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Tactics of SAMBO Wrestling

Chapter 2


3. Exploiting the Advantageous Moment for Offense

It may be asserted that there is no instant in a tie-up when the SAMBist is not at a point that may be converted to an advantageous situation for offense based on the opponent's motion or activity. During the match, there are many factors used to determine how to distract the opponent's attention with movements that appear insignificant. The insignificant movement is used to slip the opponent's defensive grips to a more powerful position that solves the total effect of the opponent's defenses. Therefore, it is expedient in the tie-up to single out the main factor in order to focus on victory.

Before ever tying up with the opponent, take stock of the opponent, and then, attack strongly. That is the way to focus on taking advantage of any position or action of the opponent.

However, it works to the best advantage-- the most powerful factor-- to appear in your opponent's grips for the briefest instant. Always strive at once to exploit the opponent. If your opponent is not aware of your motion and activity, it is his mistake. He may not repeat his mistake, so if you are not successful in exploiting his first mistake, seek another factor to defeat him.

Below are detailed the most characteristic examples to in the tie-up to exploit successfully the opponent's movement and activity.

Exploit Observations in any Successful Offensive Position to Finish off the Opponent
To enter into a tie-up, first of all analyze your opponent and note the areas of his strength.

Your opponent's stylistic tendencies will be observable in the position of his feet, torso, and legs.

The layout of his foot positions is individual and has a geometry of axes and distances. Direction and position of the feet allows him to create stances for movements to the right, left, and forward. The distance between the feet determines direction (ahead vs. reverse) and appears as a long stance while the apparent distance between the feet in front (to the right-- for example) is narrow or wide.

If the opponent's feet are in a short or frontal stance, it is more convenient to throw him either forward or backward if you can develop a narrow stance inside his stance.

The position of the legs and torso has a larger role in stance. When examined, these positions reveal the relationship between the opponent's direction and his power.

Apply pressure near the opponent's frontal zone to generate offense. Good defense demands that you center your own body weight as the opponent shifts his positions in an attempt to get your weight ahead of or behind your base. By pressuring the frontal zone of your opponent's torso, he will have a countering tendency to lean forward promoting an arms forward and pelvis back stance.

When the opponent adopts the common tendency to lean forward with the torso, it is expedient to execute all forward throws.

If the opponent's arms tend toward the forward position while his pelvis remains back, executing a throw without advanced and expert preparation is dangerous since one may find oneself unable to recover from the opponent's counterattack. If the technique cannot be executed safely, it is best to break off from this position and adopt the protective stance.

If you find your opponent in either a right or left narrow stance, his tendency is to lean his torso forward, so execute attacks in the foreground to trip the opponent by cutting him down at the kneecap or shin.

If you find your opponent in either a right or left wide stance while leaning forward, execute throws where your hands grip low on his arms to throw him over your hip.

Pull on opponents to enter their defensive zones or if they attempt to retreat. In defense, he must cross his weight through his body toward his back and behind his torso. It is characteristic for his body position-- torso and pelvis-- to move backward in the rectangle. Offense is possible by driving backward and downward at his legs.

If when nearing the opponent for a tie-up, he tries to keep his pelivis and legs back from the tie-up, attack his feet from inside his stance with a reap or foot hook or snag.

If when tying-up with the opponent, he attempts to drive forward while keeping his pelvis and feet back, it is expedient to attack this knee tendons-- by seizing the leg, a short leg clip, rear trip, or inside hook.

When the opponent is in the front stance, immediately attack one or both legs. When he adopts the "sugar foot" front stance, you must attack the lead leg that is sticking out.

Pull the opponent in the direction that most often uses his own motion to move him into positions where he may be attacked. Direct the opponent to lean his torso in the direction that opens up the opportunities for your best techniques to throw and submit him.

If by pulling on your opponent he leans to one side to compensate, you may conduct all attacks in the direction that he is leaning. If your pull causes the opponent to lean in two directions at once-- forward and to one side-- it is best to conduct all throws in the direction of his lean plus forward (front reap, front trip-- based on always being alert for opportunities).

If in the tie-up, the opponent's body simultaneously leans back with a side turned forward, it is expedient to conduct all throws backwards in the direction of the opponent's lean (rear trip, rear reap, picks, and scissors).

If the opponent adopts a wide, strong front stance, it is not recommended to attempt any throw if a marked lean or other flaw in the opponent's stance cannot be detected.

To proceed against this protected stance, move to the side to get the opponent to expose his legs to attack. If the opponent maintains the strong front stance, his legs may be vulnerable to lateral trips or rear reaps. If the opponent begins to move to the side, it is recommended to conduct a front cut off sweep to the opponent's knee the moment that he begins to step in that direction.

