In a first of a series of practices yet to come, the Northern Marianas Wrestling Federation, in collaboration with Trench Tech Gym, held their first free beach wrestling practice last Saturday on the sands of the new Crowne Plaza Resort from 9:30am to 10:30am.
The free practice session was attended by eight children, ages ranging from 4 to 11 years old, and was coached by NMWF head coach and vice president Rick Bauer.
Beach wrestling is done inside a sand circle of seven meters (23 feet) in diameter, which Bauer recreated for their practice.
The practice encompassed an introduction to beach wrestling training, with a focus on positional wrestling and hand-fighting, which included pummeling and collar ties, to name a few, and finished with a cardio session at the beach.
Bauer also coached the participants how to score points and win matches. The matches have a three-minute time limit, with the first wrestler to 3 points getting the win.
They can score 1 point by forcing their opponents to the ground with any body part other than their hands and feet or by pushing their opponent out of circle bounds. They can score 3 points by bringing their opponent down to their back.
When Bauer was asked how the practice went, he said that “more than anything I wanted them to have fun… So, there’s a fine line between being strict and making them wrestle and having fun- just a couple little redirections… but it was a good day, I think they had fun and it’s something different for them.”
Bauer added that with Saipan being an island, beach wrestling “needs to be a part of what we’re doing here.”
Ideally, he said, when they open more practice days, “it grows into kids and young adults and adults to where we can start having kids practice and adults practice,” for the goal of having an NMI beach wrestling team to compete in the Pacific Games next year.
Additionally, with it being the first day of practice, he “expected it to be all kids… but I do expect it to grow, so I’m hoping to see adults… because I know, there’s some adults that are interested in competing, so in order to compete, they have to show up.”
“I believe as word spreads and they realize it’s free—it’s something parents can bring their kids to, get a workout in, learn a skill, and not have to pay out of pocket,” more people will be joining their practices, said Bauer.
Eleven-year-old Justo Jeremiah Quitugua, or J.J., who trains in Trench Tech for kids mixed martial arts and kids jiu jitsu, came out to the beach with his brother, 7-year-old Jordan Kendrick Camacho, and 7-year-old godsister Jacqueline Iris Quitugua to join in on the practice.
J.J. said that he liked the practice and that “it’s definitely another way of doing MMA. I thought it was fun. I really thought that it was an upgrade in how much I can learn in like MMA and jiu jitsu… and that’s what made it fun.”
He added that he would definitely invite his friends to come out for the next practices and tell them how fun it was when he was there.
Justise Quitugua, J.J. and Jordan’s mother, was there observing the practice and said that “it gives them something different other than being at the gym. They learned a lot. I feel it brings something new and interesting for them.”
She also said that being out on the sand and the beach, “also allows them to practice self-discipline and self-control… A lot of it’s going to be a challenge because they’re kids- when they come to the beach, it’s always playtime, but here it’s a class… but I think they’re practicing a lot of skills that they didn’t quite catch on to in the gym, and I think it’s a lot of fun.”
For updates on dates of future practices, follow the Northern Marianas Wrestling Federation Facebook page or email them at email@example.com It will also be posted in the following editions of Saipan Tribune.