Regardless of the reasons that pushed you toward wrestling, going on the mat without knowing what to expect is not a smart move. And, although a wrestling singlet may not come off as dangerous or remotely scary, make sure to check out this post to know exactly what equipment to wear when dealing with a wrestler.
So, no matter where you encounter your opponent – in other training gyms or in competitions, it is always best to be prepared for the worst.
And, if you don’t want to be taken completely off guard, perhaps it would be better to go through some of the wrestling basics, learn a few beginner moves, and try applying them in your future game. Apart from this, here is what you should expect from your encounter with a mat pro.
Despite their weight, they are fast
Don’t be fooled by the fact that many wrestlers look hefty – one of the mandatory conditions for practicing this sport is to be fast. And, although they aren’t mandatory, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots can boost your speed with a few milliseconds. However, it is hard training that will improve your speed in time.
In order to stand a slight chance of winning the match, you mustn’t allow your opponent to shoot himself into you, as his speed and strength will most likely overpower you and take you to the mat instantly.
They will take you down
Just as we’ve previously mentioned, we are talking about professional athletes with hundreds, thousands of hours of practice. So, believe us when we say that, given the opportunity, they will take you down immediately. Instead of going after your opponent while standing, you should try alternative attacking techniques that aren’t very popular amongst wrestlers.
An aggressive pulling guard, a back take or a submission attack are some of the lesser-known methods through which a wrestler can go down, no matter his strength. However, there are some athletes who are trained in various combat styles and BJJ-specific techniques who won’t be impressed by your stunts. If this happens, say your prayers because it will hurt.
Their strength and endurance are excellent
Not only are wrestlers fast, but they are also extremely powerful and last a long time without feeling tired. After all, all those hours of practice have to pay off somehow.
When you’re facing a wrestler who is more experienced than you, you shouldn’t expect to win. All you can really do is record your match and look for your flaws later on. You’ll often see that the victory of your opponent doesn’t always imply that he used better-attacking techniques, but he was just stronger than you, physically and mentally.
So what can you do? We suggest getting back on the mat and training harder than ever. Talk to a professional coach who can help you improve some of your moves and fighting techniques, and make sure to hit the gym regularly.
You won’t be building your muscles overnight, but a high-protein diet might help you in the long term. If you want short-term results, you can opt for bodybuilding supplements that are meant to increase your muscle mass.
Increasing your endurance is also important, so make sure to avoid alcohol, smoking, and staying up late so that you can last longer on the mat, without having to catch your breath every ten seconds.
Just like turtles, wrestlers don’t want to be on their backs
Wrestlers hate being on their backs because they cannot use their strength or their speed to take you down. If they feel like they are about to fall on their backs, they will desperately try to get out of there.
The good news is that, once panic is installed, wrestlers will start thinking less and making more mistakes, which will gain you an advantage over your opponent. However, it is up to you to benefit from that advantage and try to eliminate your rival.
Also, their backs are not among their strong points
If you spotted a flaw, it is best to exploit it to the maximum. This is the case with wrestlers and their backs. They aren’t careful when it comes to their backs and they often expose them more than necessary, creating vulnerabilities and cracks in their defense.
If you’re smart enough to anticipate your opponent’s next move, you will most likely find a way to take his back. By positioning yourself behind your rival you can work on your chokes. This will also allow you to put more pressure on his stomach and ribs which, eventually, will lead to his defeat.
It is important to keep your adversary out of his comfort zone for as long as possible if you want to stand any chance taking down someone who is taller, bigger, stronger, and faster than you are. And, although this won’t guarantee your victory, it will surely take him by surprise and make him reassess his wrestling techniques.
Aim for the ankles
There are various attacking techniques that aim for the ankles in wrestling, and this is what you should try to focus on. Your opponent may work on his muscles, strength, and speed, but there is only so much he can do when it comes to his ankles.
Although there are various stretching exercises that will prevent sprains and ankle injuries, these parts will always remain exposed and vulnerable, no matter what you do. Thus, if you cannot beat your opponent by force or speed, you should go for his foot locks. Even more so if he wears specific wrestling shoes as these make it harder for him to escape your attacks.