Local wrestlers enter the House of Payne
The moniker of those who can’t do, teach has been disproven many times. It’s more true that those who teach are doing so because they have been so proficient at doing whatever it is they are teaching others to do. Jason Payne of Columbus Junction is a great example of this.
The Columbus Junction High School graduate has for the past seven years been running The House of Payne Wrestling Club to teach scholastic wrestlers techniques in freestyle wrestling. The clinic’s second year in Washington started on Monday, March 11 inside the Washington school district’s wrestling room.
Payne’s credentials that qualify him to instruct wrestlers are substantial. He was a state champion and 1997 All-American at Columbus Junction High School. Payne’s path then led him to the University of Northern Iowa, where he was an All-American in 2002. For nearly three years after completing his college career he traveled with the United States’ national freestyle wrestling team for international events along with assisting with coaching at UNI and Iowa Central Community College.
Freestyle wrestling differs from the folkstyle wrestling engaged in by school districts and clubs across Iowa in two main ways. Freestyle treats a match as three separate rounds, whereas in folkstyle a match is a singular six-minute affair.
The way a wrestler scores in folkstyle and freestyle differs as well. Folkstyle awards: one point for an escape, stalling or other penalty point; two points for a takedown, reversal and a three second nearfall; three points for a five second nearfall and ten points for a technical pin. Freestyle scoring awards: one point for a partial back exposure, escape, takedown, reversal, to the attacker if both wrestlers leave the circle and a nearfall; two points for a complete back exposure and three, four or five points for a throw.
In order for the student-athletes who have wrestled folkstyle to gain the benefits from the clinic, Payne demonstrated freestyle techniques to the boys in attendance and helped them individually as they ran through the drills to correct any flaws in their technique.
Payne says the most frequent concern he hears from student-athletes and/or their parents is that learning freestyle techniques might hinder their folkstyle effectiveness. Payne is adamant that the opposite is actually the truth.
“If students become good freestyle wrestlers that will make them better folkstyle wrestlers because that will make them so much better on their feet. That’s where they spend a lot of their time in folkstyle as well. Freestyle also helps shift their mindsets from avoiding their opponent to attacking the opponent. Freestyle wrestling is all about offense and scoring points. A folkstyle wrestler isn’t going to lose a match if he outscores his opponent,” Payne explained.
Payne also says that in the past 15 years he has seen a shift in the collegiate ranks that favors freestyle wrestling.
“All the top scouts from the best universities, they are at Fargo [the national high school freestyle wrestling tournament]. I can’t really explain why, but for some reason the colleges are looking for the best freestyle wrestlers to recruit for their folkstyle teams. I think soon if you want to wrestle collegiately, you will need freestyle skills,” Payne commented.
The House of Payne will be running in Washington on a weekly basis for all sixth- through 12th-grade students. For details interested parties can contact the Washington Matbackers.