Κἀγὼ ἐπειδὴ ῥᾳδίως πάντα ὑπήκουσα καὶ εἰς τέλος ἡμῖν ἔληξε τὰ παλαίσματα, λέγω πρὸς τὴν Παλαίστραν ἅμα ἐπιγελάσας, “ὦ διδάσκαλε, ὁρᾷς μὲν ὅπως εὐχερῶς καὶ εὐηκόως πεπάλαισταί μοι, σκόπει δέ, μὴ οὐκ ἐν κόσμῳ τὰ παλαίσματα ὑποβάλλῃς· ἄλλα γὰρ ἐξ ἄλλων ἐπιτάττεις.” ἡ δὲ ἐπὶ κόρρης πλήξασά με, “ὡς φλύαρον” ἔφη “παρέλαβον τὸν μαθητήν. σκόπει οὖν μὴ πληγὰς ἔτι πλείους λάβῃς ἄλλα καὶ οὐ τὰ ἐπιταττόμενα παλαίων.” καὶ ταῦτα εἰποῦσα ἐπανίσταται καὶ θεραπεύσασα ἑαυτήν, “νῦν” ἔφη “δείξεις εἴπερ νέος εἶ καὶ εὔτονος παλαιστὴς καὶ εἰ ἐπίστασαι παλαίειν καὶ ποιεῖν τὰ ἀπὸ γονατίου.” καὶ πεσοῦσα ἐπὶ τοῦ λέχους ἐς γόνυ, “ἄγε δὴ σὺ ὁ παλαιστής, ἔχεις τὰ μέσα, ὥστε τινάξας ὀξεῖαν ἐπίπρωσον καὶ βάθυνον. ψιλὸν ὁρᾷς αὐτοῦ παρακείμενον, τούτῳ χρῆσαι· πρῶτον δὲ κατὰ λόγον, ὡς ἅμμα σφίγγε, εἶτα ἀνακλάσας ἔμβαλλε καὶ σύνεχε καὶ μὴ δίδου διάστημα. ἐὰν δὲ χαλᾶται, θᾶττον ἐπάρας ἀνώτερον μετάθες καὶ κρούσας κῦψον καὶ σκόπει ὅπως μὴ ἀνασπάσῃς θᾶττον ἢ κελευσθῇς, ἀλλὰ δὴ κυρτώσας πολὺ αὐτὸν ὕφελκε, καὶ ὑποβαλὼν κάτω αὖθις τὴν παρεμβολὴν σύνεχε καὶ κινοῦ, εἶτα ἄφες αὐτόν· πέπτωκε γὰρ καὶ λέλυται καὶ ὕδωρ ὅλος ἔστι σοι ὁ ἀνταγωνιστής.” ἐγὼ δὲ ἤδη μέγα ἀναγελῶν, “ἐθέλω” ἔφην “καὶ αὐτός, ὦ διδάσκαλε, παλαίσματα ὀλίγ’ ἄττα ἐπιτάξαι, σὺ δὲ ὑπάκουσον ἐπαναστᾶσα καὶ κάθισον, εἶτα δοῦσα κατὰ χειρὸς πάραψαι τὸ λοιπὸν καὶ καταμάττου, καί με πρὸς τοῦ Ἡρακλέους περιλαβοῦσα ἤδη κοίμισον.” ἐν τοιαύταις ἡδοναῖς καὶ παιδιαῖς παλαισμάτων ἀγωνιζόμενοι νυκτερινοὺς ἀγῶνας ἐστεφανούμεθα.
(Lucian, Loukios ē Onos 10-11)
When I for my part had obeyed every order with ease and our wrestling had come to an end, I said to Palaestra with a laugh, “You can see, teacher, how readily and obediently I have done my wrestling, but take care that you aren’t getting out of order in suggesting holds. For you ask for one after another.” But she slapped my face and said, “What a chatter-box I have for my pupil! Take care that you don’t get some more slaps for using different holds from the ones I ask for.” So saying, she rose from the bed, and, after freshening up, said “Now you will show whether you’re a youthful and vigorous wrestler, and can wrestle and go into action on your knees.” Then she dropped on to one knee on the bed and said “Come now. Sir Wrestler, here you have the centre of operations. Brandish your weapon, push forward for a sharp thrust and plunge it in deep. You see it lying unfolded there; make the most of it. First, of course, you must go into a clinch with me, and then you must bend me back, attacking and gripping me tight, allowing no gap between us. If you start slacking off, you must be faster in mounting each offensive and must move to a higher point of vantage. You must put your head down and strike, and see that you don’t retire quicker than you’re told to; you must arch your battle-line into a wide curve, before making a gradual withdrawal. Then you must push down again in a controlled infiltration and keep on the move. Only then may you withdraw your spearhead from the field. For it’s now limp and lifeless, and your opponent is drenched.” I was now laughing heartily and said, “I wish to prescribe a few holds of my own, teacher, and you must get up and obey me. Now sit down. Next give me water to wash my hands, apply the rest of the ointment and wipe yourself clean. And now, by Heracles, hold me tight and lull me to sleep.” Such were our pleasant, frolicsome wrestling-bouts as we competed in nightly combat and covered ourselves with laurels. (tr. Matthew D. Macleod)