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JohnnyThompsonnum1

Strongest wrestlers

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Funny how some people think that pissing people off is a some how a compliment to them selves.

 

Funny how differing opinions piss people off.

 

You are the one that stated that is your style to piss people off IMO that is not a very productive style. By the way I am not pissed off at you I just find you ignorant in your opinion on strength applied to wrestling.

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The old vs new question is impossible to answer. Like everything in life, there probably IS no answer. Sometimes people are stronger now, sometimes, in other ways they used to be much much stronger. We are spoiled these days in many, many ways for sure, Yet we know more.

 

 

Anyway I cannot believe no one has mentioned Doug Blubaugh, who won gold for the USA in the 50s by pinning Habibi, from Iran...Habibis only loss ever known. And in the picture of the pin, Blubaugh looks like a monster by any standards of time.

 

At the age of 60 plus and in somewhat poor overall health, though strong as a Bull, he would ask the stongest man from the team to try to pin him. The guy from our team, was very very strong and was literally catapulted off of Doug. Like 6 feet in the air, backwards. He was very very much like Hodge, but way surpassed Danny's international feats. Just a damn beast.

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End result: Strength can be measured in a variety of different ways.

 

 

Exactly.

 

As a guy that really doesn't know what he's doing, but enjoys doing it anyway, I spend a lot of time in the weight room. When I was living in Iowa City, I developed quite a few friendships with different people while at the gym. It was always fun to try and have little strength contest to see who was stronger.

 

I had guys that could bar curl and V-shaper a lot more weight than I could, but I could out bench press and out military press them. So there isn't really just saying, "he's stronger" or "I'm stronger" as it really depends on how you are looking at it, and that is just lifting. In wrestling it's very similar as well. Some guys have no grip strength, yet they can turn about anyone with a power half nelson.

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In 1983 I was wrestling in an open tournament in California and Doug Blubaugh wrestled in the tournament. I had no clue who this old dude was that was basically crushing everyone in the tournament. It was not like these guys were fish either. These guys were solid college wrestlers and he pinned everyone. He had to be in his 50s then. Before the tournament started I was warming up on the mat and this old guy is drilling and shooting the breeze with a couple of guys and I’m thinking he’s just a coach or something. Then the tournament starts and I see him getting ready to go out on the mat with a college guy that I knew to be pretty damn good. I say to my coach this old guy is going to get killed. My coach just looks at me and says it won’t even be close. I thought he was talking about the college kid beating the old guy. I was very much mistaken. After the match my coach explained to me who he was.

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I did mention Doug Blubaugh, I got to know him fairly well after I moved back to Oklahoma. The first time I really got to experience him was at lunch before Tommy Evans memorial service. I'd flown back from Phoenix to attend the service. The power half came up. Doug was setting at the head of the table, and I was next to him. He got up and shows how he did the powerhalf. He'd trap your forearm and bicep with one arm encircling them, the lockup the power half with his other arm. I was able to say that is the way I've been teaching it for 35 years, because Port Robertson taught to me. Doug had been on the 1960 Olympic team Port coached.

 

Doug ran the family farm, wrestled for OSU, and went to school full time. He told me he had a miserable college experience. I can understand why.

 

When I met Rafik Turna who had wrestled for Turkey in the 1960 Olympics, I asked which American impressed him the most. He said without hesitation Blubaugh. At that time I didn't know about his pinning Habbibi.

 

Doug walked the length of the football field at OSU everyday after practice ON HIS HANDS! Then he went home to work on the farm, study, eat, fall asleep. He didn't cut any weight. He said he weighed 157 when he wrestled Habibbi.

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Funny how some people think that pissing people off is a some how a compliment to them selves.

 

Funny how differing opinions piss people off.

 

You are the one that stated that is your style to piss people off IMO that is not a very productive style. By the way I am not pissed off at you I just find you ignorant in your opinion on strength applied to wrestling.

 

What specifically do you find ignorant in my knowledge and experience of strength and how it applies to wrestling?

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You are the one that stated that is your style to piss people off IMO that is not a very productive style. By the way I am not pissed off at you I just find you ignorant in your opinion on strength applied to wrestling.

 

Always, dirty is challenging people to critically think and find support for some of the old myths they've grown up with around wrestling. In my view he uses logical and persuasive reasoning despite you not liking his style. And the truth be known, I agree with him.

