parts o f the various aspects of p re p a ra tio n , the dynamics of volum e and intensity,
and p articipation in c om petitions a n d c o ntrol o f p re p aratio n ,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

GENERAL
VOLUME

V O l. l 'M !

IN TEN SITY

TEC H N IC A L
PR EPAR ATION

CO M PETI
TIO N S

VI

M ONTHS

XII

STAGES

GENERAL
PR EPAR ATION

P E R IO D S

VII

VIII

S P E C IA L
PR EPAR ATION
CO M PETITION

PREPA R A TIO N

Figure 18

TRANSITION

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

10. M eth o d s, m ean s, and d ates regarding educational control, medico-biological,


and self-control are plan n ed . W e also record all q uestions on the scientific control of the
recovery system,
11. W o rk regarding d ev e lo p m e n t o f athletes,
12. O rg an izatio n and essential e q u ip m en t for p reparation.

11.3.

OPERATIONAL PLANNING

W o rk plans which are generally d ev elo p e d for a training p eriod, a stage, a mesocycle, o r for p rep aratio n for a specific co m p etitio n , m ake up the m ain type of o p e ra tio
nal planning. T h e following form is used the most o ften (see table 17).
D uring the p re p a ra to ry p erio d an d during p rep a ra tio n o f bilateral m eetings, we
use the cycles o f a training w eek (see table 18 a n d 19.)
Table 17

a .
.
a n d ti m e o f th e t r a i n i n g
6
sessions

M ain o rie n ta tio n o f


.
th e t r a i n i n g s e s s io n

C o n te n ts o f stu dy a n d
. . .
,
training w o rk
b

L o a d s a n d n otes
. . .
on m eth o d s

1.
2.

3.

Table 18

SC P

TTP
GPP
GPP

Transition period
School-boys
C adets
Juniors

GPP
-

Legend:

GPP

GPP
SCP

GPP
TTP
GPP

TTP

bath -sau n a
bath-sauna
bath-sauna

SCP
SCP

GPP
GPP
GPP

TPP
TPP

SCP
TPP
SCP

b ath-sauna
b ath-sauna
b ath-sauna

TTP
TTP

GPP
GPP
GPP

GPP

tourism
tourism
tourism

TTP
-

GPP
-

GPP

G P P = general physical p re p a ra tio n


T T P = tech n ic o -ta c tic al p re p a ra tio n
S C P = sp ecia l com plex p re p a ra tio n

Sunday.

C om petition period
School-boys
C adets
Juniors

Saturday

TTP
TTP

Friday

Tuesday

GPP
GPP
GPP

Preparation period
School-boys
C adets
Juniors

Thursday

Monday

P eriod of
prep a ratio n
by age

Wednesday

E xa m p les o f chart on w eekly cycle f o r school-boys, cadets and juniors

M onday

T uesday

W ednesday

T hursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1st step

TTP
(m ed iu m )

GPP
(heavy)

TTP
(m edium )

GPP
(small)

TTP
(heavy)

GPP
(m edium )

bath-sauna
massage rest

2nd stage

TTP
(m edium )

GPP
(m edium )

SCP
(heavy)

GPP
(small)

TTP
(heavy)

GPP
(m edium )

bath-sauna
massage rest

P re p arato ry stage

SC P
(heavy)

GPP
(m edium )

TTP
(m edium )

GPP
(m edium )

SCP
(heavy)

GPP
(m edium )

bath-sauna
rest

C om p etitio n stage

SCP
(heavy)

TTP
(m edium )

SCP
(heavy)

GPP
(m edium )

SCP
(small)

rest

com petition

rest

GPP
(small)

GPP
(m edium )

TTP
(small)

GPP
(m edium )

TTP
(heavy)

b ath-sauna
rest

Periods, steps and stages

P rep aratio n p eriod

T ransition p eriod

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Table 19

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T raining cycles o f tw o w eeks are used for p re p a ra tio n for to u r n a m e n t com petitions
(see table 29). T h e type o f p re p a ra tio n for to u rn a m e n ts is close to that o f p reparation
for com petitions. T h e training includes several m atches held consecutively (2 to 4) with
an increased w orkload.
M atches held at th e e n d o f to u rn a m e n ts with fatigue accum ulated from previous
m atch es, constitute a su p p le m e n ta ry load for the body which is close to that of co m p e ti
tion.
T o recu p eratc we give an active rest o f two to th ree days following the match:

Table 20
E xa m p le o f a m o d e l o f a training cycle o f tw o w eeks f o r a turnam ent

_
D

M on d ay
T uesday
W edn esd ay
T hursd ay
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

T > pr of training
T ype of training
for th e 1st w eek
for the 2nd week
__________________________________________________________
m o rning
afte rn o o n
m orning
afternoon
rest
TTP
theory
GPP
TTP
SCP

rest
GPP
SCP

rest, b ath-sauna

rest
GPP
TTP

GPP
SCP
GPP
SCP

SCP
SC P (two matches)

SCP
SCP

T h e m aterial show n in the tables should not be considered com pulsory. D e v e lo p


m ent o f a weekly cycle is strictly individual and d e p e n d s on the p rep aratio n of com peti
tors, the p erio d o f p re p a ra tio n and individual characteristics of the w restler.
T h e following basic re q u irem e n ts are req u ired for the p rep aratio n of a w ork plan:
1. F o r bilateral m eetings, m atches held every tw o days, the day before the co m p e
tition to coincide with the special training day,
2. A s the com p etitio n a p p ro a c h e s, the length o f the wrestling decreases up until
the limit set by the rules,
3. T h e m atch to be held at th e time of the com petition,
4. If th e m atch is held in the a fte rn o o n , co m p etitors rest in the m orning to have the
strength and the desire to carry on the m atch with the m axim um intensity. F or the top
w restlers, training with a red u ced load is carried out in the m orning,
5. D ays w ithout a m o rning training session o r m orning gymnastics becom e m icro
training sessions (lasting fromi 35 to 50 m in u tes),
6. D u rin g the course o f m atches in tu rn a m e n ts, the w eek is m ade up of an increa
sed training load starte d a b o u t 14 days b efo re the com petition,
7. D u rin g the last 10 to 12 days b efore the c o m p etition, the training load is d e c re a
sed an d is m ain tain ed at the level re q u ire d to m aintain only the level of training,
8. R egulation o f training for tu rn a m e n t m atches is in accordance with training for
com petitio n ,
9. Including general physical p re p a ra tio n training during the com petition stage
m aintains the degree o f training an d relaxes the central nervous system,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

10. Special physical p re p a ra tio n training should be held the day before general
physical p rep a ra tio n training,
11. A co m p lete rest b efore a co m petition is not advisable. A light training session
is held the day before the com p etitio n ,
12. A s the com p etitio n n ears, th e v olum e o f general m eans is red u ced , how ever if
intensity is increased, it is d o n e to th e d e trim e n t to the d u ratio n of the m atches.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

12 .

CONTROL OF PREPARATION
FOR THE WRESTLER

12.1 CONTROL AND REVIEW OF PREPARATION


T h e control an d review o f the w ork in training in necessary to d eterm in e efficiency
o f plans an d th eir realization. This can b e te rm e d f e e d b a c k , which gives th e in form a
tion necessary to correct w eak nesses in planning an d in th e progress o f training.
By reviewing the various plans we can co m p a re th e various points tha t w ere p lan ned
an d realized, b u t is also a way o f discovering w eaknesses a n d m erits o f th e training p ro
cess.
In o rd e r to m an ag e th e training process, an d from h e re , th e functional, technicotactical, an d psychological d e v e lo p m e n t o f a w restler, objective in form atio n becom es
necessary to d e term in e his state, changes which occur following a new w o rk load re g a r
ding ch a ra cter, v o lu m e, a n d intensity. F o r th e re q u ire d tim e, control m ay be by stages
an d be continuous.
G ives th a t th e h e ad coach is the m ain figure in th e planning process an d in p r e p a r a
tion, we lean tow ards th e reciprocial relationship o f in fo rm atio n according to th e coachc o m p etito r diagram .
T h e athletic tra in er receives p relim inary, co n tin uo u s and occasional inform ations
on the results of the training process.
T h e a th lete for his p a rt receives info rm atio n o n th e c o ac h s p ro g ra m , from the
re ferre e an d from his own concep tio ns, in form atio n on him self, on his o p p o n e n t, and
o n conditions related to his activities as well as corrective in form atio n; u n re la te d infor
m atio n com ing from signals which are n o t co n n ec te d to his im m ed iate activities but
which m ay have a negative influence.
In fo rm a tio n from th e p ro g ra m an d info rm atio n fro m th e planning process as well
as corrective in form atio n assures accurate realization o f th e plans.
T h e s p o r ts train er an d th e c o m p etito r can d ev elo p a pre p a ra tio n p ro g ra m to g eth er
(figure 19). T h e plan for each training session is m ade up o f o n e logical unit of th e p r e
p aratio n p ro g ra m . T h e re fo r e , in th e beginning (a) (th ro u g h channels a and a,) passes on
in form atio n o f th e p rog ram . W e know the plan is g eneral, info rm atio n going through
th e tw o channels is not a d e q u a te as it carries the trad es o f the p ersonal conceptions of
th e tra in e r and o f the c o m p e tito r ( a = a , ) . W h e n physical exercices are carried out,
changes occurring in the ath lete, fatigue, pain, feeling o f satisfaction insecurity, etc.)
(b). T h e inverse relationship o f these changes influences th e ultim ate progress o f trai
ning. T h e athletics tra in er receives info rm ation on the progress o f training an d on the
state of the ath lete by channel j, a n d the a th lete by channel j,. R e q u ire d corrections
are carried o u t by the tra in e r th ro ug h block R while the athlete uses self-regulation

O p p o n en ts

S ocial f a c to r s

System o f
p rep aratio n

E c o n o m i c f a c to r s

O b je ctiv es

M o tiv atio n

T raditions

C haracteristics
o f co n tro l
A n a ly s is
A p p raisal
C orrections
P lan n in g
T a c tic s s e t o u t
in t h e p l a n

A th le tic tra in e r

W restler

I---------T r a i n i n g s e s s io n

C h a n g e s in t h e b o d y ,
conduct, and m o to r
activ itie s

C u m u l a t i v e e ffe c t

_ J

P s y c h o lo g ic a l

C o n tro l

A thletic
tra in er
O bservations-tests-research-com petitions

Figure 19

M ed ico b io lo g ic a l

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

th ro u g h block R], Block R reflects blocks (troubles, obstacles) to functioning o f the sy


stem. A u to m a tio n o f the feedback by using v ideotapes, p u lso m eters, te n sio n m e ter
plate-form es, electrom y o gram s, and o th e r m o d ern exam in ation of observ atio n m achine
increasing the accuracy of inform ation. T h e changes in the body continue by m ea ns o f
an accum ulation o f functional an d psychological p otentials know n as the cumulative
effect C.
T h e level o f the d egree o f training o b tain ed is m e a s u re d th ro u g h m ean s o f e d u
cational, medical-biological, and psychological exam in ation s, thro u gh com pletion of
the stan d ards o f control and participation in com petitions. T h e inverse relationship
(K an d K,) carries inform ation from th e start until it is analyzed an d c o m p a red with the
stand ard s o f the plan. A fte r a co m p lete in te rp re tatio n , corrections o r new plans are d e
veloped.
12.2 EVALUATION OF THE LOAD FOR WRESTLING
T h ro u g h o u t the course o f his w o rk , the train er co m p are s th e value o f the load cal
led for in the plan an d those which are realized (by volum e intensity, types of
m ethods used, m ethods of application). T h e outside load is expressed by the numeric va
lues o f the volum e and th e intensity; th e inside load, by physiological signs.
In practice, Soviet wrestlers use a c om b in ed m e th o d to define the load through
the following formula:
C C = E ,ja b s .
w here C C indicates th e c o m b in ed load (expressed in conventional units); an d the total
time o f work d o n e (outside load); jab s - the absolute intensity o f the w o rk (inside load
expressed in conv en tio n al units a n d c orresp on d in g to the pulsory). As the c om bined
load is defined as the result of the w orking time carried o u t according to the co n v en tio
nal units c o rre spo n d in g to h e a rt rate ( H R ) . If a fter th ree m inutes a w restler shows a rate
o f 150 b ea ts a m in u te, th at is 4 points, th e co m b in ed load will also be
C C = 3 x 4 = 1 2 conventional units.
A fte r a th re e m in u te w o rk o u t in wrestling according to the m od el, the pulse rate
increases as follows:
while perfecting tech niq ue - 150 to 160 beats/m inute
during study an d training m atches - 174 to 180 beats/m in u te
during a m atch w h ere th e re is a change o f p a rtn e r - 192 to 196 beats/m inute
T o control th e intensity o f the load refe rred to th e skill on the following table
(see table 21).
Table 21

Points

HR
(beats 10 s)

HR
(beats m)

M axim um (anaerobic-glycolitic)

8
7

32
30-36

192
180-186

High (aerobic) - anaerobic

6
5

2 8 -2 9
2 6 -2 7

168-174
156-162

Intensity

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Intensity

Points

HR
(beats 10 s)

HR
(beats m)

M edium
(aerobic)

4
3

2 4 -2 5
2 2 -2 3

144-150
132-138

Low

2
1

20-21
18-19

120-126
108-114

T he m ax im u m load used for com petition begins to fall within the range o f 300 to
500 conventional units. F or to u rn a m e n t m atches, the load should be increased during
training (3 to 4 days) in the are a o f 150 to 280 conventional units.
T h e international load (for training p u rposes) is d ete rm in e d by the curve of beats,
the blood p ressure, biochemical indications, etc. This d ata must be c o m p a re d with the
o utw ard signs of fatigue.

12.3 CONTROL OF TECHNICO-TACTICAL PREPARATION


IN WRESTLING
Biom echanical and biodynam ic studies are carried o u t in wrestling m ost often by
using ph oto s, films, and video. Instant ph oto s an d strobic ph o to g ra p h y are very efficient
for this p urpose. T h e cinecyclographic m e th o d may be used for the d e v e lo p m e n t of
cinegrams.
T h e tensiom etric d y n a m o m e te r gives a rep rese n tatio n o f the changes in effort
taking place during m o v em e n t (m axim um strength, g rad ien t, etc.). T ensio g ram s of
holds which are relatively co n stan t in their execu tio n, discern the p a ra m e te r s o f speed
a nd strength at a high value for efficient evaluation o f the execution. T h e tests are
synchronized with the cinegram s and the electrom iographic test on m uscular effort. T h e
tests are taken using tensiom etric plate-forms of several sizes. A reading above the back
o f co m p etito r D im itar Ivanov shows a considerable difference in effort on the tran sv er
sal plan (the margin of difference o f C 0= 4 5 kilos). A com p arative analysis shows a si
m ultaneity o f the dynamics o f effort on the vertical ( A 0 an d A ,) and on the horizontal
(,,) (figure 20). A provisional characteristic of the d ifferent phases shows a slackening
to rsio n - 0.39 s, a good chasse - 0.2 s, the time to obtain the m ax im um strength
(F = 1 5 0 kilos) is only 0.13 s. T h e strength effort on the horizontal are analogious to the
action of strength o n the vertical. T h e curve on the axis C 0 characterizes the stability o f
the w restler o n th e left (F max= 1 6 kgf a n d to the right F max= 2 9 kgf).
A ccelerom etric test can be used to define the acceleration o f the d ifferent p arts of
the body during execution of holds. T hese tests can be used to plan the individual
training plan for explosive s tre n g th .
T h e re are m any machines for testing technico-tactical m o v e m en ts for situations
on the model. U sing a mobile circular p late-form , we can study the time to m ak e a
throw , the time for a technico-tactical solution, o rien tation on the edge o f the m at, and
state of equilibrium analysis.
F o r studying wrestling tactics, we show th e various situations w here they are
required. C o m p e tito rs are req u ired to react quickly and in a m a n n e r suitable for a
situation.
a)
R ecording o f technico-tactics during wrestling. It is especially im p o rta n t to regi
ster and analyze the technique used while wrestling during training an d com petition. In

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 20

V e r tic a l
com ponent

0 ,20

0 ,18

t= 1,41

0,11 0,13

o f effort
I
S e c o n d v e rtic a l
com ponent V

Fmi=35 kg

o f effort

150 kg
H o rizo n tal
com ponent
of effort

F=3 kg

Fmax=23 kg
Fm.x= 16 kg

Transversal
com ponent
o f effort

Fm=29 kg
W eig h t on
th e b a ck
w h ile p iv o tin g

S te p
ba ck
w a rd s

C ast o v e r and
co n tact
w ith t h e g r o u n d

F in a l
e ffo r t

this way, we can objectively study the frequency with which holds are used, the relation
ship betw een the positions a nd the referees position on the m at, the technical ch arac te
ristics o f te am s and co m p etito rs, efficiency o f the fall .
V arious form ulas are used for evaluating data:

G e n e ra l efficiency ( G E ) =

Efficicncy points (E P )

n u m b e r of holds (H )
n u m b e r o f m atches (M )
n u m b e r o f points (Pts)
n u m b e r of holds (H )

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

n u m b e r o f falls (F)
N et efficiency (N E ) = -----------------------------------n u m b e r of holds (H )
T h e following formulas give the efficiency o f specific holds:
H.

n u m b e r o f points (Pts)
n u m b e r o f m atches (C )

Ejvj n u m b e r of falls (F)


n u m b e r o f holds (H )
T h e activity of th e w restler is defined as follows:
. .

A ttem p t (A ) + Holds a ttem p ted (H)

Ct' Vlty

time (t)

A ccording to these and o th e r similar form ulas, we can d e te rm in e o th e r types of


inform ation: the n u m b e r an d type o f hold a tte m p te d , warnings, n u m b e r o f leaves off
th e m at, the n u m b e r of victories, losses, and m eetings, the victories by points and with
falls .
b) Technical-tactical analysis. T h ese are held a fter each c om p etition , after a good
training session o r following a w eek of training,
c) Verification o f the tactical plan. B efore com petitions an d training, the sp o r ts
train er requires th at th e w restler outline the stru ctu re, an d if necessary, the details of his
tactical plan,
d) Verification of theoretic know ledge,
e) Visual verification o f know ledge, aptitudes, a n d tactical habits. This type o f ve
rification can be carried o ut during special training sessions as a control exam inatio n or
by observation o f training of th e m at,
f) C ontrol of goals in th e tactical plan. T h e sp o r ts tra ine r co m p are s the tactical
plan to execution during a m atch,
g) O b serv ation an d analysis o f o th e r wrestlers in a match,
h) K eeping o f a jo u rn a l an d periodic entries.

12.4

TACTICAL CONTROL STANDARDS

a) D e v e lo p m e n t, com p ariso n, an d discussion o f tactical plans with o th e r m em bers


o f the team ;
b) D e v e lo p m e n t of a tactical plan for u n k no w n an d know n o p p o n e n ts ;
c) D e v e lo p m e n t o f a tactical plan to win by falling , at an o p p o rtu n e m o m e n t o r
at som e o th e r o p p o rtu n e time;
d) D e v e lo p m e n t o f a tactical plan against a w restler who is stronger, faster, m ore
souple, m o re resistant, audacious, technical, good at gro u n d wrestling, etc.;
e) D e v e lo p m e n t o f a tactical plan for wrestling in a ro o m , in th e o p en air, on a
small m at, etc.
f) D e v elo p m e n t o f study plans on the various op p o n e n ts;
g) A p titu d e for applying th e various tactical m etho d s;
h) A n ap titu d e for deciphering a co m p e tito rs plan through observation while trai
ning o r during a com petition;
i) A p titu d e for using the various elem ents o f a tactical attack;

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

j) A p titu d e for p roperly using strength an d to assimilate the m eth o d s of attack,


co u n ter-attac k , an p arad e s in wrestling;
k) A p titu d e to win by falling ;
1) Ability to benefit from the rules of the com petition;
m ) Ability to realize w hen points have b een scored during training and co m p eti
tion;
n) Ability to profit from the faults o f the o p p o n e n t;
o) Ability to regulate rythm ;
p) Ability to use the surface of the m at;
q) Ability to apply the tactical plan o f the trainer;
r) Solutions fo r theoretical tactical tasks.

12.5 CONTROL OF PHYSICAL AND FUNCTIONAL PREPARATION IN


WRESTLING
T h e control o f physical p re p a ra tio n is linked to th e observ atio n o f physical d eve
lo p m en t in wrestlers. M easuring o f biceps an d th e chest, etc. to evaluate th e d ev elo p
m e n t of professional w restler was used in th e last centuries.
A thletic a n d m orphological studies em phasize th e strict relationship b etw een a n a
tom ical-m orphological clues an d the choice o f technique used. A n th ro p o m e tric al indi
cations increase with higher categories, b u t we rarely see cases w here the indications h a
ve b e en lo w ered in related categories. W e m ust regularly control th e weight o f wrestlers
an d the quantity o f substantial bo d y fat.
U sing sta n d ard s o f control m ak e s th e m e th o d m o re accessible. F o r control of
s treng th , we m ay use various weightlifting positions (clean and je rk with b en d) with
s ta n d a rd w eights (to get an exact m e a s u re m e n t o f the strength o f resistance - with ex er
cises u p to th e satu ratio n p o in t). P u sh-ups, chin-ups, an d weight-lifting, can also been
used.
T ests have b een held to d ete rm in e the m ax im um an d absolute strength of various
muscles an d the changes occurring in strength and the tim e it ta ke s to reach m axim um
form (strength g rad ient). In e rtia d y n a m o m e te rs can be u sed to study th e m uscular ra
te o f w ork close to an actual activity. Speed a nd strength resistance is m easu red
th ro u g h t technical-tactical m ovem ents.
C o n trol sta n d ard s regarding a start-u p sp e ed , running for 30, 40 an d 100 m eters,
m easuring reaction sp eed , sp eed with which holds are ex ecuted , th e n u m b e r of throw s,
a fall in the bridge position fo r o n e unit o f time a n d skipping from o n e minute.
T h e flexibility o f a w restler is m e a s u red using a n u m b e r of m achines used for cine
m a to g rap h y , X rays, p h o to g ra p h y , g o n iom etry , an d others. M easu res for th e b ridg e
in wrestling are th e m ost im p o rtan t. T hey are d o n e with th e simple m e a s u re m e n t of the
h eight o f the bridge an d th e distance b etw e en th e back o f th e h ead an d w here the feet
a re o n th e g ro u nd . T o follow changes in th e shape o f th e bridge, we use, in Bulgaria,
p h o to g ra p h y o n a sq u are d base. T o d e te rm in e th e centre of gravity, we ta ke a synchro
nous m e a s u re m e n t of th e force the weight, h e ad , and th e legs using tensionm etric plateforms. W ith th ese tests, we can follow th e dynamics o f flexibility an d define the best
b ridge position for each w restler (figure 21).
Flexibility is studied th ro u g h acrobatic and gymnastics exercises, high jum ping,
an d com plicated technical m o v e m en ts, etc. T h e study o f th e stability o f balance and
m uscular an d tactile sensitivity is directly linkes to the study of flexibility.
T h e resistance o f th e w restler is tested using control stan d ards while exercises are
re p e a te d u p to th e saturatio n point o r while running from a long period which would be

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 21
close to th at o f a m atch. M ost often the w restler will run 2 x 3 m inutes - 6 m inutes for
1,500 and 3,000 m eters and run 2 x 8 0 0 m eters, etc.
Tests for m easu rin g the functional condition provide a lot o f valuable in fo rm a
tions. S piroergom etric tests carried o ut on th e basis o f a physical load are m ea su re d
using a veloergograph. F o r this purp ose, th e re are gas analysers o f th e type H o ld e n or
M icro -S cho land er , to special spirolite m achines, G o d d a r d " m eta b o te s t, E g g e r ergopulm o test, etc. W e can th e n accurately establish the m ax im u m use o f oxygen - V 0 2
max/kg, th a t is the capacity o f the bo d y to provide a m axim u m a m o u n t of oxygen for a
unit of time. This is also called the aerobic capacity, aerobic strength o r aerobic
. .
_
,
V 0 2 max, . . .
,
V 0 2 max,
=
outproductivity. T h e m axim um oxygen p u l s e --------------- the relative p u l s e
pulse
pulse kg
p ut, etc. D u e to th e non linear d e p en d e n ce b etw een weight an d V 0 2 m ax, we have d e
v eloped a counter-balancing equivalence.
E lec troc a rd io g ra ph tests give th e dynam ic an d the d eg ree o f th e functional work
capacity o f the h e a rt a n d if th ey are any changes d u e to disease. W e test th e rythm , the
h e art rate, length d u ra tio n o f th e h e a rts ventrical conductivity, electrical systole, ch a
racteristics o f elec trocardiograph points (P, Q , R , S, etc.).
Labile tests o n the neuro -m u scu lar system (th ro u g h electrical stim ulation) are
mainly used for complex functional research. By following labile changes, we obtain
com plete inform ation o n the tolerance o f a physical load, on th e deg ree o f recovery (Ti
tov, R. Kossev). T ests o n the latent time o f tend in o u s reflexes show changes occurring
in the n e u ro -m o to r system o f wrestlers following specific loads. Electrom iographical
tests em phasize a decrease in the electrical activity of muscles parallel to an increase in
th e a m o u n t o f training.
In practice, a biochemical diagnosis is widely used for analysis o f th e functional
condition, the reaction o f th e body to a physical load, a nd on th e recovery process. A n
analysis is carried o u t o n the acid-base balance in the blood an d in p articular ac cu m u la
tion o f m etabolic acids as well as the state o f the b uffer system o f bicarb on ates. Lactic
acid in the blood is m ost often m e a s u re d th rou g h spectrocalorim eters. C h an ges in the
level o f lactic acid in the blood d e p e n d o n the intensity o f the load an d the level o f the
b o d y s functional ability. A n exam in atio n is also m a d e for u re a in the blood in o r d e r to
follow the recovery process.
T h e relationship b etw een th e w ork capacity an d hypoxic stability of the body is
theoretically p roven. Tests for tolerance o f insufficient oxygen are b ased on reactions of
the body while b reath in g a m ixture o f gases with red u c ed a m o u n t o f oxygen. In this

Freestyle and Greco-Rornan Wrestling

way, we can simulate high altitude conditions th ro u g h tests co rresp o n d in g to 7,000 m e


ters at rest an d to 5,000 m eters while w orking by essentially following the d ecrease of
o xyhem oglobine in th e blood.
T o define th e general functional c ondition several tests m ay b e used b ased on the
reaction o f th e cardio-vascular system, d e term in atio n o f the capacity of th e h e a rt by mi
n u tes an d intervals, h e art rate, the H a rv a rd step test, the co m b in e d functional test of
L etu n o v , the F lekk test F lekk test a n d the o rtho static test.
T h e deg ree o f special training is ev a lu a ted using tests d o n e a fte r m e as u red loads of
the type used in wrestling.
Specific functional tests (from V. A. G esselevitch) are tw o series of throw s d o n e by
a w restler with a th ro w -d u m m y above the chest (flexibility) for 30 seconds. C om p lete
throw s a re carried o u t and the n u m b e rs co m p leted are reco rd ed . A fte r the first p a rt of
the test, the pulse an d b loo d p ressure is m ea s u re d during the 3 m in ute recovery period.
T h e second p art o f th e test an d the tests which follow are identical. W e th e n p ro c ee d by
co m p arin g the n u m b e r o f throw s which w ere correctly d o n e with the d a ta o n the reac
tions o f the cardio-vascular system. A modified test is used for throws d o n e in a 20 se
co nd time.
A specific test for free style wrestling was established by R. P etrov a nd by D r. M.
M arinov. This is w h ere th e c o m p e tito r b rea k s into the legs o f a p a rtn e r in the sam e
category using tw o steps, th e n lifts him u p until his body is straight out. T his m o v em e n t
is d o n e 20 times p e r m in ute. T h e pulse a n d b loo d p ressure is tested fo r 4 minutes. T h e
load and follow-up o f recovery is re p e a te d tw o m o re times.

12.6 PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTROL


C o n tro l o f the psychological state is particularly im p o rta n t b efo re and during c o m
petitio n , so th a t u n fav ou rab le psychological conditions m ay b e c orrected . It is difficult
to tu rn to com p licated m e th o d s an d systems during com petitions. In this case, the o b
servation m e th o d , discussions, interviews, tests form s, as well as p o rta b le systems (trem o m e te rs, m achines to test the cutano-galvanic re actio n , d y n a m o m e te rs, taping tests,
etc.) are the most ap p ro p ria te .
T h e psycho-diagnostic control o f the psychological process and th e spiritual quali
ties an d conditions is d on e to establish th eir condition as well as to follow the dynamics
o f various psychological p a ra m e te r s during a w ork load an d during recovery.
W idely used m achines for controling m o to r-rea ction - simple an d com plex - motor-sensitivity a n d range of m o v e m e n t, include re ac to m e te rs, cin e m a m eters, dynam og raphs tr e m o m e te rs a nd o th e r various structural devices. T he various characteristics
o f a tte n tio n , m em o ry a nd thinking, as well as e m otion al state a re tested by first establis
hing the Schoultze form ulas b efore using com plicated electronic m achinery such as
m n em o p erce p tio sc o p s, polyphysiographs, etc.
V ario u s tests allow for th e study o f th e personality o f an athlete regarding his
choice, training, a n d d e v e lo pm e n t. W e apply changes show n in tests such as M A T ,
A I S E N K , I P A T , the test with 16 factors C A T T E L , projective tests, p o lar profi
les and psychobiographic m ethods.
In m o d e rn sp ort, p articular atte n tio n is given to studying an a th le te s m otivation
a nd his psycho-physiological reactions u n d e r ex tre m e conditions. C reatin g m o d eled si
tuations help th e study o f reactions to stress by sy nchronously registering different p a r a
m eters: the pulse, electro -card io g ram , ele c tro -en c ep h a lo g ra m , galvanic skin reaction,
p le th y sm o grap h , skin te m p e ra tu re , ho rm o n al m etab o lites, gesticulations an d b eh av io u r
and changes in the pitch o f the voice.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

12.7 MEDICAL CONTROL


T h e health of an athlete is of p rim ary im po rtan ce for high level p erfo rm a n ce s in
work and sports. Medical controls are usually carried o u t periodically an d b efo re co m
petitions. B efore a training session, a th o ro u g h medical exam ination must be given
especially o n the cardio-vascular system, lum b ar v erteb ra, m o to r d ev e lo p m e n t an d arti
culations, and the presence o f infections. T h e athlete must as well go th ro ug h antidrug
controls during im p o rtan t sp o r ts com petitions.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

13.
WRESTLING PREPARATION FOR
CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

T o d a y , we w ant to assure th a t th ere is a reserve o f childhood athletic talent. We


note tha t in alm ost every country, th e re is a real expansion o f specialists in various
athletic disciplines w ho w ork with children. T h eir w ork is directed tow ards extending
the sp h ere o f influence o f various sports as well as to w ard s selecting the most capable
young people to b ecom e high level athletes.
In som e countries, th e p re p a ra tio n o f children starts from 8 to 10 years o f age. A
n u m b e r of wrestlers have p e rfo rm e d in w orldw ide com p etitio n s from the ages o f 19 to
22 years. It has b e e n n o te d th a t the age o f wrestlers w ho p erform in high level athletics
com p etitio n s has b een decreasing, as well as their athletic longitivity.
T he m eth o d o f p re p a ra tio n for children and adolescents must tak e n into account
the particularities o f their d e v e lo p m e n t.1
C h ild ren are m o re e ag e r to learn and are m o re adaptive th an adults. T h ey train
even when they are not required to do so a n d attain quick and tangible results. W hen loo
king a t the efficiency o f training sessions, we m ust n o t only ju dg e the tem p o rary p ro
gress in the d ev e lo p m e n t of young athletes, b u t also th eir psichological state, their
h ealth, their capacity to w o rk and athletic results acquired when an adult.
By m astering structural e lem en ts a nd the reciprocical functional relationship at the
th ree conventionaly defined levels, we can o ptim ize the m a n a g e m e n t of p re p ara tio n of
children an d adolescents.

