Double-elimination wrestling tournament puts Marines to the test

12 Sep 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

During a freestyle wrestling invitational held by the All-Marine Wrestling Team, male patrons came to the Goettge Memorial Field House, donning singlets, to show off their skills on the mat in a double-elimination tournament aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Saturday.

While the invitational allowed wrestlers to come out, have a good time and let off some steam, it also gave the AMWT a chance to do a little scouting.

“We’re trying to put together a freestyle team and this gives us a chance to see what these guys have to offer,” said Cpl. Courtney Meyers, AMWT member.

Ten competitors participated in the 163-pound weight class, with another four competing in the 184-pound weight class.

The AMWT trains in Greco-Roman wrestling, which has a few distinct     differences from freestyle wrestling.

Greco-Roman wrestling forbids holds below the waist, which is the major difference between itself and freestyle wrestling.

This restriction results in an emphasis on throws, since a wrestler cannot use trips to take an opponent to the ground or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing their opponent’s leg.

Arm drags, bear hugs and headlocks found in freestyle have a greater prominence in Greco-Roman.

Throws, also known as a suplex, are used, where the offensive wrestler lifts his opponent in a high arch while falling backward on his own neck to a bridge in order to bring his opponent’s shoulders down to the mat.

Even on the mat, a Greco-Roman wrestler must still find several ways to turn his opponent’s shoulders to the mat for a fall without using his legs, including techniques known as the bodylock and the gut-wrench.

Participants ranged in skill level and experience but they continued to duke it out to the end of the tournament.

Lance Cpl. Vondell Foreman, with Motor Transportation, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, took first place in the         tournament.

To prepare for next year’s tournaments, the AMWT will be holding the All-Marine Wrestling Camp beginning Oct. 1, where Marines from MCB Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Calif., Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan and more will come together to train.
For more information on the All-Marine Wrestling Team, e-mail team coach Dan Hicks at