May 18, 2010 by David Gillaspie
Why are wrestlers so smart? Because they work with science all the time. They may not know what T = r x F = r F sin() means right away, but they apply it regularly.
The definition of ‘torque’ is a measure of how much a force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. In other words, how hard is it to turn an opponent. I’m pretty sure no coach writes T = r x F = r F sin() on a blackboard and expects his team to get fired up. And they don’t shout that equation from the corner.
Just know that T = r x F = r F sin() is a way torque is expressed in physics and mechanical engineering.
Hard science for wrestling goes beyond physics and engineering. Biology is the basis of all good mat care and skin care. Is there another sport more concerned with the competitive environment? The next time a B-baller gets a skin check will be the first.
Fortunately tattoos are not contagious.
Every wrestler knows the benefits of anti-biotic soap. If they don’t, their mom does. They don’t want anything to do with the creeping crud if they can avoid it.
While hard science impacts wrestling, from the correct angle to walk an arm bar over, to the amount of pressure to force a half, soft science also plays a part.
If sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior, what better test tube to observe it than a wrestling match. Does the aggressive wrestler win more often than the passive? Is the wrestler who relies on counter-moves more successful than one who initiates? Show me a graph.
Economics as defined by Webster: “a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.” A marketplace definition can be boiled down to Supply and Demand.
The wrestling definition is easier: when an opponent makes demands, you supply a butt-kicking. If an opponent supplies a two-on-one up your arm then pivots away and down to apply pressure to your elbow that bends the other way, you make demands on him.
This is an issue of sportsmanship. If you think an opponent intentionally puts you at risk of injury, what do you do? Go out of your way to retaliate? Do the same back to him? Run away and hide?
The correct answers are no, no, and no. The sneakiest competitor will always try to make you think of them instead of the match. Once they get inside your head, they have an easier time. If you want to get even you’ll lose track of what you went out on the mat to do, which is competing to the best of your ability.
If a guy rips on you, and his moves aren’t part of your arsenal, stick to what works for you, stick to what you practice. In other words, listen to your coach.
The run away and hide option isn’t worth mentioning. Where do you run to on a wrestling mat? Where do you hide? You can’t just fall down in front of a guy and call it a block like a football lineman taking a play off. You can’t foul a guy you can’t guard like a poor defender in basketball. You can’t swing at a bad pitch just to strike out against a pitcher you’re afraid of.
Instead, you go science on your guy, from evolution (self-preservation), to applied force (snap down to a front head lock and run to the leg), to philosophy (it is better to strive and fail than to not strive at all.)
Why are wrestlers considered the most intelligent of athletes? Because their sport requires using everything available to succeed.
Now load up and prove it. Then do it again. Write your own formula and share it.