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My eyes say Yianni D has crazy long arms in proportion to his body.  Do measurements of this kind of thing happen?  Anyone have a sense for ‘normal’ and who has been known to have extra long reach?  Measurements?

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Normal wingspan = height + ~1.5-2 inches. The da Vinci Vitruvian Man illustration that shows a man standing with his arms out with everything in equal proportion isn't true anymore in terms of averages.

In basketball, players with freakish wingspans of like height + 4" or more are highly coveted, which is why you see it tracked as a recruiting and draft metric. I don't think it's measured in wrestling other than maybe for novelty, and I'm not sure it creates an advantage like it does in sports like bball, vball, boxing and maybe tennis. For every Yianni, Ruth, McD and JO (Jordan Oliver seems to have a long wingspan, but maybe it's just his stance) you have a Stieber, Metcalf, Ringer, Zain, Ramos, etc. who don't appear very long-armed.

That being said, an evolutionary biologist from Berkeley ran a wingspan study not too long ago and discovered that having a wingspan > height was a strong predictor of success not only for basketball players, but for MMA fighters also. Over 1000 MMA men & women were included in the study and the research team found a linkage between wingspan and higher win-loss % with greater degrees of success with higher wingspan to height proportions. I'm assuming it's because having a longer reach is an advantage in striking, parrying and defending but not so much the grappling stuff, so I'm still not convinced longer wingspan bestows any sort of edge in wrestling. I guess it's more about knowing how to use it to one's advantage.

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10 hours ago, nom said:

My eyes say Yianni D has crazy long arms in proportion to his body.  Do measurements of this kind of thing happen?  Anyone have a sense for ‘normal’ and who has been known to have extra long reach?  Measurements?

I believe I heard Yianni himself say that his wingspan is about 6', which for someone his size is pretty big.

Watch Darmstadt's matches, and you'll swear his wingspan is about 8'.

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Several years ago, a DI coach told me that his view was that more often than not..."length beats strength." 

He said if all else was equal, he'd recruit the long, lanky guy over the short, "Fire Plug" wrestler. 

He also said that there were plenty of exceptions and that some Fire Plugs could consistently beat opponents of any build.

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I've wondered about this; when they give statistics for a boxing match you'll usually hear height, weight, and reach -- the last definitely important for a boxer.  Seems like it should also be important for a wrestler.  I remember seeing Lehigh's Gordon Wolf wrestle a guy a couple of seasons ago (don't remember who it was now) and I noticed that, although the opponent wasn't all that tall, he sure seemed to have long arms and legs.  Wolfie had problems penetrating the guy's defense as a consequence.

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59 minutes ago, Old Corps said:

Several years ago, a DI coach told me that his view was that more often than not..."length beats strength." 

He said if all else was equal, he'd recruit the long, lanky guy over the short, "Fire Plug" wrestler. 

He also said that there were plenty of exceptions and that some Fire Plugs could consistently beat opponents of any build.

I always felt that Darian Cruz had mastered the technique of wrestling under his opponents.

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3 hours ago, Old Corps said:

Several years ago, a DI coach told me that his view was that more often than not..."length beats strength." 

He said if all else was equal, he'd recruit the long, lanky guy over the short, "Fire Plug" wrestler. 

He also said that there were plenty of exceptions and that some Fire Plugs could consistently beat opponents of any build.

Legendary Oklahoma State Coach Ed Gallagher was also a proponent of  the long, lanky physique:

"In selecting wrestlers for his program, Gallagher also favored a specific type of physique. He sought "lean plainsmen" -- tall, slim, strong men, rather than compact, muscular types who were typical in college wrestling even 80-90 years ago. Ideally, these long, lean wrestlers must have quick reactions, according to the coach's criteria."       - Mark Palmer in an InterMat Rewind article on Ed Gallagher 

https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/3943/Rev-Rewind-Ed-Gallagher?

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Wing span is nice, but they need to be able to use it effectively and appropriately. Without that caveat,  wingspan" is a moot point. All sorts of other attributes might likely supersede wingspan, e.g., reaction time, tenacity, experience, etc. So, zeroing in on wingspan as a defining attribute is premature likely not a defining attribute...while it may pay dividends if someone learns to use it correctly. But in and of itself...not so much.

Edited by npope

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2 hours ago, npope said:

Wing span is nice, but they need to be able to use it effectively and appropriately. Without that caveat,  wingspan" is a moot point. All sorts of other attributes might likely supersede wingspan, e.g., reaction time, tenacity, experience, etc. So, zeroing in on wingspan as a defining attribute is premature likely not a defining attribute...while it may pay dividends if someone learns to use it correctly. But in and of itself...not so much.

I don’t disagree with anything you’ve stated. 

I’m assuming the DI coach was referring to the “long bodies” who had already demonstrated they had the attributes you mentioned, and had learned how to maximize the use of their long limbs. 

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6 hours ago, jdalu75 said:

I always felt that Darian Cruz had mastered the technique of wrestling under his opponents.

Yes, and many others have learned how to compensate for being on the shorter side.

One of the great things about wrestling is that all types of bodies and builds can succeed.

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It's been discussed on another thread -- every physical attribute is an advantage if you know how to exploit it.  John Harmon insisted that Anthony Robles's opponents seemed to be at only a slight disadvantage against him.

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I know of a kid who was 6'3", and whose fingertip to fingertip was 80".   Was a good baseball pitcher.

Having a couple of inches of extra length on your arms helps a lot, I think, especially if some of that is in hand size/finger length, which helps your grip. 

As far as the fireplug issue goes,  I think some of the shorter, stockier guys have an easier time lowering their level to clear the defender's hands on shots.

Its all in how you use it.  I do think that longer arms are a big advantage for the guy on top.   It always appeared to me that Dake had this trait. 

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20 hours ago, nom said:

My eyes say Yianni D has crazy long arms in proportion to his body.  Do measurements of this kind of thing happen?  Anyone have a sense for ‘normal’ and who has been known to have extra long reach?  Measurements?

Yianni was born with that wingspan. On either Twitter or Instagram (I don't remember which), he posted a picture of himself when he was 3 or 4 years old, and his arms were already out of proportion to the rest of his body. I don't have an account with either of these sites (it seems as though they've restricted access to photos sometime in the past year or two), or I'd post the pic.

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