Jonathan Ko Ms.
Rand English 1102 4 Feb 2013
Pinned to the Mat Ever since I was a young boy, I recall watching professional wrestling with my older brother every weekend. We would stay up all night executing moves on each other until one of us cried out to stop. Professional wrestling has been viewed as a poor excuse for a sport by society because viewers think that the wrestlers are not actually making contact. Because of this misconception, I turned to the popular Greco-Roman, grappling style of wrestling in high school. During my senior year of high school, I was at the peak of my fitness and strength. With my confident mindset, I did not hesitate to try out for the wrestling team at my school. I recall going home that day to tell my mother about my decision, only to be silenced and lectured about the possible risks and dangers of
Ko 2 me participating in this sport. She told me about the dire consequences of me becoming injured without health insurance. Despite my mother bashing on my decision, I had already set my sights on joining the team, and nobody would change my decision. The first few days of practice were brutal as the coaches were trying to weed out the weak hearted athletes from the team. Our endless practice sessions consisted of hardcore stretches, high intensity burst training, sprinting down long endless hallways and grappling one on one against other teammates. Fortunately, the coach saw great potential in my quickness on foot and placed me on the varsity roster. My first wrestling meet was approaching quickly and I still felt underprepared. Ultimately, time would tell if I had trained hard enough. “Ko!” I quickly ran over to the call in my green and maroon-wrestling singlet. I had been chosen by the coach to wrestle for this specific weight class. A few days prior, I was told that if I cut down to 127lbs then I could wrestle on the starting lineup in my school’s season opener, the Green Hope Grapple, a major high
Ko 3 school wrestling meet. More than 20 different schools from all over North Carolina would be there and these past days of wearing sweats and drinking gallons of water were about to finally pay off. Despite being nervous, I made my way to the center of the mat where I stood boldly as to intimidate my opponent. I told myself to be strong and I felt my adrenaline kick in as the hairs on my neck stood upright. I came face to face with my opponent and looked around at the 100+ spectators surrounding the mat. I made eye contact with my coach and he gave me a “thumbs up”. Overfilled with anticipation and adrenaline, I shook my opponents hands and quickly returned to my athletic stance I had worked on during practice. At the time of my conflict, I was confident despite feeling nervous. I believed that I had trained hard enough to overcome my opponent. My perspective on my conflict was that I had trained countless hours with my teammates to prepare for this tournament. Despite my lack of experience, I knew I was not going to lose. My coach and teammates helped me push myself to my furthest limits to prepare for my match. My direct conflict participant was my
Ko 4 opponent I was wrestling against. Due to my smaller build, quickness on foot and great strength, he was taken by surprise and lost the conflict. I kept a low stance with my hands close to me and quickly dove in for a double-legged takedown. I had timed it perfectly, my opponent was caught off guard and before he knew it, he was flat on his back to the mat. Hastily, I gathered myself and sprawled on top of my opponents back as he tried to get up. Driving my shoulder into his back and wrapping my forearm around his neck ultimately drove him back down to the mat. I could hear the cheers of my teammates and my coach screaming at me to pin him down. I maneuvered quickly, sinking my arm under his neck while making my body perpendicular to his. I flexed my arms, shoulders and back, squeezing the life out of my opponent as I fought to level his shoulders to the mat. He was fighting back with all his strength, but despite his efforts, I was completely in control. Using my legs as leverage to weigh him down even more, I flexed one last time with all my remaining energy. I felt the life being sucked out of my opponent as he helplessly squirmed around in my arms. “Pin!” I heard the
Ko 5 referee smack the mat and the match was over. My opponent was pinned rather quickly to the mat. I had felt slightly remorseful for my opponent as I embarrassed him with a pin in front of a large crowd. The indirect participants of this conflict were the observers of the wrestling match. The people in the crowd were cheering from both sides and enjoyed the dynamic duel. Other indirect participants of the conflict were my coaches, sitting at the team corner yelling out last minute advice and strategies. Along with my coaches, my teammates were on the sideline watching my match and cheering me on. We both returned to our starting positions in the center of the mat and I felt my arm being into the air. “Winner: Ko!” I walked over to my team’s corner and was congratulated for the outright win. Those long, intense hours of practice had finally paid off. I had cut enough weight to be a starter, wrestled in my first major meet, and finally won the match with a pin. I assured myself that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment than what I had just done. Despite the saying “winning isn’t everything,” in societies realistic viewpoint, winning is everything. The winners of
Ko 6 the Super Bowl are thrown a parade after they win, not the losers. Western culture is surrounded by the concept of winning and being successful. Only the winners move on to the next level and the losers are left trailing behind. I believe that these cultural viewpoints influenced my teammates and coaches to want me to win. Generally speaking, I believe that there are always multiple sides to a story or a conflict. Without seeing understanding every defense to a conflict, the truth cannot emerge. My perspective on wrestling as a kid was that it was a real, full contact, highflying, dynamic sport. As I grew up watching wrestling, I realized that it was soon to be too good to be true. The wrestlers did not use their full force and seemed to be surprisingly gentle on one another. By the time I was in high school, I completely favored the Greco-Roman style of wrestling over the broadcasted ones, late night on TNT. My perspective of wrestling changed over time, because I was just slow to realize that everyone who told me wrestling was not completely real was in fact right. My perspective may have been completely
Ko 7 different from my opponent’s because they may have not ever even seen wrestling. I do not know much about my opponent except his body weight. I hope my opponent had a clear understanding that the Greco-Roman style of wrestling in high school and college is different from professional wrestling televised today. I think that my perspective became more similar to the viewpoint of my coach because I trained hard enough to make him believe that I would win any upcoming match. Upon wrestling my opponent and pinning him flat to the mat, my coach rewarded me with his trust and confidence.