Whatever technique is carried out in a certain direction-- say forward-- the opponent must first counter by shifting part of his weight behind his fulcrum point in that direction. That is, he can lose his balance, or he can recover his balance appropriately to the front.

The opponent's strong forward lean can be exploited to conduct a throw by two methods:

If the opponent loses his balance, you must exacerbate his body's motion by pulling him with your hands to open his legs to attack or engage his body with the proper leverage. This is best used when the opponent reacts forward along the original line of attack. When he commits to such motion, he becomes predictable, and each step and the rise and fall of each knee may be anticipated.

To realize the throw in the moment when the opponent attempts to recover his balance, you move his legs out of the fulcrum point that maintains his balance. This calls for the SAMBist to move first and to use his skills and experience to define (to anticipate) the instant when the opponent begins his forward motion.

If the opponent can be directed to shift his stance, he can be forced to expose his legs in either a forward or a backward direction. As the opponent exposes his legs while shifting his position, the opportunity to throw at the evident moment depends on immediately anticipating and recognizing his position on the mat. When maintaining his stance becomes difficult, the SAMBist assumes the advantage. In the moment when he leans back, attack to the side and with a rear reap or an inside reap (this depends on how the opponent moves in reaction to the attack). A reap may lead to another reap, an inside hook or such wrestling holds and throws with hand holds beneath his arms.

The opponent shifts his stance to keep his legs away from you. For example-- when you force him to his rear, attack his fulcrum point for the legs (roughly to the left) and commit to an attack to the leg on that side (roughly to the rear and to the right of the ploy). As this occurs, it becomes convenient to conduct a rear trip to the left leg.

As you drop step on the opponent, usually you will drop down to engage the opponent's leg from behind. Seldom do you want to engage the opponent from straight ahead. In the moment when the opponent must move his leg(s) backward, he is commencing to lose his balance. You must move in to attack laterally with a reap or a rear trip to either side. In the moment when the opponent moves his leg(s), use your mat "sense" to examine the foreground and to wait for the moment to carry out the attack..

As the opponent steps in or against you or even leaps in against you, you must push immediately into your opponent with your legs to force him into the forward stance. Then, move beneath his forward leaning legs to throw him by reap, foot hook (with powerful snatch), or side slip the arms upward and sag around his body.

If the opponent droops or hangs on to the SAMBist, it is desirable to be cautious and evade lest the opponent find an opportunity to secure a throw for himself. The SAMBist must act on the next tie-up to conduct the double leg throw or rear trip.

When the opponent lifts his knee, the SAMBist must drag him across his legs in such a direction to cause one foot to stick out on the mat. That leg is now exposed to a reap.

If the SAMBist allows the opponent's center of gravity to get below his own, he has lost his advantage in potential energy. If the opponent attempts a ploy, push against his knee or kneecap, then conduct a block or finishing technique to the inside. If the opponent is down on all fours or prone, the SAMBist must conduct an expert attack immediately from a skillful, balanced position. If the opponent attempts a ploy form on his back, the SAMBist must grip to restrain him fast, so that he may be maneuvered into an opportunity for submission.

From this blocked position, the opponent is restricted from offense until the SAMBist can employ his submission ploy.

Exploiting Misdirection of Attention

Sometimes in the tie-up one can create a situation where the opponent believes that he is leading the attack when in reality he is merely defending himself.

In such occurrences, he has little possibility to create his ploys (sometimes he cannot even be able to calculate his ploy). In such moments, good results may stem from the surprise attack-- especially if the opponent becomes uncertain.

Usually, carrying the attack to the opponent gives him few opportunities to think about defense-- especially on the mat in par terre wrestling. If the opponent is on the mat beneath you on his back or on his all fours, you may launch a surprise attack on the opponent that leads to a submission hold. If, for example, the opponent drops into a sitting position (from on the mat or directly from the standing position) apply a painful Achilles tendon stretch. If you find your opponent between your legs, catch his lower leg in the crook of your elbow and apply the submission hold with just the crooked elbow hold or with the assistance of your legs. If you find yourself on your knees, beside and behind an opponent who is on all fours, conduct the knee submission hold on one of his legs with your legs.

To exploit the opponent's condition, first consider what is needed to deceive an evenly developed and deliberate opponent. Nevertheless, if the opponent slowly rises from a fall with difficulty or after the referee blows the whistle, he may not hurry to the center of the mat if he is fatigued. It is time to take to him with continuous attack.

Even then, the opponent may attempt to divert your attention for his own ploys, so before you attack, discover his intentions and means. Attack him from the side if possible.

If the opponent struggles out of your submission hold, do not wait for the referee to blow his whistle, but look immediately for the next hold that he may be susceptible to. Seize the moment for the surprise (or sudden) attack. Usually, this occurs down on the mat when one wrestler breaks a hold before the referee can blow his whistle.

4. Expert Preparation to Attack for the Throw