When I think of wrestling, I think back to my 9th grade, high school gym class – the year that wrestling was part of the phys ed. curriculum. I had never wrestled before in my life – and when I first walking into that wrestling room with padded floor I was more than a little intimidated. But with a bit of an introduction – with a bit of instruction on some basic wrestling moves– it was actually a lot of fun in the end. I was never going to join the wrestling team, but it was fun to learn. One of the nice things about amateur wrestling is that you always wrestle against someone is of a similar weight to you. The thought of wrestling someone twice your size would be intimidating (especially for the scrawny little guy I was), but right from the start in amateur wrestling you are close to being on an equal footing – at least in terms of size. For that I was grateful.
I can’t tell you much about wrestling techniques or wrestling moves – but I can tell you that keeping your body low to the ground as possible matters a great deal. The higher your body is from the mat, the higher your centre of gravity, the more likely that your competitor will be able to get under you and lift you from the legs, or roll you across the mat. For someone of my height, already in grade nine, keeping my body low mattered a lot. The higher your centre of gravity, the more likely your competitor will be able to use his weight and strength to turn you onto your back and perhaps even pin you. Continue reading