It’s all wrestling
With the rising popularity of MMA, I have seen a trend of growing interest in the wrestling arts. No matter what you call it grappling, judo, jiu-jitsu- it’s all wrestling to me, no matter what name you call it. But I haven’t seen enough wrestlers get out there and compete in submission type events. I am not sure why. Is it because you are way better at a different style of wrestling? The rules are too different or new and it scares you? You fear you might lose?
What is it that keeps most traditional wrestlers for going out and competing in these events? It shouldn’t matter if the rules or the scoring are different or if you win by a pin, a tap out, or points. Just figure out the rules and adapt your game. Every time we step on the mat and compete we learn something and get that much more experience. It’s really about mat time. The only way I have learned how to improve, was to get more time training and competing, and you need both.
First and foremost, wrestle because you love it. It has to be fun for you to have any success. Wrestling is way too hard a sport and way too tough a sport to do if you don’t have fun. If you don’t have fun doing it, it then becomes a job, and if you want a job, there are plenty of jobs that pay way better than wrestling.
I also think the reasons why we like something really say a lot about who we really are at our core. Let me elaborate on that and why I love wrestling. I love wrestling because it is hard and it challenges every aspect of who I am. Wrestling makes me physically and mentally tough. Wrestling keeps me humble. Wrestling gives me self confidence and makes me realize that no matter what the score is, no matter what the obstacle is, no matter how tough the situation may get, my perseverance and desire to compete and do my best will give me a chance (not a guarantee, but a chance) to succeed. Wrestling teaches me that I’m not always going to win; rather the victory is in doing as well as I can do.
The physical demands that wrestlers have to place upon themselves can be daunting. To compete or train at the highest levels wrestlers must train for muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility, all to be executed in unison. Wrestling trains me to control my body, optimize leverage, and recognize and seize opportunities.
Wrestling reinforces the importance of eating properly, getting sufficient rest, and staying hydrated. Wrestling has taught me the importance of understanding the need to distinguish between being hurt and being injured. Wrestling helps me find patience as I recover from injury.
Wrestling has given me an opportunity to make some of my best friends and surround myself with like minded individuals. I am not following the mainstream crowd, but I am associating with people with tremendous tenacity, integrity and personal commitment.
Wrestling helps me respect the accomplishments of all people, young kids, folks in their physical prime, and older individuals pursuing something they love. This is because I can appreciate the commitment, hard work, and dedication it takes to achieve these results. I truly enjoy the people I train with and compete against; these are good people and they are fun to be around.
Wrestling has made me mentally stronger individual. Wrestling has taught me how to be tougher than the drills, the training, and the matches. Wrestling has helped me learn that finishing strong is as important, or more important, that starting strong. Many times a match is won in the final minute or seconds of a contest. If you cannot finish the last minute, you will lose some you could win. Wrestling helps me accept that it is okay to fail, as long as I gave every ounce of energy and concentration I had.
Most importantly, wrestling has given me the ability to transcend all of these skills and apply them to my everyday life.
Realize that wrestling just a sport, just a game. I don’t know why they play Judo and don’t play wrestling. I have always played wrestling and enjoy it for what it is a game. I also realize that this game has helped define who I am today. I am grateful for the sport of wrestling, to my coaches and my teammates, and to the athletes I am blessed to be able to compete with and against.
If you wrestle do it because you enjoy it. Have fun find pleasure in the process. When I am training and competing, I laugh and smile a lot because for me, it’s fun and it is what I enjoy doing. So if you love wrestling get out there and try all styles no matter what they call it- all wrestling with a jacket on or not.