West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker, National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Rick Welker

…on the Champion vs. the Winner

What is the difference between a champion and winner?

There is a difference. The champion is a man of character, whereas the winner is just a character. The champion respects his adversaries while the winner belittles his opponents. The champion is thankful for his success. On the other hand, the winner is self-centered and arrogant. And finally, the champion accepts defeat with dignity, but the winner makes excuses and blames others.

Below are the personal qualities or positive traits that true champions always demonstrate:

C - Commitment: The champion is dedicated to improving his athletic skills.
H - Humility: The champion attributes his success to those around him.
A - Attitude: The champion always exhibits a positive attitude - win or lose.
M - Maturity: The champion keeps his composure at all times.
P - Perseverance: The champion never quits even when he falls short of victory.
I - Integrity: The champion always plays by the rules.
O - Obedience: The champion always accepts advice and positive criticism.
N - Nobility: The champion presents himself as a positive role model.

If you want to truly be respected by others as a wrestler, compete as a champion - and not just a winner.

Escapes and Reversals

The wrestler in control or on top is referred to as the offensive wrestler while the wrestler on bottom is the defensive wrestler.

Keep in mind, only the defensive wrestler can score an escape or reversal.

The Escape:

For the bottom man to score an escape, he must place himself in the neutral position, causing his opponent to lose control.

The defensive wrestler may also be awarded an escape going out-of-bounds if his adversary is in-bounds at the completion of the move.

The official will indicate one point for the wrestler who earns an escape.

The stand-up, forward or granby roll, sit-out turn-in or sit-out turn-out are examples of common escape maneuvers.

The Reversal:

The defensive wrestler may procure a reversal by moving from the bottom position, gaining control of his opponent either on the mat or on their feet.

Like the escape, a reversal can be obtained crossing the out-of-bounds line if one of the wrestlers is still in-bounds at the completion of the move.

The official will indicate two points for a reversal.

The switch, side roll, and Peterson roll are examples of common reversal maneuvers.

Remember, one match point is given for an escape and two match points are awarded for a reversal.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: The bottom man maneuvers to his feet and executes a standing switch, spinning behind and controlling his opponent while both wrestlers were still on their feet. Would the bottom wrestler be credited with an escape or reversal.
A: The referee would award a two-point reversal because the bottom wrestler gained control of his opponent while they were both on their feet.

(Important Note: In the neutral position, if a wrestler employed a takedown move, maneuvering behind his adversary, he would have to bring his opponent to the mat for takedown points to be awarded. Why? It's the rule for takedowns. Go figure.)

Mat Message

"The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing."
-- Marcus Aurelius

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)

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