7 Basic Skills #2: Motion

Seven Basic Skills of Wrestling, Skill #2: Motion The second basic skill of wrestling is motion. Where do we start? First, go review Skill #1: Stance. Proper movement will do you no good if you're moving around in a bad stance. The key to is to create a lot of motion - moving yourself and moving your opponent around (against his will, heh heh heh) - while never compromising good positioning. Good motion sets up all of your attacks by beating around your opponent, getting angles on him, and generally getting him flustered. It also makes his attacks more difficult because it's tough for him to hit a moving target (or at least a target that isn't moving the way he wants it to). But first, some basics...Always stay light on your toes. I'm not saying you need to be prancing around on your tippy-toes, but keep most of your weight on the balls of your feet. You don't want your heels getting planted on the mat, making any movement - offensive or defensive - difficult. In general, you want to be taking relatively small steps. You don't want to take any long, lunging steps that can take you out of a proper stance. You can get your feet too far apart, losing mobility and/or balance. (OK, I promise that's the last time I nag you about maintaining a good stance.) Forward/Backward movement:
Be wary of letting your weight (i.e. - center of gravity) get too far forward when moving forward, or too far back (weight on your heels) when moving backward. Lateral motion:
First the obvious one - DON'T CROSS YOUR FEET (I think this holds true in pretty much every martial art, and just about every sport for that matter). When moving from side to side, move the trail leg forward. For example, if I want to move to my left - I will take a step to the left with my left leg, then step left with my right leg and slightly forward. Why? Because this brings me closer into attack range. If I'm stepping to the side without bringing that trail leg forward, I haven't moved any closer to attack range, and may have even pulled myself further from my opponent if he hasn't moved as far as I have. (This came from Bobby Douglas at a camp I attended years ago. He made us drill this a lot.)

Next, you want to move your opponent... CONSTANTLY! Never give him a moment's rest! Constantly stay in his face and be relentless! Be physical! Be violent! (When people talk about the "Iowa style" of wrestling - this is what they are talking about.) You do this by pushing, pulling, clubbing his head with your forearm, doing arm drags, snapping his head (down and/or to either side), etc. BUT... avoid the common mistake of just trying to move him with your arms - they aren't strong enough! If you're trying to move him just with your arms, you will be an annoyance, but not much of a real threat - you won't be able to compromise his stance or positioning.If you want to move your opponent's body, you must move your whole body as well. If I want to attack his right leg by moving that leg closer to me, I can't just tug him to the left with my arms. I have to pull him with my arms as I circle my feet. Get the idea? The point of movement is to set up your offense. You want to compromise his good stance at the same time you are getting angles on him to open up attacks. So when are the good opportunities for attacks? Some simple examples...
When you've got him moving backward, he is likely to be on his heels - he isn't very mobile on his heels and can't sprawl well. Go for a shot!
When you've got him moving forward, you can drop down and go for a shot (he will be essentially "walking into" the shot). Good attack opportunities also come up when you've got him moving laterally and/or circling. Whichever leg is coming forward (or towards you - usually the trail leg) is a good target for attack. This is also where "getting angles" comes in. I want to get him off kilter and facing one way, while I attack from another direction. A simple example of this might simply be that I snap his head down and to my right, then shoot toward my left (his right) while he is facing away from me and busy trying to recover his stance.

Proper motion will also get his hands and arms out of the way. As I'm beating on his head, he will likely bring his hands up to defend his head and shoulders. As his hands come up and his elbows come out, I've got a clear shot toward his unprotected legs.

On the other hand, if he is trying to defend his head by dropping his stance lower and lower, I can start going for other attacks as well - snap downs, front headlocks, etc.

Be sure that you are aware of the flip side of the coin here as well (I'm talking defensively here)! If he's got you moving forward, make sure that you aren't walking into a shot. If he's got you moving backward, make sure you're staying in a good stance and your heels aren't planted so you can't sprawl. Make sure to protect your trail leg if you are moving to the side and circling. Make sure that you don't let your elbows come out to the side and allow him in.

Like I said in the beginning, proper motion means nothing if you're moving around in a poor stance! Maintain positioning and move constantly! Offensively, you want to beat on him and get him to lose his positioning while you get angles and open up opportunities for yourself. Defensively, you want to frustrate him by being a constant hurricane of motion, never allowing him to get you where he wants you.

*Note* I don't have a copy of the USA Wrestling Syllabus. If any of you notice any glaring ommissions in the above, and can fill in any blank spots, please do so. The above is my "take" on what motion means - not necessarily the "USA Wrestling Approved" version. (I don't mean that in a smart ass manner, by the way)

Any constructive criticism of the above is welcomed!

From: noshame "Next, you want to move your opponent... CONSTANTLY! Never give him a moment's rest! Constantly stay in his face and be relentless! Be physical! Be violent!" you couldn't have said that any better!!! this will absolutely ruin your opponent's game. no shame