 

One thing I've admired about this sport is wrestlers have the balls to come out front and say, "I don't agree with you." Its just wrestlers should have thick skins and when presented with evidence that just might conflict with their perceptions, you look deeper and reevaluate them. Olddirty is okay by my book.

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Agreed. Olddirty is adding to the discussion (specifically some accountability), not detracting from it. Beyond the mythical adulation of Hodge's strength that perhaps unjustifiably cannot be challenged in wrestling circles, I do think he very much belongs in the conversation of strongest wrestlers if only for historical reasons. It's certainly not the case that he could have lifted as much weight as the strongest wrestlers of that equivalent weight class today. However, the accounts of him wreaking such intense pain on his opponents (marks on their skin, etc) may be exaggerated, but it should not IMO be dismissed outright. He is worthy of his legendary status as an insanely strong wrestler for his grip, and maybe only that. Maybe I'm too much of an optimist and it's Paul Bunyan at this point, but Hodge left an indelible mark on the sport with his overpowering strength. A welterweight Sugar Ray Robinson, if he were transported suddenly to 2013, would probably lose in a boxing match to Floyd Mayweather given technical and training developments - but Sugar Ray is still the greatest pound for pound boxer. Just depends how we're framing the discussion, to each his own.

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You are the one that stated that is your style to piss people off IMO that is not a very productive style. By the way I am not pissed off at you I just find you ignorant in your opinion on strength applied to wrestling.

 

Always, dirty is challenging people to critically think and find support for some of the old myths they've grown up with around wrestling. In my view he uses logical and persuasive reasoning despite you not liking his style. And the truth be known, I agree with him.

 

One thing I've admired about this sport is wrestlers have the balls to come out front and say, "I don't agree with you." Its just wrestlers should have thick skins and when presented with evidence that just might conflict with their perceptions, you look deeper and reevaluate them. Olddirty is okay by my book.

 

The BS meter is off the charts.

 

No, pissing people off on purpose is not an acceptable style.

No, pissing people off isn't a good way to challenge people to think critically.

No, pissing people off isn't a good way to review wrestling legends/myths

 

We're all on the same team (so to speak) - so working creatively and constructively is a much better choice than pissing people off.

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I dont buy this bullcrap that Hodge was the strongest wrestler of all time. Its a myth that gets perpetuated, based on no evidence other than him squeezing pieces of fruit. The guy didnt even lift weights. The same people who think Hodge was the strongest wrestler also think Babe Ruth was the best home run hitter and Rocky Marciano was the hardest puncher. The fact is, Hodge would be outgunned by JC guys in todays era.

 

Here's the original offending post ^^

 

Hodge wasn't merely a guy who was "squeezing pieces of fruit" .. or would even possibly "be outgunned by JC guys.

 

It's offensive, rude, and disrespectful.

 

They don't name trophies after any old fruit-squeezer, they are reserved for amazing wrestlers - and in this case, he obviously fits the description. Forget for a moment about his hand strength and look at his wrestling resume... then consider the people he's wrestled (you don't know any? - no problem, because people are helping you by posting their recollections here.) Put it all together, and consider your sources (Big Apple, Denny, you guys are the best), and come to your senses.

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It's offensive, rude, and disrespectful.

That's subjective.

 

I do think that saying he'd get outgunned by JC guys is an exaggeration, even if olddirty believes it. It's almost impossible to compare such disparate eras but I imagine (which is all we can really do) that Hodge would hammer today's JC guys on the mat even if today's major technical advances evened out the competition in neutral. The developments from the 50s to the late 70s and early 80s were probably more significant than from 80s to today - but consider random example of Lee Kemp going even with Askren and others in practice after being out of the sport for almost two decades. The best of the old timers were such phenomenal competitors that their confidence and intimidation of opponents alone at least puts them in the conversation.

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I dont buy this bullcrap that Hodge was the strongest wrestler of all time. Its a myth that gets perpetuated, based on no evidence other than him squeezing pieces of fruit. The guy didnt even lift weights. The same people who think Hodge was the strongest wrestler also think Babe Ruth was the best home run hitter and Rocky Marciano was the hardest puncher. The fact is, Hodge would be outgunned by JC guys in todays era.

 

Here's the original offending post ^^

 

Hodge wasn't merely a guy who was "squeezing pieces of fruit" .. or would even possibly "be outgunned by JC guys.

 

It's offensive, rude, and disrespectful.