13.1 LEVEL OF ORIENTATION FOR YOUNG WRESTLERS


T o a ttract a n d increase th e n u m b e r o f children at wrestling training sessions is a
significant p rob lem . C hildren m ust learn a b o u t training, th ere fo re th e sessions must al
ways be interesting a nd attractive. T o m aintain the m otivation o f young wrestlers is a
difficult task because o f the red u ced n u m b e r o f com p etitio ns, w eakening of faith
following u n fav ou rab le m atches, to leran ce difficulties following w ork loads, risk of
injuries, balancing o f training with edu c atio n , etc. T h e tra in er m ust closely follow the li
fe o f th e children and correct negative influences on th eir athletic p re p a ra tio n , instruc
tion, o rien tatio n o r values, and their d ev elo p m e n t in society.

1 S e e R . P e t r o v , P r in c i p le s o f

wrestling f o r c h i l d r e n a n d a d o l e s c e n t s , S o f ia , 1973.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

13.2 DIDACTIC AND METHODOLOGICAL LEVEL


T h e constant decrease in the starting age for p re p a ra tio n , the general ten d an cy to
w ards increasing w o rk loads, as well as forced training for quick a n d te m p o rary re
sults have caused the lost o f m any wrestlers with talent.
T h e athletic tra in e r must preserve som e old m odels for wrestlers an d develop co m
petitors according to m o d e rn technical-tactical profiles.
W e must be able to see th e system o f com petition as a way o f training along with
p re p aratio n a n d stim ulation of multilateral an d technical-tactical d e v e lo pm e n t. T h e
process o f p re p ara tio n o f young wrestlers must be organized so th at th ere is a single
building process an d continuity b etw e en th e various stages of p re p a ra tio n of w o rk with
different trainers. It w ould be best to p ro c e e d with p re p a ra tio n of th e various
age grops w ithout changing the trainer. A systeme like this w ould also help trai
ners to be m ore efficient in th eir w ork.
W hen w orking with children an d adolescents, we m ay use all the k no w n m e th o d s
an d p ro cedu res of studying an d training. W e m ust how ever give priority to a uniform
m e th o d (in the initial courses) and to th e m e th o d by intervals for m atches with various
com binatio ns in the length of m atches, rest, the n u m b e r and intensity o f the parts. T h e
play m eth o d is the principal w ork m e th o d for children. Mini-wrestling m eets the re
q u irem e n t that children play, b u t it is not a type o f im itation, it is analogous to w res
tling.
So th at wrestlers may succeed, it will be necessary to use th e successive types of
instruction for technique. It w ould be w rong to study m o to r skills with all o f th e holds.
T o avoid building u p the w rong type o f technique in young p eo p le, the basic holds must
be studied earlier th an is usual with the traditional m etho d .
A ccording tok th e unitary wrestling p ro g ram p resently in use in Bulgaria, the p re
paratio n , and choice of wrestlers goes to th ree stages:
1. T h e initial p rep a ratio n stage - children p rep a ra to ry groups (8 - 9 -1 2 years) with
instruction from 1 to 3 years,
2. Special p re p ara tio n stage - minim e an d cadets, with a 4 y ear instruction,
3. Stage o f athletic m astery - g roups of ju n io rs from age o f 17 to 18 an d from 19 to
21 as well as seniors.
In the p rep a rato ry g rou p of 10 to 12 years, w ork is aim ed at m ultiform physical d e
v elo p m en t, study o f the wrestling c od e, a nd d ev e lo p m e n t o f interest an d the req u ire
m ents o f the sport.
Minis o f 13 to 14 years o f age have the sam e tasks as the p rep a ra to ry g ro u p but
with som e increase in w ork load a n d in special p rep aratio n .
Specialized p rep a ratio n is used with the g ro up o f cadets, 15 to 16 years of age, to
observation o f the re q u ire m en ts of multiform p rep a ratio n . T h e technical-tactical profile
of the w restler c an n o t definitely tak e shape until he com pletes th e total course o f ins
truction. This also tru e for th e following gro up , ju n io r from 17 to 18 years of age, when
the p a ra m e ters o f p re p a ra tio n a pp roach those o f th e seniors.

13.3 THE LEVELS OF EVALUATION AND CONTROL


Evaluation is an im p o rta n t condition for the p ro p e r d ev elo p m e n t o f athletic trai
ning. W e have not yet sufficiently d eveloped specialized evaluation m eth o d s an d crite
ria on the different p ara m eters of athletic p re p aratio n for children an d adolescents. We
will use the m eth o d s and p ro cedu res m en tio n e d in the previous chapter.
Selection is a m ajo r pro b le m , given th at the specific som atic-functional, m o to r,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

and psychological qualities occur at a young age and allow for diagnosis o f athletic deve
lopm ent. T h e prognosis does not have to be absolute as so m etim es p u b erty causes u n
controlled changes in d e v elo p m en t, so th a t m otivation may change often u n d e r new
biological, spiritual, and social factors.
G iven w hat has b een said b efore, it will again be necessary to bring o u t th at th e se
lection does not have to be redu ced to a m eth o d o f using a b attery o f tests, but can be
systematically an d continuously studied. T h e insight and experience o f the train er plays
a decisive role. W e must pay particular atte n tio n to the ethical characteristics of selec
tion, p ro ceed with deductions not only on the basis o f existing qualities, b ut also on the
aptitude. W e m ust give m ore im p o rtan ce to hereditary qualities w ithout forgetting that
individual d ev e lo p m e n t is not simply the cause of genetics. It w ould be unjustified and
u n fo u n d e d perspective if we looked for wrestlers showing endocrinal changes for the
heavie r categories.
A n athletic com petitio n can be looked at as a goal and as an evaluation activity.
T h ese two aspects have a direct effect on the type of athletic training. C om p etition s for
children may be held according to a differentiated system - types o f simple wrestling,
p e n tath lo n s, single m atches, evaluation o f the technique for carrying o u t the holds,
w restling according to less strict and in simple rules. It is im perative to rule out: possibi
lities for artificial loss in weight, unilateral pre p ara tio n limited with the individual inte
rest o f obtaining points a nd medals.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

14.
PHYSICAL PREPARATION

T h e conditioning exercises practiced by the w restler can be divided into tw o main


categories: general physical p rep a ratio n and specific physical p rep aratio n .

14.1

GENERAL PHYSICAL PREPARATION

T hese co m plem e ntary exercises do not coincide e ith er dynamically with the n e u ro
m uscular effort nor structurally with the fu nd am ental m o v em en ts used by wrestlers d u
ring matches. T h e ir main objective is to develop good overall m o to r skills including:
strength, resistance, speed, flexibility and agility. F u rth e rm o r e , these exercises should
p ro m o te the d ev e lo p m en t of a wide variety of m o to r abilities and reflexes. T he follo
wing are an exam ple o f activities which p ro m o te overall physical fitness:
a) calisthenics
b) training with weights, pulleys and ropes, N autilus o r E x er-G en y machines
c) downhill and cross-country skiing
d) acrobatics
e) swimming
f) rowing
g) team sports (basketball, football, rugby, volleyball, hand-ball, etc.)
h) running drills, rope skipping
i) cycling tours
j) m od ern dance, aerobics

14.2

SPECIFIC PHYSICAL PREPARATION

T he drills in this category aim for both in d ep e n d a n t and integral dev elo p m e n t of
specific skills, technical-tactical know ledge, abilities and reflexes, and psychological sta
bility o f the wrestler.
1. Basic Drills: T hese include technical actions, technical-tactical actions, and dif
ferent types of scrimmages.
2. Special P reparation Drills: T h ey are generally divided into four groups:

a)
b)
c)
d)

T ec h n iq u e ( R e p e a t) Drills
C om p etetiv e G a m es
Bridging Drills (study, assimilation an d perfecting of bridging)
Special Drills

Technique drills:
T h ese a re structured to co rre sp o n d to certain wrestling techniques o r th eir c o m p o
nents and must be carefully chosen in o r d e r to avoid acquiring p o o r m o to r reflexes. A l
th o u gh they play an im p o rtan t role during the skill-learning process, they becom e p ro
gressively less im p o rta n t as the w restler becom es m o re proficient.
S om e exam ples o f technique drills:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

D uck u n d e r (and outside crotch)


P en e tra tio n (an d d o u ble leg tackle)
Leg lock (fig. 24)
F ir e m a n s carry (fig. 25)
Leg sw eep (fig. 26)
Fall o n the m at (fig. 27)
Tight waist roll
- tight waist roll with ball (fig. 28)
- tight waist roll with du m m y (fig. 29)
8. S ho u ld er bridge (fig. 30)
9. R everse body lift (fig. 31)
10. S h oulder or headlock throw w ithout p a rtn e r (fig. 32)

Figure 27

Figure 26

Mb
Figure 28

Figure 29

Figure 30

Figure 31

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 35
11. F o rw ard b en d ing th row with p a rtn er. P artn ers begin in back to back position,
h ands linked o v erhead . A ttaching w restler throw s p a rtn e r over back by pulling
him up and ov e r thro u gh a 180 roll (fig. 33)
12. H ead lock throw w ithout p a rtn e r (fig. 34)
13. H ead lo c k throw with d u m m y (fig. 35)
14. H ead lock th ro w with p a rtn e r (fig. 36)
15. R e a r waistlock lift w ithout p artn er. T h e m o v em e n t may be e n d e d by d ropping
to high bridge position, (fig. 37)

Figure 36

Figure 38
R e a r wheel with p a rtn e r (fig. 38)
R e a r waistlock lift o f d um m y into high bridge position with help o f partner.
(fig. 39)
R e a r waistlock lift of du m m y into high bridge position w ithout assistance (fig. 40)
Competitive Games
T w o -m an resistance exercises, especially those of a com petitive n atu re , are e x tre
mely beneficial to the wrestler. T hese exercises, which are similar to specific wrestling
m ovem ents, aim at developing m o to r skills, muscle reflexes, balance an d competitive
spirit. T h ey can be used during all training sessions, e ith er for physical p rep a ratio n o r to
in troduce specific wrestling techniques. By m aintaining an em phasis on variety and fun,
they help induce a favorable m ental attitude am o ng wrestlers.
T h e following list illustrates a variety of these exercises:

Figure 39

Figure 40

Figure 41

Figure 42

Figure 43

1. Cockfighting. T h e two wrestlers face each o th e r while standing on one leg and
holding the raised leg by the ankle. By ho pping on o ne leg, the p a rtn e rs can push each
o th e r with th eir chest o r shoulders. T h e w inner is th e o n e w ho succeeds in knocking his
o p p o n e n t off balance, causing him cith e r to fall to the m at, o r to use his foot or h an d for
su p p o rt. (Figure 41)
O th e r variations o f this gam e include:
wrestling while holding p a r t n e r s waist with th e free h an d (fig. 42)
wrestling with b o th arm s folded across the chest (fig. 43)
wrestling from a squatting position, holding b o th ankles (fig. 44)
wrestling from a crouching position in the m iddle o f a clearly defined circle. E ach
o p p o n e n t tries to push the o th e r off balance o r o u t o f the circle by shoving with the
palm s o f his hands. (Figure 45)
2. Blindfold wrestling. T h e w inner is the on e w h o scores the greatest n u m b e r of
hits in a set time (fig. 46).

f >
Figure 45

Figure 44

Figure 46

Figure 47

Figure 48

3. C hinese wrestling . T h e wrestlers grasp each o th e r by th e sh oulders an d each


o n e tries to step on th e o th e r s foot. T h e w inner is th e o n e w ho succeeds in to uching his
o p p o n e n ts foot first (o r m o re th an once) (fig 47). In a variation o f this g am e, th e w res
tlers hold their arm s behing their backs (fig. 48)
4. Riding drill. O n e o f the wrestlers assumes the re f e re e s position on th e m at,
a nd th e o th e r sits on his shoulders, facing the o pposite direction ( s tre tc h e r o r top b o
dy scissors position) an d grapevines his feet aro u n d his p a r t n e r s thighs. T h e to p w res
tler tries to force the kneeling w restler to flatten o u t by floating while in a riding posi
tion (fig. 49).
5. Shoving th e hands. B o th wrestlers stand facing each o th e r at a r m s distance
an d clasp th eir hands with arm s b ent. E ach o n e tries to shove th e hand s o f th e other.
T he w inner is the w restler who by shoving o r faking forces his p a rtn e r to m ove forwards
o r b ackw ards (fig. 50).
6. Pulling. T h e wrestlers stand back to back and h o o k each o th e r with their arms.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 49

Figure 50
By pulling forw ard , each w restler tries to d rag his o p p o n e n t backw ards. T h e wrestlers
can d o the sam e pulling exercise, holding each o th e r by th e palm s o f th eir hands (fig. 51)
7. Shoving from th e p u sh -u p position. C an have m any variations (fig. 52).
8. G ra b b in g from the p u sh -u p position. W restlers face each o th e r in th e p u sh
u p position. T h e o b ject is to try and m a k e the o p p o n e n t flatten o u t by grabbing at his
arm s (fig. 53).
9. T u g o f w ar (fig. 54).
10. H orseb a ck wrestling (fig. 55).
11. Circle co m b at. T h e wrestlers try to push, pull o r feint their o p p o n e n t o u t of the
circle (fig. 56)

Figure 51

Figure 52

Figure 53

12. Leg grappling. T h e winning w restler succeeds in forcing his p a rtn e r to touch
the m at with any p a rt of the bo d y o th e r than the tips o f his toes (fig. 57).
13. W restling for a ball (fig. 58)
14. Leg wrestling. T hese are several variations in different b ack -su pp o rt positions
(fig. 59).
15. King o f th e circle. All the wrestlers pair them selves up within a circle which has
b een draw n on the floor. E ach w restler tries to force his o p p o n e n t o u t o f th e circle. T h e
strongest w restler is the last on e to rem ain in the circle (fig. 60).
16. A rm wrestling (fig. 61).
17. R e a r waistlock lift (fig. 62).
18. Staying o ut o f the circle. T h e wrestlers form a ring holding hands outside a cir-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

cle. E ach of th em tries to force the oth ers to cross the line, resisting all attem p ts to do so
himself. T h e w inner is the last w restler not to have crossed the line (fig. 63).
19.
T yrolese wrestling . T he wrestlers h oo k each o th e r by any tw o fingers, and
pull tow ard them selves. T he w restler who can straighten his o p p o n e n ts finger wins.

Figure 54

Figure 55

Figure 57

Figure 56

Figure 58

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 59

Figure 60

Figure 61

Figure 62

Bridging Drills (study, assimilation and perfectiong of


bridging)
T h e w restler assumes a bridge position on his back using only his h ead and feet for
support. T his is an extrem ely im p o rtant offensive and defensive wrestling technique.
Bridging exercises stren g then the n eck, trun k and legs, increase flexibility o f th e back,
and im prove the functioning of the vestibular and m o to r systems. They also develop
confidence and m ental to ughness, while contributing to acquiring m o to r reflexes for
rear waistlock lifts, side waistlocks and counters to avoid being d efea te d by body lifts

Figure 63

Figure 64

Figure 65

Figure 66
Figure 67

Figure 68
and bridging o u t. M astering the bridging techniques is the key to engaging a match
which is as varied as it is com plicated a nd interesting.
T h e following exercises derive from the bridge p o sitio n :
1. T h e fro n t bridge (fig. 64)
2. T h e w restlers bridge (fig. 65).
3. Rocking in w restlers bridge position (fig. 66).
4. Rocking h ead stand with feet resting against wall (fig. 67).

Figure 69

Figure 70

Figure 71

Figure 72
5.
Circular turnovers. T h e w restler starts in a front bridge an d by pivoting on his
h ead turns a full circle. H alf the circle is c overed in a front bridge position, the o th e r
half is covered in the w restlers bridge position. T h e h e a d serves as the pivot and does
not change position (fig. 68).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 78

Figure 79

Figure 80

Figure 81

Figure 82

Figure 83

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 85

6. Rolling bridge. T h e participant assumes a w restlers bridge, grasps b oth ankles


firmly, an d rolls from left to right w ithout releasing his ankles (fig. 69).
7. T h e high bridge (fig. 70).
8. T h e high bridge, using various su p p o rt points (fig. 71).
9. H u la bridge. F ro m high bridge position, grasp p a r t n e r s ankles an d try to bring
feet straight o v er an d form a front bridge. A lte rn a te by bringing feet ov e r e ith er to the
left, to the right or one on each side o f p a r t n e r s feet, thus bridging to th e left, right or
c e n te r (fig. 72).
10. H u la bridge holding o n to barbells (fig. 73).
11. D ual bridging. P artn e rs grasp each o th e r by th e chest, o n e in back bridge posi
tion, the o th e r face dow n on to p in th e opposite direction. By tu rnin g from side to side,
th e wrestlers alternately assum e back bridge position (fig. 74).
12. H u la bridge using folded arm s as su p p o rt p o in t (fig. 75).
13. F o rw ard belly roll. T h e w restler assumes a p ro n e position on the m a t an d a r
ches his back until the bo d y is entirely su p p o rte d on th e stom ach. W ith a rocking m o v e
m en t, he uses his ha n ds to push him self o v e r into b ack bridge position, a fter which he
retu rns to his initial position (fig. 76).
14. Sit-ups on p a r t n e r s back (fig. 77).
15. Tw o m an pull-ups. O n e o f the wrestlers lies with his back on the m at, legs
bent. His p a rtn e r stands beside him an d grips him by th e h an d. T h e standing w restler
helps the dow n w restler rise to a standing position by pulling firmly on his arm (fig. 78).
16. D r o p back to bridge position with p a r t n e r s help (fig. 79).
17. Falling tree. O n e o f the wrestlers falls backw ards, k eeping body straight. His
p a rtn e r catches him by the neck just b efore he touches th e m a t an d retu rn s him to a
standing position (fig. 80).
18. W alk dow n the wall. T he w restler stands facing away from the wall, arches his
back an d d ro p s to a bridge position by w alking h an d s dow n the wall (fig. 81).
19. A rch back to bridge position from kneeling position (fig. 82).
20. D ro p back to bridge position w ithout p artn e r. T h e w restler starts in wrestling

Figure 86
stance, legs a p a rt an d slightly coiled. By leaning b ack w ard into a tight arch, he
attem pts to touch his forehead to the m at as close as possible to his feet. In the beginning,
this exercise should be practiced by break in g th e fall with the h an d s, before the fo re
h e a d touches the mat. L ater, th e exercise cas be m ad e m o re difficult by k eep ing the
arm s folded across the chest (fig. 83).
21. F ro n t bridge to w restlers bridge from standing position (fig. 84).
22. W eightlifting while in bridge position (fig. 85).
23. R ocking in w restlers bridge position with p a rtn e r acting as load (fig. 86).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

15.
TYPOLOGY OF THE STRATEGY,
TECHNIQUE AND TACTICS
OF WRESTLING

15.1 THE STRATEGY OF WRESTLING


T h e overall p re p a ra tio n o f the w restler d e p e n d s on th e strategic objectives and
plans which are set. W restling strategy is a dynamic an d complex system governing the
d e v e lo p m e n t o f wrestling, p re p a ra tio n o f wrestlers for c om p etition , a nd th e progress of
th e m atch. It is directly related to tactics, b u t is m uch larger in scope.
By definition, strategy deals above all with th e total d e v elo p m en t of wrestling. In
o th e r w ords, it is a holistic concept with encom passes gathering, storing and p ro
cessing inform ation related to th e planning, optim al a dm in istratio n , and regulation of
wrestling d e v elo p m en t an d p e rfo rm a n ce . T h e adm inistrative c o m p o n e n t is based on the
exchange o f inform ation.
W restling strategy as a system can b e defined as a n u m b e r of subsystems: deve
lo p m en t o f th e general ath lete co m m u n ity ; p re p a ra to ry strategy; pedagogical guideli
nes; sports clubs an d social assets; c om petition schedule an d sports facilities; publicity;
ed u ca tio n , etc. Subsystems m ay be classified in o th e r ways b u t th e co n te n t o f the
activity rem ains the sam e.
In w orking o u t a strategy, it is im p o rta n t th a t all subsystem s be scientifically b a lan
ced in relation to each o th er. T h o ro u g h research should provide optim al sta n d ard s for
th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f subsystem s (pro p ortio n ality sta n d a rd , sta n d a rd for results, in te rd e
p e n d e n ce s ta n d ard , etc.). E fforts a n d th e use o f resources m ay, for a certain perio d of
time, place em phasis on th e d ev e lo p m e n t of th e mass, wrestling proficiency, p re p a r a
tion for O lympic G a m e s , etc. It is im p o rta n t to k e e p in m ind th a t objectives should
b e achieved with a m in im um o f m eans. T h e basic criteria for th e efficiency o f strategic
m a n a g e m e n t lies in maximizing p e rfo rm a n ce with a m inim um of w ork a nd time.
P re p a ra to ry strategy, a subsystem o f general strategy, has a sph ere o f action which
en co m p asses all the p ro b lem s related to studying, training, an d p re p arin g for co m p eti
tions.
O p e ra tio n a l strategy is the extension o f this sph ere an d com es into play during the
m atch situation, thus linking strategy to tactics as a p h ase during which certain tactical
and strategic pro blem s overlap an d m erge. T h e role played by p re p a ra to ry strategy
stops at the beginning of the m atch; in o th e r w ords, it leads the soldiers to b attle, then
leaves the battlefield for a while.
O p e ra tio n a l strategy deals with p rob lem s which are directly related to a given
match: te a m selection, developing an d im plem en tin g a com p etition plan. E ach o f the
ab o ve -m en tio n ed subsystem s may also be c onsidered as a se p arate system an d elem ent
which is in turn m ade up of o th e r subsystem s an d elem ents. O p e ra tio n al strategy (O S) is

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

ESG

SG = SP fl SE T
Figure 87
a subsystem of p re p a ra to ry strategy (PS), which belongs to th e main sphere of general
strategy (G S).
T h e role o f tactics is su bo rd in a te to o pera tio n a l strategy and p erfo rm s completely
in d e p e n d a n t functions.
Its overlapping sph ere o f action can be rep re sen te d graphically in the form of
asym metrical relationships (fig. 87).

15.2 WRESTLING TACTICS


G e n e ra l characteristics o f wrestling tactics.
T h e tactics o f wrestling imply the ability of the w restler to achieve a strategic
objective by creatively im plem enting his technical, physical, and psychological m eans,
in response to the constantly changing, ongoing com petitive situation, and to th e infor
m ation g ath ered o n his o p p o n e n ts characteristics.
Wrestling tactics are c om posed o f various m eans, ways, and forms o f wrestling,
which a re applied differently according to specific situations. By definition, it is
subo rd inate to strategy an d is applied to achieve a p re d e te rm in e d objective.
T he notions of strategy an d tactics have b een b o rro w ed from military theory and
a re still the subject o f wide controversy in th e world o f sports. B ased on w orks by the
military theoretician Clauzewitz, nu m e ro u s scientists an d specialists reg ard ed tactics as
an art since it d id n t conform to any objective constant, an d elu d ed m ath em atical solu
tions.
H o w ev e r, the evolution o f wrestling during the past few years has d e m o n s tra te d
th a t a competitive m atch , far from being a chaotic set o f m ov em ents resulting from the
confro n tatio n o f tw o wrestlers, is instead an orderly c om b at b etw een two people. It is a
reality which can be analysed, p lan n ed for and predicted.
T h e progress o f a match d e p en d s on n u m ero u s objective p a ra m e te rs such as c o m
plex physiological, biochemical, o r biom echanical factors which influence the functio
ning o f all the systems and organs o f the individuals involved. B u t o th e r factors will af
fect the p e rfo rm an ce o f the wrestlers, such as rules and scoring, r e f e re e s decisions, co n
crete situations and quality of m a t surface. Subjective decisions, which a re fo u n d ed on
an objective analysis o f circumstances, are o f utm o st im p o rtan ce in organizing an d defi
ning the overall plan o f th e m atch. N o subjective effort can lead to victory if not based
on an analysis o f objective possibilities. This is precisely w h at is m ea n t by the art of
w inning .

Theoretical

I n d iv i d u a l

A pplied

Team

C o m p e titio n Tactics

T o urnam ents
com petitions

B ilateral

M atch Tactics

T a c t i c s fo r
technical-tactical actions

D efense

Figure 88
A lth o u gh th e evolution o f science will u n d o u b te d ly m ak e strategy and tactics in
creasingly o bjective, n o m achines n o r theories will e ver tak e the place of art. T h e stra te
gy an d tactics of wrestling com bine b oth science (the fo u n datio n of integrated scientific
know ledge) an d art (th e ability to use this know ledge to attain the strategic objective).

15.3 TACTICS - THE KEY TO MASTERING WRESTLING


Tactics rep resen t the most d o m in a n t, d e p e n d a n t and variable aspect of the p r e p a
ration o f wrestlers. It is d om in an t because it guides the wrestling match and gives a g e
neral o rien tatio n to the p re p a ra tio n ; d e p e n d a n t a nd variable because it takes into ac
co u n t all the changes which occur during the pre p ara tio n o f a w restler and his op p o n e n t.
Subdivisions o f tactics:
1. Tactics o f technical m oves,
2. Tactics o f the m atch,
3. Tactics of th e co m petitio n .
Tactics is based on b o th theoretical and practical concepts (fig. 88). A pplied tactics
is always closely linked to all o th e r aspects o f p rep aration .

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

a) Wrestling Techniques
T he wrestling stance a n d the referes p o sitio n
T h e wrestling stan c e an d the re fe re e s position rep rese n t a basis for carrying
o ut all technical actions. T h e w restlers stance is a basic starting position for im p lem e n
ting b oth attacks and counters. T h e re is a very close relationship b etw een the type of
starting position an d th e technique used. By changing his wrestling stance , the w res
tler can vary his offensive, defensive and counter-offensive o p p o rtun itie s, th ereb y p ro
viding the dynam yc an d surprise elem ents which are essential to the m atch. This also
provides the best m eans o f observing and controlling optimally his o p p o n e n ts m o v e
ments.
T h e th re e basic gro un d wrestling positions are: high re fe re e s position , low re
f e r e e s position , a n d the p ron e position . W ith the exception of th e re fe re e s position
an d all the conventions that go with it, g ro un d wrestling seem s to be u n d erestim a ted to
som e degree.
T h e sitting position is a transition situation after a leg attack o r an a tte m p t to e xe
cute a reversal.
T h e bridge o r half-bridge positions are related to c o u n te r o r offensive situations.
W restlers w ho have d evelop e d strength and e n d u ra n ce in bridging can wrestle en erg eti
cally w ithout fear o f counterattacks.

Controls
T h e w restler exerts a mechanical force on his o p p o n e n t by using various controls
which are instrum ental for pushing, jostling, dragging an d setting up holds. T h ey may
be divided into tw o groups:
C ontrols to initiate a hold. T hese are actually a kind of techn iq u e, since it is im po s
sible to lift, thro w or tak e dow n an o p p o n e n t w ithout controlling a part o f his body o r
exerting pressure.
C ontrols to change th e o p p o n e n ts position. T h ey create a favorable position for
initiating an attack, stabilizing the defense, o r setting up counterattacks, locks, o r tackles.

H olds
E ach hold has m any different variations which add up to an infinite n u m b e r of
com binations of controls an d m o v em en ts in wrestling.
Since the effectiveness o f holds is in constant evolution, statistical study o f their
technical characteristics is extrem ely useful to detect new tren d s in the dev elo p m e n t of
wrestling techniques and tactics.

b) A ctions linking techniques a n d tactics


T h e wrestling match consists o f a sequence o f various m o v em en ts, most o f which
are n ever brought to formal com pletion. T hese actions serve to set up attacks, counters
and co u n terattack s, or are used as fakes.
Included am o n g them are:
- wrestling at different distances (far, m edium , close and "corps-a-corps")
- wrestling stances (high, low. m edium , identical, inverted face-to-face)

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

- modifying controls
- various m o v em en ts
A lth o u g h th ere is no clear cut b o u n d a ry b etw een tactical an d technical m e an s, the
tactical ele m en ts p re d o m in a te in som e wrestling actions.

c) Tactical m eans to prepare holds


W eight categories match up wrestlers according to their physical strength so that
force alone is not the d eterm in in g factor in a m atch. In m o d e rn wrestling it is impossible
to p erfo rm a successful hold against a strong o p p o n e n t w ithout good tactical p re p a r a
tion.

U nbalancing
U n balan cin g is on e o f the essential tactics for executing most holds during a match.
It also has the ad d e d a d vanta g e of dem oralizing the o p p o n e n t by tiring an d confusing
him an d making him vulnerable to attack. D ynam ic wrestling is full o f drags, pushes,
locks, an d fakes, creating an excellent climate for various attacks.

M aneuvers
This is .the tactical ability to im p lem en t all th e c om bination o f various m ovem ents,
w restling stances, controls and distances in o r d e r to disrupt the o p p o n e n t a nd create fa
v orable conditions for technical actions. This a p p ro ac h , which is ad o p te d by all c o n te m
p orary wrestlers, reflects personal styles o f wrestling.
M an eu v ers are used in conjun ction with o th e r tactical m eans such as unbalancing,
intim idation a n d locks. M aneuv ers can be p e rfo rm e d by m o v e m en ts of the legs, arm s or
body, o r a c om b in atio n o f the three.
By using m aneuv e rs, th e w restler strives to gain an ad v an tag eo u s position on the
m at in o rd e r to im pose a stance, a distance, o r a dynamic pace.

Fake
T h e fake is a deceptive attack m o v e m en t which atte m p ts to channel the o p p o n e n ts
defense in o n e direction only, thus setting him up for a p re d e te rm in e d technical-tactical
action. A w restler w ho uses this ap p ro a ch generally feints a control o r a hold. T h e idea
is to persist in misleading the o p p o n e n t until he is vulnerable to the pre m e d ita te d a t
tack.
F u rth e rm o r e , by being constantly forced to c o u n te r o r block the faked offensive
m oves, the o p p o n e n t is d istracted from concen tratin g on his own offensive tactics.

D o u b le an d R epeated A tta cks


A fte r the w restler has repelled an attack, his vigilance always dim inishes and very
o ften he retu rn s to his usual stance, distance o r control. All g o od wrestlers take a d v a n
tage o f this o p p o rtu n ity by the use o f a fake in o r d e r to successfully accomplish a force
ful attack.
T he double attack refers to a repetition o f the initial hold o r the perfo rm an ce of

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

a n o th e r hold u n d e r th e sam e favorable circumstances. W h e n th e w restler attacks seve


ral times by repeating the sam e hold, this is know n as a re p e a te d attack.

Baiting
In this a p p ro ac h , the w restler deliberatley leaves an o p en in g to induce his o p p o
n en t to attack. In so doing, he can observe his m o v e m en ts an d size u p his o p p o n e n ts
particular technical-tactical qualities. Like an acto r, the w restler must play his role so
naturally th a t he lures even the wariest o p p o n e n t into trap p in g himself. H e can d o this
in various ways:
- D elib erately exposing oneself to a hold in o rd e r to c ou n terattac k ;
- Feinting an attack to bait an o p p o n e n t into a specific control o r position which
is a set-up for a hold;
- R etre a tin g , a variation o f the co u n te r o r c o u n tera tta ck m o v em en t.
Excessive use o f the re trea t can lead to a caution;
- Tricking the o p p o n e n t by simulating fright, fatigue, tr a u m a , etc.
All o f these actions have a psychological effect o n the o p p o n e n t, causing him to be
m o re dynamic a n d agressive, an d th erefo re m aking hirr, m o re likely to a ttack w h en an
o p p o rtu n ity is offered.

B locking
Blocking is a technical m e an s with a wide range o f applications. T h e defensive
w restler limits the attack o p p o rtu n ities o f his o p p o n e n t by various controls applied to
the u p p e r m em b ers an d th e tru n k . By th e sam e to k e n , he also places his o p p o n e n t at a
psychological disadvantage, because his efforts to liberate him self only m ak e him m o re
v ulnerable.

d) Wrestling Tactics
Wrestling tactics refer to all the e lem en ts th at com e into play during the actual
m atch situation.

Scouting
This is p a rt o f a p lan n e d d ata gathering process which compiles in form ation ab o ut
fu ture com p etitio n s an d potential o p p o n en ts.
Info rm atio n a b o u t th e o p p o n e n t is g a th ere d b efo re, during a nd after the match
an d includes th e following: training p ro g ra m , age, p e rfo rm a n ce level, anatom ical fea tu
res, state o f h ealth , psychological stability, fitness level, strengths an d w eaknesses in re
gard to technical-tactical p re p a ra tio n , strategic objectives, etc.
G ath e rin g in form ation during the m atch is most often necessary w hen the o p p o
n en t is u nkow n. It covers:
-

definition of th e level o f physical an d technical-tactical pre p ara tio n ;


psychological assessm ent;
definition o f th e o p p o n e n ts tactical plan;
co n cealm en t of o n e s own tactical plan.

