Know then that the art of wrestling is accepted and praised by kings and sultans and, that of those who practice it, most are pure and righteous. – Waez-E Kashefi
This whole COVID thing has been tough. When you can’t even go within six feet of someone, wrestling is certainly out. In the past 23-25 years I have never had gone so long without wrestling. Even with injuries.
The symptoms of non-wrestling for me are a feeling of malaise physically and psychologically. I don’t breathe the same way. I feel like I am softening up. Wrestling makes us feel strong and powerful, resilient and tough. It’s facing our vulnerabilities that makes us humble. Not to say I become arrogant without wrestling, because I know better. But it is one of those things that is integral to clean living for myself.
The issue is that people have skewed perception of what wrestling is. Think wrestling with back flips and throws, WWF, MMA… But unless you have been there, unless you understand it, it is of course difficult to know what is missing.
For us and the way we train, wrestling is a process more than anything else. It is a method of feeling deep humility. This is not about winning. It’s about cleansing, breathing, and developing yourself inside and out.
Most of us, I would say, carry some level of COVID trauma about closeness with other humans. So going back to wrestling and close contact needs to be fairly calculated. People need to feel comfortable, so at Roots we have slowly been building up to it. But, you can worry about all these issues in life, like COVID, but when you are out there doing the work, and you are there with only your breath and your movement, it is a nice place to be.
Wrestling becomes a time warp of its own, where the only thing that matters is your next breath. That is the space that I’ve been missing.
Going from horizontal to vertical again, and with reality kicking in, I really feel thankful. It’s just so good. It’s, wow. You laugh, you smile, and you feel really good. That feeling carries me through the day.