Wrestling is a picture of how precarious life is in conflicts. Bouts for control begin ritually in the ‘neutral position’ with wrestlers standing on their feet. The goal is to ‘take down’, to ‘par terre’ the competitor. This expression comes from French ‘tomber par terre’, meaning ‘to fall to the ground’. A wrestler tries to unseat the feet of his foe, to take him down to the mat. The victor literally exposes his opponent’s back. In the ultimate posture of defeat, he is face down.
During the bout, wrestlers stay flexible and alert; balance is essential. Feet grip the mat as they circle each other, probing for indications of weakness or vulnerability. Rubber-soled shoes mimic the traction of bare feet. At times their prowling appears lockstep as they look for an opportunity to pounce. Of the two Olympic wrestling styles, Freestyle is more dynamic and allows for aggressive use by and against legs. Greco-Roman wrestling involves brute strength, though legs cannot be forcefully active.
Points Measured by Feet
A ‘throw of grand amplitude’ is a takedown from the neutral position. One wrestler brings his rival off the mat, controlling him so that his feet go directly above his head. This is a five point move. When a wrestler escapes from underneath his dominant opponent and gets to his feet and faces him, he scores one point. If a wrestler continually flees and avoids contact, his competitor may be awarded one point. And if a wrestler put a foot off the mat onto the protection area, he is called for being out-of-bounds. His opponent gets a point before the match resumes.
At the conclusion, the wrestlers ritually stand on their feet and shake hands. The referee announces who has accumulated the most points, though both would have put in the hard yards.
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Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM