Improve Your Stance and Movement with Frank Chamizo
Wrestling season is only a few short weeks away, and as a competitor or a coach, you know that the fundamentals should be covered immediately. The time for flashy moves or intricate set-ups is much later in the year, but your focus should be on maintaining the basic concepts that got you to where you are today. No matter if you’re a seasoned veteran of the mat, a newcomer looking to make your stride, or a coach planning out your practices, the fundamentals will take you far.
When discussing fundamentals, you cannot overlook learning proper stance and movement. Without those two foundations, your game will crumble. To give their insight into proper stance and movement, two-time world freestyle champion Frank Chamizo elaborates on the concepts in the video below.
Chamizo summarizes a majority of his talking points with one central concept: the zone. Specifically, it is the area in which you intend to approach and attack your opponent. It is an extremely vital area when you are tired and mentally worn from the match. As Chamizo mentions, you should not approach the zone with your feet alternating back-and-forth as if you were walking traditionally. Instead, he recommends that you keep one foot in front and one foot behind you in order to minimize any crossovers.
When You’re Cornered
Connecting with this concept of the zone is how to escape a situation where you’re cornered. While this may be more applicable to freestyle wrestlers who have to worry about being scored via push-outs, it is also useful for folkstyle wrestlers who want to avoid a stalling penalty or provide unnecessary momentum. As Chamizo’s opponent pushes him out the first time, both of his feet are moving to try and build a base under him. This is the wrong approach as there is no consistent pressure on each leg, making any sort of forward movement difficult. Chamizo changes his approach the second time by making one of his feet his “base” foot, or the foot that will maintain constant pressure on the mat. His other foot is there to initiate motion or sweep around in order to change directions.
Going to the Ground
This concept appears to be strictly for freestyle wrestlers, but Chamizo mentions a new rule where if you are in your opponent’s zone and intentionally drop to the mat in a pseudo-referee’s position, the official will blow the whistle and return you to your feet. There is practicality in this, namely the fact that staying tied up with your opponent for long durations of time will sap your energy and waste time. As Chamizo works against his opponent’s pressure, he uses his free leg to sweep to the outside and drop to the mat. He repeats this motion to emphasize how it can be useful in a stalemate. When approaching it from the folkstyle perspective, this may get you into prime position for a low single, but with the caveat that you may be giving up your back for two easy points. Nonetheless, it is a strategic move meant for more advanced grapplers.
Never stop moving, especially when you’re tired. When you’re tired, you will have to rely on your base knowledge of fundamentals in order to succeed. As Frank Chamizo shows in the video above, having a good foundation of movement and stance when in your opponent’s zone is key to pushing through physical or mental adversity.
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