18 03 2013

So I attended my first wrestling event at my son’s school this week. Since my previous wrestling exposure consisted entirely of Hulk Hogan and Nacho Libre, I really didn’t know what to expect. Turns out it was much more intriguing than I could have imagined.

It was a middle school wresting tournament for sixth through eighth graders at the High School where my kids will eventually attend. Thankfully I attended with my brother-in-law who had been a wrestler in high school. He was able to explain the scoring system, the techniques used and various other vagaries that were foreign to my experience.

What astounded me was the physics aspect of the sport. I had always assumed that wrestling was all about physical prowess and strength, but what I observed had more to do with balance and leverage and algorithms.

Let me explain. One boy in particular stood out above all of the rest of the competitors. He was not the most aggressive (that boy lost), nor was he the most physically imposing (though it was obvious that he was quite athletic). What set him apart from the other children was his awareness. You could tell that he constantly knew where his center of gravity was, he was cognizant of the positions of his own and his opponent’s body. He also had a complete grasp of the moves and counter moves necessary to overpower the other boy. My son told me that the boy had never lost a match and watching him myself, I could understand that particular statistic completely.

What I noticed was that the wrestling matches were a lot like chess matches with move-countermove-move-countermove. It is a game of wits and determination. It seemed one of the keys was for them to stay calm and realize that there was a way out of the particular hold the opponent had them. Getting the other boy on their back was like getting your chess opponent in check.

I used to think that muscular strength and sheer willpower was all wrestlers relied upon on the mat.  Now I know that there is more to it than athleticism.  There is also a great measure of intelligence strategy and physics in it. What a great sport!




3 responses

18 03 2013

Glad you enjoyed the wrestling match Dad!

18 03 2013

Very cool, I had never thought of wrestling this way. Thanks for sharing.

21 03 2013
Colleen Silva

Just goes to show we’re never too old to have our eyes opened to new concepts and experiences.

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