 

They don't name trophies after any old fruit-squeezer, they are reserved for amazing wrestlers - and in this case, he obviously fits the description. Forget for a moment about his hand strength and look at his wrestling resume... then consider the people he's wrestled (you don't know any? - no problem, because people are helping you by posting their recollections here.) Put it all together, and consider your sources (Big Apple, Denny, you guys are the best), and come to your senses.

 

All we have for quantifiable evidence of his strength is him squeezing apples. How is me bringing that up rude?

 

I believe modern day wrestlers at the JC level would out muscle him due to Hodge not doing any progressive strength training, and almost every single JC college wrestler having access to resistance training programs, modern science, advanced equipment, and certified strength coaches. How is that offensive?

 

I never said he didnt have above average results against wrestlers of his time. Could you address the above opinions with how you believe those facts correlate to Hodge being the strongest of all time?

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OldDirty, have you ever seen or heard of anyone besides Hodge crushing an apple with one hand. Have you ever seen someone push the head up and the chest down using their arms? I don't care about how much strength training todays wrestlers have, the simple fact is Dan Hodge did things on the mat no one else in the modern era has.

 

Kariline is the only guy i've seen who could pickup up a 285 pounder from flat on the mat lift him and throw him over his shoulder like a sack of flower. Rulon Gardner told me Kareline did this to him about 5 times earlier in his career. When Kareline lost to Gardner he wasn't the powerhouse he'd been the 3 previous Olympics.

 

Today's wrestlers in college do lack one thing that Hodge and others of his era had. The ability to work on top for 3 straight minutes without the referee calling a stalemate even though the bottom man can't come close to getting off bottom. Also in those days you had to chose down in one period. So with the old rules you could wear down the opponent without him getting a fresh start. Also it wasn't potentially dangerous if the opponent could turn to his back.

 

Go to the NWHOF look at the two half circle wooden blocks separated by coil springs, then at the picture of Hodge closing them with his arms. Find a current wrestler of the same size today who can do that and I'll conceed today's wrestlers are stronger than Hodge was. Until then i can't be convinced any of them are. You have to remember at 80 he can still crush the apple with one hand.

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Hodge- certainly mega-strong...would have liked to have seen him match up with Ludwig Banach or Greg Gibson in freestyle ( speaking of strong). Not sure that Mr. Hodge could have stopped Sgt. Gibson's gut wrench, for example, nor Mr. Banach's bear hug. Just sayin..

 

Lots of ways to exhibit strength- some -for example- are born with un-huge hands and crappy grip, but made up for it in other areas.

 

Some guys have gas tanks that just don't quit...that's a different sort of strength you know. Others have such torque in their upper body that you don't dare go there. And still others will ride the devil out of you with their legs in, and it seems you'll never get out.

 

Strength is a pound for pound thing anyway, and should be measured as walking around-summer weight, not sucked down as in the old days.

 

Donnie Pritzlaff, for example, worked at our company one summer, and unearthed this deeply sunk-in concrete piling that was holding a fence post. Most of us would have gotten heavy machinery to help out, but not Donnie....he worked that thing until he got it. Amazing.

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^^Doug Blubaugh was incredibly strong. I used to see him wrestle folkstyle at the Wilkes Open, which used to be an incredible event. The college guys obviously could not go with him.

 

Anyway, there were two freshman non-starters entered at the Wilkes back in the 1950's waiting to weigh-in. This very muscular guy (Doug Blubaugh) comes in to weight-in, and had on his very thick glasses. The one frosh said to the other, "I hope I get to wrestle that goofie looking guy early round." Unfortunately he got his wish.

 

About ten years after Doug won the Gold Medal in 1960, at a wrestling clinic, some one asked the superbly conditioned Blubaugh how he had kept his weight down so well. Doug replied something like, "Spend 8 hours a day in a jock strap."

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Agreed. Olddirty is adding to the discussion (specifically some accountability), not detracting from it. Beyond the mythical adulation of Hodge's strength that perhaps unjustifiably cannot be challenged in wrestling circles, I do think he very much belongs in the conversation of strongest wrestlers if only for historical reasons. It's certainly not the case that he could have lifted as much weight as the strongest wrestlers of that equivalent weight class today. However, the accounts of him wreaking such intense pain on his opponents (marks on their skin, etc) may be exaggerated, but it should not IMO be dismissed outright. He is worthy of his legendary status as an insanely strong wrestler for his grip, and maybe only that. Maybe I'm too much of an optimist and it's Paul Bunyan at this point, but Hodge left an indelible mark on the sport with his overpowering strength. A welterweight Sugar Ray Robinson, if he were transported suddenly to 2013, would probably lose in a boxing match to Floyd Mayweather given technical and training developments - but Sugar Ray is still the greatest pound for pound boxer. Just depends how we're framing the discussion, to each his own.