PST

PTT

PST = PTT => => P


Figure 89

Disguise
T h e w restler must try to identify his o p p o n e n ts tactics (plan an d m eans) without
giving away his own. T h e re fo re , when m aking his assessm ent, he should be careful not
to reveal his in tentions o r his plan.

C oordination
C o o rd in atio n constitutes an essential m ea n s o f carrying o u t all techniques.
Technical-tactical com plexes and com b in ation s are a com plicated chain o r se q u e n
ce o f holds, co u n ters, c o u n tera tta ck s a nd tactics linked in various definite ways accor
ding to pro bb le changes in the m atch situation an d to the o p p o n e n ts personal ch a ra c te
ristics. T h ese com plexes a nd co m binatio ns m ay be rep re se n te d as the p lann ed algorit
hmic instructions for the linking a n d im p lem e nta tio n o f techn iq u es a n d tactics.
T hey reveal them selves in th e form o f complex m o to r actions:
a) H olds (H ) - th eir algorithm s contain a description (a characteristic o f the
algorithmic process) and an instruction (how to p e rfo rm ). T h e y include the control,
progress, an d com pletion o f th e hold.
b) C om b in a tio n s (C ) - they ex te nd to the sp h ere of tactical p re p ara tio n and the use
o f a specific hold. T h ey are m a d e-u p as a chain o f actions.
c) Technical-tactical com plexes (T T C ) - they rep resen t a set of in terre lated techni
cal-tactical com binations.
T h e hold constitutes th e p rim ary goal a n d the final com pletion o f wrestling algo
rithm s. It is an integral p a rt o f the c o m b in atio n , w h ereas th e c o m b in atio n is p a rt o f the
T T C (fig. 89).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

T T C Classification

R eactive
(functional)

Structural

C om bined

O ffensive

C oun teroffen sive

"

Q.

Prepared

U nprepared

M ixed

Figure 90

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 91
First of all, it is necessary to divide com plexes and com binations into theory, p rac
tice an d p erfo rm an c e (fig. 90).
T T C s a n d theoretical com b in ation s m ak e up the general structure of the m odel to
study. O n ce a m odel is assimilated, it takes on th e individuality o f a given com petitor,
b ut once a m odel is applied, the o bjective is already attained.
Parallel to the p re p a re d T T C s, the w restler often uses during a match u n p lan ned
T T C s as well as mixed com binations.
In term s o f building principles, we distinguish th e following TTCs:
a) Structural o r positional T T C s and com binations. T h ey reveal attack o p p o rtu
nities from specific positions (specific position o r control). Several offensive actions
(holds) may be im p lem e n ted from a starting position. A fte r having lifted the leg from
the inside, the offensive w restler has th e option of using an inside s a r m a (inside cross
b od y ride - r e a r crotch control and inside h o o k ), a C e r e k (olympic lift), a front roll,
etc. (fig. 91).
b) Reflexive T T C s an d com b in ation s are b ased on the o p p o n e n ts specific reflexive
actions after being sub jected to a fake o r real attack. T h ey are functional in n ature. In
most cases, the offensive w restler takes advanta ge o f his o p p o n e n ts defense, who by
attem p tin g to c o u n te r a hold, exposes him self to the execution o f a n o th e r hold (fig. 92).
c) C o m b in e d T TC s. T h e com position o f these com plexes can be achieved equally
as well from a defensive w restlers starting position (control) as from a defensive wres
tle rs reflexive reaction (fig. 93).

I\ t
Figure 92
A ccording to their o bjective, T T C s an d com b in atio n s can be subdivided into two
classifications: attack and co u n tera tta ck , T T C s an d com binations.
T he interrelations b etw een a series o f offensive actions from the double leg are
illustrated in Figure 94. T h e possible co u n te rattac k s, according to the type o f attack, are
indicated in Figure 95: far, after h e ad an d neck control, from double legs and controls,
when the offensive w restlers head is placed inside o r outside the defensive w restlers
thighs. T he opportunities for counterattack from single leg tackles are shown in Figure 96.
T T C s and com b in ation s are based on objective links betw een techniques a nd tac
tics. H olds have specific c o m m u tation points, which during the different execution p h a
ses, provide o pp o rtun ities to switch to o th e r holds. This switch can take place:
1)
2)
3)
4)

during the p rep a ra tio n o f the hold;


after using a control;
during the execution of the hold;
during final actions.

T he building of T T C s is based on the links which exist betw een various holds. T h e
se links may be classified in a g reat many ways. If we look at the m in term s o f composi-

Figure 93
tion, links may be positional, reflexive and mixed. In the case o f positional complexes,
the link is direct. Reflexive links are usually indirect.
W h en the defensive w restler goes from the cross-body ride, to the leg scissors and
h ead lo ck , and back to the cross-body ride we are in the presence of bilateral links acting
in o pposite directions (<----------------- >). W h en a w restler switches from o ne hold to
a n o th e r, w ithout being able to go b ack, the action has a unilateral link (------------------- )
F rom a given position, th ere are cases when it is possible to rep eat the execution
o f th e sam e hold tw o o r three times in a row. If, how ever, there is only o n e p ath , we are
dealing with a single link (---------------------). If, on the o th e r h an d, there are two paths,
we are dealing with a d ouble link (
), and in the case o f th ree paths,
a triple link (
=
), etc.
E ach link carries specific inform ation which defines its power. In the case of a

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 94

w restlers actions which forces his o p p o n e n t to reveal his defense, we are dealing with
an im perative link; in the case of deliberately misleading an o p p o n e n t, it is know n as
a pseudolink; w hen it is necessary to execute a n o th e r hold b efore carrying o ut the p la n
ned hold, we have a transitional link; w hen the choice a m o n g a given n u m b e r o f possi
bilities exists, we th e n have an alternative o r elective link, etc.
R esearch carried ou t on the structural, functional and substantial characteristics of
technical-tactical situations has revealed the presence o f two classes of elective links.
Links which lead to the most effective holds an d complexes are designated as "cardinal

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

A. Before leg tackling

C . Outer leg tackle

B. Double leg tackle

D. Inner leg tackle


Figure 95
links ; links leading to the holds an d com plexes favored by a w restler a re referred to as
d o m in an t links . T h e cardinal link is d ete rm in e d by the effectiveness of the hold
during a m atch, while the d o m in a n t link is d ete rm in e d by th e personal preferences and
a ptitud es o f the wrestler. Som etim es during the course of a m atch, a w restler e n c o u n
ters a situation th a t lends itself to the use o f u n p la n n e d holds, which often have not been
p erfected. T h e links, in this case, are fortuitous o r situational. D u rin g the training p ro
cess, the w restler should aim to fully m a s ter cardinal links, th e re b y turning th e m into
d o m in a n t links.
Wrestling fo r Psychological Superiority
Offensive wrestling to m aintain psychological superiority is essential to winning a
match. T h e w restler should constantly strive to im pose his own style o f wrestling on his

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

o p p o n e n t to destroy his concentration. This can be achieved through self-confident


b eh av ior, rapid and bold attacks, persistent attack controls, co n tin uo u s th reats through
fakes, creating deliberate openings, wrestling aggressively an d roughly, etc. T h e follo
wing wrestlers have alm ost always m aintain ed a good offensive situation: P. G ardzev,
B. R adev , H. Isaev, H. T ra jk o v , M. D u k o v , A. M edved, O. W a ta n ab e .

Setting the Pace


A w ell-conditioned w restler can use an accelerated pace to e xhaust a slower o p p o
n en t m aking it m ore difficult for him to analyse technical-tactical situations a n d achie
ving indisputable psychological superiority. T h e re fo r e , the w restler should vary his pace
to throw his o p p o n e n t off guard. H e can accomplish this by continually seeking to u n b a
lance him , by rapidly switching attacks, by feinting, by posing real th rea ts, and by force
fully and unrelentlessly pursuing him on the mat.

Taking advantage o f errors


E rro rs account for alm ost all defeats. Some of th em may be attrib u ted to an o p p o
n e n ts skillful technical-tactical actions, em o tio n al reactions, m isin terp retatio n of
m oves, a serious tactical miscalculation, in atten tio n , lack of technical proficiency, etc.
Since erro rs are quite co m m o n occurrences, the w restler should learn to recognize erro r
conditions, by setting th em up and being redy to turn th em to his advantage.

Use o f the m a t surface


T h e wrestling m at defines the limited bo u n daries o f the m atch and should be used
to its greatest advanta ge. It is not unusual to see wrestlers stray" to the edge o f the mat
or else escape by leaving it. T he strongest w restler usually tries e ith er to d o m in ate the
ce n te r o r m a n e u v e r his o p p o n e n t into a position n e a r the edge o f the m at, w here he sets
up and executes his technical-tactical actions.

e) Tactical Form ations o f Wrestling


T hese form ations include all the logical com binations of technical and tactical
m ean s which build attacks, defenses and c o u nterattack s. It w ould be w rong to identify
an attack with a p articular hold or a defense with a specific counter.

The attack
D urin g the past few years, wrestling has b een ch aracterised by the rapid progress
of defense a n d counter-offense. By o vershadow ing the attac k , wrestling is deprived of
its true dynamics, d ram a and beauty. T o offset this tendency, the attack has acquired a
m uch m o re precise an d complex organization. It encom pa sses wrestling for control,
distance, space, p ace, and the use of tactical m ea n s to set u p favorable conditions for
the execution o f a hold. T h e offense includes on e or m o re attacks (fig. 97). A n attack is
considered contin uo u s w hen a series o f attacks follow each o th e r w ithout interruption.
If such an attack does not lead to the execution o f any holds, it m ay at least force the
o p p o n e n t into a passive wrestling situation for which he can receive a caution.

Fundam ental

R eal

A dditional

Faked

O n e time

A dvancing
on o p p o n en t

From the front

R ep ea ted
Occasional

K eep in g position

Laterally

Stepping back

From behind

O n g o in g

Figure 97

134_______________

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

ATTACKS

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

The defense
W restling defense includes n o t only co u n te rs to different holds, b u t also different
tactics such as blocking, th rea ts, m a n eu v e rs, unbalancing, fakes, wrestling n e a r the
edge o f th e m at, forcing the o p p o n e n t off th e m a t, etc. T h e co u n te r, on e o f the prim ary
m eans of defense, consists of interrupting a hold o r m aking its execution difficult.
It is extrem ely difficult to classify counters. W h e n th e w restler assumes a low w res
tling stance, m aintains a distance an d inhibits fre ed o m o f action by using arm control,
he is using a general defense. If the co u n te r if applied in response to a given hold, the
w restler is using a specific type o f defense. C ertain general counters such as the low
wrestling stance are u sed before tying up with the o p p o n e n t. In this case th e defense is a
set-up tactic. F u rth e rm o r e , a defense can be e ith e r static o r dynamic.
Specific c o un ters a re designed for given holds. T h e offensive w restler can o pt for
blind defense to stop his op p o n e n t. This is a passive a ttitu d e, o r else he m ay resort to an
active defense, by creating a situation for cou nterattack in g . A n active defense is p re fe
rable in m o d e rn wrestling.

The C ounterattack
T h e dynam ics and b eau ty o f m o d e rn wrestling are largely a result o f the c o u n te r a t
tack. O therw ise, wrestling w ould be nothing m o re th a n a series of sporadic attacks
lacking the elem ents of risk and surprise.
M o d e rn wrestlers, especially those w ho are o ld er, ten d to rely m ore heavily on a
rational a n d well-organized utilization o f co u n tera tta ck s in an effort to co m p en sa te for
any shortcom ing in speed and agility.

f ) Tactical fo r m s o f wrestling
Tactical form s o f wrestling are the observable m anifestation of wrestling actions.
F a r from being arbitrary, they are su b o rd in ate to a p re d e te rm in e d strategic objective,
the tactical plan, an d th e ongoing situation. M o re o v er, they are the visible re p re se n ta
tion o f concealed tactical th inking processes. A tta c k and cou n tera tta ck actions are the
m ost revealing m anifestations during a m atch. In term s o f quantitative p ro p o rtio n s, the
following wrestling form s can be distinguished: attack , attack and defense; defense and
attack; tactical defense.

g) M atch Tactics
M ean s of analysing a m atch should be w ell-organized, such as w atching the bouts
o f o p p o n e n ts o r the utilization o f video eq u ip m e n t. In this way, high-level wrestlers
w o n t be able to conceal their w eaknesses o r strengths during very close matches. Infor
m ation thus obtain ed will allow for m o re efficient p re p a ra tio n of m atches against p o te n
tial o p p o n en ts.
M atch tactics should take th e following situations into account:
1. G oals. E ach w restler should strive for a specific goal: his ranking in the c o m p eti
tion and the result o f each m atch,
2. Planning. Based on available inform atio n, the m eans to reach a given goal
should be clearly defined,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

3. L eadership. T h e h e a d coach should be the sole leader during a m atch, how ever
he should not ignore the opinions o f team m em b ers,
4. Offensive style. T h e im p lem en tatio n o f new rules to m ak e the m atch m ore d y n a
mic and sp ectacular have tran sform ed the offensive style into the necessity to attain high
levels of p erfo rm an c e,
5. C o n servatio n a nd pacing o f energies. A long with m easures ta k en to conserve
psychic e nergy, physical energy is p aced according to objectives an d o p p o n e n ts in speci
fic m atches. C areful allotm ent o f rest time is also im p o rta n t,
6. O p tim u m readiness. D ifferent m e th o d s may by used to bring the w restler to
p e a k physical condition. T h ey include rest, self-training, w arm -ups, massages, pep
talks, tactical planning, and the elimination of all stimulants,
7. Analysis o f m atches. T h e analysis can be carried o u t in a stru ctu red way or be
individual an d directed tow ards a specific goal. This analysis serves to reinforce self-as
surance, avoid erro rs, develop new tactics, increase know ledg e, etc,
8. U n p red ic ta b le te m p o ra ry factors. A wide variety o f external an d te m p o ra ry fac
tors influence tactics, an d require corresp o n din g adap ta tio n o r modification o f tactics.
A m o n g such factors are:
- modification to the m atch program ;
- injuries sustained by the wrestler;
- interru ption s o f the m atch due to a change of w e ath er, the re fe re e s decision, a
lesion, etc.;
- disappointing news, for example: the d e feat of a good team m ate, an unlucky
draw , a personal failure;
- organizational p ro b lem s o r adverse conditions (tra n sp o rta tio n delay, im p ro p e r
weighing in, lack o f sauna facilities, slippery m at covering, stuffy room ).

Tactical Planning o f H olds


T he tactical plan defines the general orien tatio n o f the progress o f the match. It is
a complex forecast which elem en ts assume various degrees o f probability o f application.
T he w restler w hose training is b ased on a m odel which reflects his o p p o n e n ts idiosyn
crasies will have a decided advanta ge during the match.
Tactical decisions are a result of logical thinking. If there is insufficient in fo rm a
tion, it is necessary to predict the o p p o n e n ts capacities an d p ro b a b le actions. E very
w restler should try to visualize the m atch from his o p p o n e n ts point o f view, and thus
build a plan against himself. This c o u n te r plan will allow for m o re realistic tactical p la n
ning.
T h e tactical plan develope d for a given w restler ten days b efore th e m atch can be
quite different from the o n e draw n up im m ediately prior to the m atch. T h e difference
usually stems from th e influence o f the w restlers m o o d just before the m atch, ra th e r
th an from any su p p lem e ntary inform ation. T h e w restlers fram e of mind im mediately
preceding the m atch can d ete rio ra te within a m a tte r o f minutes. U n d e r these circum
stances, if a positive change d o e sn t occur, realistic modifications should be m ad e in the
tactical plan.
H o w e v er, even the most realistic plan has its limits, since th e values which are
co m p a re d during tactical planning can vary greatly. T h e essential technical objectives
should include m axim u m a n d m inim um definitions. In this way, if a w restler is assigned
an objective which is b ey o n d his possibilities, he can resort to executing a m inim um
objective.
Since in m ost cases b oth com p etitors aspire to win, it is not surprising th a t exagge
rated tactical plans are very often draw n up. T o tal attack plans an d p referential hold

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

tactics are fairly co m m o n . Victory could be ob ta in e d if the w restler puts techniques or


tactics to his advantage. This often h a p p en s by m e an s o f non logical technical decision.
Actually, the lack o f logic is only a p p a ren t. Paradoxical tactics a re e lab o ra ted using
rules which contradict established tactical norm s an d co m m o n sense. Som etim es, their
strange u n ex pected characteristic paralyses an d confuses the op p o n en ts. T h e re are
m any cases w here a w restler w ho is less p re p a re d begins a match at a rapid pace to
achieve psychological superiority; a n o th e r sticks close to th e m at o r in a half b ridg e
to c o u n tera tta ck ; still a n o th e r deliberately loses points to put his o p p o n e n t at ease and
m akes up for th e m at the en d o f the m atch by good technique.
A good tactical plan is a simple one. D etails should not be so a b u n d a n t th at the
w restler forgets th em o r gets th em mixed up during the m atch. T h e following guidelines
should be kept in mind:
1. D efine the result sought in the m atch,
2. T ak e into account external conditions: size o f m at, ro o m te m p e ra tu re , sp ecta
tors,
3. E v alu ate the physical, technical-tactical, an d psychological characteristics of the
o p p o n e n t. In fo rm atio n o b ta in e d ab o u t the o p p o n e n t should not be considered definiti
ve n o r exact. In addition to considering th e subjective aspect, be careful n o t to overlook
the fact th at the o p p o n e n t m ay have b ecom e m o re proficient o r have d ev elo pe d new
arm s,
4. D e te rm in e technical-tactical m ea n s an d actions. E v alu atio n o f prelim inary data
is the basis for d eterm in ing holds, co u n ters, co u n tera ttac k s, technical-tactical co m p le
xes, a n d th e tactical m e an s and form s to be used by th e w restler during the m atch,
5. D e te rm in e th e pacing o f energies during the m atch. T h e level o f physical p re p a
ration o f the w restler an d his o p p o n e n t will d eterm in e th e pace set for the m atch,
6. D e te rm in e th e tactical form o f the m atch. This is decided in term s o f the stra te
gic objective, th e evaluation o f the o p p o n e n ts p otential, and th e choice of specific w res
tling techniques,
7. T a k e into account the ch a ra cter o f th e m atch. K eeping in m ind the strategic
o bjective assigned, along with all of the a b o v e -m en tio n ed aspects, th e coach an d w res
tler should set the tasks c orresp on d in g to th e various periods o f the m atch , according to
the practical conditions involved. T h e physical an d psychological loads caused by favo
rable o r un fav orab le results, as well as th e fatigue a ccum u lated th ro u g h o u t th e co m peti
tion must always be ta k en into account,
8. A ssessm ent plan. P rovide for m ean s and pro ce d u res to analyze th e op p o n en t.

h) Im plem entation o f the Tactical Plan f o r the Match


Im p lem en ta tio n o f the technical plan starts by finding o u t th e o p p o n e n ts in ten
tions. T h e plan has to be flexible. In o th e r w ords it m ust be readily modifiable to acco
m o d a te for u nusual o r u n pred ictable conditions. K een observ atio n of the o p p o n e n ts
actions a n d go o d ju d g m e n t applied to changes th at occur will allow for correct o rien ta
tion even in the m ost complex situations. This observation reveals the invisible structure
o f the o p p o n e n ts tactical plans; at th e sam e time care m ust be exercised to disguise
o n e s ow n tactical plans.
Tactical efforts m ust em phasize the su d d e n execution o f a hold so that the o p p o
n en t is tak e n by surprise a n d u n p re p a re d to resist energetically.
It is advisable for the w restler to be the first to attack. R esearch do n e by lo r and
K rai, specialists from the U n ite d States, has show n that 76% of the m atches w ere won
by the w restler w ho scored th e first technical point. T h e following list indicates a n u m
b e r of general situations which facilitate th e execution o f holds:

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

1. after a feint o r a sim ulated attack;


2. after having skillfully m a n e u v e re d , set u p an d r e a d the o p p o n e n t;
3. after having baited an d in d u ced the o p p o n te n t to attack;
4. after a deliberate change o f controls;
5. after a modification in the height o r distance o f the wrestling stance;
6. after having u n b alan ced the o p p o n e n t;
7. at a m o m e n t w h ere the o p p o n e n t is at a psychological disadvantage, for ex a m
ple after losing points o r m aintaining a pro lo ng ed bridge position, when showing signs
of fatigue, etc.;
8. w hen switching from one hold to a n o th e r following a c orresponding defense
reaction o f the o p p o n e n t;
9. at the beginning o f a hold while th e o p p o n e n t is still disoriented;
10. in the case o f a double attack , when th e o p p o n e n t is convinced the first attack
was ineffective;
11. during th e execution o f a hold, b efo re the o p p o n e n t has a chance to attain
a stable position;
12. at the edge o f a m at, taking advantage of the o p p o n e n ts fatigue;

13. immediately after the referees signal (if the opponent isnt anticipating an
attack);
14. after an incom plete throw by the o p p o n e n t;
15. by assuming a p ro n e starting position;
16. w hen an o p p o n e n t misses a throw;
17. at th e o p p o n e n ts first fake.
O p p o rtu n itie s for executing technical moves during ongoing m atch situations have
b e en re d u c ed to th e following system by A . L enz, an em in en t Soviet specialist:
- opportu n ities which arise when th e o p p o n e n t switches from one wrestling posi
tion to a n o th er;
- o pp o rtun ities which reveal them selves during m aneuve rs;
- op p o rtu n ities which p resen t them selves at the edge o f the m at, following errors.

Holds and controls should progress simultaneously, with precision and from both
sides. Exercise caution when executing holds o n the o p p o n e n ts sweating body; analyze
the holds used by the o p p o n e n t to try to p rev en t him from repeatin g them .
Escaping from the m a t o r pushing an o p p o n e n t off the m at are actions th a t are
subject to cautions.
E nergies should be rationally distributed o ver the various match p eriods, b re a t h
ing correctly and rythmically, while relaxing muscles.
Wrestling for initiative and psychological superiority during the m atch is o f utm ost
im p ortan ce in o rd e r to win. T h e co m p e tito r must try to im pose his own style o f wrestl
ing on his o p p o n e n t a n d b reak down his psychological stability.
A t any given m o m e n t during the m atch, the w restler should know how many
points he has gained o r lost.
If a w restler loses by points, he has to tak e the chance of winning by a fall. F u r
th e rm o re , the w restler must be able to maitain his established superiority right up to the
en d o f the m atch, taking advanta ge of the risks tak e n by his losing and tired o p p o n en t.
W inning by a fall has its own distinctive features. T h e fall is achieved mainly by
executing holds which lead to a fall. If a surprise tactic fails to bring a b ou t a win by a
fall, th en the w restler must im pose a fast a n d dynamic pace. T h e o p p o n e n t, who is worn
down and confuscd by the sudden changes a n d diversity of the m atch, lacks the will to
resist and is m ore likely to com m it errors.
A lthough the competitive w restler must follow the tactical instructions o f his
coach, it is also necessary for him to show a certain a m o u n t o f creativity and indepen-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

dence. T h e tru e value o f tactical discipline is not fully ap p reciated . Arriving late to a
practice is considered a serious offense, w h ereas lack o f enthusiasm displayed in offen
sive wrestling after several m o n th s o f training is only weakly c o nd e m n e d .
R est p eriods b etw een b o u ts give the instructor a chance to appraise a w restlers
pe rfo rm an c e, point o u t the o p p o n e n ts w eaknesses which w ere not exploited, an d a d
vise the m ost effective m ea n s of continuing th e match.

15.4 WRESTLING STYLE AND ITS DISTINCTIVE FEATURES


T h e subject o f wrestling style has not b een dealt with to any g reat extent. E v a lu a
tion criteria have b een d ev elo p ed mainly for those sports which requ ire an appraisal of
p erfo rm an c e style. In spite o f the fre q u en t use o f the w o rd (technical style, style o f a t
tack, beautiful style, dynam ic style), this aspect o f the sport has n ever b een clearly d e
fined. A lth o u gh it is p resently impossible to give a com plete definition o f style, we
suggest th e following interp retation .
Style is an individual m anifestation in competitive wrestling which is characterized
by the relative stability o f technical-tactical traits, and reflects the d e v elo p m en t, the
p rep aratio n an d the condition o f the w restler, as well as his social background.
T h e overall d e v elo p m en t o f wrestling defines th e evolution an d ad a p ta tio n of
style. T h e characteristics of a w restlers style invariably reflect his training but only up
to a certain degree. E v en if wrestlers are train ed by the sam e coach u n d e r alm ost id en
tical conditions, they will acquire different technica-tactical systems. N onetheless, a
g ro u p o f wrestlers will be characterized by certain co m m o n traits, in spite o f en o rm o u s
individual differences.
D esp ite individual differences an d the fact that no tw o m atches are exactly alike,
we have o bserved tha t wrestlers from d ifferent countries can be typified by certain sp e
cific traits. T h e overall style can be said to have a social and historical p ersonality
which is b o rn o f the traditions, ethno-psychological n orm s, m orals and ethical standards
o f a social milieu.
T h e general style o f an individual w restler is co m po sed o f his most p ro m in en t
traits. T h e desire to create uniform styles is a m ark o f the times (uniform program s,
m eth o d s a n d training, e n h a n c e d com m unications). This gives rise to tw o particular
problem s:
1. T h e d e v elo p m en t and u pdating o f style in a given country should be carefully
p lan n ed o ut from a starting level, b ased on the expected future evolution o f wrestling
(w ithout blindly following traditions an d past p erform ances),
2. A im ing for uniform style d o e sn t m ean the w restler has to sacrifice individuality.
It only serves to establish correct guidelines for training.
T h e basic traits which allow a com p arative analysis of styles can be reduced to four
groups:
1. Techniques:
- kinds of holds, co un ters and c o un te ra tta ck s
- effectiveness o f w inning by point o r by fall
- p e t v holds, the n u m b e r and type o f the c o m p lem en tary techniques of the
w restlers stance and the re fe re e s position.
2. E xecution:
- profile o f w restle rs stance and re fe re e s position
- distances an d m o v em e n ts, the type and force o f dynamic controls

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

- originality o f technical-tactical execution


- th e dynamics, expressiveness, a nd b eau ty o f technical-tactical actions
- wrestling n e a r the edge o f th e m a t, the ability to fall an d avoid bridging.
3. C oord in atio n :
- the use o f a series of technical-tactical actions
- type an d n u m b e r o f com binations an d technical-tactical complexes.
4. Tactics:
-

p ro p o rtio n of attacks, c ou n tera ttac k s, an d co u n ters used


ability to induce cautions
originality of tactical ideas and p erfo rm an ces
dynamics of wrestling pace.

A lth ou g h style isnt everything in w restling, it constitutes a fo un d atio n for success


an d potential d e v e lo p m e n t of individual wrestlers an d team s.
A sp ort will no t m aintain longstanding success w ithout creating its own school and
style, b ased on national traditions, scientific achie v em ents, general synthesis of w o rld
wide experien ce, ethnic a n d social characteristics. C reatin g a school m eans to create
a sports infrastructure an d a training system for high caliber athletes, starting with
children, and using uniform m e th o d s, co m p o n e n ts o r an overall system with systematic
updating. A thletic ac h iev em en t will no longer d e p e n d on the talent o f individual w rest
lers, but rath er o n the system and the style which will continuously train an athletic
elite.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

15.
A. WRESTLING TECHNIQUE

General Characteristics of Wrestling Technique


W restling technique consists of a set o f holds, counters, an d co u n te rattac k s which
are the w e a p o n s by which a w restler seeks to win a m atch. Technical pre p ara tio n is
in terre la te d with all o th e r aspects of a training program . Wrestling te ch n iq ue is co rrela
ted to a w restlers ap titu d es, n evertheless it is also a m eans to d ev elo p his proficicncy.
Individual differences in executing holds account for the rich nuance in tech n iq u es and
co n tribu te to their evolution.
W restling techn iqu e is deve lo p e d along fo u r main lines:
1. Discovering new holds;
2. Increasing the effectiveness o f a w restlers re p erto ry of holds while perfecting
th eir b iom echanical an d biodynam ic structures and the specific sequence o f p re p ara to ry
actions;
3. U sing holds b o rro w ed from o th e r wrestling styles, with o r w ithout modification;
4. C o m binin g techniques in the form o f various technical-tactical complexes.
M any o f the holds b o rro w ed from wrestling styles o f different countries w ere ex
trem ely effective in intern atio n al com p etitio ns, h ow ever, wrestlers gradually m anaged
to develop logical cou n ters an d cou n tera tta ck s for alm ost all o f them .
T he effectiveness o f various holds changes constantly, d ep en d in g on w h e th e r
attack o r defense tactics are em p h asized. T h e main trend s in the evolution of m od ern
w restling are c h aracterized by new individualized biom echanical a nd biodynam ic struc
tu res, as well as co m bin atio n s a nd technical-tactical complexes.

