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Physics In Wrestling

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by

Gavin Pierce

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Physics In Wrestling

Physics Of Wrestling "Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." And do not forget the science concepts inadvertently used by athletes to get that medal. History of the Sport An ancient Egyptian mural featuring a varied of wrestling moves. Wrestling is just the name given to style of wrestling that is very similar to a style formerly found in ancient civilizations that surrounded the Mediterranean Sea, particularly ancient Greece.
To the ancient Greeks "wrestling was a science and a divine art," (FILA) and it was viewed as the best expression of strength out of any other sport because it was represented in Greek mythology by Heracles.
These competition often took place in a muddy and sticky arena called a "keroma."
One of the practices was that wrestlers were anointed with olive oil then dusted with powder to make them easier to grasp, there was also no weight distinction/weight class.
Athletes often competed stark naked and "competitor who first threw his opponent or first brought him down - either on his back, hips, chest, knees or elbows - was proclaimed winner." (FILA).
Blows, biting, and gouging was not permitted but tripping was allowed. (These rules have obviously changed since then.)
The whole objective of wrestling are fairly straightforward, in three minutes or less a wrestler must pin his opponent to the ground without using their legs, therefore all attacks must be done from the waist up. Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an “object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it,” (Hewitt, 27).
A good exemplification of this particular physics concept can be seen when soccer ball on a field is motionless, until soccer player comes and kicks the ball. The soccer ball in this case is the object that is a state of rest and the soccer player that kicked the ball is the force that caused it to move.
This intellection of physics can also be applied as well as exhibited in the sport of Greco-Roman wrestling. Newton’s First Law of Motion can be seen at the beginning of a 66kg match when two wrestlers face off by virtue of the fact that neither one of the wrestlers are moving and are for a lack of a better term at rest. Two of Newton's Three Laws of Motion! Newton's First Law This phase of inactivity between two wrestlers can be seen in the image above. It is only until one competitor attacks the other in an attempt to literally smash his competition into the floor. In this situation the attacking wrestler is the force that caused the other wrestler to leave his state of rest and go into a state of motion. A wrestler can actually use Newton’s First Law of Motion to his advantage in this case by being the one use the most speed and force to get his opponent on the ground. Inertia Inertia is the internal property that allows an object to resist change while it is in motion.
Uncovering a commonplace example of inertia by virtue of the fact that it is a property, which means that by definition it’s intangible.
The only real example that can be found for inertia is if a ball was to roll across a frictionless surface, while in an airless room. Due to the fact that there is no external force that is disturbing the ball’s inertia, the ball could technically roll forever. For a wrestler it is essential that he maintain his inertia through his positioning or he potentially faces being taken down by his opponent. Something that is easier said than done seeing as how a wrestler, unlike the ball from the aforementioned illustration, must deal with the external forces that are being created by his opponent.
This is where wrestler’s resistance to change in motion or, the preservation of his inertia, is critical. The reason for this is because that if a wrestler is unable to hold his position, whether it is standing or lying on the mat, he will not only lose the game but also may suffer major injuries as a result. What could happen if inertia is not maintained Newton's Third Law Newton’s Third Law of Motion affirms that, “Whenever one exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first,” (Hewitt, 75). The other way this physics concept is also defined as “every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” (Hewitt, 75).
An exemplar of this physics concept can be observed when one is in a pool and in order for that individual to move they must push the water with their hand. Whatever amount of force that person’s hand is exerting on the water is the same amount of force the water is exerting on that person’s hand. Center of Gravity The center of gravity is the point at which all the weight of an object appears to be concentrated.
This particular physic concept when combined with inertia is climacteric in wrestling because without the proper maintenance of gravity a players movements can become erratic, in fact “the maintenance of a low center of gravity…ensures stability in all movements,” (Wrestling).
It is important to note that a low center of gravity is not only vital to a wrestler’s physical stability but it also makes it harder for a competitor to knock said wrestler on to the mat. A low center of gravity is also useful when a player must over power their challenger through sheer force, which can be done by grabbing them by the waist, hoisting them off the ground, and throwing them on to the ground. This can be seen in this picture of Olympia Wrestler, Joe Bonaldi, faces off with an Fairport wrestler. Torque and Leverage Leverage and torque, which are critical factors in hurling an opponent. Leverage Leverage is the name given to an application of force based on a medium. An appropriate representation of leverage can be observed when a hand man takes a screwdriver to pry open a can of paint.
In wrestling “leverage [is] necessary to successfully throw an opponent,” (Wrestling). Torque A torque is something that is applied to an object at a perpendicular angle in order to make it rotate.
Anyone who has ever used a door knob to open a door is actually utilizing a torque because their hand is causing the door knob to rotate.
A wrestler essentially becomes a torque when he is tossing his opponent over his head, because he is technically causing his opponent to pivot. This is both literally and figuratively a breath taking accomplishment, which can be observed in this photo of Olympia wrestler, Joe Bonaldi. Joe is in the weight class of 62kgs, meaning that he can throw a 145 pound man over his head. This human torque ability can be noted in the aforesaid photo of Olympia wrestler, Joe Bonaldi.
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