The Fundamentals of Wrestling

Part of the Wrestling For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your success in wrestling is a direct result of your expertise in the fundamentals. After you master the following basic aspects of the sport, you can build on them to expand your wrestling repertoire:

  • Stance: Your body position and posture on the mat; can be parallel or staggered

  • Penetration step: The first offensive movement that puts you in a position to score

  • Level change: The act of raising and lowering your hips to set up or execute an attack or to counter the moves of your opponent

  • Neutral position: The starting position in which you stand face to face and with your shoulders square to your opponent in the wrestling area

  • Referee’s position: The starting position in which one wrestler is in the top position and the other is on the bottom

  • Takedown: A move during which you take your opponent down to the mat and gain control from the neutral position

  • Reversal: A move during which you quickly turn the tables and go from being in a position of defense to being in a position of control as the offensive wrestler

  • Escape: A move you use from the bottom of the referee’s position to escape, or get away from your opponent

  • Breakdown: A move you use when you’re in the top of the referee’s position to try to get your opponent off balance and down to the mat

  • Finish: The act of pinning your opponent with special techniques that lead to a fall, meaning that the back of your opponent’s shoulders are on the mat for at least two seconds

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