 

Ray Robinson, in my opinion, is on the VERY short list of greatest athletes ever. I know many (most) sports have objectively improved over time, but boxing isn't one of them. It's agreed upon by most boxing experts that boxing technique has declined over the years, not improved. If you're young, it's hard to realize how popular boxing truly was back in the day. You had way more competition and way better athletes back then. Certain training techniques have improved, but imo, not to the point where it would make a huge difference. Many of the training methods Mayweather and the modern generation do now was done back in the 50s/60s and even earlier.

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I dont buy this bullcrap that Hodge was the strongest wrestler of all time. Its a myth that gets perpetuated, based on no evidence other than him squeezing pieces of fruit. The guy didnt even lift weights. The same people who think Hodge was the strongest wrestler also think Babe Ruth was the best home run hitter and Rocky Marciano was the hardest puncher. The fact is, Hodge would be outgunned by JC guys in todays era.

 

Here's the original offending post ^^

 

Hodge wasn't merely a guy who was "squeezing pieces of fruit" .. or would even possibly "be outgunned by JC guys.

 

It's offensive, rude, and disrespectful.

 

They don't name trophies after any old fruit-squeezer, they are reserved for amazing wrestlers - and in this case, he obviously fits the description. Forget for a moment about his hand strength and look at his wrestling resume... then consider the people he's wrestled (you don't know any? - no problem, because people are helping you by posting their recollections here.) Put it all together, and consider your sources (Big Apple, Denny, you guys are the best), and come to your senses.

 

All we have for quantifiable evidence of his strength is him squeezing apples. How is me bringing that up rude?

 

I believe modern day wrestlers at the JC level would out muscle him due to Hodge not doing any progressive strength training, and almost every single JC college wrestler having access to resistance training programs, modern science, advanced equipment, and certified strength coaches. How is that offensive?

 

I never said he didnt have above average results against wrestlers of his time. Could you address the above opinions with how you believe those facts correlate to Hodge being the strongest of all time?

 

There's no way Hodge would be "outgunned" or out muscled by today's JC wrestlers. Hodge was naturally very strong, even without advanced weight training I believe he would be ahead of most, if not all, JC wrestlers today. You have a point about all the modern developments in training, but not every kid makes the best of those oppurtunities. Actually, I would say most don't make the best of the great oppurtunities they have today. Even if some do, that doesn't necessarily mean they were stronger. I'm guessing everyone has come across a guy at some point or another, who wasn't the biggest lifter, with the best training methods, who somehow managed to have freakish strength. Strrength far greater than the average person who weight trained consistently. Hodge was that guy.

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Badgermon, I saw Ed Banach as a redshirt freshman bearhug Dave severn, who was a senior and ranked No. 1 by AWN. Ed won 10-0 and I said he'll win 3 or 4 national titles.

 

Port Robertson told me about Hodge's bearhug. Port was a bear of a man 6' and a solid 220-230, he was in his mid 40s when he coached Hodge. Port had a farm that he was still working on when he hired me in 1971, so I know he kept his strength up, as I can attest first hand.

 

Port said one day Danny got him in a bearhug. Port said he told Danny you are hurting me. Hodge thought he was kidding, so he squeezed a little harder. Port said he could feel his ribs starting to cave in, couldn't breath, and couldn't talk. He said at that point he doubled up both fists and hit Danny on both sides of the head to get him to let go. Port said that was the last time he wrestled with Hodge.

 

Wayne Baughman a wrestler of some note who was considered quite strong, said that Hodge turned him countless times, when Wayne was in his prime.

 

Port was around 60 in 1972. I was the main workout partner for Bill Struve, a 6' 250 pound hwt. who tied Chris Taylor. Struve would break me down (I weighed about 190 at that time) and try to turn me with a half nelson. He never came close to getting me into a nearfall position. One day Port walked into the wrestling room, and saw Struve not being able to turn me. He told him to get off, he gets on and puts the point of an elbow on the side of my neck nearest him. locks his hands and is elbow to elbow, then he hit the move. I couldn't turn over quick enough! I said what was that, he said a bar nelson. I said I got shot and it didn't hurt as bad as that. Can I see that on someone else please. So he demonstrated on Struve. I've turned a lot of big strong high school kids easily, who said I couldn't turn them. When the bar nelson gets put on you and all the weight goes on the point of the elbow, and your elbow gets jerked upwards, you go over.

