I have recently discussed how we prepared for the “King Of The Beach” competition on a podcast. I noticed that what we did was very similar to how Andy from the School of Grappling recommends structured training and the Game Sense pedagogy I studied at university.
It was excellent training as everyone had a purpose, it was enjoyable, and it was one of those rare moments in time at a practice where everyone was in the mix together. It makes you grateful for having positive training partners and spending time training together. I can appreciate those kinds of moments even more now that we cannot get on the mats. But I noticed that everyone in the room seemed to progress substantially during that time which made me think about what we did.
Game Sense For Wrestling
We trained for around 6-8 weeks doing two classes a week that followed this format. Generally, we did between five to ten rounds of each segment depending on how many people were in class; they were 1 minute long with a 15-second break. Everyone in the class rotated at least once with different partners, so they had a chance to work with everyone in the class. Once everyone had been around, I would briefly show one offensive or defensive option that could work from the scenario. Partners would drill these a few times each, and then we would do a couple more rounds of the drill.
Game Sense Progressions
The warm-up consisted of stance drills and shadow wrestling to get people moving in a directly applicable way to the sport.
The goal was to work for either an inside collar tie or underhook and hold it for 3 seconds.
The goal was to snatch and hold a single leg of the partner for up to 3 seconds.
After you had the single leg, the goal was to complete the takedown and put your partner on the mat.
A few rounds where you could score from pushing your opponent off the mat or into the wall. My memory of the particulars seems hazy, possibly because this turned out to be an area that I was less than excellent at.
Then to finish, we did rounds rotating with the complete ruleset that the competition would be held under. On a few occasions, we also did a mini knockout tournament at the end to simulate the competition setting.
A standard static stretch routine for a cool down.
As you may be able to tell from that, the focus of the competition was on snatch single-leg takedowns which, based on the ruleset, I thought would be the best way to play to win. But any takedowns were allowed once it came time to practice under the full beach wrestling rules.
Does Game Sense Work For Grappling?
Overall, everyone who competed did well, with everyone managing to score takedowns, and overall it was merely a fun day of wrestling and camaraderie for the team. An experience I hope we can get close to replicating again in the future.
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