B. THE STRUCTURE OF HOLDS


Most holds include various cyclic structural units which follow a certain sequence
according to the internal logic o f m o to r action.
T h e g reat m ajority of young wrestlers learn holds w ithout going through the neces
sary p re p a ra to ry tactics which are the key to m asterin g them . T h ese tactics encom pass
the gen eral p relim inary m o ve m en ts, the basic execution and the possibility of co m b in a
tions and associated m o v em e n ts leading to the actual result (bridging, fall). In the sam e
line of th o u g h t, it is necessary to distinguish b etw een tw o structures: the general structu
re and the basic structure. A n analysis o f most of the techniques from a biom echanical,
logical and methodological stan d po in t reveals three in terre lated phases:
- the p re p a ra to ry p hase is co m po sed of p re p a ra to ry m ean s including specific pro-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

p arato ry tactics for each hold. It also includes controls, which although traditionally
th o u gh t of as the beginning o f the hold, are alm ost always the result o f a series o f p re
p arato ry m ovem ents.
- the basic p hase encom pa sses the structure o f the hold itself, which can be furth er
divided into th e grip and the execution.
- th e grip m ay be p erfo rm ed eith er p rio r to o r at the sam e time as the execution.
F u rth e rm o r e , the w restler can m aintain the sam e grip th ro u g h o u t, o r change it in
a sequence o f different arm and leg m ov em en ts.
- the execution is the most conservative and constant elem en t o f the hold. In most
cases, it is p e rfo rm e d autom atically with little o r no variation. H o w e v er, there are times
w hen fully conscious control is req uired thro u g h o u t the entire execution (e. g. d ouble
leg ta k e d o w n , full Nelson).
W hile visual analysis w ould seem to indicate th a t form s o f execution are quite simi
lar, d y n a m o m etry shows considerable differences especially in regard to th e explo
sive force o f p e t holds.
- the final p hase covers the time during which the o p p o n e n t is being m a n eu v e red
into the re f e re e s position, a bridge o r a fall.
Should the o p p o rtu nity arise, it is possible to switch to a n o th e r hold at any point
during o n e o f the a b ov e -m e ntion e d phases.
T h e structure o f th e hold is variable. T h e following modifications are the most
com m on:
1. C o n d e n sed hold. This is accom plished by reducing the n u m b e r a nd length of
p re p a ra to ry actions, as well as th e trajectory o f the throw . F or instance, th e h e a d and
arm may be executed as an elem entary side tak ed o w n w ithout lifting. In this case, the
hold is n ot only c on d en sed , it is tra n sfo rm ed from a thro w into a tu rn o v e r,
2. P rotra cte d hold. This is especially du e to th e o p p o n e n ts resistance. In certain
cases, it is ad v an ta geou s to modify the form in o rd e r to stall the o p p o n e n t,
3. D iachronic throw. T h e w restler starts by a hold, an d at the last m o m e n t o f the
second p hase, he transform s it into a n o th e r hold with only a slight change of m ovem ent.
F o r exam ple, when executing a re a r waistlock throw (souple), the w restler twists
a ro u n d the lateral axis of his b od y at the last m in ute to execute a half souple,
4. C hang e in the sequ en ce o f m ovem ents. By shifting d ifferent parts o f the body,
th e seq u en ce and speed o f m o vem en ts m ay be varied in regard to pla n n ed o r previously
used holds. F o r instance, som e wrestlers w ho begin with souple, curve their body before
executing th e grip (which is paradoxical b u t effective),
5. Fusion o f a throw. This refers to shortenin g o r eliminating th e transition time
b etw een the various dynamic c o m p o n e n ts which m ak e up certain holds. T h u s, th e wais
tlock lift can be tra n sfo rm ed directly into a b ack w ard throw in o ne contin u o us action.
6. A b a n d o n in g throw. T h e th ro w is a b a n d o n e d w hen the o p p o n e n t shows strong
resistance o r th ere is a risk of coun terattack.
F ro m the stan d p oin t o f structural analysis, it is well-known th a t th ere is a functio
nal relationship betw een structures of various levels which influences th eir construction.
A given hold is e a rm a rk e d by certain recurring cues which may th erefore be exam ined
as on e o f its co n stan t properties. B ecause of th eir g reat similarities, o u r discussion of the
characteristics o f holds will be o f a very general n ature.
1.
E valuation o f th e hold. T he evaluation is defined in term s o f its effectiveness
an d the difficulty o f execution. H olds are ju d g e d on a scale of 1 to 4 points.
Several criteria are used to evaluate a hold:
a) effectiveness in term s o f points
b) effectiveness in term s of fall
c) success rating

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

d) prioritiy (in o th e r w ords th e partial a m o u n t as c o m p are d to the general quantity


o f the technique used)
e) valence
f) d esired effect
g) value o f hold.
All techn iq u es have an esthetic an d psycho-tactical value. Beautiful holds elicit the
ad m iratio n of spectators, are esthetically satisfying to the w restler, a re rated higher by
jud g es, a n d have a psychological effect on the o p p o n en t.
2. V alue o f a hold. T h e value o f a hold is d e te rm in e d by the effect it has on the
w restler from a physiological, psychological an d bioenergetical standpoint. Executing
a hold, as a m o to r and inform ation function, has a d etrim e n tal effect on the energy and
psychic p otentials o f the organism . T h e n u m ero u s m o v em e n ts preceeding p e ne tration
disturb the rhythm of b reathing. T hese m o v em en ts com bined with the ensuing lift,
during which the b re a th is held, are en o u g h to substantially reduce oxygen intake.
T h row s requiring a twisting action (half souple, re a r h o o k , fire m a n s carry), especially
w hen re p e a te d , te n d to overstim ulate th e vestibular system, th ere b y disorienting the
w restler an d upsetting his sense o f balance. H o ld s which are vulnerable to c o u n te r a t
tacks, such as souple or ho o k tak ed o w n s, as well as traum atizing holds, have a consi
d erab le psychological effect.
3. Prospects o f a hold. A lth o u g h the success rating was previously m en tio n ed in
the evaluation o f a hold, this question requires a m o re detailed analysis. T h e od d s are
rep re se n te d by th e success ratio of a tte m p te d holds or c o u nterattack s. T h e successful
execution of all phases o f a technique requires variety, stability an d self-confidence.
4. V alence of a hold. This refers to the possibilities a hold has o f combining with
o th e r holds eith e r to start th em , continue th e m , o r set th em up. T h u s, th e valence d e
gree is d e te rm in e d by the n u m b e r of links leading to o th e r holds. T h e links constitute a
valence zone an d reflect the c o m b in a tory po w er of the hold.
5. V ariance a nd adapta bility o f holds. This p ro p e rty is mainly re lated to m o to r re
flexes. H old s are typified by certain general fe atu re s, h o w ever each w restler signs a
hold with his own personal style (label).
6. Spatial characteristics. R esearch b ased on the following aspects is o f considera
ble interest:
a) T h e study o f th e various defense a nd attack polygons o f d ifferent stances, dis
tances an d holds. R e feren ce w orks on wrestling frequently find th a t there is a direct co r
relation b etw e en the height o f a stance an d its defense op p o rtu n ities. Since a hold is an
interactive struggle b e tw ee n tw o systems, it should be p oin te d o u t th a t a high stance
prop ortio n ally reduces Technical-tactical actions defense op p o rtu n itie s (fig. 98). F o r
each of his o p p o n e n ts stances o r positions, the w restler has a specific a ttack, defense or
c o u n te ra tta c k polygon, an d must know which technical-tactical m oves can be used wit
hin its bo u n daries. Figure 99 illustrates the attack polygon for G re c o -R o m a n wrestling
an d for freestyle wrestling.
b) E ach hold has its own attack polygon which starts with the offensive w restlers
stance a n d ends according to the evolution o f th e attack. T o execute a souple, A ngelov
(48 kg) uses a horizontal a re a of a length o f 2,90 m, Nikolov (90 kg) - 3,47 m, T o m ov
(over 100 kg) - 3,96 m. T h e attack polygon of each hold has its own specific form which
changes if th e hold is used in a com bination.
c) Useful inform atio n may also be o b ta in e d by analysing d ro m o g ram s showing the
displacem ents of the wrestlers on th e m at an d th eir direction, the places where holds are
ex e cu te d , the move used to initiate the main attack , the n u m b e r of m o vem ents, etc.
(fig. 100).
d) W restle rs also have spatial dim ensions (height, length o f limbs, surface area,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Low stance

M ed iu m stance

High stance

Figure 98

Figure 99
etc.). From a given position, a w restler may attack only certain p arts of the body: from a
low position - the legs; from a high position - the arm and neck. In this case, we are d e a
ling with a som atic attack polygon. T h e Bulgarian w restler S tanco Kolev h ad an average
build, but because of his long arm s, he could execute waistlock rolls, d eep p e n e tra tio n s,
and o th e r holds against which his o p p o n e n ts w ere defenseless. W h e n p erform ing a tight
waist roll, he locked his arm s a ro u n d his o p p o n e n t in a vice grip; th en tackling him by
the knees, he executed a forceful waistlock roll, m aking any defense o r c o u nte ratta ck
impossible.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

7.
S trength and sp eed characteristics. W h en each hold is p e rfo rm e d , various parts
o f th e w restlers bodies go th ro ug h a com plex se qu en ce o f m oves at different speeds.
T h e reaction at the beginning, w hen the wrestlers p e n e tra te o r execute takedo w ns is d e
cisive in w inning, because the acceleration is tran sm itted by the u p p e r parts of a w res
tler's body to that o f his o p p o n e n t. T he initial sp eed w hen executing holds is different.
W restlers usually p e n e tr a te with accu m u lated s p e e d , w h ereas in o th e r cases (tight
waist roll, full N elson, e tc.), the initial speed is negligible.
Studies available to us on freestyle wrestling m en tio n ten sio m etric research which
has b een d o n e on the fire m a n s carry in p a rtic u la r.1O u r research has confirm ed the pos
sibility o f using this hold to control the n e u ro -m usc u lar system and m o to r coordination.
T h e execution o f fire m a n s carries of in equal p ro p o rtio n s by th e M as te r A th letes with
distinction Is. A bilov a nd J. M ustafov indicates a similarity in the tensiogram configura-

Marta (U S S R ) - Christian ( R O M .)

Marta (U S S R ) - Chr. Sotirov ( B U L .)

1st part

2nd part

Battsouk h ( M O N G .)

Y a n k o v M ( B U L .)
Figure 100

' F o r c o n v e n i e n c e p u r p o s e s , w e u s e d t h e k g f t o m a k e c o m p a r i s o n s p o s s ib le w ith p r e v i o u s d a
ta . T h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l u n it f o r m e a s u r i n g f o r c e is t h e N e w t o n ( N ) . O n e k g f e q u a l s 9 .8 0 6 N.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

t = 1,50 s
A
t = 1,50 s

115

X,

175
240
,\5 0

F I R E M A N S C A R R Y

Y u. Saidov, M aster athlete

Is. A b ilo v , M aster athlete with distinction


Figure 101
tion. A n individual analysis o f tensiogram s reveals p h e n o m e n a which ca n n o t be o b se r
ved by the n ak ed eye even in kinegram s. W e have divided th e h e a d lock throw into fo ur
phases: p rep a ratio n (tie-up, b e n d an d p en e tra tio n o f hip u n d e r o p p o n e n ts b o d y),
th rust, thro w an d final effort (final pressure). T he distinction be tw ee n phases c o rr e
sponds to the effect of th e forces used, the em phasis being placed on thrust. T his c h arac
terizes the th ro w p h ase, during which th e o p p o n e n t is com pletely controlable. It would
also be possible to study the m axim u m force, th e g ra d ie n t and the effort. T h e m ost sig
nificant tensiogram s are show n in Figure 102. Stojan N ikolov a n d C hristo T ra jk o v are
well-known as Champions w h o utilize this hold. T h eir execution is characterized by a
longer p re p a ra to ry p h ase (0,70 and 0,80 sec. respectively), consisting of securing a good
position u n d e r th e o p p o n e n t. This is especially true fo r T ra jk o v . T h e ir first ph ase is th e
refore re p rese n te d by tw o curves, b u t has a longer, m o re controlled effect on th e o p p o
n ent; the th ro w is always beautifully an d effectively executed. N ik o lov s and T r a jk o v s
throw s have a gre ater range (cf. kinegram Figure 103), with a m ax im um force o f 200
and 175 kgf and with readings of 58 and 50 kgf in th e horizo n tal plan. In th e exam ple
given, th e m o v e m e n t takes longer because th ey are throw ing an o p p o n e n t, instead o f a
d um m y.
Souples are beautiful an d effective holds, b u t are difficult to execute. D u rin g ou r
research , we o b serv ed tw o basic types of souples: souple with sw eep an d souple by u n
balancing and su b seq u en t sw eep o f th e o p p o n e n t. In o rd e r to m a k e a co m pariso n , we
used two typical tensiogram s. T h e co m p e tito r Sava secures a r e a r waistlock on th e d u m
my an d . at the sam e tim e, by a b ackw ard m o v e m e n t, he executes a sw eep th a t is registe
red on th e tensiogram by a p e a k o f 204 kgf (fig. 104). D u rin g the throw ing p h ase, the
legs push the p latform back w ard (57 kgf); the tu rn o v e r is also e x ecu ted by th rusting b ac
kw ard along the th re e axes (52, 25 an d 30 kgf respectively).
T h e th ro w p erfo rm ed by th e young w restler S to jan T o m o v is exactly the opposite (fig.
105). A fter having secured a waistlock on the d u m m y , he leans fo rw ard, causing a re-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

II

III

IV

A
135
195
58 kgf

29 kgf

0,70

0,32 10,28) 0,20

1,50 s

St. N ik o lo v , M aster athlete with distinction

III

IV
56

135

175 kgf

50 kgf

! 29 kgf

0,80

0,26 0,26;

0,48

Chr. Traikov, M aster athlete with


distinction - K. D im itrov

1,80 s

vertical
(kgf)
F -k g f
V - 50 mm/s
F, = 121 kgf
F, m
ax= 204 kgf
F, max= 2 0 0 1 N
(n ew to n s)
Fend= 2 0 8 kgf
F2max=57 kgf
R a n g e = 6 2 kgf
F2max= 5 kgf
F3 m
ax= 30 kgf
R a n g e = 4 8 kgf
F3max=18 kgf
t - 1.52 s

F2 - horizontal R
(kgf)
F-, - lateral
(kgf)

Phases t
E x ecu ted by Sava Christov, M aster A th le te ,
83 kg, with a 38 kg dum m y
Figure 104
versal o f th e force norm ally applied along the vertical axis ( - 6 5 kgf), then the sweep
carries the o p p o n e n t up with a vertical force o f 100 kgf and a pow erful horizontal force
o f 80 kgf. A s we can see, th e w restler w ho executes a th ro w by unbalancing his o p p o
n en t n ever reaches his m ax im um force, equal to the total weight o f the w restler and the
d u m m y ( 9 1 + 3 8 = 1 2 9 kg). H o w e v e r, he p e rf o rm s th e h o ld fas ter (1.38 to 1.54 sec).
The second throw is less practical for the following reasons:
1. It lengthens the p re p a ra to ry ph ase (in th e case 1,2 0,52 sec.) which gives the o p
p o n e n t the o p p o rtu n ity to react;
2. T h e biod yn am ic p otential of the muscles decreases because of their full action;
3. L eaning forw ard gives th e o p p o n e n t the o p p o rtu n ity to co u n te rattac k by m o
ving directly into a souple b efore the offensive w restler even has a chance to attack;

49 kgf

F -k g f

0,168

31 kgf
80 kgf
100 kgf
,80 kgf
129 kgf
15 kgf
145 kgf

65 kgf

20 kgf

C -

124 s

0,30 s

1,38 s

Figure 105

4. Throws without a sweep always carry the danger of a press action.


Even though this throw has certain weaknesses, this doesnt mean it should be re
jected entirely. The wrestler should, however, be aware of the pitfalls of leaning for
ward and the reduced force of the sweep.
A synchronized analysis of kinegrams, tensiograms and other research reveal that
high-level werstlers have specific executions which are different from the widely accep
ted models of holds. Kinegram No. 2 shows a shoulder throw by Peter Kirov - Euro
pean, World and Olympic champion (fig. 106).
The hold starts by an unusual control of the opponents left arm, from the side, fol
lowed by an arm twist. At a certain point, the stage is set for the execution of a shoulder
throw and the hold finishes almost like a firemans carry without leg grappling. The key
to complete mastery of wrestling lies precisely in the proficient execution of such series
of heterogeneous actions.

Figure 106

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

16.

THE BIOMECHANICS OF WRESTLING

A good know ledge o f biom echanics is necessary to use techniques in adverse co n


ditions, such as: w h en an o p p o n e n t offers resistance, w hen time is running ou t, w hen
th ere is an ele m e n t o f risk and w hen situations d o n t rep e at them selves. A lth o u g h very
little research has been d o n e in biom echanics, specialists in the a dvanced countries of
the w orld are now turning to biom echanical analysis to try to find new optim al stru ctu
res for tech n iq ues, ra th e r th an relying on the m e th o d of trial an d e r r o r . A know ledge
o f b iom echanical laws allows rationalizing p re p ara tio n m e th o d s, reducing learning ti
m e, and form ing alert personalities.

16.1 THE USE OF BALANCE IN WRESTLING


In wrestling, it is difficult to m aintain b alan ce, because b oth wrestlers strive to di
srupt each o t h e r s balance e ith e r by a front o r back ta k e d o w n , a th ro w o r a tu rn o v e r on
the m at. D u rin g most o f the m atch , the wrestlers are precariously b alan c ed and co n stan
tly seek to regain their balance.
T he first condition for m aintaining balance is for the w restler to k e e p his ce n te r of
gravity within th e base o f support. T h e are a o f the m a t b etw een the co n to u rs of the feet
(in a standing position) o r th e legs a n d o th e r parts o f the body in contact with its surface
(r e fe re e s position o r bridge) is called th e base o f su p po rt. All o th e r conditions being
e qu al, th e size o f th e base is directly p ro p o rtio n a l to stability. T h e re fo r e , th e w restler
must strive to m a k e his base of sup p o rt as large as possible: in a standing position, by
lengthening th e line (1) b etw een his feet (fig. 107) and by placing his feet parallel; on
th e g ro u n d , by placing the arm s and legs as far o u t to the side as possible, w ithout lea
ving openings in his defense (fig. 108).
A stable balance d e p e n d s on th e height o f the b o d y s c en te r of gravity an d its p ro
jection on th e base of su pp o rt. G re a te s t stability is o b tain ed w hen this p rojection falls
n e a r th e ce n te r o f the base (fig. 107). W hen the w restler m oves, th e p ro jection o f his
ce n te r of gravity m oves closer to o r farth er from this point. T h ese variations change
w hat is know n as th e angle o f stability which is co n tain ed b e tw een the p rojectio n o f the
C G and the lines jo ining the C G of the p eriph ery of th e base (fig. 108 and 109). B alance
is d isru p ted as soon as th e p ro jectio n falls outside th e base (fig. 111). T h e height o f the
C G is inversely pro p o rtio n al to stability. C o n seq u en tly , a high C G requires g reater
m uscular effort. A w restler is less stable in the high stance both because his C G is high

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 108

Figure 109
and because the a rea o f his base o f su p p o rt is smaller. Figure 110 illustrates the changes
in the angle o f stability for different C G positions: C, C b C 2 et C 3.
Since the C G is a main reference point in biom echanics, it should be n o ted th at it is
situated in a sp h e re of 5 to 6 m m in d ia m e te r be tw ee n the first and fifth lu m b ar v erte
b ra e and halfway b etw een the spinal colum n and the front arc of the pelvis. It is located
slightly to th e right o f the central axis since th e right side o f th e body is heavier. T he
exact location of the c en ter o f gravity varies not only because of changes in body position
but also for physiological reasons. F o r ex am p le, after long w o rk o u ts with the legs, the
capillary vessels in th e leg muscles b eco m e larger a n d increase th e flow of b lo o d, th e r e
by m aking the low er p a rt of the body h eav ie r and lowering the C G . W restlers adeptly
change th e position o f parts o f th eir bodies as c om p en sa to ry m o v e m en ts to k eep their
balance.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

A 1

/<* I I

Figure 110

CD>C,D,

Figure 111
T o upset an o p p o n e n ts balance, the w restler should direct his actions to w ard his
o p p o n e n ts smallest angle o f stability (fig. I l l : < a < a , ) . H ow ever, it is im p o rtant to take
into consideration the m o m e n t o f stability which is equal to body weight multiplied by
the leyer arm . T h e re fo re , unbalancing th e o p p o n e n t d e p en d s not only on the size of the
base and the height of the C G , but also on the w restlers weight. Placing wrestlers in dif
ferent weight categories d o e sn t entirely co m p e n sa te for the effect o f gravity. V ery o f
ten , a transfer of weight which causes the p rojection of the C G to ap p ro ach the p erip h e
ry o f the base of su p p o rt, can be used advantageously to attack the op p o n en t.

Figure 112

Figure 113

J a p a n es e wrestlers (fig. 112) excel at unbalanc ing th eir o p p o n e n t. D uring their


training, they d raw isoceles triangles o n the m a t an d th e v ertex indicates the best d irec
tion for unbalancing the o p p o n e n t (fig. 112).
D u rin g a m atch , it is o u r opinion th at a b iom echanical w restler-w restler system
is c re ated , which has n u m e ro u s distinctive featu res th a t have n o t yet b een studied. For
ex am p le, in m an y studies the base o f su p p o rt has b e e n e xam ined from a static view
point: as an invariable dim ension. In fact, it changes considerably according to the o p
p o n e n ts actions and the dynamic u p p e r su p p o rt o n th e o th e r w restlers body. S upport
on the surface of the m a t is firm a nd stable, w h ereas su pp o rt on th e o p p o n e n ts body
changes constantly according to the m o v em e n ts of b o th wrestlers w h o strive to attain
th eir ow n objectives. Som etim es, the projection o f the C G falls far forw ard, but the
w restler d o e s n t fall because the reciprocal control acts as an u p p e r mobile su p p o rt (fig.
113). In cases w here the w restler lifts his o p p o n e n t, he has to k eep his balance in o rd er
to execute an effective throw. His stability d ecreases, because lifting the o p p o n e n t gives
the w restler-w restler system a new co m m o n base o f su p p o rt an d a new co m m o n C G ,
which is higher and has a smaller angle o f stability ( c f . < a and /3 in fig. 109). F u rth erm o re,
the to p (lifted) w restler k eeps moving in an effort to u pset his o p p o n e n ts balance. Both
th e m uscular an d the vestibular systems com e into play as the bo tto m w restler struggles
to recover his balanc e by increasing the distance be tw ee n his feet o r by stepping in the
direction in which he is off balance. In a ddition to the ab o v e-m en tio n e d pro ced u re s, the
w restler tries to k eep his balance by transfering the weight of his body in the opposite
direction of his o p p o n e n ts m o v e m e n t, o r reacts by contracting o r relaxing his muscles.
D isrupting the o p p o n e n ts balance in the standing position is essential to the exe
cution o f m ost holds. It can be best accom plished in th e following ways:
1. By pulling the o p p o n e n t tow ard oneself, to the side, o r a com b in atio n o f both;
2. By carrying the o p p o n e n t along in a m o v em en t e ith er tow ard o r away from o n e
self, o r sideways;
3. By pushing the o p p o n e n t b ac k w ard , to th e side, o r a com b in atio n o f both;
4. By taking advanta ge o f an o p p o n e n ts reaction to a pull o r a push;
5. By creating a m o m e n t o f ro tatio n by applying tw o o p posing forces;
6. By d ecreasing the o p p o n e n ts base of su p p o rt by raising his stance (double leg,
body lift, etc.).
7. By m aking the C G higher by raising the o p p o n e n ts stance.
W h en attacking from a standing position, it is very im p o rta n t that b o th wrestlers

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

feet be in reciprocal positions. O pposing stances and incorrect transfer o f weight from
o n e foot to the o th e r offer the best o p p o rtun itie s to upset th e o p p o n e n ts balance.
In g rou n d wrestling, the large base o f su p p o rt an d the low C G position ensure
g o od stability. A ltho u g h turnovers can be e x ecu ted a ro u n d any o f the m ain axes of the
b ody, from a biom echanical stan d p o in t turnovers a ro u n d the vertical axis are the easiest
to perform . Since th e distances b e tw ee n the p erip hery o f the base and the p rojection of
the C G vary, th e angles o f stability o f th e body also vary to w ard the fro n t ( a ) , the back
(y), an d th e side (/3) (fig. 108 a).
By combining strength with body weight, th e to p w restler can m o re easily execute
p a ncak es (turnovers). W h e n he applies all o r p a rt o f his body weight to his o p p o n e n t,
b o th wrestlers have a co m m o n C G . W h en the to p w restler tries to p erfo rm a p an c ak e ,
he thrusts his weight to the side, displacing th e p ro jectio n o f th e C G outside th e base of
sup p o rt, and blocks his o p p o n e n t in a bridge o r on the back V altchi k a p a n e (p o w er
Nelson an d leg lock), s a r m a (leg ride), gut w rench.
T h e p an cak e is even easier to execute by raising the C G (lifting before doing a gut
w rench) or by reducing th e base o f su p p o rt (forcing the o p p o n e n t to flatten o u t during a
s a rm a - leg ride, turning him o v er with a chicken wing, o r tackling th e k nees before
the gut w rench, etc.).
In th e bridge position (fig. 108 b), th e high C G and th e relatively small angle m ake
it easy to turn o ver on th e stom ach. T h e re fo re , according to biom echanics principles, to
bridge o ut o f an o p p o n e n ts control, it is necessary to:
1. R aise th e C G by assuming a high bridge position;
2. D ecrease th e base o f su p p o rt by rem oving a h a n d and m oving the foot in the di
rection opposite to th at o f th e turnover;
3. U se th e muscles energetically.
T h e position from which the to p w restler applies his weight on th e bo tto m w restler
can provide th e down w restler with a n u m b e r o f attack oppo rtun ities. T h e closer the
projections o f th eir C G s an d the sm aller the to p w restlers base o f su p p o rt, the gre ater
the chances are for th e b o tto m w restler to execute a th ro w tow ard the n earest bo u n d a ry
o f the b ase, after an a d e q u a te control.

16.2 USE O F F O R C E S IN W R E S T L IN G
T h e m o to r activity of the w restler depend s on the unilateral o r co m b in ed action of
external and internal forces. T h e force ex e rted by weight com es into play in nu m ero us
techniques.

Lifting the opponent


Most holds initiated from the w restlers stance o r the re fe re e s position are exe cu
ted by partially o r com pletely lifting the o p p o n e n t from the m at. D ep riv ed of his base of
sup p o rt, the defensive w restler can offer little resistance during the progress of the hold:
double legs, h ead , and hip throws, souples, h ooks, leg blocks an d waistlocks.
A partial lift d ecreases the base o f su pp o rt and raises th e C G : front tak e d o w n with
leg tackle w ithout lifting, tc h e r e k (O lym pic lift), reverse chicken wing, arm levers,
etc.
W h e n lifting, the w restler exerts a force which is g re a te r th an th e total o r partial
weight of his o p p o n en t. T h e e q uatio n W = m g shows th a t weight is equal to mass m ulti
plied by the force o f gravity. Since, for all practical purposes, gravitational force is a

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

co n stan t, the o p p o n e n ts weight d e p e n d s mainly o n his mass. B ecause of gravity, the


b od y o f the lifted w restler falls to w ard the m at. T h e offensive w restler tries to translate
this falling m otion into an effective throw.

Pressure provided by weight


A w restler can apply p ressure on his o p p o n e n t by using b o th body weight an d m u s
cular force. W eight is often used as a force in standing wrestling: blocking an o p p o n e n t
during p e n e tra tio n , souple, force headlock, reversals, etc. T h e force o f weight plays a
m ore im p o rtan t role in g ro u n d wrestling by m aking th e use o f legs and arm s m o re effec
tive: s a r m a (leg ride), valtchi k a p a n e (p o w e r N elson and leglock), full N elson, in
side s a r m a (inside leg rid e), chicken wing, etc.

Unblancing
A s previously explained, balance d e p e n d s on weight. H o w ev er, the m o v em e n t of
the p ro je ctio n o f the C G on the base o f su p p o rt is m ore im p o rtan t than weight. T h e far
t h e r the p ro jection o f th e C G is from the limits o f the b ase, the m o re kinetic energy is
requ ired to upset the w re stle rs balance.
W h e n th e w restler is in a static position on the m a t, his w eight p ro du ces an equal
an d o pposite force called th e s u p p o rt reaction force . W h e n executing a p en e tratio n ,
the w restler thrusts fo rw ard to o vercom e th e inertia o f his own weight a n d , at the same
tim e the m at exerts a s u p p o rt reaction fo rce . This is a static force in response to the
p ressure e x erted by the w restlers body weight. In m any cases, the w restler stands on
only o n e foot to execute a hold - on e point o f su p p o rt; on b o th legs an d o n e arm - th ree
su p p o rt points; bridge position - th ree su p p o rt points. W h en the n u m b e r o f sup p o rt
points increases, the reaction force decreases because o f th e weight distribution.
T h e su p p o rt reaction force" is related to its co m p o n e n t - friction - which is p ro
p ortional to the p ressure e x e rte d by a body on th e m at. T h e coefficient o f friction d e
p en ds on th e n a tu re o f the surfaces in contact. N ew covers for mats are m ad e o f synthe
tic m aterials which have a very low coefficient of friction. B ecause o f this, th e soles of
wrestling boots m ust be m ad e o f a special ru b b e r with an antiskid p attern . In a ddition, a
good grip o n th e m a t is an im p o rtan t factor w hen grappling an o p p o n e n t. T h e holds
used o n a sweating b od y should n ot allow the o p p o n e n t to escape by slipping o u t o f a
control.
In wrestling, the resistance of the air is negligeable, and is of no practical im p o rta n
ce. T h e o p p o n e n ts weight an d m uscular force a re, in fact, the fu n d a m en ta l form s o f re
sistance th a t th e w restler has to co n ten d with.
T o execute a ta k e d o w n , tw o o p posing parallel forces m ust b e used. T h e takedow n
m ay b e c onsidered as a ro tatio n a ro u n d an axis passing b etw e en the soles o f the feet.
T h e ro tatio n al force d e p e n d s on the m om en t: the p ro d uct o f th e force an d its lever arm
(the shortest distance b etw e en th e applied force a n d th e axis o f ro tatio n ). Since a m o
m e n t is inversely p ro p o rtio n al to the length o f th e lever arm , it follows that w hen execu
ting holds, m o re force m ust be applied to a sh o rte r lever arm , an d vice versa: re a r ta k e
d ow ns, various tu rn o v e rs with headlocks an d chicken wings. T h e w restler can ro ta te his
o p p o n e n t if he applies a m o m e n t which is g re a te r than th at p ro d u c ed by his o p p o n e n ts
resistance. D u rin g a d o u b le leg (fig. 114), two o pposing forces are at w ork: th e w restler
pulls his o p p o n e n ts low er thighs while pushing him energetically with a shoulder. T he
force F| is applied by the arm s, w hereas F2 is the resultant of the offensive w restlers ho-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 114
rizontal pushing force an d th e o p p o n e n ts weight (W ) w hen th e projection o f his C G
falls outside the base o f support. In addition to the forces involved, th e length o f the le
ver a rm (d) b etw een the tw o applied forces also d eterm in es the effectiveness o f the
hold. E xecuting th e d o u b le leg by tackling the heels a nd pushing th e thighs with the
sh o ulder, w ould logically seem to increase the leverage an d , thus, the effectiveness of
the hold. H o w ev e r, the defensive w restler bend s his k nees to co m p en sate for his lack of
stability, th ereby decreasing the lever arm an d offsetting the desired effect. This only
goes to illustrate th e fact th at th e m uscular actions an d flexibility o f the h u m a n body,
which are constantly at play during w restling, m ak e all the absolute laws o f physics rela
tive.
T h e re is a certain difference in th e rear tak e d o w n s used in G re c o -R o m a n w res
tling. W h e n th e o p p o n e n t is in the w restlers stance, th e offensive w restler pushes shar
ply forw ard an d dow n with th e chest (fig. 115). T h e pushing force R is th e resultant of
the su p po rt reaction fo rce R 2 a nd the pushing force o f the foot R,. T he force o f this
push is slightly increased by the muscles o f th e to rso , a nd its direction is ch an g ed by
weight (W ). T h e resultant force F, m oves th e o p p o n e n ts torso b ack w ard , causing the
p rojection o f th e C G to m ove backw ard. T h e action w restlers w eight W is th erefo re a d
d ed to the forces seeking to unbalance him . A t this m o m e n t, th e n a tu re o f th e force F,
changes as th e acceleration th a t th e offensive w restler im parts by initially pushing with
his feet is gradually su p p le m en ted by his own weight. T h e ro tatio n o f th e o p p o n e n t ta
kes place a ro u n d th e horizontal axis o f his feet. T h e m o m e n t results from th e effort o p
posing th e su p po rt reaction force o f the o p p o n e n ts weight.
F u rth e rm o r e , the acceleration im p arted to th e o p p o n e n ts b o dy during the execu
tion of a hold d ep e n d s on th e offensive w restlers weight. A ccording to N e w to n s second
law o f m o tio n, acceleration is directly p ro p o rtio n al to th e applied force F an d inversely
p rop o rtion al to the mass m o f a body:

A b o v e all, th e rational use o f forces in wrestling requires th a t th e feet be correctly


positioned on th e m at. So far, this p ro b lem has n o t b een dealt with in o u r theoretical
a nd practical study. T h e pushing force o f a w restlers feet w hen he p e n e tra te s , especially
w hen executing re a r tak ed o w n s w itho u t lifting, com es from the s u p p o rt reaction fo rc e
on th e balls of th e feet (fig. 116 a). W h e n lifting an o p p o n e n t, the p ro jectio n o f th e C G
m oves tow ard th e ce n te r o f th e soles (fig. 116 b). S tanding on th e heels is precarious and
may lead to a re a r tak e d o w n , because the pro jection o f th e C G com es close to th e b o u n
d ary o f th e base o f su p p o rt (fig. 116 c).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

a
b

Figure 116

Figure 115

Figure 117

Figure 118

Figure 119

G o o d leverage in wrestling e n hances the effectiveness of an applied force. T h e


w restler should always try to increase his own leverage an d decrease th a t o f his o p p o
n en t as well as to create situation w h e re th e greatest n u m b e r o f muscle groups can come
into play during th e execution o f various holds.
F o r ex am p le, a q u a rte r Nelson requires a lever the fulcrum o f which is b etw een the
applied efforts (first class lever), b o th o f which are applied in th e sam e direction (fig.
117). T h e w re stlers left arm acts as a second lever th e fulcrum o f which is the point of
contac t b etw e en th e left fo re arm an d the right h an d. T h e forces acting on this lever are
derived from th e extension of th e triceps brachii an d the up w ard effort o f th e o p p o
n e n ts head. T h e com b in ed action o f these tw o levers m ak e this a very effective hold.
T h e sam e kind o f levers are used in a half o r full N elson, the valtchi k a p a n e (pow er
N elson and leg lock), throw s e x ecu ted by turning th e back to th e o p p o n e n t, various
crotch attacks, an d certain arm controls.
In second a n d third class levers (unilateral levers), the fulcrum is located outside
th e applied forces. T h e force applied on a second class lever has a longer lever arm th at
th a t o f th e resisting force which acts in th e opposite direction (fig. 118). Such levers are
used in a g o o d n u m b e r o f holds: inside leg ride ( inside s a rm a ), front pa n ca k e an d an
kle lock. In th e third class lever, th e lever arm o f th e applied force is th e sh o rte r one
(fig. 119). T his is th e m echanical principle fo r executing tc h e r e k (O lym pic lifts), waistlocks, certain leg bars a nd arm controls.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

E xecuting a front tu rn o v e r is m o re difficult if the defensive w restler stretches out


his body. O n the o th e r h a n d , if his body if b e n t, his mass is closer to the axis of rotation
an d the m o m e n t o f inertia decreases.*
A n y tim e the radius o f ro tation is s h o rten e d , the angular speed increases. This is
why a souple can be executed m uch faster w hen the distance b etw een th e legs and the
point o f contact of the h e a d on th e m a t is shorter. T h e front tu rn o v e r can also be done
faster if the defensive w restlers body is bent.
T h e internal forces which influence m o to r activity o f th e w restler include the static
resistance o f tissues, th e internal reaction forces, and th e dynam ic forces o f the muscles:
1) T h e static resistance o f the tissues refers to the resistance o f th e b o n es and soft
p arts of the body in o r d e r to pro tec t the organism against injuries. T o avoid injuries, it is
necessary to w ork tow ard increasing th e flexibility of joints, th e elasticity o f muscles and
to learn how to fall correctly. A good w restler should also show reg ard for rules and
wrestle courteously.
2) T h e internal reaction forces are the inertial forces which o p po se any accelera
tions w hen certain parts o f the body move. In wrestling these forces are p resen t during
p ushes, pulls, an d sh arp attacks. W h e n executing a p e n e tra tio n , the w restler ta ke s a
step forw ard and im parts a c o u n ter acceleration to th e u p p e r p a rt o f his o p p o n e n ts b o
dy, which is the starting m o v e m en t o f th e hold. Stopping a sh arp m o v e m e n t creates sig
nificant c o u n te r accelerations in a d jac en t parts o f th e body. A lm ost every m o v e m e n t in
wrestling is associated with a c o u n te r acceleration.
3) M uscular force is the only dynam ic force which p erform s w ork. T h e m agn itu d e,
speed an d d uratio n o f m uscular contractions d e p e n d on certain anatom o-physiological,
biom echanical a n d psychological factors.
M uscular activity during wrestling is isotonic, isometric o r b o th an d may be ex pres
sed by containing, overcom ing, o r subm itting. T o fully utilize forces, it is necessary to
respect the biom echanical conditions for w o rk a n d the rational interaction be tw ee n the
various external and internal forces.