 

Hodge would probably have injured a shoulder trying to stop Greg Gibson's gutwrench. Banach would never have locked up a bearhug, because Hodge would have gotten hold of him before the lock.

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I think the only way you can compare people from era to era is by the difference between the other people of that era. What I mean is, how was Hodge compared to others during his time in terms of strength as a wrestler? The wrestler's of his time had the same access and knowledge as Hodge did and clearly he was stronger than most if not all. Same holds true to today's athletes. But you can't compare different era's cause things are not equal. To say that Hodge would get manhandled by some JC wrestlers if Hodge was in his prime at the same time as the JC wrestlers is completely ignorant and completely false.

 

OD I could care less you have a masters in anything, you are an ignorant you know what. How about this....people that have masters are quitters....cause to get your PhD it is the same course work as a masters program, but to get your PhD you have to prove you can think and apply the knowledge....which apparently you were unable to do, or choose not to...and based on your posts and attitude, one can only assume it was because you know you couldn't.

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Warren,

 

I did say Ludwig Banach, not Ed, but you are right...I should have compared him to Ed since they were both at 177 for a good part of their NCAA careers. However, it seems that Hodge leveled out to Ludwig (Lou) 's freestyle weight class later, and Lou just may have hugged Hodge over. I still can't say ever that Eddie could not have, thought I've never seen Hodge compete. I'm sure he was dominant to say the least.

 

All strong men, for sure, BUT....

 

 

Jack Cuvo is a three time PIAA Wrestling State Champion from Easton High School, a two time National Champion while at East Stroudsburg in Division 1 in the NCAA'S, Pan American gold medalist. alternate to the US Olympic Team in 1988, 1987member of the World Team, 1st high school athlete to earn 3 sport All American in HS, (Wrestling Cross Country and Track) and 2 sport College All American (Wrestling and Cross Country).

 

Now THAT'S STRONG!

 

I should also mention that Russ Hellickson, who dominated the 220s in the USA for the better part of the 70s, told me when asked about Curley Culp, that he wouldn't have stood a chance against Curley.

 

Badgermon, I saw Ed Banach as a redshirt freshman bearhug Dave severn, who was a senior and ranked No. 1 by AWN. Ed won 10-0 and I said he'll win 3 or 4 national titles.

 

Port Robertson told me about Hodge's bearhug. Port was a bear of a man 6' and a solid 220-230, he was in his mid 40s when he coached Hodge. Port had a farm that he was still working on when he hired me in 1971, so I know he kept his strength up, as I can attest first hand.

 

Port said one day Danny got him in a bearhug. Port said he told Danny you are hurting me. Hodge thought he was kidding, so he squeezed a little harder. Port said he could feel his ribs starting to cave in, couldn't breath, and couldn't talk. He said at that point he doubled up both fists and hit Danny on both sides of the head to get him to let go. Port said that was the last time he wrestled with Hodge.

 

Wayne Baughman a wrestler of some note who was considered quite strong, said that Hodge turned him countless times, when Wayne was in his prime.

 

Port was around 60 in 1972. I was the main workout partner for Bill Struve, a 6' 250 pound hwt. who tied Chris Taylor. Struve would break me down (I weighed about 190 at that time) and try to turn me with a half nelson. He never came close to getting me into a nearfall position. One day Port walked into the wrestling room, and saw Struve not being able to turn me. He told him to get off, he gets on and puts the point of an elbow on the side of my neck nearest him. locks his hands and is elbow to elbow, then he hit the move. I couldn't turn over quick enough! I said what was that, he said a bar nelson. I said I got shot and it didn't hurt as bad as that. Can I see that on someone else please. So he demonstrated on Struve. I've turned a lot of big strong high school kids easily, who said I couldn't turn them. When the bar nelson gets put on you and all the weight goes on the point of the elbow, and your elbow gets jerked upwards, you go over.

 

Hodge would probably have injured a shoulder trying to stop Greg Gibson's gutwrench. Banach would never have locked up a bearhug, because Hodge would have gotten hold of him before the lock.

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