Making your Opponent Quit by Steve Fraser

by Steve Fraser

Making your opponent quit takes practice and skill. This article will focus on how you can start to build habits that will allow you to break your opponent's mental and physical limits, thus making them quit.
There are very specific tactics you can perform that will help you to
make your opponent quit, both in practice and in a match.

What does "making your opponent quit" look like?

  • Backing up - Your opponent or training partner starts giving ground as you attack them - back peddling.
  • Stopping as soon as they get close to "out of bounds" - The moment they get close to the edge of the mat they stop wrestling.
  • Takes a long time to get back to center (once they go out of bounds), Catching their breath, adjusting kneepads, shorts, and socks are sure signs of the breaking process.
  • Inactivity - Inactivity on the mat while wrestling. Stalling and not hustling.
  • Showing signs of desperation - Your opponent will start making bad shots in desperation or giving up good position.
  • Complaining - Complaining to the official or their coach. Showing frustration.
  • Stumbling - Showing signs of physical fatigue.
  • Short bursts of anger with intensity - This can mean they are stymied and desperate. It can mean they are trying to give a last-ditch effort before they break!
  • Not getting off their back - When you turn them to their back they just lay there.

Pushing your opponent past their perceived limitations (physically, mentally and emotionally) will force them to lose focus. It will destroy their concentration and will break their confidence. Mentally they will
start to think that you are too tough for them. They will think you are
too conditioned for them. They will start to doubt whether or not they
can actually beat you. Physically they will feel the pain of fatigue as
they gulp for more oxygen to fill their lungs. Emotionally they will
start to surrender, giving up any hope or thoughts of winning.

Pushing your opponent to this state is the key to winning. The more you do this to your wrestling partner the more you will learn to see the signs of breaking which should motivate you to experiment and expand
these tactics. Understanding and developing these strategies will allow
for many great options as far as offensively attacking your opponent. It
will open up a whole new world of wrestling for you.

Here are 10 ways to make your opponent break in practice, thus honing and developing these skills for when you are in a match:


Out pummel your opponent: This means you will dictate the pace and the movement. Physically you will move faster with change in direction. You will push and pull them keeping them off balance and forcing them to
move in a manner that they are not intending to move. This pummeling
attack should include many tie-up changes. You should circle one way and
then the other. Tie up left, then right, then two-on-one, then
under-hook, then shot, then arm drag attempt. Again... tie left, right,
push, pull, under-hook, circle, snap, and foot-sweep. This should be the
method of attack.

This is what I call your "dance". It is your physical wrestling movements that you have honed into your normal wrestling attack. You must create your own personal "dance" that in time becomes your natural
method of attacking your opponent. This dance should be physical but at
the same time should be smooth and rhythmic.


Make first contact: In matches, when you go out of bounds, you always hustle back to the center of the mat, eagerly waiting for your opponent to arrive, and then always make the first contact when the bout


Always turn them: When you take your opponent down, you turn them right away (no stopping to let them up). Most wrestlers will pause or relax after they get taken down. This is not only a chance to break them
but is a great time to score as well.


Force them up: If there is no action on the mat after you have taken your opponent down, you don't just let them up. You gently or forcibly push them up from behind. As they stand up you spin them around, getting
right back in their face.

If you try to push them up and they do not stand up (they stay down in the referees position), then you circle out to the front of them and pull them up to their feet by cupping your hand under their chin and
pulling them up, getting right back in their face… pushing, pulling
and pummeling again. Or you may select to snap them right back down to
the mat, going behind for another takedown.

Another tactic if your opponent will not stand up is to circle out to the front but instead of pulling them up, you push down on their head with one of your hands, then with the other hand. You continue to push
their head down two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight times
alternating hands until they get the picture that you will not let up on

Keep wrestling in all situations: If your opponent takes you down and then stops wrestling (maybe to let you back up to your feet), you continue to wrestle, jumping at the chance to reverse them or take them
down when they pause. The idea is that you continue to wrestle in all


Always fight off your back: If you ever get put on your back you always fight off no matter what - you never stop wrestling. If your opponent stops wrestling to let you up you come up full-force
immediately attacking them. Have the attitude "How dare you just let me
off my back. You just robbed me of the chance to improve on how to get
off my back."


Make them fight off their back: If you turn your opponent to their back and they stop wrestling... you don't! After you pin them, you either:

  • A) Hold them for a time (loosely or tightly), forcing them to keep wrestling.
  • B) You tell them "Come on, keep fighting!"
  • C) You loosen your hold - allowing for them to fight off their back. Then you immediately turn them again with either the same hold or a different one. As long as you are turning your opponent and continuing
    to score points - you keep them down. When and if you get tired of
    turning them is when you pull them up getting right back in their face.


Wrestle after the whistle: When you go out of bounds you continue to wrestle for 2 seconds after you hear the whistle. One... this will leave an impression in the officials mind that you are more aggressive.
Two... whenever your opponent stops wrestling and you don't, it will
break him a bit more.


Keep your opponent wrestling : When your opponent stops wrestling in the middle of your go (in practice) to tie their shoe, adjust their shorts, or fix their t-shirt... you continue to wrestle them. If you are
kind enough to let them actually do this (which I don't recommend) then
at a minimum - you hover over them, just inches away from their body,
eagerly anticipating continued engagement. The moment they finish tying,
adjusting or fixing - you immediately engage again in the battle. The
main point is you become like fly paper on them. Always in their face,
always attacking, always pulling them up, pushing them down, or spinning
them around. They should feel like you are on them constantly. No
pauses, no breaks, no rests!


Fighting: If the battle ever gets heated where your opponent punches you (for whatever reason) you don’t let it faze you. You continue to attack like you hardly even noticed that they punched you. Now this
doesn't mean you can't get more physical with your attack, but you
always stay under control, never punching them back. Always just
attacking them back. Remember, scoring points is the main objective and
should be the ultimate payback for any un-sportsman like activity.

If they can punch you or foul you (for example, using legs in Greco) and that causes you to get mad and punch them back or complain, it is a sign that you are not focused and mentally strong enough to ignore it.

The idea is that nothing your opponent can do will take you out of your intense focused game plan of attacking. Nothing will intimidate you. Nothing will upset you. Nothing will deter your tenacious,
relentless attack.

Think about it. The normal reaction to one wrestler punching another is that the wrestler getting punched will get mad. But just think what your opponent will think when they punch you and you just keep on
coming. This is not the normal reaction from most wrestlers. They will
think that you are an animal. They may think you are crazy or that you
are a fine tuned machine. This will break your opponent's will to fight.

Breaking your opponent where you make them quit takes an attitude that starts in practice. This attitude has to be experimented with, developed and practiced. You have to be willing to be a little rude when
learning and demonstrating this tactic. I don't care if your partners
are friends or not... you have to put everything aside and force this
attitude. It will sometimes feel impolite of you to stay in your
wrestling partner's face when they are kneeling down on the mat, tying
their shoes, catching their breath or adjusting their shorts, but you
must ignore this and stay in front of them - pushing them to keep
wrestling. They may turn their back to you. Again, you must spin them
around, never letting them rest.

Remember, if you master this attitude in practice it will become your method of operation in your matches too.

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