Los Angeles, CA – April 27, 2018 –
It’s USA Wrestling Week in Las Vegas, and we’ve got our thumbs ready.
It is USA Wrestling Week in Las Vegas, as the 2018 Marine Corps Open Wrestling Championships will be held at the South Point Hotel and Casino, April 24-28. This is one of the largest and most popular wrestling events held each year, with a number of major competitions held together. This is the major qualifying event in the process to determine the 2018 U.S. Senior World Team, which will compete in Budapest, Hungary in October. Although the system is different this year in men’s and women’s freestyle, “the Open” will advance more athletes to the next stage of team selection than any event of the year.
With wrestling comes all of its unique forms and permutations. However, none is more recognizable than the age-old game of thumb wrestling. Thumb wrestling or thumb war is the miniature golf of martial sports. But just like tackling that hole with the ramp leading into the big fake volcano requires a bit of skill, so too does going thumb to thumb with a tenacious opponent.
The following guide will help to bring the art and skills of thumb wrestling to the layman, with steps, tricks, and ideologies behind the game that’s always existed:
1. The approach: People like to fly through the opening of a match, but that’s a rookie mistake. While reciting, “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war,” slow things down a bit and take time to get a sense of your opponent’s “heart”: Is the hand shaking? How strong is the grip? Then gauge his potential prowess: What’s the reach of his thumb and how far out is he swinging it while performing the “war chant?” Try to digest this information as quickly as possible, and tailor your game plan accordingly, meaning decide how aggressive or cautious you should be.
2. Establish the jab: It’s all about timing. Unless you’re going up against somebody who’s utterly confused or just wants to get the match over with, you’re going to be tussling for a while. That means measuring how quick your opponent is — thus, employing the jab. Don’t be afraid to give a few quick thrusts, forcing your opponent to flinch back his thumb. This will tell you how fast he gets out of the way and how fast he comes back for you. Also, if you jab enough and keep busy, you’ll build points with the judges (if you’re in a tournament like 826 Valencia’s), or if you’re not playing like that, you can frustrate your opponent into trying for an ill advised “knock out” (more on that in “Counterpunching”). But I cannot stress one thing enough: If you’re going to be thumb wrestling, you have got to come out fighting. Nobody wants to watch forever as two people sit with their thumbs bent way back like cobras spitting at each other.
3. Defense: Unlike most sports, defense does not win championships when it comes to thumb wrestling. Matches, which should only last about three minutes, don’t go on long enough for you to wear down an opponent by making him or her try to pepper you with attacks. (Note: If you happen to be stuck in the backseat of a car during a very long road trip, I suppose you could fight a single match to where either combatant is too sore to lift up his thumb. I wouldn’t recommend it, though. I shudder to think what it would mean to your carpal-tunnel health, plus there’s a good chance whoever’s driving will ditch you at the next 7-Eleven.) Also, there’s really no reason to block an attack, unless your thumb is strong enough to jam your opponent’s, thus giving him a nasty jolt that freezes him as you swoop down and plaster him. If you can do this, you’re the Pelé of thumb wrestling, congratulations.
4. Counterpunching: Once you’ve got your opponent’s speed down, then you’re ready to get to work. Here’s where the boxing axiom “you’ve got to take leather to give leather” comes in handy. Jab away, but now slow down just a tad. Give your opponent a tantalizing glance of your thumb, make him think you’re a cocky idiot and were partying too much the night before to realize how exposed you are at this very second. Savor the tension, lasting no longer than a heartbeat. Feel the lashes of his eyes about to clam up into a blink. Then strike! It’s likely that one of four things will happen: Your opponent’s thumb lunges for you, but you’ve already slid out and up into position to pin him when his thumb crashes down; all of the above, but he wiggles out from your pin; you time it badly and he pins you, but you wiggle out — or you lose. If it’s any of the first three, keep trying, but pick up the pace to a flurry. Eventually, you’ll get the opening you want. If it’s the last result, learn from it. It happens to everybody, though it has yet to happen to me.
5. The coup de grace: By which I mean the knockout. I was going to lay out everything I know here about pulling this off with aplomb, such as my “no-look takedown,” whereby I never once look down at my opponent’s thumb during a match, but I do have a title to defend next year, and I’ve said too much already. But I will say this: Forget about the thumbnail. You’ll never pin down a good opponent that way. What you want to do is somehow pin your opponent by pushing down on a knuckle of his thumb. It’s much tougher to escape a three-second pin this way. (For a pin to be valid, your opponent should be down for three seconds, though not “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi …” seconds; more like “one-Maine, two-Maine …”). How you get to that knuckle you have to figure out yourself, and I do believe it will be worth your time to do so. If a guy can get a few grand for winning a rock-paper- scissors contest in Canada, you figure that eventually there will be some money in thumb wrestling. And when that happens — dude, I am so there.
TriCoast Entertainment presents Enrico Natale’s mockumentary, ‘WTF: WORLD THUMBWRESTLING FEDERATION’, a hilarious comedy that focuses on the three Brussel sons’ revenge on the man responsible for their father’s death, the villainous Mr. Venom. Papa Brussel was in the ring with Mr. Venom when he had a sudden heart attack. Since Papa Brussel’s death five years ago, the Brussel brothers mission has been to dethrone Mr. Venom, restore their family legacy and revive the sport of thumbwrestling.
The boys are dependent on the great thumb wrestling talents of the youngest Brussel, “The Prodigy”, as their secret weapon. The documentary crew follows him to thumb wrestling’s biggest and most competitive event, the “Thumble Rumble”, the annual tournament to crown the world’s greatest thumb-wrestler.
Will the youngest Brussel. The Prodigy, allow his contempt for the sport as well as his older brother to hinder his ultimate goal of revitalizing the WTF and restoring his father’s legacy? If he is able to defeat the villainous Mr. Venom, it will certainly be no easy task. Find out for yourself today by watching ‘WTF: WORLDWIDE THUMBWRESTLING FEDERATION’ on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2I2bu1F.
‘WTF: WORLDWIDE THUMBWRESTLING FEDERATION’ stars Debra Wilson (‘MADtv’, ‘Avatar’), Eddie Jemison (‘Oceans 11’), Samm Levine (‘Freaks and Geeks’), and featured actor and WWE superstar, John Hennigan.
WTF: WORLDWIDE THUMBWRESTLING FEDERATION (2017, 89 min.) Directed by Enrico Natale. Editor: Matt Pavlo. Cinematographer: Camrin Petramale. Original Music: Anne Kathrin Dern. US, English. MORE Productions, TriCoast Entertainment.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: MORE PRODUCTIONS
About TriCoast Entertainment:
A new home for story-driven American films, TriCoast Entertainment is a full service media company that creates, produces, manages and distributes unique and unusual entertainment. Bringing together filmmakers, distributors, financiers, and technologists, TriCoast Entertainment embraces change by redefining the production and distribution model for indie filmmakers, providing them with low cost tools, financing, and worldwide theatrical and digital distribution, along with market feedback and storytelling opportunities.
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