February 05, 2019

Hammer System of Wrestling

The Hammer System of Wrestling has been developed to provide our athletes with a system of progression through the skills of wrestling. Creating this system has always been a goal of ours. It has just taken time, experience, and a great deal organization in order to perfect it. We view our craft as a martial art and feel that creating levels or "shirts" (just like belts) is important and necessary. Within each of the six shirts there are three levels of progression for techniques in the neutral, top, and bottom positions. That means their are essentially 18 steps from beginning (white shirt) to end (black/red shirt).

As you progress through our program and earn your shirts, you will know the exact techniques that you have mastered. As a result, you leave our program with documented proof of the skills and techniques that you have learned. All too often you go to camps/clinics and leave barely remembering what you even learned. With the Hammer Wrestling Level System this will no longer happen. We teach to the system, with the appropriate progressions, and periodically test our athletes on the skills to monitor their progress with shirts/levels. Athletes will be given shirts for their mastery and can feel pride knowing that they earned it with hard work and dedication. Soon you may see our "level" shirts everywhere.

The descriptions of each shirt are below.

Every single wrestler that begins our program will start as a white shirt, regardless of experience or ability. Granted, those with adequate experience and skills may progress through the levels at a faster pace than someone just beginning. Each athlete still has to correctly demonstrate each technique at every level during testing in order to progress to the next shirt. Therefore, even if an athlete believes that they already are a black shirt, they cannot just come in and test out in one day to earn their shirt. Testing days are conducted periodically throughout our training schedule in order to balance instruction with skill and technique monitoring.


  • White represents the very beginning of your learning as a student of the sport of wrestling. Everyone that enters our program begins at this level, regardless of skill or experience. The goal is to create a foundation for all of your future learning. This is where you figure out what you need to know and make a plan for how to get their. The white is a symbol of your clean slate and willingness to learn.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Must wrestle in one competition to graduate from white shirt


  • Yellow represents the opening of your mind to the skills and techniques of our teaching and coaches. You have demonstrated mastery of many of the basics and are ready to further develop your skills in each position (neutral, top, & bottom), as well as learn to apply them in action. Just as it can take time for the sun to rise and melt away snow, this level may also take time for you to get through.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Minimum of two years of training

  • Recommended 20 competitive matches


  • Green represents growth. You should now understand and grasp the basic fundamentals and skills of the various positions in wrestling and how/when to apply them. You can begin to refine these skills as the very basic steps of your journey are complete and you can start working towards more intermediate levels. At this stage you also start developing a more personal approach to your wrestling game as you figure out your own personal strengths, weaknesses, body type, physical capabilities, and personality.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Minimum of four years of training

  • Recommended 75 competitive matches


  • Blue represents growth towards the sky as your skills move to a whole new, almost limitless level. You will take leaps and bounds during this stage as you’re given more difficult techniques and strategies. Now, you have not only mastered the fundamentals and skills but are able to apply them in combinations with smooth transitions and set-ups. Reaching this level creates a recognition and awareness in your drilling and wrestling that really advances your game.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Minimum of six years of training

  • Recommended 150 competitive matches


  • Black represents your transformation from an unknowing and beginning white shirt into a mature and wise black shirt. It is a culmination of all of the time and effort that you have put in on the mats. As a black shirt your developed skills are evident and your techniques are smooth, flawless, and effortless. You also understand the minute details of each technique and why they are effective. At this level you have combinations of techniques in all positions and can transition through them with ease. However, at this point in your journey, you also understand that this end is only the beginning of something new. Now you can truly work to hone your craft while continuing to learn and improve. It is also important for you to share your mastery with others and help them improve.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Minimum of eight years of training

  • Recommended 300 competitive matches


  • Earning red distinction of your black shirt represents your intense dedication and hard work towards the mastery your art. Red often signifies danger and this distinction labels you a “dangerous” adversary for any opponent. At this level you are able to demonstrate the ability to wrestle fluidly in all positions as well as have techniques, instinct, and creativity to score and defend from each of them. This level is more about understanding situations, positions, and strategies and being able to remain calm, maintain focus, and execute consistently without thought or hesitation. You have truly mastered your wrestling game and completely understand your personal strengths, weaknesses, body type, physical capabilities, and personality.

  • Other Requirements:

  • Minimum of ten years of training

**These levels are subject to change at any time, at the discretion of the coaches.