Let’s remember what Marcus Aurelius said: “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, because an artful life requires being prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.”

This vignette between Zain Rutherford and Jordan Oliver from last year’s FINAL X has so much to revel in–admittedly, I’ve probably watched it over a hundred times 🙂.

Consider how JO’s mind-blowing re-attack from Rutherford’s initial sweep single–a beautifully-executed takedown attempt in its own right–embodies the Stoic quote above. Truly this exchange is a superb representation of two athletes showcasing perception-action coupling and brinkmanship, two characteristics comprising their elite motor skills.

Look more closely, though, at this exchange, and you might also notice how catch wrestling’s under-current still flows within freestyle, which is indeed catch’s progeny. In an effort to turn Rutherford, JO initiates a lace that first resembles a Gotch-style toehold, which quickly transitions into a quasi-heel hook. Using submissions to get an opponent flat on his/her back is a foundation of catch-as-catch-can!

Finally, consider how Rutherford still went on to this bout and secure his spot on USA Wrestling’s freestyle team, because he was “prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.”

I’ll encourage you to find all three Final X matches from these two gentlemen, study, and enjoy as I have–these athletes and their respective bouts with one another showcase the attributes that Josh Barnett and Lex Friedman are describing here!

#horsetoothgrappling #catchwrestling #focomartialarts #focow #focowresting

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