War And Wrestling With Mario Mason
“In the midst of chaos comes opportunity” -Sun Tzu
While wrestling is a sport, it is also a war. Much like war, wrestling is decided by willpower and strategy. Each wrestler will have their own strengths to utilize and weaknesses to protect. For a period nothing will matter but the task laid in front of each warrior on the mat which has become a battlefield.
This may seem like a bit of a stretch comparing a wrestling match to a war. Yet the two have more in common than not. You could say most sports have traits similar to war, but few of those have the same physical consequences.
In war combatants are from different countries or regions, in wrestling different schools or teams. Planning is essential for victory in both.
The intel could be about the terrain and types of equipment in war or watching tape on your next opponent in wrestling. Training is essential in both war and wrestling this will involve counters to an opponent's most strong attack and training on new tools to employ against the enemy.
Winners in War and Wrestling are going to be able to adapt to changing conditions instantly, being unprepared and a few seconds delay could in fact be the end. The chaos that is battle is unpredictable and at the end of it all only the soldier or athlete can be responsible for their level of readiness.
Contingencies must be accounted for. Without a Defensive plan an offensive wrestler could be overpowered or surprised leading to defeat. Without an offensive plan the defensive wrestler can never score and can never win. Balance is necessary if victory is to be achieved consistently.
Always being prepared is the boy scouts motto, and the swiss army knife is the Boy scouts tool of choice. That little red handled multi tool with a million uses that can fit in your pocket is perfect for the unpredictability of the outdoors.
What is wrestling’s swiss army knife? It must be the underhook. It can be used offensively and defensively. It can be used to both push and pull an opponent. It has effective uses both while standing and on the ground, it seems that the underhook can be used anywhere.
While keeping with the theme of war, one of the greatest weapons a general can employ is misdirection. The book “The Art Of War” by Sun Tzu is considered the foremost literature on war strategy. In it the authors sole reoccurring theme, “Misdirection”
“Appear strong when you are weak to keep your enemy away, appear weak when you are strong to draw your enemy in. “
The Art of war is a full treatise on misdirection and fooling your enemy. So how does that apply it wrestling? Misdirection is what you need to win. If you make your opponent think your going left, and you go right, their weight and focus is to the other side, making the side you attacked a little lighter and more exposed, if even for a second.
What if your enemy employs this same methodology on you? Bust out your swiss army knife and improvise! Not literally, if you pull a knife in a wrestling match there are going to be so many more problems than losing a match.
The underhook is your swiss army knife, going to a universal tool that can be used both offensively and defensively will help you. The front headlock can be used with a underhook instead of a overhook as an excellent defensive measure from the sprawl. Lift the arm and drive over the back and you have a reversal known as a Cow Catcher! Very effective and when flipped onto their back that headlock turns into a quarter nelson for a pin!
Although the Cow Catcher is effective it can be stopped if the bottom wrestler post out their leg. In many cases this will turn into a scramble as the attacking wrestler feels the have lost position.
Instead of giving up the secured position, use some misdirection of your own to finish the takedown. You have your opponent believing you are trying to drive them over with a Cow Catcher. Now is the time to go the other way. Because there is a good chance, they posted their leg to the opposite side, it means they are light going back the other direction!
Check that out!
The details he gives on body position before the roll is a game changer when it comes to this move. This is the kind of technical wrestling that earned him four high school state championships. It also ranked him as the 3rd 145 pound wrestler in the country leading up to his colligate career.
Using misdirection is what got him into the NCAA’s on two separate occasions. Mario has put together a four-part series on misdirection. He covers standup, Attacks, and defensive positions that can be won by starting one attack that leads opponents into traps.
Let’s get ready for war! And master misdirection with Mario Mason, here!