16.3 ANALYSIS OF WRESTLING TECHNIQUES


E very wrestling technique (hold, co u n ter, c o u n tera tta ck or technical-tactical co m
plex) is m ad e up o f simple parts. T ech n iqu es should be tau g h t and practiced by break in g
th em up into th eir phases (analysis), as well as merging th e m into a dynam ic flow o f m o
v em en ts (synthesis).
E ach p hase can be fu rth er s ep a rate d into its c o nstitu en t elem en ts according to th e
hold in question an d th e individuality o f th e wrestler. It w ould b e im possible to m a k e a
com plete description o f the m o v e m en ts w itho u t analyzing th e kinem atic a n d dynamic
structure of each hold, as well as influencing various anatom ical, physiological a n d psyc
hological factors.
L e ts exam ine the o utside crotch lift with far sh o u ld er co n tro l (fig. 120). N o t so
long ago, outside crotch lifts w ere considered as holds to secure a tak ed o w n . This hold
starts as an outside crotch lift an d ends as an effective th ro w with h e a d an d leg control.
It is initiated from the high o r middle w restlers stance. T h e offensive w restler pulls his
o p p o n e n ts h ead to th e left an d with his right arm sharply pushes his o p p o n e n ts left arm
u pw ard (fig. 120 a). A t th e sam e tim e, he tak es a small step fo rw ard with his left foot,
a n d , by b end in g slightly, ducks u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts a rm (fig. 120 a). D u rin g this phase
The moment of inertia J is given by the formula: .Mmr2, where m is the mass and r the ra
dius of rotation.

11

d
Figure 120
of th e hold, pulling the h ead to th e side is particularly im p o rtan t. H e re , th e w restler ta
kes ad v an ta ge o f the stato-kinetic reflexes discovered by the D u tc h physiologist R.
M agnus. A redistrib utio n occurs in th e m uscular to n e w hen th e o p p o n e n ts h ea d is tu r
n e d to th e right, which m a k es pushing up th e left a rm easier. It is also im p o rtan t to grip
th e h e ad in th e right place. Securing a higher grip ensu res b e tte r leverage, so th at the
a rm muscles d o m o st o f the pulling.
B eing able to duck u n d e r the o p p o n e n ts arm d e p e n d s on pushing the arm up w ard ,
lowering the h ead an d crouching dow n. This position ensures g o od stability because of
th e low er C G an d th e larger base o f su pp o rt. Basically, th e m o v em e n ts o f ducking u n
d e r a n d th e n straightening up constitute a p e n e tra tio n (fig. 120 b).
T h e efficiency o f the outside crotch lift d ep e n d s on how fast it is p erfo rm ed . Pus
hing the o p p o n e n ts arm u p w ard speeds up the crouching m o v e m e n t because th e resi
stance o f the arm is like a dynam ic su p p o rt reaction from above. In this case, the su p
p o rt reaction p ro v id ed by th e a rm su p p le m e n ts th e force o f th e w restlers weight.
R ight after crouching, the w restler energetically straightens up. This m o v em en t is

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

facilitated by a stable foot position o n the m at an d the sim u ltan eo u s action o f powerful
leg and tru n k muscles. W ith o u t releasing the h ead control, the action w restler grips his
o p p o n e n ts far leg. T h e n , by using the su p po rt reaction on his right knee (fig. 120 b), he
stands u p in o ne continu o u s m otion with b o th feet alm ost in the sam e plane.
T h e leg muscles are involved b o th in lifting and m aintaining balance; the arm s pull
the o p p o n e n t in an effort to bring the p rojections o f both w restlers C G s as close
to g eth er as possible, while the dorsal muscles straighten the body an d ensure the lift. In
o rd e r to efficiently p erfo rm the lift, it is absolutely essential th a t th e offensive w restle rs
C G be low er than his o p p o n e n ts, an d that the projections o f th eir C G s be as close to
g e th er as possible (h h| an f L L,). T he g re a te r the distance b etw een the p rojectio n s of
both C G s , o r the sm aller the difference in height b etw een th e C G s, the m o re difficult it
is to lift the o p p o n e n t a n d k e ep o n e s balance.
Pulling the o p p o n e n t sets him off balance to the front. T h e re fo re , the projections
o f b oth C G s are so close th at they b ecom e o n e during the lift: 1 = 0 (fig. 120 c).
A s soon as he has his h ead u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts arm , th e action w restler lifts him
up with a backw ard m otion (fig. 120 d). This increases the force of the leg and back
muscles, so the w restler can stand up faster and m o re forcefully. His h ead moves
through an arc o f approxim ately 85.
A fte r his o p p o n e n ts feet leave the gro u n d , the w restler lifts him by th e thigh.
T h e n , taking advantage of the m o m e n tu m acquired during the initial lift, he raises him
to chest level. His spinal colum n is arch ed back w ard s which also contributes to lifting
and holding his o p p o n e n t against his chest. In fact, to lift the tru n k the w restler is actua l
ly applying the principle of a unilateral lever w hose fulcrum is the h ead control.
T he throw requires moving forw ard an d to the left. W ith o u t m aking any effort to
lift his o p p o n e n ts pelvis, the offensive w restler transfers his weight to his left foot and
leans to the left. This is e n ou g h to m ak e his o p p o n e n ts h ead lower than his pelvis, th e
reby creating a favorable condition fo r the th ro w , which is actually already in progress
(fig. 120 e). T he action w restler continues leaning forw ard an d to the left, increases his
base of sup p o rt by advancing his foot, a n d finally com es to rest on the right k nee. T h e
to p w restler turns in the air u n d e r the effect o f his own weight, with som e help from the
b o tto m wrestler. A m o m e n t o f rotatio n is created by his arm s which act like a force co u
ple. T he fall of the top w restler is the result o f accu m u lated potential energy. T he action
w restler m aintains his balance and the biom echanical w restler-w restler system
breaks up. T h e wrestlers once again have se p arate C G s with in d ep e n d e n t projections
(fig. 120 f).
In most cases, the defensive w restler is disoriented by the multiple rotations
a ro u n d the different axes o f his body. A fte r having been lifted, he rotates aro u n d the
lateral an d longitudinal axes, during the th ro w - a ro u n d th e lateral and longitudinal
axes, an d at the en d - a ro u n d the vertical, lateral an d longitudinal axes.
T h e final m o vem en ts are facilitated by the use o f a half Nelson with the left arm ,
by the initial stable position and the favorable situation for executing effective controls
and advantageously using body weight.

Front and Rear Takedowns and Leg Tackle Throws


For the most p art, the initial positions, p re p a ra to ry actions an d controls o f these
holds are analagous. D uring front tak ed o w n s, the leg tackle contributes to unbalancing
the o p p o n e n e t and bringing him down. As already m en tio n ed , re ar tak ed o w n s are c h a
racterized by a pushing force, w hereas throws require o vercom ing the force of the o p p o
nent's weight by lifting and follow the sam e principles as the outside crotch lift previou
sly described.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 121

Figure 122

Sw eeps, h o ok s and certain bars are e x ecu ted by specific leg actions applied below
the o p p o n e n ts C G , along with arm an d tru n k actions above the C G . T h e sweep is
p e rfo rm e d in the direction o pposite the throw (fig. 121), as illustrated by the opposing
forces F, and F 2. W h en the o p p o n e n t is in the air, the sw eeping leg keeps going to p r e
v ent th e o p p o n e n t from cou n te rattac k in g by setting his foot dow n in the direction o f the
throw. T h e forces F, and F4 characterize the rotating m o v em e n t im p arte d to the body.
T h ro w s based on hip o r sho u ld er thrust are widely used in both styles o f wrestling
(fig. 122). T o p erfo rm th e m well, it is im p o rta n t to:
1) use a good control;
2) pivot an d lower the C G in relation to the o p p o n e n ts C G while loading him on
the back;
3) lift the o p p o n e n t off the g ro u n d by pulling with the arm s (F,) an d straightening
o u t the legs (F 2). T h ese are the tw o o pposing forces. If we w ere to consider the contact
surface b etw een the action w re stle rs back and his o p p o n e n ts body as a fulcrum, we
w ould have a first class lever: the force on on e lever arm w ould be re p rese n te d by the
pulling arm s, a nd the resistance on th e o th e r by the body weight;
4) execute a throw: it is initiated by m aking the p rojection of the C G fall outside
the base o f su p p o rt which also brings the force o f weight into play. T h e o p p o n e n t's body
is carried along by its m o m e n tu m and describes a p arabo la as it falls b ackw ards to the
mat. C entrifugal force is also present.
W h en executing souples, the action w restler must secure a tight a rm o r body lock
on his o p p o n e n t. H e then arches his torso b ackw ard thus causing the p rojection o f the
co m m o n C G to fall outside the base o f sup p o rt. T he force o f weight W m akes him start
falling back w ard , but at th e sam e time he straightens ou t his knees and uses his stomach
to vigorously push his o p p o n e n t upw ard. A t this point, the w restler-w restler" system
becom es an o p e n kinetic chain. T he action w restler falls back in a bridge o r half bridge,
while his o p p o n e n t rotates 180 in the air (a ro u n d the lateral axis) u n d e r the influence of
the acceleration im p a rted to his body an d , later, his own weight. While in the air, the
to p w restlers feet and k nees describe p arab olas (b and c) as illustrated in the kinegram
(fig. 123).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

x
Figure 123

Figure 124

T h e pushing force is most effective w hen applied along the tan g en t o f the rotating
m otion. T h e force F is the resultant of the pushing force o f the stom ach (F,) a n d the fo r
ce o f the weight (W) (fig. 124).
B o th tu rn o vers an d throw s are used in g ro u n d wrestling. T u rn o v ers are executed
by creating a m o m e n t o f ro tatio n , th at is the action o f two o pposing forces (fig. 125).
T he action w restler pulls with his arm s an d pushes in the o th e r direction with his chest
(F, an d F 2). T h e n , th e weight (W ) facilitates the tu rn o v e r because the projection o f the
co m m o n C G m oves to the right of its initial position. Leg rides ( s a rm a ) (fig. 126) are
based on th e m a n e u v e r which consists of m aking th e p rojectio n of the C G fall outside
the su p p o rt base by transfering the action w restlers weight (W ) to the side a n d , at the
sam e tim e, pulling with the grap ev in ed leg (F,) co m b in ed with arm control (F 2). D uring
a valtchi k a p a n e (p o w er N elson an d leg lock), the offensive w restler overco m es the
resistance o f his o p p o n e n t by weighing dow n on him with his ow n body an d limiting his
fre ed o m o f m o v em en t by:
1) a half Nelson
2) a leg lock
3) th e p ressu re o f his ow n body weight.
T h e gut w rench is ex ecuted after the offensive w restler has secured a tight body
lock on his o p p o n e n t. H e then brings his weight forw ard and to the side, while trying to
load his o p p o n e n t on himself. T h e gut w rench starts as soon as th e projections o f both
w restlers C G s coincide. T h e offensive w restler bridges, th e base of su p po rt being small,
an d turns o v er easily to th e o th e r side (fig. 127).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 127

Figure 128

T c h e re k s (O lym pic lifts) an d waistlocks are b ased on the principle o f the third
class lever. T h e re fo r e , it is im p o rtan t to m ak e the forces w ork in the sam e direction and
to apply th em along the tan g en t o f the rotating m otion (F, F b an d F : ). In these holds,
the thro w im parts a tangential acceleration to the moving body (fig. 128).
B ecause of their g reat diversity an d complexity, wrestling techniques require a th o
rough study o f the holds which m ake u p each classification in o r d e r to find the most ra
tional structure for executing them .

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

17.
THE TECHNIQUE OF FREESTYLE
WRESTLING

17.1 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF W RESTLING TECHNIQUE


W restling techniques consists of a set o f holds, cou n ters an d co u n te rattac k s which
are th e w e a p o n s with which a w restler seeks to win a match. T h ey are th e building
blocks of a m atch an d d e term in e th e style, physiognom y, an d individuality of each w res
tler.
M o d ern wrestling is e a rm a rk e d by th e extrem ely rapid refin em ent of techniques
a nd tactics. T h e continual im p ro v em en t o f w restlers proficiency, th e c o n fro n tation b e t
w een different schools o n th e in tern ation al m a t, the progress o f science, the revisions in
com p etition rules, th e creative im p lem en ta tio n o f techniques used in folk w restling, and
the extensive research o f coaches an d wrestlers all c on trib ute to m aking wrestling w hat
it is today.
W restling techniques evolve along four axes:
1. Discovering new holds,
2. Increasing th e effectiveness o f a w restlers re p e rto ry of holds while perfecting
th eir biom echanical and biodynam ic structures an d the specific se qu en ce of p rep a rato ry
actions,
3. U sing holds b o rro w ed from o th e r wrestling styles, with o r w ith ou t m odifica
tions,
4. C o m bining techniques in th e form of various technical-tactical complexes.
Analyzing tech n iq ues used on th e intern atio n al m a t rarely reveals new or un know n
holds. This is why we ca n n o t rely on th e discovery of new holds as a sure m ean s o f rising
to higher levels of perform ance.

17.2 THE TECHNIQUES OF STANDING FREESTYLE WRESTLING


Front and Rear Takedowns and Leg Tackles
F ro n t and re a r ta k ed o w n s an d throw s a re all b ased on leg tackles. V ery often, the
w restler w h o tries to p e rfo rm a th ro w is only able to execute a tak e d o w n an d vice versa.
T he action-reaction situations during an ongoing m atch can create com plicated techni
cal-tactical com plexes during which wrestlers flow from technique to technique in one
continuous m ov em en t.
In spite o f their m any variations, alm ost all holds b ased on leg tackles go through
the following phases:

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

a) Starting Position, Set up a nd Penetration


T h e starting positions to shoot the legs d e p e n d above all on the stance o f both
wrestlers an d th e p lan n e d hold. A t far o r m ed iu m distances ( o p e n stan ces), the offen
sive w restler p e n e tra te s w ithout controlling eith er the h e a d o r the tru n k , after having
u sed fakes to set up his o p p o n e n t. A t m ed iu m o r close distances (close stan ces ), the
p e n etra tio n is p rec e d e d by controls: tying up the o p p o n e n t's h ead, tru n k , o r arms.
T h e following set ups facilitate p en etratio n :
1. F orce th e o p p o n e n t to assum e a higher stance by pushing his shoulders back
w ard with o n e o r bo th arms;
2. Je rk th e o p p o n e n ts arm s upw ard;
3. Pull the o p p o n e n ts h ead , forcing him to resist by raising his head;
4. Pull th e o p p o n e n ts h e a d do w n, push b ack w ard , an d attack;
5. Push the h ead sideways;
6. U se an a rm drag an d tackle;
7. Push the arm siueways;
8. F ak e with legs, arm s and torso to force the o p p o n e n t to raise his arms;
9. S h o ot the legs w h en th e o p p o n e n t is straightening up fro m a kneeling position;
10. C ro u ch w hen th e o p p o n e n t tries to secure a h ead grip;
11. U se sweeps and leg hooks.

b) C ontrol
A fte r set up an d p e n e tra tio n , leg controls are used. N o o th e r group o f holds has
such a wide variety o f controls. T hey are n a m e d after th e parts of the body they control:
1) leg
2) thigh
3) leg a n d thigh
4) heels
5) legs
6) thighs
7) heel a n d leg
8) heel a n d thigh
9) heel o f on e leg a n d calf o f the o th e r
10) heel a nd th e thigh o f the o th e r leg
11) calf an d th e thigh o f th e o th e r leg.
V ariou s com binatio ns o f fingers, palm s, fo rearm s and arm s m ay be used to co n
trol.
T h e offensive w restler m ay sh o ot te legs fro m th e following positions:
1. standing position
2. outside k n ee (kneels on th e leg which is outside his o p p o n e n ts leg)
3. inside knee
4. on b o th knees.
L eg controls can be w o rk e d from the front o r side or from behind the o p p o n e n t by
tackling from th e inside, outside o r a co m b in atio n o f b o th . T h e w restler may place his
h ead o n eith er side of his o p p o n e n t, o r u n d e r his trunk.
A few o f the basic controls used w hen p en e tra tin g are illustrated in fig. 17.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

c) Executing a ho ld (throw, fr o n t or back takedow n)


A fte r securing leg c ontrol, the action w restler can do a front o r re a r tak ed o w n , or
execute a throw. A front tak ed o w n refers to bringing an o p p o n e n t down facing the mat
w ithout having h ad to lift him. A rear tak ed o w n refers to bringing an o p p o n e n t dow n by
giving him a h ard push b ackw ard. O n the o th e r h an d, a throw lifts the o p p o n e n t off the
g rou n d to bring him down.

d) Final actions
Final actions are as varied as starting positions. In most cases, they d e p e n d on the
struggle put up by the o p p o n e n t, the precision of the hold and the final control. The
w restlers skill in holding his o p p o n e n t on the gro un d or on his back, or else blocking his
bridge, is the key to winning by points o r a fall.

I. Leg Tackle Throws


"T he A irp lan e" (lifting)
This is the n am e given to leg tackling throws which lift the o p p o n e n t fairly high and
m aintain him in the air for a relatively long time during the throw.
T h e holds in this g ro u p are differentiated by the kind o f control and throw used.

1. D ou ble leg p ick up (fig. 129)


This hold starts from a high o r middle stance. T h e offensive w restler takes a step
forw ard with his right leg, bends forw ard an d stretches out his arm s to secure a control.
W ith his left arm , he grips his o p p o n e n ts right thigh, just above the k nee, by reaching
aro u n d b eh ind from the outside. T h e w restler holds his o p p o n e n t just above th e waist
with his right arm an d shifts his weight to the forw ard leg (fig. 129 a). As soon as the
w restler brings b o th legs in line with each o th e r, he lifts his o p p o n e n t.
In doing so, a specific w restler-w restler biom echanical system is created. O b
viously, the offensive w restler has to place his C G low er th an his o p p o n e n ts before p ro
ceeding to lift him. T o d o this, he first m akes a d e ep p e n e tra tio n an d thrusts upw ard to
the right in the lifting m o vem en t. F ro m the very beginning, his chin is slightly raised,
and he throws his head u pw ard and back as he straightens up and arches his back. W hen
he has his o p p o n e n t on his sh o ulder, his left arm releases its initial control an d tackles
the o th e r thigh from the inside (fig. 129 d, e). H e then turn s him o ve r until he is alm ost
parallel to the m at, bearing most of his weight with his right arm . T he p otential energy
accum ulated during the lift is the force responsible for bringing the o p p o n e n t to the
g round during the final phase o f the throw.

2. High leg attack a n d shoulder control (fig. 130)


T he offensive w restler begins by an op en stance and is slightly crouched. H e tac
kles the thigh o f his o p p o n e n ts forw ard leg with his left a rm , an d at the sam e time, con
trols the far shoulder with his right arm. His body is bent forward from the hipbones

Freestyle Greco-Roman Wresiling

d
Figure 129

(fig. 130 a). A fte r stepping forw ard with th e right foot, the attacking w restler pe n etra te s
deeply u n d e r his o p p o n e n t to lift him (fig. 130 b). T h e lift is facilitated by pivoting to the
left approxim ately 90. T h e o p p o n e n t is th ro w n to the g ro u n d after a right tu rn o v er, and
his thighs com e to rest on the action w restlers left leg.
Figure 131 illustrates foot positions for the offensive wrestler: identical num bers
a re used to indicate th e sim ultaneous positions of both feet.

2-

Figure 131

Figure 132

Figure 133
3. Leg attack an d waist control (fig. 132).
A fter stepping forward with the left leg, the offensive w restler tackles his o p p o n e n ts
left leg just above the k n ee and wraps his left arm a ro u n d the right hip. With the right
arm , he lifts his o p p o n e n ts thigh, taking advantage o f the m o m e n tu m acquired to bring
it as high as possible. T h e w restler shifts his o p p o n e n ts weight to his left sho u ld er and
grips the left thigh from the inside. This control m akes the tu rn o v e r easier and facilitates
pinning the o p p o n e n t by blocking him with the right leg.

Figure 134

Figure 135

I
Figure 136
4. D ou ble leg
B oth the starting and lifting phases o f this hold are analogous to
sly described. T h e n , the offensive w restler b en d s sharply forw ard,
o p p o n e n ts legs to the left (fig. 133), th en drops to the m at on his
wrestlers sp read their legs wide a p art to m ak e the throw easier (fig.

the ones prev io u


while pulling his
right knee. Some
134).

D o uble legs fr o m kneeling position


In o r d e r to shoot the o p p o n e n ts legs m ore easily, wrestlers very often kneel down
on o n e o r both knees. Since lifting from this position requires a lot of effort, it is advisa
ble to use the following holds:

1. D ouble leg a nd outside turnover


T h e offensive w restler secures a tight leg lock o n his o p p o n e n t (fig. 135) an d, by
straightening up, lifts his o p p o n e n t off the m at. A t the sam e time, he executes a quick
b ackw ard throw , using the turning m o v e m en t o f his body to send his o p p o n e n t to the
mat. T h e fact that the o p p o n e n t is lifted entirely off the gro u n d m ak es the turn o ver

2. D ouble leg a n d inside turnover


A fte r having lifted his o p p o n e n t, the attacking w restler grips his left thigh from the
inside (fig. 136). Swinging the thigh leftw ard and upw ard ensures a successful side throw
tow ard the front. T h e n , he releases his control on the o p p o n e n ts right arm to secure a
headlock.

3. D o ub le arm roll fr o m fr o n t
If the defensive w restler tries to react against a leg attack by a cross body hold, he
creates a favorable condition for the offensive w restler to do a d o u b le front arm roll (fig.
137). T h e offensive w restler quickly releases his leg c ontrol, secures a tight arm lock
above th e elbows, a n d straightening up, throws his o p p o n e n t b ackw ard.

4. D ou ble fr o n t arm roll to the side (fig. 138)


5. Front arm roll
T h e defensive w restler usually reacts against being lifted by gripping the kneeling
w restlers foot. In this case, the b o tto m w restler can execute a front arm roll by hooking
his o p p o n e n ts right arm above th e elbow. T h e thro w is carried o ut w ithout switching
controls and by applying m ax im u m b o d y pressure (fig. 139).

Figure 137

Figure 138

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 139

e
Figure 141

6. N ear arm an d fa r leg barrel roll


T h e defensive w restler often co un ters a p e ne tration by thrusting his arm u n d e r his
o p p o n e n ts arm pit (fig. 140). In this case, th e offensive w restler swiftly grabs him by the
elbow , lifts the far leg, a n d throws the to p w restler to the side, turning with him as he
falls to finish face down on top o f him.

Figure 142

Figure 143
II. Rear Takedowns Using Leg Tackles
R e a r takedo w n s bring th e o p p o n e n t to th e m at o r on his back (in d an g er) by a
strong push w ithout lifting him off th e g round.

1. D ou ble leg
T h e offensive w restler shoots by pushing with his feet (fig. 141 a). H e quickly tackles his
o p p o n e n ts legs an d vigorously pushes him b ackw ard with his chest an d right shoulder,
while pushing with the balls of his feet an d straightening o ut his legs to increase his
thrust (fig. 141 b, c, c). S peed is im p o rta n t to leave the defensive w restler no tim e to re
cover by stepping backw ard. T h e two parallel o p posing forces which disrupt his balance
a re the forw ard thrust o f the attacking w restlers sh o u ld er and chest, an d the pull o n the
legs.
A fter his o p p o n e n t falls on his b u tto ck s, the offensive w restler grapples him tightly
by the thighs an d shift his weight forw ard (fig. 141 e).
2. Single leg
a)
Inside single leg. T h e offensive w restler tackles his o p p o n e n ts right leg and
pulls it tow ard himself. His right arm holds it just above the k n ee a n d his left arm holds
the calf Achilles ten d o n (fig. 142). H e th en blocks the leg betw een his u p p e r thigh and
his chest, pressuring it with his right sh o ulder while lifting it with his left arm . By placing
his own right leg back to get a b ette r position, he pushes his o p p o n e n t in the direction in

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

which he is most unstable (n o su p p o rt point). T h e side ta k ed o w n is a result of pressing


o n the o p p o n e n ts leg a n d pushing.
b) O u tsid e single leg. In this second v ariation, the offensive w restler captures his
o p p o n e n ts left leg. His right arm controls the thigh and his left the Achilles ten d o n . In
stead o f pulling his o p p o n e n ts leg to the side (as in the first variation), he raises his own
right leg an d shifts his entire weight forward and to th e right. T h e p ressure o f the shoul
d e r an d the pull of the left arm w o rk in o pposite directions (fig. 143). T h e rest o f the ta
k ed o w n is identical to the first variation.
c) O u tsid e single leg an d ro tatio n . A fte r having picked up th e o p p o n e n ts leg, the
offensive w restler ta k e s a step forw ard with his left leg while spinning to face his
o p p o n e n t (fig. 144). H e applies p ressure o n th e leg in c o n jun ction with a ha rd shove.
T h e difference lies in the rotating m o v e m e n t used to face the o p p o n e n t an d the
stro n g er push.
3. O utside single leg by leg block
T h e offensive w restler places his left leg to the side o f his o p p o n e n t and captures
his right leg by the calf (fig. 145). A fte r having lifted the leg until it is alm ost parallel to
the m a t, he extends his left arm forw ard a n d presses h ard against his o p p o n e n ts u p p e r
thigh (n e a r the hip jo in t), while his right a rm pulls up on the calf. T h ese actions cause
the defensive w restler to ro ta te to the left as he falls b ackw ard.
4. Inside single leg an d k nee block
B oth wrestlers start by assuming identical stances. T h e offensive w restler advances
his right leg an d at the sam e time grabs his o p p o n e n t by the right calf (fig. 146). While

vM'Of

Figure 146

Figure 147
his right arm exerts pressure on the k n ee, th e left arm pulls the calf in the o pposite di
rection.

III. Front Takedowns Using Leg Tackles


By using these tak ed o w n s, the w restler can bring his o p p o n e n t to the m at without
lifting him off the mat.

1. Inside standing single leg


T h e attacking w restler advances on his right leg and grabs his o p p o n e n t's right leg
by hooking his arm s a ro u n d the calf and the thigh (fig. 147). W ith his weight on the for
w ard leg, he lifts his o p p o n e n ts leg and clasps it u n d er his arm pit. B ecause his leg is so
high, the defensive w restler loses his balance and falls forward to the mat.

2. Standing single leg to sem i-souple


T h e offensive w restler captures his o p p o n e n ts right leg from the inside with his
right arm ju st above the knee and with his left a rm controls the calf. Moving to the side
of his o p p o n e n t, he lifts the controlled leg, thrusts his stom ach and chest upw ard and a r
ches b ackw ard to the m at in a semi-souple (fig. 148). In reality, he pivots a ro u n d his leg
and turns his chest d o w n w ard before his h ead touches the mat.

3. Outside single leg a nd ankle lock


T h e wrestlers assume opposite stances, with the offensive w restler slightly to one
side. T he attacking w restler shoots his o p p o n e n ts legs, dro pp in g his right knee m om en-

Figure 148

Figure 149
tarily on the m a t, and grips his ankle with his right h an d (fig. 149). T h e n , h ooking his
left a rm aro u n d his o p p o n e n ts right leg from the outside ju st b eh in d the k n ee, he spins
b eh in d by m ak in g a half circle to the left.
By gripping his o p p o n e n t's a n kle, he p rev en ts him from stepping b ackw ard o r to
the side, an d by h o oking the leg he can execute the 180spin.
G o in g b eh in d , the offensive w restler grasps the left shin from the inside with his
left hand. H e brings his o p p o n e n t to the m at by pushing forw ard with his sho u ld er and
pulling back on his leg.

IV. Counters Against Penetration


Since th ere are just as m any co u nters as there are p e n e tra tio n s, several basic rules
should be followed to ensure a stable base for defense an d the o p p o rtu n ity for a good
co u n te rattac k . A m o n g th em are:
1. M edium an d close distances require a low o r middle stance, with o n e or both
arm s exte n d e d and ready to c o u n te r any attack,
2. T he o p p o n e n ts fakes should be keenly o bserved and reactions should be con
trolled and precise,
3. T he w restler should assum e a stance which thw arts his o p p o n e n ts planned
a ttack, for exam ple by placing the target leg tow ard the back,
4. W h en wrestling at middle distance, keep an eye ou t for any atte m p ts to upset
balanc e by pulling, pushing, etc. All these m an eu ve rs (pulling the body, spreading out
o r je rk in g dow n the arm s, dragging the h ead, etc.) have to be blocked at the right time,
5. W h en wrestling at a close stance, the o p p o n e n t should be held tightly and
firmly. Switching from wrestling at a close distance to a middle distance, and vice versa,
requires paying careful a tten tio n .

Figure 150
6. W h e n the o p p o n e n t pulls on th e h e ad , react by lowering the head ra th e r than
by trying to lift it while leaning back,
7. If an o p p o n e n ts fake o r unsuccessful attack causes a w restler to d ro p to his
knees. H e should watch o u t for a leg attack w hen standing up,
8. D e p en d in g on th e n atu re of the attack , thro w o ne o r both legs backw ard,
9. W h en a w restler sprawls back, he should su p p o rt his weight on his o p p o n e n ts
h ead o r back,
10. W h en atta ck e d by a front headlock ( h a lte r), the w restler should sprawl,
11. T o c o u n te r a leg attack, throw the leg b ack w ard and control on e or both arm s
of the o p p o n e n t u n d e r the arm pits,
12. R eact to pressure on any p art o f the b o d y, o r escape from a control in a way
which prevents the o p p o n e n t from using the reaction force to his advantage.
A fte r the o p p o n e n t has attack ed a leg, various counters may be used, certain of
which set up counterattacks:
1. T h e defensive w restler can place his c a p tu re d leg betw een his o p p o n e n ts legs
an d secure a h ea d , arm o r bo d y control.
2. H e can push up h ard on his o p p o n e n ts chin with his forearm in o rd e r to force
him to release the leg control.
3. H e can fake leg blocks o r hooks to intim idate his o p p o n en t.
4. H e can do an o verarm n e ar the shoulder. By pressing his o p p o n e n ts h ead with
his tru n k a n d stretching o u t his tackled leg b ack w ard , he can b rea k the control.
5. If tra p p ed by an outside single leg and ankle lock, press down on the o p p o n e n ts
head.
V.

