Folkstyle Wrestling/Basic Wrestling Strategy

  • Finding Your Philosophy, Finding Your style:

Finding your style is one of the most important things to consider in wrestling. It will deteremine your stance, the moves you use, the strategy you choose, and the success you have. Your style should be based on a number of different factors, many of which will be discussed later in this book. However right now there are a few basic things to consider, and should serve as a guideline to help you come up with a basic strategy.

  1. What are your strengths? Are you a great athlete? Are you really strong? Are you extremely bright? A great athlete will be able to do more complicated moves, whereas someone who is really strong might want to focus on a few basic power moves. Someone who is extremely bright might try to outmaneuver their opponent into an advantageous position.
  2. What are your weaknesses? Do you have trouble with balance? Do you have trouble being aggressive? Are you slower than other wrestlers? This book aims to help you eliminate most of your weaknessess; however, it is impossible to eliminate all of your weaknesses. In a match, you should do everything possible to avoid dealing with your weaknessess, then in practice, you should work to eliminate these weaknesses.
  • High Vs. Low Percentage moves
  • The Clock
  • When to be Aggressive

Note: Richard Salamone has generously agreed to let us use any of his posts from the forum, in this section I will put relevant post, which will be edited into book form once the whole book has been outlined.

What moves to useEdit


I am not sure where you are at in your training, but before focusing on "moves", learn the so-called basic movements of wrestling. These prepare you for learning "moves."

With regard to what is most efficient and most sensible to learn, that does depend on body build (e.g., relatively tall or short), speed (e.g., quick or not), how much of your training you are willing to devote (e.g., BJJ and MMA types will have different goals, e.g., to perhaps mostly defend takedowns vs. initiate leg shot and to also develop some pummeling/cliniching proficiency), etc.

Ultimately, for maximum success, you need to be exposed to a wide variety of technique primarily to be familiar enough so that it is not a surprise and you can defend against it. You don't, however, need to develop zillions of techiques to be proficient and, in fact, as you are learning, it is my opinion, that it is wiser to focus on a few techniques and set-ups for them and work the heck out of them than "be a jack of all trades and a master of none." A good double leg, single leg, a few good tie-ups, pummeling/clinch (with attacks such at front headlock), and defense will get you pretty far.

You don't have to be "unique" to be successful, only good, and good at the basics is a good place to start to be good.

Lee Kemp was a three (I think) time world freestyle champ with a good single, good ties, and good defense. Boring to watch, yes, but he could get that single on anybody at least once during a match and would typically win by a point or two or three in generally very low scoring matches (in world competition).

Good luck in your training.