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Tactics of SAMBO Wrestling

Chapter 4


Active defense in SAMBO wrestling aims to preserve the SAMBist's strength while depleting the opponent's strength to gain the match advantage. If the SAMBist already has the advantage in points over the opponent, then active defense aims to preserve that lead.

To have defense first and offense second seems backwards in the match situation. Nevertheless, skillful defense uses less energy and is distinguished by not using as much effort as offense to implement a ploy. Defense has the ability to score as much as offense without nearly as much effort.

This method of defense preserves the SAMBist's strength in the match while the opponent is weakened by his efforts. The distinguished SAMBist uses the right proportion of effort in his active defense to create the chance to achieve victory by flowing into a well designed attack on his weakened opponent.

In another case, the SAMBist can exploit active defense when he is tired to rest and restore his strength to renew his offense through stronger grips and renewed energy.

Active defense demands that the SAMBist:
With these attributes, the SAMBist can afford to exploit immediately each opportunity to transition from active defense to active offense.

The physical qualities required to implement active defense are simple: speed and endurance. The defensive SAMBist must also remain calm. Force and dexterity, while important, are not the decisive ingredients for defense. However, if the SAMBist has these attributes, he may use them to vary his defensive ploys and create disguises for additional ploys.

Active defensive techniques demand less from the SAMBist than do the techniques of attack and pursuit. Exploit defense with:

Active defense exploits the method of controlled wrestling. The most often used defensive method is to exhaust the opponent. Exhausting the strong opponent's stamina comes from feints, defensive grips, and tying up the opponent to swiftly shift to mat work (if the SAMBist has endurance over his opponent) to prone wrestling (if he finds himself on top of his opponent). The method of surprise attack or active defense must work the grips to take advantage of the moment. The method of distracting the opponent, by contrast, does not depend on the moment. Here, the SAMBist creates his own moment by defense and by preventing his opponent from figuring out the true nature of the SAMBist's attack. Active defense lends itself to luring the opponent into traps. For this, the SAMBist employs active defense to establish his grips to set up his motions that he will use to finish his attack on his opponent. One method allows the opponent to counter one ploy while really setting him up for the final attack that the SAMBist launches in response to the counter technique. To create this situation, the SAMBist's first ploy must not be difficult to "anticipate." Understanding the opponent's motion allows the SAMBist to exploit the opponent's movement to inflict the scoring technique.

Chapter 4