Counterattacks Against Penetrations

T hey may be classification in four groups:


1.
2.
3.
4.

C o u n terattac k s
C o u n terattac k s
C o u n terattac k s
C o u n te ra tta ck s

before a tackle;
against double legs;
against inside single legs;
against outside single legs.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wresiling

Counterattacks before a tackle


1. Front headlock ("halter") (fig. 150)
A s a reaction to the p en e tra tio n , the defensive w restler secures a headlock on his
o p p o n e n t with his left arm a nd sprawls back. H e passes his right arm u n d e r his o p p o
n e n ts left arm and lock his hand s u n d e r the chin which he then forces to the right to
low er his o p p o n e n ts resistance. A fte r tightening his grip, he je rk s his o p p o n e n t tow ard
himself and throws his legs back. T h e o p p o n e n t is b rou g h t to his k nees by the pulling
force and the defensive w restlers weight, w hose left leg is stiffly stretche d out to press
full weight on his o p p o n e n ts head and back. W ith o u t loosening his control, the defensi
ve w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts left arm with his right arm , a nd by e ith er blocking or
pulling it, he swiftly spins behind.

2. U nd erhook
W h e n the offensive w restler tries to p e n e tra te , the c o u nterattack in g w restler secu
res a front control on his h ead with his right a rm , a nd uses his left arm to u n d e rh o o k the
o p p o n e n ts right arm . T h en he whips him o v er with his arm s (p an cake) (fig. 151).

Figure 151
3. H ead and arm
T h e wrestlers start in identical stagger stances (fig. 152). T h e attacking wrestler
steps in with his right leg a n d , extending b o th arm s forw ard a n d dow n, he tries to tackle
his o p p o n e n t's right leg. W ith ou t moving his leg, the defensive w restler swiftly grabs his
o p p o n e n ts h ea d an d right arm . T ak in g advantage of his o p p o n e n ts m o m e n tu m , he
pivots and brings him dow n to the right.

Counterattacks for double legs


1. O verh o o k
As the offensive w restler shoots the legs, the defensive w restler ov e rh o o k s his
o p p o n e n ts right arm and starts falling b ackw ard dragging his o p p o n e n t with him (fig.
153). Since the defensive w restler lands on his buttocks, he can straighten up from the
hip jo in t a n d turn over on his chest to block his o p p o n e n t on his back. T h e offensive
w restler is himself tu rn e d o v er by the legs he had tackled. T o maintain his o p p o n e n t on
his back or in a d an g e r position, the defensive w restler weighs dow n on his chest and
hooks his thighs from the outside.
Figure 153 shows tw o possibilities o f ov e rh o o k counterattacks.

Figure 155

Figure 156

Counterattacks for inside single legs


1. Reversal an d head control
Before the offensive w restler gets a solid grip aro u n d the leg, the defensive w res
tler presses his o p p o n e n ts h ead d o w n w ard with his right a rm a nd throw s his th re a te n e d
leg back (fig. 154). A t the sam e time, he lies on the right side o f his o p p o n e n ts back,
and pressing dow n with his chest, he spins behind.
If the attacking w restler has a tight grip on his o p p o n e n ts leg, b u t is still o n his
knees, the defensive w restler cou n ters by weighing dow n on his sh o u ld er (fig. 155). H e
pushes dow n on the action w restlers h ead with his left arm , an d k eeps his leg stretched
o u t b ack w ard until he escapes from the control. T h e n , he spins b ehin d by pivoting on
his o p p o n e n ts left shoulder.

2. Cradle ( W ra p p in g )
T h e attacking w restler tackles his o p p o n e n ts right leg (fig. 156). T he c o u n te r
attacking w restler secures a front headloc k with his right a rm and , turning slightly to the
left, w raps the right thigh from the outside an d b ehin d with his o th e r arm . H e continues
his m ov em e n t to th e left until he can lock his hand s to g e th e r with one a rm w rapped
aro u n d the neck an d the o th e r b eh in d the k nee. T ra p p e d in a tight cradle hold, the o f
fensive w restler is rolled forw ard an d to the side to w ard his o p p o n e n ts shoulder.

3. O lym p ic lift ("T ch erek")


W hen the offensive w restler grabs his o p p o n e n ts right (forw ard) leg, the c o u n te
rattacking w restler tu rn s his controlled leg slightly to th e right an d steps forw ard with
the o th e r leg. A t the sam e tim e, he crouches tow ard the controlled leg a n d executes an
O lympic lift (fig. 157). It is best to tak e advantage o f the initial m o m e n tu m to continue
the m o v em e n t as a side roll, which is actually a variation o f the O lympic lift.

Figure 157

Figure 158

Figure 159

Figure 160

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

4. B ack roll
This hold is alm ost always a c o u nterattack . It starts with a single leg on the right
(forw ard) leg. T h e defensive w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts h ead with his right arm and
introduces his left arm u n d er the right arm pit (fig. 158). T ak ing advantage of the
attacking w restlers shooting m o v em e n t w hen he p e n etrate s o r tries to execute a ta k e
dow n on the forward leg, the defensive w restler throws him self b ackw ards on his b u t
tocks while m aintaining b o th controls, an d rolls on his right shoulder. W h e n his hips
contact th e m at, the c a p tu re d leg kicks vigorously forw ard, thrusting his o p p o n en t
upw ard.
This c o u nte rattack m ay also be p erfo rm ed by using o th e r initial controls. T he
co u n terattac k in g w restler grips the o p p o n e n ts h ead with his right arm , o v erh o o k s the
right arm with his left arm , and locks his h an d s u n d e r the chest (fig. 159).

Counterattacks against outside leg tackles


1. Side takedow n
A s soon as the offensive w restler attacks, the defensive w restler pulls his head with
his left arm to bring it u n d e r his torso. H e places his right arm a ro u n d th e waist, throws
his legs b ack w ard an d presses dow n with all his weight on his o p p o n e n ts back (fig. 160).
T h e n he draw s his legs close to the o p p o n e n ts h ead. This allows him to shift his weight
to the left and block his o p p o n e n t with his left leg. H e then turns him over on the back
by using his right arm , aided by his right leg pushing against th e mat.

2. L eg lift a nd side roll


A fte r the offensive w restler has tackled his o p p o n e n ts right (forward) leg, with his
h e a d on the inside, th e defensive w restler places his right arm a ro u n d his o p p o n e n ts
waist an d uses his left arm to grip the o p p o n e n ts right arm (fig. 161). T h e n he pivots
app rox im ately 80 on his right leg to bring his left leg next to his right, and tackles his
o p p o n e n ts right thigh with his left arm . H aving m o ved his leg, he is off balance and lets
him self fall ba ck w a rd , dragging his o p p o n e n t with him.

3. Inside kic k
A fte r the attacking w restler tries to tackle on e of his o p p o n e n ts legs, the defensive
w restler grips him u n d e r th e arm s and m oves to th e side (hip to hip). H e bend s forward
an d to the left, lifting his o p p o n e n ts left leg with his right leg an d , with his arm s, pulls
forw ard to w ard the left (fig. 162). D urin g th e second p hase o f th e throw , the defensive
w restler lifts his o p p o n e n t com pletely off the g ro u nd and throws him to th e m a t on his
back.

4. O utside kick
T h e defensive w restler co u n te ratta ck s the leg tackle by o v erho o k ing his o p p o
n e n ts right arm a nd locking his hands to g e th e r u n d e r the arm pit (fig. 163). T h en , he
straightens up an d lifts his o p p o n e n t with his arm s while pulling his cap tu re d leg back
to w ard himself. H e presses h a rd o n his o p p o n e n ts controlled a rm and h ead , and.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

leaning to the left, thrusts his right leg forw ard a nd does an outside kick against the
thigh. Ju st before falling to th e m at, th e w restler releases his control an d tries to assume
th e best position fo r blocking his o p p o n e n t o n the back.
5. A r m control a n d sem i-souple
D u ring a p e n e tra tio n , the defensive w restler o v erh o o k s his o p p o n e n ts right arm
(fig. 164). Giving this arm a h a rd je rk u p w a rd , he crouches b ack w ard , while moving his
right leg to the side to serve as a pivot. R otatin g to the right, he brings his o p p o n e n t to
th e ground.
6. H ead a n d arm
T h e co un teratta ck in g w restler d efen d s him self against a leg attack by pressing
dow n on his o p p o n e n ts h e a d with his left arm and u n d e rh o o k in g with his right arm , so

*j

Figure 162

Figure 166
th a t b o th arm s control the h ead a n d arm p it like a lever. T h e defensive w restler moves
slightly to th e left o f his o p p o n e n t an d, w ithout going com pletely b ehin d , tries to roll
him forw ard by pushing h ard on his h e ad (fig. 165). If he is unsuccessful, he tries to take
ad v an tag e o f his o p p o n e n ts n atural reaction which consists of raising the h ead and
straightening up. Quickly escaping from the control, the defensive w restler lunges fo r
w ard on his left leg an d shoves his o p p o n e n t b a c k w a rd , using his left arm to snap the
h e ad to the left an d back. T h e n he pivots on his right k n ee to bring his o p p o n e n t to the
m a t, and lies face dow n on him.
T h e above exam ples rep rese n t only a few o f th e possible co u n tera ttack s which may
be used against leg tackles.
VI. Throws Using Multiple Controls: Legs, Arms, Trunk and Head
T h e holds in this category req u ire a leg control co m bined with an auxiliary control
o f a n o th e r p art o f the body.

1. Front head lo ck a nd side takedow n


T h e offensive w restler secures a front headloc k on his o p p o n e n t with his right arm
a nd presses dow nw ard . T h e defensive w restler resists by trying to raise his h ead , bracing
him self o n his forw ard leg (fig. 166). M aintaining his tight grip, the offensive wrestler
ducks u n d e r, quickly grasps the left calf from th e inside with his left h an d an d drags it
tow ard himself. H e th en shoves his o p p o n e n t backw ard an d to the side, taking him
d ow n to the mat.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : A fte r the h ead lo ck , the defensive w restler can do leg
tackles.
C o u n t e r s : H e can bring his forw ard leg back o r kneel down.

Figure 167

Figure 168
2. H ead control a nd ankle p ic k u p
T h e offensive w restler applies a h ead control and pulls d o w n w a rd (fig. 167). If the
defensive w restlers opposite leg is forw ard, th e offensive w restler swiftly grabs it from
the outside by th e calf o r ankle. By giving a h a rd shove with his right fo rearm an d pul
ling on th e leg, he flattens his o p p o n e n t on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Snap the left elbow u p w ard , an d p en e trate .
C o u n t e r : Offset the effect o f th e h e ad control by simply lowering the h e ad and
stepping backw ard with the th r e a te n e d leg.

3. U nd erhook control a nd leg b lock lever


T h e offensive w restler secures an u n d e rh o o k on his o p p o n e n ts right arm (fig.
168). Moving on the m at in an identical right stance, he grips his o p p o n e n ts right knee
from the outside. T h en he pivots on his right heel a n d brings his left foot next to it, pulls
his o p p o n e n ts leg tow ard himself, and spins him o v er frontw ards and sideways. H e
ends up by falling on his own shoulder.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h e n his o p p o n e n t m ak es him pivot, the defensive w rest
ler can use leg sweeps o r blocks with the right leg.
C o u n t e r : Bring the leg back o r to the side, an d assum e a higher stance. H e can
c ou n ter the attack by blocking his o p p o n e n ts right arm .

4. Front headlock and leg lever in knee position


A fte r the offensive w restler has secured a headlock o r gripped left arm with his
right arm , he ov erh oo k s his o p p o n e n ts right arm p it with his left arm . T h e n he skillfully

Figure 169

Figure 170
crosses his right arm u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts chest and blocks the low er right thigh from
the outside (fig. 169). A t the sam e tim e, the attacking w restler shifts slightly to the side
an d pushes against his o p p o n e n ts h e ad with his right sh o u ld e r, forcing him to pancake.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T h e defensive w restler tightly grips his o p p o n e n ts right
arm and jerk s it to th e left. A fte r having flatten ed him o u t, the defensive w restler spins
behind.
C o u n t e r : T he defensive w restler blocks his o p p o n e n ts right a rm an d straigh
tens up.
5. D u c k under, leg attack, a nd fa r shoulder control
T h e attacking w restler controls his o p p o n e n ts left arm with his right arm . W ith his
left arm he jerk s th e elbow up, while crouching dow n on his left knee. H e m oves his left
leg slightly to the side an d rolls his o p p o n e n t with his knee on the g ro u nd . T h e elbow lift
is accom pagnied by a forw ard dive with the h e a d an d tru nk . T h e right arm d o e sn t
release the sh o u ld er control, an d the left arm m aintains a rear crotch.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : As th e offensive w restler is crouching, the defensive wres
tler can secure a front headlock ( h a lte r).
C o u n t e r : Low stance with right arm lo w ered to the front.

6. Front head lock a n d sit through (fig. 171)


C o u n t e r a t t a c k : F ro n t headlock an d re a r crotch.
C o u n t e r : E scap e from control an d assume a higher stance.

Figure 172
Firemans series (windmills )
1. Fireman's carry
T he attacking w restler controls o ne o f his o p p o n e n ts arm s and takes advanta ge of
his forw ard offensive m ov em en ts. D ucking quickly u n d e r the controlled arm , he kneels
dow n with the back leg (fig. 172). A t the sam e tim e, he applies an inside crotch with the
o th e r arm and executes a side elbow roll in the direction of his o p p o n e n ts m o v em en t.
T he force of the a rm drag and the pushing effort of the foot on the m a t should bo th go in
the sam e direction.

2. F irem ans carry fr o m kneeling position


T h e offensive w restler o verh o ok s his o p p o n e n ts right arm pit with his left arm . D ra g
ging him , he throw s him self dow n on his knees next to his o p p o n e n t, secures an inside
crotch with his right arm a n d executes a side elbow roll to the left (fig. 173). H e then
pivots on his left k n ee an d , w ith o u t releasing control, lies face dow n on his o p p o n e n t.
T h e offensive w restler can also d u m p his o p p o n e n t forward.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 175
3. F irem ans carry (variation on the other knee)
This hold follows the p ro c ed u re s previously described, except that the offensive
w restler kneels on his inside leg with the outside leg bent.
4. F irem ans carry a n d leg block
A fter dragging the right a rm , the offensive w restler slides u n d e r his o p p o n e n t wit
h ou t kneeling (fig. 174). T h e throw is e xecu ted to the left. T h e m o m e n t o f rotation is
c re ated by the arm drag to the left and d ow nw ard.

Figure 176

Figure 177

Figure 178

Figure 179
5. D u ck under and rear takedow n
T h e starting phase for this hold is identical to those previously described. T h e dif
ference lies in the leg position and the direction o f the applied force. T h e tight leg and
arm controls allow the w restlers to im p art his thrust to his o p p o n e n ts body (fig. 175).
Since this is not a throw , but a rear ta k ed o w n , the o p p o n e n t simply collapses to th e side.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

6. Fireman 's carry a nd barrel roll


T h e hold starts by an arm control and duck u n d e r, with the o th e r arm holding the
o p p o n e n t a ro u n d the waist. T h e offensive w restler pivots on his left heel (a b o u t 90) and
places his right leg to the side (fig. 176). T h e b arrel roll is executed to the right.

7. F irem ans carry a n d headlock


T h e offensive w restler initiates the headlock with his left arm , from the middle
w restlers stance. C rouching swiftly and pivoting to the left (approxim a tely 90), he
d ucks his h ead u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts body and dro ps to the m at on o n e o r b o th knees
(fig. 177). T h e th ro w is executed to the left.

8. F irem ans carry fr o m outside a nd reverse leg h o ld


T h e offensive w restler starts the arm drag by using his right h an d. T h e n , after a fast
switch of hands, he c ontinues the drag with his left h an d which acts to assist him in pivo
ting to the right until he dives u n d e r his o p p o n e n t (fig. 178). B ending his knees, his right
arm applies an inside reverse leg hold on the left leg. H e pushes forcefully on the mat
with his left leg an d by thrusting his body back w ard , he carries his o p p o n e n t dow n on
the back.

9. F irem ans carry fr o m outside a n d sem i-souple


T he attacking w restler drags his o p p o n e n ts arm an d dives u n d e r him (fig. 179). He
brings his right leg behind his o p p o n e n ts leg, while his right arm applies an inside crotch
to the right leg, and he executes a reverse barrel roll.
C o u n te rs an d c o un te ra tta ck s against firem a n s carries
T h e m ost effective c o u n te r is to p rev en t the attacking w restler from hooks on the
arm pit (o r a rm drags in the case o f carries using outside arm controls). T h e defensive
w restler should not insert his arm u n d e r th e a rm p it of an o p p o n e n t w ho is attacking the
legs; if his arm is tra p p e d u n d er the arm p it, he should get a tight grip on the o th e r arm .
C o u n te rattac k s include: sh o ulder throw , front h ead c ontrol, cradle, etc.
If a w restler uses his right arm to secure an inside crotch on the right leg, the
defensive w restler sprawls, by leaning on his o p p o n e n ts sh o u ld e r with his chest and
th row ing his legs b ack w ard , and spins behind to the left.

Figure 182

Figure 183
W h en his right leg is tackled, the defensive w restler shifts his weight to this leg and
straightens up while pulling his o p p o n e n ts left arm up (fig. 180). With a rapid m o v e
m e n t, he places his left leg next to his o p p o n e n ts right k n ee an d executes a w hip-ov er to
the left.
VII. Go Behinds
A lth o u g h go behinds them selves d o not score points, they c reate favorable co n d i
tions for executing front and re a r take d o w n s o r throws.

1. A r m drag a n d go behind
This hold is very similar to a front tak ed o w n using leg tackles. A fte r having tackled
the o p p o n e n ts right thigh from the outside, the offensive w restler lifts it and , pushing
sidew ard, flattens his o p p o n e n t on the m at (fig. 182).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 184

Figure 185

Figure 186

\
Figure 187
2. D u c k under an d go behind
T h e offensive w restler c rouches a n d kneels on his back leg. T h e n he straightens up
and arches his back, thrusting his body b ack w ard against his o p p o n e n ts left arm pit.
This m o v e m e n t forces his o p p o n e n t off balance to the front. T h e waist hold secured
with th e left arm helps the offensive w restler both pull his o p p o n e n t an d spin behind.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

VIII. Rear Waistlocks


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Rear
R ear
Rear
R ear
Rear
R ear
R ear

waistlock
waistlock
waistlock
waistlock
waistlock
waistlock
waistlock

and
an d
a nd
an d
and
an d
an d

side sweep (fig. 184).


leg b lock
fo r w a r d inside leg trip (fig. 185)
fo r w a r d outside leg trip (fig. 186)
fo r w a r d single leg (fig. 187)
back sweep (fig. 188)
k nee b lock (fig. 189)

Counters against rear waistlock takedowns:


T he w restlers legs must be sp re ad wide apart. T h e forw ard drive of the attacking w res
tler is best c o u n tere d by partially straightening up, w h ereas a side drag can be offset by
leaning forw ard a n d shifting o n e s weight. T h e low stance an d w id esp read legs com bine
to low er the ce n te r of gravity an d c reate a stable base o f su p p o rt for g o o d balance.

IX. Counterattacks Against Waistlocks


1. Reach a n d straddle (fig. 190)
C o u n t e r : S tep backw ard.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T h e defensive w restler can execute a thro w by pulling his
o p p o n e n ts arm s backw ard s b etw een his legs. T o d o this he first releases the re a r waist
lock an d grabs his o p p o n e n ts wrists ju st as he is trying to snatch the heel placed
b etw een his legs (fig. 191). T h e n , by pulling on the controlled arm s an d driving forw ard
with his chest, he forces his o p p o n e n t to do a som ersault.

2. Standing switch
T h e defensive w restler (held in a re a r waistlock) grips his o p p o n e n ts right arm just
above the wrist with his own right a rm an d escapes from the control. T h e n he reaches
quickly over his o p p o n e n ts right arm to get hold o f th e right thigh from the inside (fig.
192). A t the sam e tim e, he pivots (ab o u t 90) on his right heel. W ith o ut releasing the
arm c ontrol, he lifts his o p p o n e n ts thigh and stretches his own right leg forw ard in o rd e r
to tu rn his o p p o n e n t o ve r to th e right.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h en th e defensive w restler reach es o v e r with his right
a rm , the offensive w restler lifts him u p and executes a souple with a h o o k o r a sweep.
C o u n t e r : Pull the th r e a te n e d leg back an d secure a tight waistlock.

3. Outside kick
T h e defensive w restler holds the o p p o n e n ts right arm with his left arm and secures
a headlock with his right arm (fig. 193). M aintaining tight control, he plants his right leg
firmly against the o p p o n e n ts thigh from the outside. In o rd e r to accomplish an efficient
throw , he brings his weight slightly forw ard and kicks his o p p o n e n ts right leg upw ard.
T h e w restler is throw n to the right a n d forward.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : C rou ch dow n, th en flatten out the o p p o n e n t o r apply a leg
b a r from the back.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a low er stance and spread o u t the legs.

Figure 188

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

4. A r m roll an d outside kick


T h e defensive w restler uses his hip to execute a th row by controlling the arm above
the elbow. His weight is entirely s u p p o rted on the left leg while the right o n e kicks the
o p p o n e n ts right leg from the outside, p rev en tin g him from using it to try to recover (fig.
194).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : R e a r sweep.
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a lower stance with legs sp read apart.

5. Reverse head h o ld a n d "kliket" (grapevine throw)


T he defensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n ts right a rm with his left h an d an d se
cures a reverse h e a d hold (fig. 195). Pivoting to the right, he digs his hip into his o p p o
n en t an d grapevines th e left leg from the inside with his right leg. T h e w restler is throw n
to the side and b ackw ard.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T h e co u n te ra ttac k in g w restler has to secure a tight waistlock on his o p p o n e n t and execute a souple by arching b ackw ard and thrusting his left
(grap ev in ed ) leg upw ard.
C o u n t e r : R elease th e hold and step backw ard with the target leg.

X. Leg Blocks
T o do leg blocks, the offensive w restler places his leg across th at o f his o p p o n e n t,
from the outside o r inside, and throw s him by m aking him lose his balance (the p ro je c
tion o f his C G falls outside the base o f support).

I . N ear leg p ic k-u p an d leg block


T h e offensive w restler picks up his o p p o n e n ts right leg u n d e r the k n ee with his left
arm a nd w raps his right arm aro u n d the torso (fig. 196). T h e n , he crosses his right leg
b eh in d his o p p o n e n ts left leg from the inside an d , turning to th e left, pushes his o p p o
n e n ts body with his right arm to send him to the mat.
A variation of this is the inside leg trip (fig. 197). W ith o u t trying to tu rn his o p p o
n en t to the side, the offensive w restler can use his right leg to do an inside leg trip on his
o p p o n e n ts sup p o rtin g leg while thrusting forw ard with his chest.
F ro m the sam e starting position, he can also secure an arm control an d do an outsi
de sw eep on his o p p o n e n t's sup p o rtin g leg. W hile sweeping his foot to the left he pushes
his o p p o n e n ts body to the right (fig. 198).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : W h e n the offensive w restler tires a leg pick-up, the defen-

Figure 196

Figure 198

Figure 199

Figure 200

Figure 201
sivc w restler shoots his lower leg b etw een his o p p o n e n ts thigh and applies an inside
h oo k while controlling the arm o r controlling the sh o u ld e r and head.
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a low stance and push the o p p o n e n t's chin while ho pping to
stay on balance.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 202

Figure 203
2. Shou ld er throw an d outside kick
T h e attacking w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts right arm just above the elbow and pi
vots 180 to step deeply in fron t of him , u n d e rh o o k in g this arm at the shoulder. A t the
sam e tim e, he gives a pow erful outside kick on his o p p o n e n ts right calf (fig. 199).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A fter having ste p p ed to the side, the defensive w restler can
push his o p p o n e n t back w ard s by using his left leg to block on e or b oth legs from behind
the knees.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a low stance and use the arm to push against the offensive
w re stlers back while moving in the direction o f the side throw.

3. Inside k ic k an d overarm control


This hold requires a g o od tight control. A fte r the offensive w restler has tried to do
a leg pick-up o r a waistlock, the defensive w restler o v erh o o k s his o p p o n e n t on the left
arm pit and grips the right arm above the elbow with his left arm (fig. 200). H e digs his
hip into his o p p o n e n t an d leans forw ard while kicking the o p p o n e n ts left leg up from
the inside. A strong je r k forw ard a n d to the left with the left arm throws the o p p o n e n t
on his back.

4. Outside k ick an d overarm control


This hold is the sam e as the previous o n e , except th a t the w restler brings his right
leg across the o p p o n e n ts right k n ee to execute the kick from the outside (fig. 201).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

A n interesting variation o f this hold is shown in fig. 202. A fte r having o v e rh o o k ed


his o p p o n e n t on the right arm p it with th e left arm , the offensive w restler turns his side
tow ard his o p p o n e n t an d h oo k s the right leg with his left leg. T h en he fakes a backw ard
throw to set up his o p p o n e n t, w ho reacts by shifting his weight to the left leg. T aking
advantage o f this reaction, he im m ediately hops ov er in front o f his o p p o n e n ts right
thigh and , kicks back with his left leg to th ro w him forw ard and to th e left.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : R e a r trip o f on e or b oth legs. T h ro w using arm a nd leg
control.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a low stance an d spin to face o p p o n e n t, by turning in the di
rection o f the throw.
5. Outside kick a n d fr o n t h eadlock
In o rd e r to execute this hold w hen the wrestlers are face to face, the offensive
w restler must secure a fro n t h ead lo ck with his right arm and control his o p p o n e n ts right
arm with his left a rm (fig. 203). H e executes an outside kick with his right leg to throw
his o p p o n e n t forw ard an d to the right.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro m the starting position, the defensive w restler can
duck u n d e r the right arm , and during the first phase o f the execution, he can go behind,
or use back trips, etc.
C o u n t e r s : A ssu m e a low stance, escape from control and step in the direction
of the throw.
6. L eg b lock and under-over
T h e offensive w restler o v erh o o k s his o p p o n e n ts left arm and w raps his right arm
aro u n d the torso (fig. 204). T ightening up his control, he pulls on his o p p o n e n t and

Figure 207
starts falling backw ard. W ith his left leg, he blocks his o p p o n e n ts right leg an d uses his
arm s to tu rn him o v er to th e left. H e th en holds him on his back (fig. 205).
A similar leg block is illustrated in fig. 206. In this case, the offensive w restler
holds his o p p o n e n t even closer a nd blocks the left leg to m ak e him fall b ack w ard to the
left.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro m the starting position, the defensive w restler can
co u n te ra tta c k with the sam e hold (u n d er-o v er), o r with a simple u n d e ra rm ; a h o ok with
an u n d e ra rm o r ov e ra rm ; a souple.
T he defensive w restler can also push in the sam e direction as the th ro w in o rd e r to
block the offensive w restler on the back.
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a low stance, escape from control and step in the direction of
the throw.

XI. Hooks
This refers to holds which accomplish tak ed o w n s o r throws by h o oking a o p p o
n e n ts leg with the fo o t, the low er leg o r a com binatio n o f both in conju n ctio n with va
rious arm controls.

I. O utside h o o k
T h e offensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n t by the u p p e r arm s an d, with the left
leg, does an outside h o o k on the heel o f the forw ard left leg (fig. 207). H e pulls the h o o
ked leg up w ard to the right an d , with his arm s, ro tates his o p p o n e n t forward an d to the
left until he falls on his back o r in a bridge position.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : O utside ho o k executed to the right. T h e defensive w restler

Figure 208
raises his leg ju st w hen his o p p o n e n t is ho oking it. H e th ere b y upsets his o p p o n e n ts b a
lance an d can execute a tak ed o w n to the left (fig. 208).
C o u n t e r : Pull th e atta ck e d leg backw ard.

2. B a ckw ard leg h o o k a nd underarm lock


T h e attacking w restler rushes his o p p o n e n t with an u n d e rarm lock (b e a rh u g ),
gripping b o th hand s behind his back. H e advances his left leg to h o o k the o p p o n e n ts
right leg b eh in d the k n ee from the inside (fig. 209). G iving an energetic push with the
supp o rting leg while pulling u p with the h o o k e d leg, the attacking w restler causes his
o p p o n e n t to fall to the m a t on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : O utside h o o k with u nder-over.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a lower stance and step back.

3. Outside h o o k a nd overarm lock


H aving locked his arm s aro u n d the o p p o n e n ts right arm and to rso , the offensive
w restler pulls him closer and hooks his left leg aro u n d th e o p p o n e n ts right leg from the
o utside (fig. 210). A s in th e previous hold, th e pushing force of th e chest to th e left and
the pulling force o f th e h o o k e d leg b o th work to bring the o p p o n e n t dow n on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : T h e defensive w restler can c o u n te ratta ck with his own
h o o k , a side leg block, a souple, etc.
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a low stance, escape from th e control, m ove the targ et leg
back.
4. B ack k lik e t (back grapevine throw)
T h e offensive w restler ov e rh o o k s his o p p o n e n t o n the right a rm p it with his left
arm . B racing him self on his right leg, he grapevines his left leg aro u n d the o p p o n e n ts
right leg. W ith his right arm , he controls the o p p o n e n ts left a rm o r tru n k (fig. 211). T h e
offensive w restler straightens o ut the su pporting leg an d, pulling the controlled arm u p
w ard an d tow ard him self, he arches back a n d starts falling, while kicking up th e grapevined leg. B efore his sho u ld er touches th e m a t (or w hen it touches the m at), th e attacking
w restler pivots to w ard th e g rapevined leg to c o m p lete a reversal.
If his o p p o n e n t resists the re a r th ro w , the offensive w restler can do a fro nt g rapevi
ne th ro w using an arm control.
C o u n te rs an d counterattacks: T h e defensive w restler should ce n te r controls on the
u p p e r limbs. If his o p p o n e n t secures a c ontrol, the target leg should be pulled b ac
kward.

Figure 210

Figure 211
W h en the offensive w restler places his leg b etw een his o p p o n e n ts legs, the d e fe n
sive w restler catches it u n d e r the k n ee from the outside an d lifts it up. T h en he executes
a b ack w ard th ro w (fig. 212).
W h e n th e leg is g rap ev in ed , th e defensive w restler pulls it b ack w ard and driving
with his sup p o rtin g leg, he brings his o p p o n e n t dow n o n his hip. With his right arm , he
has to ca p tu re his o p p o n e n ts left leg b eh in d the k n ee and pull it to w ard himself. A fter
th e fall, he slips his a rm u n d e r th e k n ee a n d pulls until his o p p o n e n t is on his back or in a
bridge position (fig. 213).

Figure 212

Figure 213

Figure 214

Figure 215

\ R+ R'

F,//F,

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 217

mm
Figure 2 IS
5. Inside h o o k a nd arm drag
T h e wrestlers are in identical stagger stances - right feet forw ard. T h e offensive
w restler fakes an arm drag on his o p p o n e n ts right arm o r else he fakes a control as if he
were going to execute an a rm roll. A t th e sam e time, he quickly advances his right leg to
h oo k his o p p o n e n ts right leg from the inside, an d , with a h ard push fo rw ard , he throws
his o p p o n e n t dow n on his back (fig. 214).
This hold can also be set up by faking a h e a d drag (fig. 215). T h e defensive w restler
reacts by pulling b ac k w ard , thus moving th e p rojection of his C G close to th e r e a r b o r
d e r o f his base o f su p p ort an d m aking it easier for the offensive w restler to push him
dow n with his chest, sh o u ld er o r arm . T h e biom echanical diagram for this re a r t a k e
dow n is illustrated in fig. 216. T h e driving force (R ) o f th e left leg is the resultant of the
su p po rt reaction to body weight and the pushing force o f the foot ( R a an d R b). T h e
sh o u ld er th rust is e n h an c ed by the m uscular effort, body weight (W ) an d the o p p o n e n ts
b ackw ard m o v em e n t ( R 2). A t th e sam e time, the pulling force (F 2) o f the h o oking leg
acts in the opposite direction to w ork to w ard unbalancing the o p p o n e n t. As a result, the
p rojection o f the C G m oves b ackw ard to fall outside the base o f su pport.
A variation o f this hold is a re a r tak ed o w n using only a front body lock.
T h e offensive w restler fakes an inside trip on his o p p o n e n ts left leg using an o ve
rarm control. T aking ad v an ta ge o f his o p p o n e n ts reaction, he uses the sam e leg to secu
re an inside h o ok on the o th e r leg and shoves him b ack w ard (fig. 217).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : T h e defensive w restler lets him self fall on his right leg,
pulls his o p p o n e n ts left arm an pivoting to the right, grabs his o p p o n e n ts thigh and
brings him dow n. F rom this position, he can easily execute an Olympic lift ( tch e rek ").
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a low strance an d escape from controls.

