View Full Version : Marines take ‘Gut Wrench’ wrestling tournament

02-01-06, 07:08 AM
Marines take ‘Gut Wrench’ wrestling tournament
MCB Camp Butler
Story by Cpl. Sarah M. Maynard

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan (Feb. 1, 2006) -- Three Marines seized first prize during the double elimination Open “Gut Wrench” Wrestling Tournament at the new Gunners Fitness Center Jan. 28.

Ben Grijalva took first place in the 163-pound weight class. Josh Lopez took first place in the 185-pound weight class, and Chris Llanes took first pace in the 210-pound weight class.

The Marines were among 14 service members from around Okinawa who competed in the free-style tournament.

Matches were broken down into three separate two-minute bouts. Holds, throws and moves demonstrating control earned competitors points. Bouts ended when a wrestler gained six points over his opponent or pinned him to the ground.

Each Marine Corps camp on Okinawa holds one open wrestling tournament a year, according to Theodore Shadley, the sports specialist with Marine Corps Community Services. The wrestling tournaments have been held on Okinawa military installations for more than seven years.

This year’s tournament had a smaller turnout than previous years, according to Shadley.

“We normally have a larger tournament,” he said. “But right now the local high schools have a big wrestling tournament on mainland Japan.

“While the open tournaments attract a lot of serious competitors, many participants use them as an opportunity to practice,” Shadley said.

Because the competitions are open to all skill levels, it’s not unusual to see competitors who have only wrestled in high school or college up against All Armed Forces competitors, Shadley said.

“We’re the only game in town, and they all want to compete,” he said. “If you play basketball, you can go to they gym and practice. With wrestling, you have to lay out the mat, find someone to practice with and someone to officiate. It’s not as easy.”

Llanes said the tournaments are beneficial to all participants, regardless of skill level.

“I use these tournaments to hone my skills,” he said. “Everyone who comes out has potential, and there is always room for improvement.”