Letter to Osamu Matsunami from Billy Robinson

Osamu Matsunami runs Riley's Gym Kyoto. Billy Robinson liked Osamu because he already knew catch from not only training with Roy Wood in Wigan, but from meeting the likes of Riley, Billy Joyce, etc. He knew moves, and could demonstrate when Billy Robinson asked, hence he was called on.


"Sam, here is an edited version of the same letter.  Print it out or translate it and put it on the gym wall.

Lets get back to Catch as Catch Can Wrestling, from Wigan, England.
As to your gym  and coaching,  the main thing is to stress Basics. If you get in trouble or make a mistake, basics are the only thing that is going to help you escape. 

As Billy Riley always said, not just said, but pounded in the heads of all his great students.  If you can see a move or think of a move (or hold), its TOO LATE.

I used to have nightmares of his voice screaming at me "Do it again, Do it again."
Natural strength and power, plus natural instincts are a great asset, however technique is the main asset you can have. Its about 90% of being not only good but great.

The only way to get the right technique is practice, practice, practice and then more practice with a good coach and good old timers watching and explaining your mistakes and giving advice on how not to make mistakes.

A good coach is not there to tell how good you are or what you do good,  but to tell you what is wrong or bad and then work on fixing it.

It makes me laugh when I hear a  coach or wrestling friend ask a combatant before a match or tournament.  What are you going to do?  Its not only too late to ask that question, but shows me they know nothing about real wrestling.

The reason being everybody's reaction is different, so you do not know what they are going to do to any of your moves. So work on relaxing clearing your mind, and treat every match the same. No pre set plan of what your going to do.

Don't worry about how big or strong he is or how good a reputation he has.
Just relax and trust your reflexes, knowledge  and the coaching you have had.

As for conditioning, sparring is without a question the best conditioner there is non stop sparring for one or two hours with no breaks unless the coach stops you to show something that you are doing wrong,  and then continue.

I mean with three or four good sparring partners  and they change off every five to ten minutes, when they start to tire. However you do not stop. Also you run about 15 miles a week.

Stretching before and after a work out is a must. The squats and push-ups and all the other wrestling exercises are only used if you do not have enough sparring partners.

One more thing,  you have to find partners or wrestlers of different heights weights and sizes. E.g. A lateral drop will not work with someone taller than you.  Open your students minds to counter not to block.

And only use power if you are in trouble or have a finishing hold or submission.

I hope this helps you.
Your old coach Bill."


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