Figure 219
6. Inside h o o k an d reverse chicken wing
T h e offensive w restler sets u p th e hold by assuming a high stance an d o penin g his
defense (fig. 218). H e baits his o p p o n e n t by leaving his left leg forw ard, allowing him to
snatch it up. A t this m o m e n t h e swiftly secures a reverse chicken wing on the left arm .
Pulling th e a rm to w a rd him self an d u p w a rd , h e tak es ad v an tag e o f his o p p o n e n ts b a ck
w ard reaction a n d , h oo k in g th e left leg fro m th e inside, h e pushes him b ac k w a rd and
dow n with his chest.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro n t or re a r ta k e d o w n s with leg tackles.

XII. Sweeps
T h e co m m o n fea tu re o f these holds is th e way in which th e leg is used to attack.
Sweeps are executed by th e foot on the o p p o n e n ts foot o r low er leg. T h e re are a wide
variety of leg and arm controls.
T h re e classes o f sw eeps m ay b e distinguished according to th eir p oin t o f contact:
fro n t, side, an d back.
1. Side sweep a n d over-under
W hile controlling th e arm an d th e tr u n k , th e offensive w restler waits for his o p p o
n e n t to advance a leg. H e fakes a forw ard push as if he w ere going to execute a re a r ta
k edow n. T ak in g ad v an tag e o f his o p p o n e n ts reaction , he pulls him to w ard him self and
sw eeps th e right leg with his left leg (fig. 219).
T h e offensive w restler leans b ack , loads his o p p o n e n t an d ro tates to th e left, c o n
trolling the throw by his firm grip a nd th e blocking action o f th e attacking leg. T h en ,
thrusting him self b ack w ard with his right leg an d pivoting to th e left, he carries his o p
p o n e n t with him to th e g ro u n d , w h ere he blocks him o n the back with his chest.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : M ove th e targ et leg a nd block.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a low stance an d pull th e leg back.
2. F ront sweep with ov erh o o k
T h e offensive w restler o v erh o o k s his o p p o n e n ts right arm an d secures a headlock.
A fter having pulled his o p p o n e n t tow ard himself, h e sweeps the right leg up w a rd to the
right. A t the sam e tim e, pushing his o p p o n e n t up w ard an d back, he blocks th e body
with his left leg an d .lifts him off the m at. H e m aintains his o p p o n e n t on his back b e a r
ing dow n with his chest (fig. 220).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : T h e sam e as for the previous hold.

Figure 221

Figure 220

Figure 222
3. S h o rt side sweep
T h e offensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n t by the shoulders, keeping his eye out
for th e m o m e n t w hen he advances his leg. H e must be ready to sw eep his o p p o n e n ts
left leg with his right leg b efore he has shifted his weight o n to this leg (fig. 221). A s he
executes th e sw eep, th e offensive w restler pulls his o p p o n e n t u pw ard an d to w ard h im
self, ro tatin g him to th e right until he falls on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : Sam e as above.
17.3 THE TECHNIQUES OF FREESTYLE GROUND WRESTLING
I. Turnovers using leg, arm and head controls
1. O lym p ic lift a n d cross face
T h e to p w restler, kneeling to the right o f this o p p o n e n t, c ap tu res the far arm n ear
th e sh o u ld e r with his right a rm , and secures a re a r crotch on the n e a r leg with his left
a rm (fig. 222).
Pushing with his legs, h e drives his o p p o n e n t forw ard with his chest pressing on his
tru nk . A t th e sam e tim e, he pulls the c a p tu re d arm an d lifts the thigh u p w a rd an d fo r
w ard until he tu rn s his o p p o n e n t o ve r on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A fte r a c o u n te r, the defensive w restler can catch his o p p o
n e n ts right foot an d pull it to th e left. T his will p a n ca k e th e top w restler on his back.
C o u n t e r : T h e defensive w restler should flatten o u t a n d th ro w his far arm and
leg o u t to th e side to brace himself.

2. Far kn ee a n d cross face


C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Sam e as above.
C o u n t e r : Sam e as above.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

3. Far a nkle a nd cross bo dy


T h e offensive w restler is kneeling on the right side o f his o p p o n e n t. H e grabs his
o p p o n e n ts left ankle with his left h an d , an d inserts his right h an d be tw ee n th e thighs
from the fro nt to rejoin his o th e r h an d (fig. 224).
Pressing th e right hip with his left sho u ld er, th e offensive w restler p ushes with his
legs to bring his o p p o n e n t dow n on his side. A t the sam e tim e, he pulls the c a p tu re d leg
tow ard himself, ro ta te s his back halfway to w ard his o p p o n e n ts chest, a n d , c ontinues to
pull while bearing dow n on his o p p o n e n t until he obtains a pin.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h e n the attacking w restler c ap tures the ankle a nd turns
his back, the defensive w restler can push to th e right against his o p p o n e n t, w ho isnt al
ways successful in stretching his leg back to brace him self (fig. 225).
C o u n t e r : A ssum e a low re f e re e s position, stretch o ut the legs and flatten out.

4. Far knee an d near arm (fig. 226)


C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A ssu m e re f e re e s position an d execute a sh o u ld e r roll (grip
ping o p p o n e n ts left arm n e a r the shoulder).
C o u n t e r : Block the arm and knee controls.

5. A n k le lock
T h e offensive wrestler, kneeling o n the right knee to the side o f his o p p o n e n t, ca p
tures the left ankle from the outside with his left h an d (fig. 227). Pulling on the leg, he
traps it u n d e r his left arm p it, while using his right arm to cross the left ankle o v er the
right, at which point he links his hands to g eth er. T h e n , he raises him self to his right
k n e e, stands u p , an d , m aintaining the ankle lock, rocks his o p p o n e n t on his h e ad back
an d forth from sh ou ld er to shoulder.
A n o th e r effective variation o f th e an k le lock can be secured from th e sam e starting
position: the to p wrestler, after having tr a p p e d th e far leg b etw een his arm pit and his
right k n ee, grabs th e o p p o n e n ts left ankle from b ehin d with his right hand an d pulls it
up w ard , turning his o p p o n e n t on his back. T h e right arm slides along the outside of the
right thigh an d catches the o th e r from behind (fig. 228).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : T h e defensive w restler can execute a n e a r heel pick-up.
C o u n t e r : A ssum e re f e re e s position and sit back on the heels.
6. O lym p ic lift and h eadlock (fig. 229)
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T he b o tto m w restler grasps the o p p o n e n ts right arm above
the wirst with his left h an d, raises him self on his k nees and executes a right arm roll.

7. Cradle ( w ra pp in g)
T h e offensive w restler starts in kneeling position on his o p p o n e n ts left side. H e
shoots the right arm b etw een the thighs from b e h in d , an d secures a headlock with his
left arm (fig. 230), tightening up until he can grip b oth hand s to g e th e r u n d e r his o p p o
n e n ts chest. H e sits dow n on his left thigh a n d, pressing on the h ead while rotating to
the left, m ak es his o p p o n e n t do a front roll.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Th e b o tto m w restler has to wait for the right o p p o rtu n ity to


c ap tu re his o p p o n e n ts leg. W h e n escaping from th e co n tro l, he can block him on the
mat.
C o u n t e r : H e can flatten o u t, e xte n d his inside leg an d raise his head.

8. Reverse chicken wing


T h e offensive w restler has flatten ed his o p p o n e n t o u t an d tries to drag his o p p o
n e n ts right arm with his own right a rm (fig. 231). In o r d e r to pry th e arm aw ay m ore
easily, he b ears do w n with his sh o u ld er on the back an d places his fo rea rm u n d e r the op-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

tWBK

/ ^l / jO r lv &

Figure 232
p o n e n ts arm p it to get b e tte r leverage. A fte r he has pried o ut the arm , w ithout letting
up o n the sh o u ld e r, he spins in fro n t o f th e b o tto m w restler an d plants his right knee
against th e left side o f the h ead. H e turn s his o p p o n e n t o v er mainly by the reverse chi
cken wing, pulling forw ard an d to the side. T h e k n ee pressure against the h ead, prevents
th e b o tto m w restler from getting u p a nd serves as a pivot point for the tu rno v er.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A ssu m e a h igher r e f e re e s position, turn to face th e o p p o
n e n t, an d execute any hold involving single o r d ou b le leg controls.
C o u n t e r : T h e b o tto m w restler should try to raise him self fro m a p ro n e position
to a high re f e re e s position.

9. L eg h o o k on near arm a nd crossover


T h e b o tto m w restler is in high re f e re e s position. T h e offensive w restler is on his
left side a n d has a control o n his chin an d his n e a r ankle. His left leg is b e n t at the knee
an d read y to attack (fig. 232). H e lifts his o p p o n e n t by jerk in g up on his chin and simul
taneously does a fro n t leg h o o k on th e left arm . H e thrusts his right leg b ack w ard and
throws all his weight on the b o tto m w re stlers shoulders. T h e pressu re on the h ead, the
fo rw ard d ra g on th e controlled a n kle , th e body w eight and th e tension on the h o ok ed
arm by th e leg all co n trib u te to brea k in g dow n the o p p o n e n t. T h e offensive w restler
pushes him self up with his right leg, and turns his o p p o n e n t o v er by acting o n the arm
controlled by his leg. T h e b o tto m w restler is actually tu rn e d over by his o p p o n e n ts
weight.
T o p re v en t the b o tto m w restler from escaping during th e tu rn o v e r, the offensive
w restler must try to h o o k the right thigh with his left leg.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T a k e d o w n by a single leg on the attacking leg.
C o u n t e r : A void th e leg h o o k an d pull th e targ et arm back against the body.

STARTING POSITION

REALISATION
Figure 233

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

II. Turnovers using near single legs


T h e holds in this g ro u p are executed by a single leg on th e o p p o n e n ts n e a r leg in
co njunction with arm , h ea d o r body controls.

Technical-tactical complexes during the rear crotch lift


1. Inside sa rm a (T u rk ride)
T h e T u rk ride is on e o f the most effective holds in m o d e rn freestyle wrestling (fig.
233).
A fte r having lifted his o p p o n e n ts leg, th e offensive w restler secures a frim grip on
the left thigh from th e inside with his right arm an d extends his left arm forw ard (fig.
234). Pushing him self forw ard a n d to the side with his left leg, he crosses his right leg
ov er b etw e en the thighs an d h o ok s in u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts right k nee. A s a result, the
b o tto m w restler usually falls o n his side. T h e offensive w restler releases his control of
th e left thigh w hen he steps ov er with his right leg a nd he grabs th e left arm as his o p p o
n en t falls to the side. T h e tu rn o v e r can also be d o n e w ithout this arm control. T h e top
w restler b ears dow n with his entire body weight on th e b o tto m w restlers chest an d rai
ses th e h o o k e d leg forw ard a n d to w ard his right shoulder.
As a v ariation, this hold m ay be carried o u t w ithout lifting th e o p p o n e n t (fig. 235).
In addition to the m e th o d described, a w restler can also resort to lifting by a re a r crotch
an d a far sh ou lder (fig. 236).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h e n being lifted, the defensive w restler thrusts his co n
trolled leg b etw een his o p p o n e n ts legs a nd do es a heel pick-up.
C o u n t e r : Block the n e a r leg pick-up. If unsuccessful, squeeze legs to g e th e r or
raise the su pporting leg.
2. Near leg p ic k -u p an d turnover
T h e leg pick-up is the sam e as for the inside s a r m a (T urk rid e), b u t it isnt follo
w ed by c apturing the thigh. In stead , the offensive w restler uses his left arm to raise the

Figure 235

Figure 236

Figure 237

Figure 238

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 241
leg as high as possible, and releasing the foot control, inserts his right arm b etw een the
thighs a n d gets a grip u n d e rn e a th his o p p o n e n ts right thigh (fig. 237). T h e n , he kneels
o n his left leg an d presses on his o p p o n e n ts h e a d with his left arm .
C o u n t e r s a n d c o u n t e r a t t a c k s : Sam e as for the inside s a r m a (Turk
ride).
3. Rear crotch a nd near arm (fig. 238)
Counterattacks

a n d c o u n t e r s : Sam e as above.

4. Near leg, near arm an d outside sweep


A fte r having picked u p th e n e ar thigh, the offensive w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts
right a rm with his corresp on d in g arm (fig. 239). H e advances his right leg u n d e r his o p
p o n e n ts chest, a n d , with his left fo o t, d oes an outside sw eep on the left leg.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : Same as above.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

5. Near leg a n d cradle


T h e offensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n t's far sh o ulder with his right arm and
picks up the n e a r leg to secure a re a r crotch with his left arm (fig. 240). Lifting his o p p o
n en t, he m akes him do a front roll, accelerating the m o v e m en t by pushing on his head.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k a n d c o u n t e r : Same as above.

6. O lym pic lift ( Tcherek")


T o c o u n te r an inside s a r m a (T urk ride), the b o tto m w restler lifts both his legs off
the mat. This creates a favorable condition for the to p w restler to execute an Olympic
lift on the far leg.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : See Olympic lift (tc h e r e k ) below.

III. Technical-tactical complexes from the leg ride (sarma )


T h e offensive w restler grips the o p p o n e n ts left foot with his left h and and while lif
ting it and bearing dow n on the b o tto m w restlers back o r h ead with the o th e r arm , he
g rapevines his right leg aro u n d the o p p o n e n ts right let from the inside. This hold is
know n as the s a r m a (leg ride) (fig. 241).

Side turnover
T h e w restler usually executes th e tu rn o v er by pushing forw ard to the right with the
left leg, and extending an d swinging b ack w ard the o th e r leg, while sweeping the o p p o
n e n ts left arm .
A fte r the side tu rn o v e r, several holds m ay be selected:

1. Sim ple leg ride


W h e n the o p p o n e n t has b een tu rn e d on his side, the offensive w restler h o o ks his
own left leg by placing his right foot ju st b eh ind the k nee o r calf locking his o p p o n e n ts
u p p e r right thigh. T h e offensive w restler shifts his weight on th e hips by pushing with his
left a rm o n th e m at. His right arm grips the o p p o n e n ts foreh ead. T h e final p hase o f the
hold requires sim ultaneous an d w ell-coordinated arm and leg m ov em en ts: keeping his
hips on the m a t, th e offensive w restler stretches the controlled leg back with b o th legs
an d his right arm pulls th e o p p o n e n ts h ead sideways an d back to w ard th e sh o u ld er (fig.
241).

2. L eg ride an d cross face

3. L eg ride an d O ly m p ic lift
W ith o u t releasing his leg control, and k eeping his hips in contact with the m at, the
offensive w restler b ears his weight dow n on his o p p o n e n ts tru n k (fig. 242). H e sits up
and executes an O lympic lift on th e left thigh. T h e n h e rem oves his right leg in o r d e r to
use it to brace him self during th e final effort of m aking his o p p o n e n t do a front roll.

Figure 242

Figure 243

Figure 244
4. L eg ride a n d reverse chicken wing
T h e offensive w restler pulls on his o p p o n e n ts c a p tu re d arm , falls to his right side
and m aintains the s a r m a (leg ride) until he has pulled this arm b eh in d his h ead. P res
sing the arm d o w n w a rd , he can pin his o p p o n e n t (fig. 243).

5. L e g ride a n d fa r leg h o o k
T h e offensive w restler has b ro u g h t his o p p o n e n t dow n on the side (fig. 244). K e e
ping his hips on the m at, he rem oves his left leg and ho o k s his foot behind the k n ee on
th e far leg. T h e n he stretches his body back an d gives a h a rd kick forw ard with his co n
trolling leg. This hold may be executed with the additional help of arm controls (fig.
245).
F ro m the leg ride position, the offensive w restler can switch to o th e r holds, such
as: leg scissors, valtchi k a p a n e (half Nelson a n d leg scissors), and the tc h e r e k
(O lym pic lift) a with most o f th eir variations.
C o u n te ra tta c k s against the s a r m a (leg ride): W h e n the offensive w restler tries to
g rapevine, the defensive w restler blocks the leg with his arm , grabs it and lifts it (fig.

Figure 245

Figure 247
246). With the right arm , he o v erh o o ks his o p p o n e n ts right arm , after which b o th w res
tlers fall to the right.
W h en the offensive w restler tries to grapevine, th e bo tto m w restler grabs th e heel
with the opposite h an d a n d, giving it a hard pull while pushing backw ard and to the side
with his tru n k , he may obtain a fall.
If the o p p o n e n t secures an arm control on the sh o ulder (o r on the side), the b o t
to m w restler co un terattack s with a sh o ulder throw or an arm roll. In b o th cases, the b o t
tom w restler must try, with a sharp backw ard kick, to escape from the grapevine while
counterattacking.
C o u nters against th e s a r m a (leg. ride): B efore the offensive w restler grapevines,
the bottom wrestler blocks the thigh with his arm. If the offensive wrestler has succeeded

Figure 248

Figure 249
in grapevining, the b o tto m w restler must give a violent kick b ack w ard to escape from
the control. T o c o u n te r the side tu rn o v er, the b o tto m w restler should create a m ore sta
ble position by e xtending his limbs to the far side. If the w restler has been tu rn ed on his
side, he must k eep his arm against the body so th at he can co u n te r his o p p o n e n ts head
control by a h a rd up w ard thrust.

IV. Scissors
Scissors and leg rides are similar in structure except th at the role o f the legs are in
versed: w hen executing a scissors hold, the leg used to grapevine during leg rides b e c o
mes passive (the su p p o rt leg) and the o th e r leg does the hooking.

1. Scissors
T h e to p w restler is to th e right o f his o p p o n e n t; he straddles the right leg, catches it
by th e ankle an d straightens up slightly lifting his k nees off the m at (fig. 247). H e conti
nues to lift th e leg with his left arm until he can ho o k his left leg aro u n d it, locking his
left foot on his ow n right ankle. H e starts the tu rn o v e r by letting go o f th e ankle with his
h a n d ; then pushing on his right leg to dive forw ard an d pulling him self forw ard with his
left arm , he applies pressure on the b o tto m w re stle rs right arm o r h ead with his right
arm . All these forces are o rie n te d tow ard the o p p o n e n ts left shoulder. Stretching his
h o oking legs back allows the to p w restler to b e a r dow n on his o p p o n e n ts back and pul
ling the h ead to w ard him self allows him to obtain a fall.
T h e scissors can also be ex ecu ted from the p ro n e position (fig. 248).

2. B o d y scissors
T h e offensive w restler is positioned to th e right o f his o p p o n e n t - the position from
which it is possible to begin attacking with a s a r m a (leg ride) o r a scissors (fig. 249).
A s his o p p o n e n t is trying to get u p , th e offensive w restler jerks th e right arm upw ard.

Figure 252
while crossing his left leg ov e r th e waist. H e th en pivots to the left aro u n d his longitudi
nal axis an d presses his right leg against the b o tto m w restlers chest.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : T h e b o tto m w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts right heel and
kicks away the left leg. It is also possible to use m ost o f th e c o un te ra tta ck s associated
with sarm a s (leg rides).
C o u n t e r s : A ssum e a high re fe re e s position by sitting back on the heels. E sc a
pe from the leg control an d bring the leg forward.

V. Valtchi Kapane ( wolf trap)


Half Nelson and leg scissors
First variation
D efen din g him self against a side tu rn o v er by a s a r m a (leg ride), the b o tto m
w restler shifts his weight to th e attacking leg a n d braces him self o n his right arm . T he
offensive w restler gives u p the side tu rn o v er a n d , driving his right arm u n d e r his oppo-

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 253
n e n ts right arm pit to grip his own left h a n d , secures a headlock from the outside by
pressing his left fo rea rm against th e h ead d ow n w ard an d to the side (H a lf Nelson: fig.
250).
A fte r having forced his o p p o n e n ts h ead do w n, an d w ithout decreasing his arm
p ressure, the offensive w restler crosses his right leg over his o p p o n e n t and catches it u n
d e r th e right hip, moving it dow n u n d e r th e thigh. A t the sam e tim e, he drives his right
arm m o re deeply u n d e r th e arm pit. H e th en releases the left arm and uses it as a su p
port.

S ec o n d variation
A fte r faking a leg ride ( s a r m a ) on th e right, the b o tto m w restler braces himself
on his right arm (fig. 251). T h e offensive w restler im m ediately shoots his left arm over
his o p p o n e n ts right sh o u ld er an d grips th e forearm from u n d e rn e a th . W ith his right
arm he grips the sam e arm at the b en d from b eh in d , close to th e o th e r control. Swit
ching to a half N elson, he uses b o th arm s to force his o p p o n e n ts arm forw ard and
b rea k s him dow n. A t the sam e tim e, the offensive w restler stretches o ut on his o p p o
n en t to apply full body weight, reaches b eh in d the h ea d with his right arm , and uses this
leverage to tu rn him o ve r with the help o f his legs.

T hird variation
T h e to p w restler, kneeling b ehin d his o p p o n e n t, fakes a left gut w rench. H e pulls
th e torso with his right arm an d presses with his left arm until the b o tto m w restler
b rea k s dow n o n his side (fig. 252). T h e n he releases his control as if he h ad given u p the
attack, and just w hen his o p p o n en t recovers re fe re e s position, he im mediately hooks his
right leg aro u n d the corresp on d in g thigh an d secures a half Nelson.

Fourth variation: H a lf N elson an d leg scissors tow ard the back


T h e offensive w restler, standing be h in d his o p p o n e n t, shoots his left leg next to the b o t
to m w restlers left thigh from the inside, locks his hands in a w restlers grip u n d e r the
right a rm p it (fig. 253), a n d vigorously pulls u p an d back with bo th arm s. H e falls back
on his left sh o u ld er, slides his arm b ehin d his o p p o n e n ts h e ad , h o o ks his right leg over
the corresp o nd in g leg, an d slides little by little o v er o n to his o p p o n e n t, pinning him on
his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : Secure leg controls and block turnover.
C o u n t e r s : Block the half Nelson.

Figure 254

Figure 255

Figure 258
VI. Tcherek (Olympic lift)
F ro m s a r m a (leg ride) position, th e offensive w restler can release the grapevine
to switch to a tc h e r e k (O lym pic lift) (fig. 254).
T h e to p w restler, standing to the right o f his o p p o n e n t, pulls th e b o tto m w restlers
hips to w ard him self an d joins b o th hand s u n d e r the groin to secure a reverse hold on the
far thigh. T h e n he lifts his o p p o n e n t tow ard him self, stepping u n d e r him with his right
leg and shifting his weight o n to it (fig. 255). B o th legs are positioned to en sure a large
base of s u p p o rt, an d all the muscles com e into play to execute th e throw . Since his arm s
a re his only m ea n s of s u p p o rt, th e o p p o n e n t c a n t co u n te ra tta c k by catching the offensi
ve w restlers leg. If he w ere to b en d an arm , he w ould obviously d rop . A fter th e attac
king w restler has straig h ten ed u p, he executes the thro w by shoving his o p p o n e n t u p
w ard with his sto m ach , an d thrusting him self backw ard. T h e final m a n e u v e r is m ade by
rolling his o p p o n e n t forw ard with his arms.
T h e tc h e r e k (O lym pic lift) has m any variations. In addition to th e one described
ab o ve, th e O lym pic lift can be c o m b in ed with an ankle lock on e ith er leg (fig. 256). T h e
se throw s an d turn o vers can be ex ecuted from b o th the w restlers stance o r th e re f e re e s
position.
In so m e cases, to co u n te r o r c o u n te ratta ck , th e b o tto m w restler grabs his o p p o
n e n ts forw ard leg and pulls it tow ard him self (fig. 257). In spite o f this, the offensive
w restler can execute the hold by doing an extrem ely high kick with his controlled leg, in
th e direction of th e pull and tow ard his left shoulder. Pivoting on his supporting leg, he
falls face dow n to th e mat.
It is possible to switch to m any o th e r holds from th e O lympic lift ( tc h e re k ) c o n
trols.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : D uring the throw , the b o tto m w restler shoots his left leg
betw e en his o p p o n e n ts legs and grasps the left heel with his right h an d (fig. 258). P ul
ling on this leg, while doing a leg trip on the o th e r leg b eh ind the k n ee , he can bring his
o p p o n e n t dow n on his back.

Figure 259

Figure 260

Figure 261

Figure 262
C o u n t e r s : T h e b o tto m w restler prevents his o p p o n e n t from securing a grip u n
d er his groin. In o rd e r to do so, he kneels on his right leg an d squeezes his thighs tightly
together. If the top w restler succeeds in securing the grip, the dow n w restler must thrust
his n e a r leg b etw een his o p p o n e n ts legs.

VII. Gut Wrenches


In freestyle wrestling, gut w renches can be d o n e with o r w ithout the help o f the
legs.

Figure 263

1. G u t wrench and fa r ankle


T h e offensive w restler, kneeling on o n e k n ee to the left o f his o p p o n e n t, grabs the
right ankle with his right h an d an d controls the far sh o u ld e r (fig. 259). H e pulls the a n
kle fo rw ard, while falling to his side, an d m a ke s his o p p o n e n t cartw heel o v er to th e left.
A similar gut w rench can be e xecu ted by controlling the n e a r an k le (fig. 260).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h en th e offensive w restler falls on his side, the b o tto m
w restler turns to face him a nd uses his free leg to execute reversal.
C o u n t e r : Stretch the legs o ut an d squeeze th em tightly to geth er.
2. G u t wrench a nd kick
T h e offensive wrestler, p ositioned b e h in d his o p p o n e n t, grips the left arm (as if he
w a n te d to do a chicken wing) and secures a waistlock with his right arm . H e pulls his o p
p o n e n t to w ard him (as he w ould for a typical gut w rench), b ears on the left arm to m ake
it b en d a n d drags his o p p o n e n t with him as he falls on his side (fig. 261). F ro m this lying
position, the offensive w restler kicks against his o p p o n e n ts left ankle with his right in
step, and lying on his side in a sem i-bridge position, tu rns him ov e r on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T h e b o tto m w restler can c o u n te ra tta c k with a shoulder
throw.
C o u n t e r : Block the control an d assume a stable re fe re e s position.
3. G u t wrench a n d leg p ick-u p (fig. 262)
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : F ree the controlled leg an d d o a reversal by swinging the leg
over.
C o u n t e r : E scape from leg control an d drive the right leg b etw een th e o p p o
n e n ts legs in the opposite direction o f the gut wrench.
4. G u t wrench with bent leg (fig. 263)
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : F ree b ent leg from control an d do a reversal.
C o u n t e r : Stretch out the right leg to counter the leg bend, then place it out to the
side o n the m at to thw art an o p p o rtu n ity for securing a waistlock.

Figure 265

Figure 266

Figure 267

VII.

Attack techniques for the bottom wrestler

T hese holds are c om b in ed with a n u m b e r of co u n ters an d co u n te rattac k s available


to the b o tto m wrestler.
1. A r m roll a n d grapevine
This hold can be used by the b o tto m w restler to attack o r co u n tera tta ck w henever,
he has succeeded in introducing o n e o f his legs b etw een his o p p o n e n ts legs (fig. 264).
T o execute th e hold, he grips his o p p o n e n t wrist (the arm which is locking his waist)

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

with his co rresp o n din g h an d , and grapevining the opposite leg, rolls his o p p o n e n t to the
right over on his back, keeping a tight control.

2. The switch
T o execute this hold, the bo tto m w restler places his legs to th e right of his o p p o
n en t and spins suddenly to th e right, while gripping the top w restlers thigh with his right
a rm (fig. 265). Pushing on his left a rm , the b o tto m w restler pivots on his b uttocks with
the help of his right arm control.

3. A r m roll a nd outside leg trip


T he b o tto m w restler brings his right leg outside the o p p o n e n ts right leg an d grips
th e right arm a bo v e th e elbow with his corresp on d in g arm (fig. 266). T h e th ro w is
e xecu ted by tu rn ing th e o p p o n e n t o v e r th e right leg.

4. Sit-out
This reversal is m ost easily d o n e by sitting, while escaping from the o p p o n e n ts
waistlock (fig. 267). T h e w restler presses his h ea d against his o p p o n e n ts right shoulder
which acts as a pivot p o int fo r tu rn in g to the right.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

18.
GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING

18.1 GRECO-ROMAN STANDING WRESTLING

Takedowns
1. T a kedo w n by arm drag
T o execute this tak ed o w n , th e offensive m ust step forw ard to b race himself. F o r
exam ple, if he w ants to tak ed o w n his o p p o n e n t by pulling his right arm , th e attacking
w restler grabs it at th e wrist with his left h an d and just above th e elbow with his right
h an d (fig. 268). H e steps forw ard with his right leg. Pulling forcefully on the c ap tu red
arm to the right and dow n (obliquely in relation to the m a t), the offensive w restler
brings his o p p o n e n t dow n to the mat.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm drag takedow n.
C o u n t e r : Block the arm control.

2. T a kedow n by arm drag a n d go b ehind


In this v ariation, th e offensive w restler drags the defensive w restlers arm to the si
de in o rd e r to face his o p p o n e n ts side (fig. 269). F ro m this position, he can lock the d e
fensive w restlers waist a n d go behind.

3. T a kedo w n by sh ou lder a n d fr o n t headlock


This hold can be successfully executed w hen the o p p o n e n t is in a passive crouching
position o r w hen its possible to secure a sh oulder an d a front headlock by using ar arm
drag (fig. 270). T h e takedo w n is considered successful if the offensive w restler is able to
spin b eh in d his o p p o n e n t to the side of the cap tu re d arm .
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro n t arm roll, o r p e n e tra te to secure a waistlock.
C o u n t e r : T h e best c o u n ter is a dynamic high w restlers stance.

4. D u c k under a n d takedow n
B o th wrestlers stand facing each o ther. T h e offensive w restler je rk s his o p p o n e n ts
elbow up with on e a rm while using his o th e r arm to d rag the defensive w restlers head
dow n w ard (fig. 271).

Figure 268

Figure 269

Figure 270
Swiftly advancing the left leg tow ard the controlled arm , the attacking w restler
ducks u n d e r the arm while continuing to d rag his o p p o n e n ts h ead dow nw ard.

5. O ne-point tak ed ow n by sem i-souple


T h e offensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n ts left arm u n d e r his right arm pit and
steps forw ard to the side with his right leg (fig. 272). H e swings his left a rm over to hook
it u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts left arm pit. A t th e sam e tim e, h e places his left leg next to the
right an d arches back while m aintaining a tight arm control. Just before touching the
m at, he twists his body to the right, throwing his o p p o n e n t on all fours, and ends up face
dow n on top of him.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Block the o p p o n e n t by sitting down.
C o u n t e r s : T h e defensive w restler assumes a higher stance an d pulls the co n
trolled arm tow ard himself.
M ove in the direction of the throw.

Figure 271

Figure 272

Figure 273

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

6. T aked ow n with underarm (fig. 274)


C o u n t e r : Block the waistlock.
7. T a ked o w n by head drag
A fte r having secured a head a n d sh o ulder lock, the offensive w restler, maintaining
his c ontrol, drives against th e controlled arm with his sho u ld er an d ducks un d er. With
his h e a d b e n t forw ard h e ram s into his o p p o n e n ts sh u ld er from b eh in d , and , stepping
o ve r b oth legs with his right leg, he goes b eh in d a n d shoves his o p p o n e n t to the mat.

Breaking the opponents defense


B reaking the o p p o n e n ts defense refers to attacks by which the offensive w restler
tries to secure a body lock (with o r w itho u t en trap p in g an a rm ), using controls similar to
the o ne s applied for takedow ns.

1. B reaking the defense b y arm drag


B o th wrestlers face each o th e r in an identical stance. T h e offensive w restler uses
an arm d ra g to induce his o p p o n e n t to d efen d him self by bringing his arm s backw ard.
A t this m o m e n t, th e offensive w restler releases the a rm , an d rushing forw ard, he
p e n e tra te s and secures an o v e ra rm bodylock. W ith this control, he can execute a throw,
o r a fro nt o r re a r tak ed o w n (fig. 276).

2. B reaking the defense b y lifting the elbow


F ro m an identical wrestling stance, the offensive w restler rushes forw ard, jerking
up o n his o p p o n e n ts arm , an d secures a bodylock (fig. 277). In this case, it is also possi
ble to execute a souple, o r a front o r re a r takedow n.
Front bending throws
F ro n t b en d ing throw s rep re sen t a gro up o f holds ch aracterized by turning the back
o f the o p p o n e n t. Since som e o f th e m thro w the o p p o n e n t o ve r the sho u ld er an d others

Figure 276

Figure 277

o v er the hips, they can be classified into tw o groups: throws o v er the sh ou ld er and
throws over the hips
Throws over the shoulder

1. Sh o u ld er throw
T h e offensive wrestler, in a stagger stance with the right foot forw ard, grips the
o p p o n e n ts left arm in front of th e elbow (fig. 278).
Pivoting a ro u n d on th e ball o f th e right foot, he thrusts his hips u n d e r his o p p o
n en t, and loads him com pletely o n his back. D u rin g this m o v e m e n t, th e left leg is sligh
tly b e n t, and at th e en d , the right leg moves back next to th e left (fig. 278). H e continues
th e m o v em e n t, straightens out the legs, an d by pulling o n th e controlled arm , throws his
o p p o n e n t to th e m a t directly in front o f him.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : O v e ra rm bodylock.
C o u n t e r : A ssu m e a higher stance and block th e hip with the arm . T a k e a step
in th e direction o f the m o v em en t.

2. Front arm roll


This throw is usually a co u n tera ttac k against a fro n t headlock takedo w n.
A t th e beginning o f th e h ead lo ck , the c o u nte rattac kin g w restler grips the o p p o
n e n ts a rm which is placed o n his h e ad , a n d with his right arm he places th e left arm
u n d e r his arm pit (fig. 279). H e brings b o th legs to g eth er, and bending dow n and back,
throws his o p p o n e n t o v er the controlled shoulder.

Throws over the hip

1. H ea d a nd arm
This is considered the basic th ro w in this category. T o succeed, it is im p o rtan t to
force the o p p o n e n t to low er his stance. T h e offensive w restler traps his o p p o n e n ts left
arm u n d e r his right arm p it, an d locks the h ead with his left arm (fig. 280).
Pivoting on the ball o f th e forw ard foot, th e attacking w restler p e n e tra te s his hips
u n d e r his o p p o n e n t. H is h ead leads the throw by snapping b ackw ard to the right with
legs to g eth er an d slightly b en t. H e th en straightens up, and pulling on the arm and

Freestyle and Creco-Roman Wrestling

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

h ead, throws his o p p o n e n t forw ard to the right with a wide turning m o v em e n t. A fte r
the throw , he m aintains the h ead and arm control, spreads o u t his legs an d holds his
o p p o n e n t in a d a n g er position or secures a fall.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : C o u n tera tta ck by spinning to the front in th e direction of
the m ov e m e n t (waltz step).
C o u n t e r s : C ro u ch , block the hips with the h and. T a k e a step in the direction of
the m ovem ent.

2. H ead a n d underarm
T h e offensive w restler controls the sh o u ld er and h ead o f his o p p o n e n t, while trying
to push the controlled a rm u pw ard. Pivoting is easier w hen the defensive w restler is
trying to escape fron th e control. T h e final action is the sam e as for the basic version
(fig. 281).

3. H ip roll
A tight close waistlock is im perative w hen executing this hold (fig. 282).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : F ro n t o v e ra rm bodylock o r o v e r-u n d e r souple.
C o u n t e r s : A ssu m e a higher stance and block the hips. Block th e tru n k with the
arm .

4. H ip roll an d overarm
This is a good hold for tall wrestlers. T h e offensive w restler secures an o v erarm on
his o p p o n e n ts opposite arm (high, to w ard th e shoulder) and advances the c o rre sp o n
ding leg. Pivoting on this foot he swiftly p e n etrate s his hips u n d e r his o p p o n e n t. His free
arm m ay eith er catch his o p p o n e n ts o th e r arm or lock up with his own h and securing
th e o v e ra rm control. A s before, the th ro w is ex ecu ted by straightening o u t b o th legs and
lifting th e o p p o n e n t with the hips (fig. 283).

5. H ip roll a n d inside arm


T h e offensive w restler grips his o p p o n e n t u n d er right arm a nd o ver th e left arm
(fig. 284). H e pivots o n the ball o f his foot and p e n e tra te s his hips u n d e r his o pp o n e n t.
H e executes the th row by pulling the controlled arm forw ard an d do w nw ard an d th r u
sting his o p p o n e n t u p w ard with his hips an d back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : C o u n teratta ck by stepping in front.
C o u n t e r s : Block the hips with the arm . T a k e a step in the direction of the m o
v em ent.

6. H ip roll a n d do u ble underarm control


T h e offensive w restler locks his arm s a ro u n d b o th of his o p p o n e n ts arm s from
u n d e rn e a th , n ea r the elbows, and e nd eavo rs to pull u pw ard. H e thrusts his hips u n d e r
the o p p o n e n t and executes the throw as in the p receding version (fig. 285).

Figure 283

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

7. H ip roll a n d fr o n t headlock
T h e offensive w restler sets u p his o p p o n e n t by trying to execute a front headlock
tak ed o w n a n d takes advanta ge of the defensive w restlers reactions: trying to straighten
u p (fig. 286 a). Pivoting to p e n e tr a te his hips u n d e r the o p p o n e n t, while thrusting
upw ard, the offensive w restler executes the throw.

8. C ounter b y arm roll


T hrow s o f this type are alm ost always c o u n terattac ks for tak ed ow ns by arm drags
(fig. 286 b).

Souples
Souples are a m o n g th e m ost effective an d beautiful throw s in G re c o -R o m a n style
wrestling. T h ey are techn iq u es by which th e offensive w restler secures a control and
throws his o p p o n e n t by arching backw ard to a bridge position, while thrusting u p with
the hips and stomach.

1. O verarm b o d y lock
T h e offensive w restler secures an o v e ra rm bodylock, trapping his o p p o n e n ts left
arm above the elbow (fig. 287). A t th e sam e time, he advances his right leg b etw een his
o p p o n e n ts legs placing it next to the right leg. H e hugs his o p p o n e n t tightly. Right after
th at, he brings his left leg up to the right o n e. His legs are slightly b ent and his head is
th ro w n b ackw ard. Driving forcefully u p w ard an d back by straightening his legs, and
lifting his o p p o n e n t while arching b ack w a rd , he carries his o p p o n e n t ov e r him and
backw ard. Just b efore o r up o n contact with the m at, th e offensive w restler pivots in the
direction o f the tr a p p e d arm an d ends up chest dow n on to p o f his o p p o n e n t. This hold
can also be ex ecu ted with an u n d e r-o v e r control.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro n t arm roll, if the attacking w restler has secured an
u n d e ra rm bodylock.
O v e ra rm bodylock.
O v e r-u n d e r an d souple.
Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : S quat and shift bodyw eight backw ard. Push against the chest to es
cape from control.

2. Side souple
A good o p p o rtu n ity to execute this hold is c reated w hen the o p p o n e n t tries an arm
d ra g tak e d o w n (fig. 288).
It can be d o n e as an o v erarm bodylock from the side.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : S h ou ld er throw.
A rm roll.
C o u n t e r s : Crouch.
E scap e from th e control.
Shift th e body weigh to the side.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

3. O ver-under and souple


T h e o v er-u n d e r control is acco m p an ied by bringing the back leg u p to th e forw ard
(attacking) leg. T h e offensive w restler p e n etrate s deeply, which allows him to pull his
o p p o n en t closer, bridge back an d execute the souple with a forceful up w ard thrust of
the hips and stom ach. H e ro ta tes in the direction of the controlled a rm to place him self
chest dow n on his o p p o n e n t (fig. 289).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : O v e ra rm body lock. Back tak ed o w n by waistlock.
Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : A ssu m e a higher stance and block the bodylock.
E scape from the control.

4. D ouble o v erh o o k a n d souple (Salto)


T he offensive w restler o v erho o k s his o p p o n e n ts arm s n e a r the arm pits (fig. 290).
W h en th e back leg comes up to the front leg, he pulls th e defensive w restler to w ard h im
self an d p en e trate s, legs slightly b en t, and springs up with his o p p o n e n t on his stom ach,
bridges back and throw s his o p p o n e n t in a souple by a pow erful up w ard thrust o f his
hips a n d stomach. H e can tu rn to either side, w hichever is m ore practical, to face his
o p p o n e n t. His legs rem ain spread wide apart. In fig. 291, th e k inegram b rea k s dow n the
salto into its different phases (as per K .T . B o ulo tchk o et al.).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro n t bodylock. R e a r tak e d o w n by bodylock.
Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : Step forw ard and assum e a higher stance.
Push the chest with the arms.

5. "Polish b o d y lo c k a nd souple
T h e wrestlers begin in opposite stances. T h e offensive w restler grabs his o p p o
n e n ts opposite arm . Bringing his back leg up next to his forw ard leg, he locks his o p p o
n en t u n d e r his arm p it a n d p en etrates. A t th e sam e time, he throws his h ead back and
arches backw ard, while thrusting hips an d stom ach u pw ard. W h e n th row ing his o p p o
n e n t, he pulls the controlled arm d o w nw ard to the front and with th e o th e r arm (locking
th e body) pushes his o p p o n e n t up w ard and sideways to im part a twisting m o v e m en t
a ro u n d the longitudinal axis o f his body.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : S tep in front. R e a r tak ed o w n with waistlock.
Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : Escape from the control an d sprawl. Push the chest with the arms.

6. O verarm b o d y lo ck takedow n a n d souple


T h e offensive w restler secures an o v e ra rm bodylock an d exerts pressure to th e side
and d o w nw ard on the tra p p e d arm (fig. 292). A t the sam e time he drives his right leg
d eeply betw een the o p p o n e n ts legs. H e thrusts his h ead backw ard, hugging his o p p o
n en t tightly to force him to b e n d forward. T h e attacking w restler suspends him self
u n d e r his o p p o n e n t, and taking small steps to the side and b ack, en d eav o rs to bring
his bodyweight on the defensive w restlers supp o rting (left) leg. T h e n , by a thrust of the
hip, the offensive w restler executes a souple, while pivoting in th e direction o f the tr a p
ped arm to land chest dow n on his o p p o n en t.

Figure 293
o u n t e r a t t a c k : Blocking.
u n t e r s : Block th e pressu re on th e tra p p e d arm . Shift weight backw ard and
from control.

Front hea dlo ck an d souple (fig. 293)


o u n t e r a t t a c k s : F ro n waistlock. G o b ehind and souple.
u n t e r s : Shift weight b ackw ard. E scape from control.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

8. Front hea dlo ck a n d low souple (variation)


A fte r securing a head lo c k , the offensive w restler advances the leg opposite his
o p p o n e n ts free arm (fig. 294). T h e n the o th e r leg is b ro u g h t up next to it. This creates a
favorable condition for the offensive w restler to ro tate with his o p p o n e n t (aro u n d the
longitudinal axis) to execute a low souple.

9. Counterattack by fr o n t waistlock
It is execu ted w hen the defensive w restler succeeds only in securing a waistlock w h e th e r by a duck u n d e r, arm d rag o r b reaking the defense (fig. 295). D uring the
throw , w hen his o p p o n e n ts body is at an angle o f a b o u t 4 5 -5 0 in relation to the m at,
the w restler loosens up his c o n tro l, twists o v er on his o p p o n e n t, and faces the m at. H e
does this to avoid being blocked.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : Salto.
Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : E scape from the control by locking o p p o n e n ts arm s.
Push chin with arm.

10. Front arm a n d headlock a n d sem i-souple (fig. 296)


11. C ounter b y stepping in fr o n t
This is a co u n tera tta ck against m ost hip throw s a nd souples and is especially easy if
the o p p o n e n t executes his hip throw slowly a n d d o e sn t turn his back com pletely. T he
coun terattack in g w restler steps in front, secures an u n d e ra rm or o v erarm bodylock
followed by a souple (fig. 297).
Rear takedowns
R e a r tak ed o w n s are tech n iq u es which use pushing, pulling or o th e r diversionary
m ov em en ts to disrupt the o p p o n e n ts balance an d bring him dow n on his back o r on his
side.

1. L ift a n d rear takedow n


B oth w restlers are in an identical stance an d th e offensive w restler rushes forw ard,
p en e trates an d secures an u n d e ra rm bodylock ( b e a rh u g ) (fig. 298).
Bringing the back leg u p next to the front o n e , a n d lifting his o p p o n e n t off the m at

Figure 294

241_______________
Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

while tu rning him o v er to th e side, th e offensive w restler drives his chest against him
and flattens him on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Salto.
C o u n t e r s : B re a k th e control by driving th e arm s u n d e r the arm pits.
Push th e chest with the arms.
B ring the fo rw ard leg back.

2. Rear tak edo w n by fr o n t waistlock


T h ru stin g fo rw ard , th e offensive w restler u n d e rh o o k s his o p p o n e n ts arm s n e a r the
arm pits. H e m o m en tarily arches back w ard . T h e n by suddenly b ending forw ard, he swit
ches to a waistlock, an d driving with his chest, sends th e o p p o n e n t on his back (fig. 299).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : S am e as above.

5. Under-over an d rear takedow n


T h e offensive w restler controls his o p p o n e n ts tru n k an d arm and fakes a souple.
T aking advantage o f his o p p o n e n ts b ack w ard reactio n , he pushes with his chest, maitaining a tight control, brings his o p p o n e n t dow n on his back. D u rin g the final action, he
generally dives to w ard the controlled arm (fig. 300).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : F ro n t o v e rarm body lock.
C o u n t e r s : R e m a in alert: distinguish fakes from real attacks to avoid falling
into the o p p o n e n ts tra p an d losing balance.

18.2 GRECO-ROM AN GROUND W RESTLING TECHNIQUES

Opportunities for arm locks


In g ro u n d w restling, arm locks refe r to controls to block the b o tto m w restlers arm .
T hey are n o t in d ep e n d a n t holds in them selves, b u t m a k e it possible to execute tu r n o
vers an d throws.
T h e following are the main p ro c e d u re s for applying arm locks:

1. Strength m o ve
T h e to p w restler is on his right k n ee b eh in d his o p p o n e n t, with his left leg b en t and
foot flat on the ground.
T h e to p w restler re a c h e s with su d d en force to h o o k his left arm over the o p p o
n e n ts co rresp o n d in g a rm , so th a t b o th arm s are locked at the bends. H e jerk s the arm
back to w ard the body, placing th e palm o f his h a n d against the b o tto m w restlers back
(fig. 301). W h en he is pulling, his right arm holds his o p p o n e n ts right side, and afte r
w ard secures a bodylock.

2. A r m lock a n d waist lock


T h e top w restler is on his right knee b ehing his o p p o n e n t, with his left leg b ent and
foot flat on the g round. H e grips the b o tto m w restlers shoulders with both h ands, and

Figure 299

Figure 301

by jerk in g him b ack, forces him to lift his h an d s off the m at (fig. 302). W ith the shortest
action possible, he scoops the b o tto m w restler's left arm with his c orresponding arm and
places his right fo rearm on the sh o u ld er an d h ead o r secures a waistlock.
3. A r m lock a n d sh ou ld er block
F ro m the ab o v e starting position, the to p w restler secures a bodylock with his right
arm and picks u p his o p p o n e n ts left arm n e a r the wrist, while blocking the shoulder

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

u n d e r the arm pit with his h ead (fig 303). T h e h e a d block allows him to bring the left arm
backw ard an d w edge it against his waist, while th e right arm passes b ehind the h e a d and
presses dow nw ard. This v ariation is know n as th e drill .

4. A r m lock by sweep
K neeling to th e left o f his o p p o n e n t, the offensive w restler grips his o p p o n e n ts left
wrist with his left h an d and scoops his right arm a ro u n d this sam e arm to grab his own
left wrist. U sing th e lever c reated an d pushing the right shoulder forw ard, the offensive
w restler pulls the controlled arm b ack w ard by blocking the sh o u ld er (fig. 304) that
finishes as in the previous hold.

5. A r m bar fr o m underneath
T h e offensive w restler is on his left knee b eh in d his o p p o n e n t with his right leg pla
ced to the side an d forw ard. H e places his left arm against the left side o f his o p p o n e n ts
h ead to grab th e b o tto m w restlers right wrist. A t th e sam e time he places his right arm
u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts right arm an d locks his right h an d on his ow n left wrist (fig. 305).
C om bining th e pushing action o f th e right arm with the pulling action of the left, he
b ends his o p p o n e n ts right arm backw ard. Switching his right h an d to control his o p p o
n e n ts right fo rearm , he shifts his body to the right of the b o tto m w restler. By conti
nuing to pull o n th e arm , he can execute a variety o f turnovers.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : S h o u ld er th ro w (fig. 306).
A rm roll (fig. 307).
C o u n t e r s : Stretch o u t th e arm s w hen the o p p o n e n t tries to c ap tu re therh.
A ssu m e a p ro n e position with arm s ex ten d e d ahead.
Bring the fo rw ard arm back an d shove o p p o n e n t with the hips.
Lock b o th h an d s to g e th er w hen in a p ro n e position.
If the o p p o n e n t has secured an arm lock, e x te n d the far leg out to the side to p re
vent the turnover.
Offensive, defensive and counteroffensive ground wrestling techniques
Turnovers
T u rn o v ers are techniques which bring the o p p o n e n t dow n on his back by rotating
him a ro u n d the lateral o r longitudinal axis o f his body, w ithout lifting him com pletely
off the mat.

1. Cross face
T h e offensive w restler is on his right k n ee b eh in d the b o tto m w restler with left leg
b ent to the side and forw ard. His left arm crossfaces his o p p o n e n t and grabs the right
arm above th e elbow (fig. 308). Pulling this arm with both arm s, and driving with the
chest, th e offensive w restler creates a to rq u e which turns his o p p o n e n t over.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll with the right a rm , after having g rabbed his o p p o
n e n ts right arm just above the elbow.
C o u n t e r s : Spread o u t the arms. E x te n d th e legs in the direction of the tu r n
over. T u rn to face the o p p o n e n t an d stand up.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

2. H a lf N elson
T h e offensive w restler is on his o p p o n e n ts left side, kneeling on the right leg with
his left leg b en t an d the foot flat on the mat. H e drives his left arm u n d e r the b o tto m
w restlers left arm p it, a n d places his right fo rearm o n the h ead to clasp both hands
to g eth er (fig. 309). Pivoting to w ard the front o f his o p p o n e n t, while applying leverage
with b o th arm s to force the h e a d d o w n w a rd , he turns his o p p o n e n t over.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll.
C o u n t e r : C age arm a n d raise the head.
Shift w eight to w ard the o p p o n e n t.

3. Far h a lf N elson ("p o w er N e ls o n )


T h e offensive w restler drives his right arm u n d e r his o p p o n e n ts right arm pit, pla
ces his left fo rearm o n th e h e a d an d clasps his h an d s together. Pressing the h ead dow n
to the left, he turns his o p p o n e n t o v er to the side an d forw ard (fig. 310).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : W h e n the offensive
w restler inserts his arm u n d e r the
arm pit, the b o tto m w restler traps it an d execu tes an arm roll (fig. 311).
C o u n t e r : F latten o u t, arm s e x te n d e d , an d raise h e a d and chest.
C age right arm to block o r p re v e n t o p p o n e n t from securing the control and escape.

4. Full N elson
This is a g o o d hold for w restlers w ho have long arm s. It is a com bination o f the two
previous holds. W h e n the defensive w restler h ad co u n te re d the offensive w restlers
atte m p t to secure a half N elson, a favorable condition is c reated for the offensive
w restler to sh o o t his o th e r arm u n d e r th e o th e r arm p it and lock h ands b ehind the b o t
tom w restlers h ead . T h e tu rn o v e r is execu ted like th e half N elson (fig. 312).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll, with arm co n trolled u n d e r arm pit (before the
offensive w restler has h ad a chance to secure the h eadlock).
C o u n t e r : C age th e elbows to p re v e n t the o p p o n e n t from inserting his arms.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 311

Figure 312

Figure 313
5.

Q uarter N elson ( G erm an h e a d lo c k )

T h e to p w restler, o n th e left side o f his o p p o n e n t, shoots his right arm u n d e r the


left arm p it an d grips his own left fo re a rm which is resting on his o p p o n e n ts h e a d (fig.
313). H e starts stepping a ro u n d to th e front o f his o p p o n e n t while using his arm s as
a lever.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll.
C o u n t e r : C age arms.
E x te n d leg in the direction o f the tu rn o v er.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

6. Single arm lock fr o m above


T h e offensive w restler has secured an arm lock o n his o p p o n e n ts left arm with his
left arm , while his right h a n d grips th e right sh o u ld er (cf. position in fig. 301). Bringing
b oth legs to th e right side, th e offensive w restler weighs dow n on his o p p o n e n ts su p p o r
ting arm , which m ak es it easier to ro ta te an d bring th e o p p o n e n t dow n, turning him on
his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : S h o u ld er throw.
A rm roll.
C o u n t e r s : Block th e arm lock.
J erk the arm d o w n w ard an d escape from control.
E x te n d the leg to c o u n te r the tu rn o v er.

7. T u rn o ver b y sh o u ld er lever
Sam e initial actions as for th e previous hold. T h e difference lies in the control and
the way th e offensive tu rn s aro u n d his o p p o n en t: his right arm leans r a th e r heavily on
his o p p o n e n ts h e a d (fig. 314).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : S am e as above.

8. A r m bar a n d side takedow n


T h e arm pull co m b in ed with the chin control allow the offensive w restler to turn
his o p p o n e n t o v er (fig. 315).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : S h o u ld er th ro w w hen th e offensive w restler m oves on the
bo tto m w restlers back.
C o u n t e r s : Bring th e h e a d back to w ard th e shoulder. Sit on the hip and brace
with the arm .

9. H a lf N elson a n d arm bar


T h e offensive w restler scoops th e b o tto m w re stle rs left arm , shifts his body and
legs to the right side, an d secures a half N elson with his right arm (fig. 316). Stepping to
the fro n t, he flips his o p p o n e n t over.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : D o a switch after the offensive w restler has secured the
headlock.

10. Reverse waist lock


T h e offensive w restler kneels to th e left o f his o p p o n e n t, facing the opposite direc
tion, an d secures a waistlock as he drives his left k n ee u n d e r the b o tto m w restler (fig.
317). T h row ing his o p p o n e n ts leg in the air by th e waistlock control, and bearing d o w
nw ard on his o p p o n e n ts shoulders and h e a d , he m ak es him som ersault forward.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s : Blocking.
A rm roll.
C o u n t e r s : Block the waistlock. Shift the C G away from the o p p o n e n t by
sitting to the right. T u rn to w ard the offensive w restler an d place the arm s in front of his
feet. T h ru st legs u n d er the o p p o n en t.

Figure 316

Figure 318

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

11. Side waistlock


T h e offensive w restler o v erh o o k s his o p p o n e n ts left arm an d secures a high bodylock with his right arm . H e is on his right k n e e b eh in d the o p p o n e n t and his left leg is
be n t to the side with his foot flat on the m a t (fig. 318). Pulling his o p p o n e n t to w ard him
self and sitting dow n o n th e left hip, so th a t his left leg is deeply u n d e r his o p p o n e n t and
his shou ld er an d h ead are in contact with the m a t, he th rusts his o p p o n e n t forw ard with
his stom ach, causing him to som ersault. A t th e last m o m e n t, he releases his waistlock,
and , twisting o v er face dow n on his o p p o n e n t, secures a reserve waistlock and arm co n
trol.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll on the arm securing the waistlock.
C o u n t e r s : F latten o u t and stretch arm s o u t to the side.

12. G u t wrench
T h e offensive w restler positions himself b e h in d his o p p o n e n t, secures a waistlock
and kneels on the leg tow ard which he intends to execute the tu r n o v e r (fig. 319). H e
pulls his o p p o n e n t to w ard himself, drives his k n ee u n d e r him , and thrusting his hips
up w ard , he bridges to w rench his o p p o n e n t over.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Blocking.
C o u n t e r s : Block th e waistlock.
F latten o u t and ex ten d arms.
Shift w eight to w ard the far side.

13. G u t wrench with overarm bo d y lo ck


T h e offensive w restler kneels b eh in d his o p p o n e n t and secures an o v e ra rm b o d y
lock. Pulling his o p p o n e n t to w a rd him self and driving o ne o f his knees deeply u n d e r the
defensive w restler, he loads him on his stom ach and bridges. W ith a pow erful frontw ard
and sideward th rust o f the sto m ach , he pivots to the side and w renches his o p p o n e n t
over.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : A rm roll by controlling the o p p o n e n ts wrist with c o rre
sponding hand.
If the o p p o n e n ts control isnt tight, to a reversal by thrusting the legs over him .
C o u n t e r s : E scap e from control.
A ssu m e low re fe re e s position, arm s stretch e d fo rw ard and ou t, h e a d and chest rai
sed.

Throws
1.

Reverse waistlock fr o m standing position

T h e offensive w restler, o n his o p p o n e n ts left side, secures a waistlock and drives


his right leg deeply u n d e r his body b etw een his arm an d leg. H e lifts his o p p o n e n t force
fully to chest level, if possible, an d flips him over fo rw ard and to the right (fig. 320). T he
b o tto m w restlers weight must be equally d istributed d uring the lift.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k s a n d c o u n t e r s : S am e as for reverse waistlock.

Figure 320

Figure 321
2. D o u ble arm bar fr o m b ehind with sem i-souple
T h e offensive w restler, to the right o f the b o tto m w restler, catches the right arm
and brings his right leg forw ard (fig. 321). H e brings his left leg up to his right, to block
his o p p o n e n ts right leg, and c ap tu res the far arm . Pulling it forcefully, while twisting to
w ard the m at, he throw s his o p p o n e n t on his back.
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : Sit dow n on the left hip, block arm u n d e r the arm pit, and
co u n terattack by sh o u ld er throw.
C o u n t e r : Sit on left hip and e xtend right leg to the side.

Figure 322

Figure 323

Figure 324
3. Sem i-souple with quarter N elson
T h e offensive w restler has secured a q u a rte r N elson and is standing on the side of
his o p p o n e n t. H is m o v e m e n t to step in front a n d th e su b seq u en t reaction of the o p p o
n e n t (w ho raises his h ead ) cre ate a favorable condition for executing a sem i-souple (fig.
322).
C o u n t e r a n d c o u n t e r a t t a c k : H u g the m a t (w hen the o p p o n e n t is a b o u t
to execute th e th ro w , the defensive w restler tu rn s to face his o p p o n e n t and blocks him).

4. Rear low souple with o n e arm


Starting as in the tu rn o v e r by sh o u ld er lever, th e offensive w restler u n d erh o o k s the
b o tto m w restler at the a rm p it, brings b o th legs next to each o th e r and arches backw ard
energetically to th ro w his o p p o n e n t (fig. 323).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T h ro w back the leg which is close to th e o p p o n e n t and
block.
C o u n t e r : H u g th e mat.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

5. So up le fr o m g ro u n d position
T h e offensive w restler strad d les th e b o tto m w restler with his left leg on the outside
and his right k n ee b etw e en the defensive w re stlers legs. H e secures a waistlock and,
straightening up energetically, pulls his o p p o n e n t forcefully up. Shifting his w eight to
his left leg, he swings his right leg free by pivoting a q u a rte r of a turn. T h e n , arching
back w ard to bridge position, he throw s his o p p o n e n t com pletely over his chest to the
m at (fig. 324).
C o u n t e r a t t a c k : T u rn to face the o p p o n e n t and c o u n te ra tta c k with a salto.
C o u n t e r : Sit dow n to the right.

Freestyle and Greco- Rinnan Wrestling

19.
HOLDING THE OPPONENT IN
A DANGER POSITION
(FINAL ACTION OF HOLD)

A lth o u g h wrestlers m a k e use o f a variety o f tech n iques to strive to bring each o th e r


to the m at, they all aspire to achieve th e ultim ate win: the fall.
H olding an o p p o n e n t in a bridge position and securing a fall are contingent on the
kind o f control used, the pressu re e x erted by the offensive w restler as well as his own
weight. A s a general rule, th e offensive w restler spreads his legs wide ap a rt fo r a b e tte r
base of su p p o rt, an d places his hands b eh in d his o p p o n e n ts h ead to lever it up while
pressing dow n w ard and tow ard th e feet on his chest. H e n ever places his entire weight
on the defensive w restle rs bridge.
T h e following are a m o n g th e main m e th o d s used to m aintain a bridge position and
secure a fall:

Figure 326
1. Final action by waistlock a n d overarm fr o m the side (fig. 325)
T h e holding position an d the fall are achieved by bearing dow n on th e o p p o n e n ts
chest. If the defensive w restler tries to bridge o u t, th e offensive w restler should turn his
face and chest tow ard the o p p o n e n t.

Figure 329

2.

Final action b y sh ou ld er a nd head control fr o m reverse position (fig. 326)

T h e offensive w restler en d e a v o rs to c o ntrol th e sh o u ld er and head of his o p p o n en t


a nd flatten him on his back by b earing dow n on th e chest.

3.

Final action by arm roll (fig. 327)

This variation o f holding an o p p o n e n t in d a n g e r and securing a fall is generally


used as a co u n te ra tta c k to certain holds. It is characterized by the position o f the offen
sive w restler w hose back is to w a rd his o p p o n e n t. B ecause he is vulnerable to a gut
w rench , th e offensive w restler m ust be careful to k eep his body weight constantly b a la n
ced on his o p p o n e n t, w h o is in the d a n g e r position.

4.

Final action b y single or do ub le fr o n t arm roll (fig. 328)

T h e offensive w restler holds o n e o r b o th o f his o p p o n e n ts arm s u n d e r his a rm


p i t s ) an d leans back h ard o n his chest. His legs are sp read o ut to brace himself.

Escaping from the bridge


T h e re are tow ways o f bridging out:
a) E scaping from d a n g e r position a n d losing points.
b) E scaping from d a n g er position an d scoring p oints or securing a fall.
F o r every co ntrol used to m aintain a bridge o r secure a fall, there is a c o rresp o n
ding escape.

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

Figure 330

Figure 331

1. Escape fr o m fin a l action by waistlock a nd overarm fr o m the side


T h e w restler may escape by:
a) T u rning his chest to w ard the offensive w restler, while sliding his free arm u n d e r
him and lying on his side;
b) If the defensive w restler is in a high bridge position, the offensive w restler bears
his weight tow ard his o p p o n e n ts far side and spins a ro u n d to the front facing the mat.
If th e to p w restler has o v e re x te n d e d him self on his o p p o n e n ts chest, the bottom
w restler can execute a reversal by tu rning him o v e r with a body hold (fig. 324).

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling

F ro m this position, th e b o tto m w restler can raise him self to a sitting position, while
placing his o p p o n e n t in a bridge. T his reversal is possible only if the top w restler has
o v e rex ten d ed him self by placing all his body weight on the o p p o n e n t (fig. 332). In this
case, the defensive w restler has p e rfo rm e d a variation of the escape described above in
parag rap h 1.

2. Escape fr o m fin a l action b y sh o u ld er a nd head control fr o m reverse position


(fig. 330)
A reversal is possible w hen th e to p w restler has locked his hands b ehind the
b o tto m w restlers back (w ho is in a high bridge position). T h e b o tto m w restler can th e
refore whip him over.

3. Escape fr o m fin a l action with arm pit control (fig. 331)


In o rd e r to escape, th e b o tto m w restler m ust be in a high bridge position and tran s
fer his o p p o n e n ts w eight as m uch as possible o n to his ow n h ead. Pivoting on his head
he can m ove his feet to find the best position for bridging out. If he locks his arms
aro u n d his o p p o n e n ts tru n k , he can twist o v er carrying th e o p p o n e n t to a d anger posi
tion.

4. Escape the fin a l action b y a d ou b le fr o n t arm roll


T h e b o tto m w restler (in d an g e r position) struggles to turn over to the right o r to
the left by forcefully driving him self from side to side with his legs (fig. 333).