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The Evolution of Wrestling

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I know the Turks were doing the gutwrench before the 1970s. I was the post wrestling coach at Ft. Wolters, Texas (now closed), which was the primary helicopter flight school for the US Army, we also had many foreign students. In the orientation for student officers I'd ask if anyone had wrestled in college. One day Rafik Turna raised his hand and said I didn't wrestle in college, but I wrestled for Turkey in the 1960 Olympics in Greco-Roman. So afterwards I told him when and where we practiced. Now all had done was wrestle folkstyle in high school and had never seen a freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling match.

 

Rafik hit me with a Salto the first time I stood up on bottom. I said it was a slam he informed me it wasn't and started teaching me par terre offense and defense. The only turn he used was a gutwrench. At that time you couldn't roll across your shoulders or the referees would score it 2-2. He would drive you forward, hit a high bridge as he rolled you thru. He would get 4 turns taking you around the mat. So I learned it then, but never saw US wresters using the gutwrench until probsbly the early 1980s.

 

The change from the Bad Mark Pool System is why the US wrestlers starting doing the gutwrench. No longer were pins that important, as you just needed to win to advance in the bracket. Prior to that pinning was ultra important to avoid acquiring any bad marks.

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I would love to see some of the old timers reactions to a Bubba J super duck...I feel like that move was created or at least gained popularity within the last 5 years or so. If Bubba or Joey Dance traveled back to the 70's and pulled one I could see people have the reaction like they did in the movie Semi-Pro when the first alley-oop is unveiled. Here is a link to what I am talking about if you aren't familiar.

 

Start watching at the 2:00 mark.

 

 

 

Sometimes what we think of as new is not as new as we think...

 

Here is a superduck from 1990 world team trials:

 

 

here is a funk roll / leg pass from 1991 big 10 finals:

 

http://splicd.com/qf0eKJfTSGA/379/390

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qlayer - That is not a super duck.

 

Surely no one will hold this match up as a shining example of skill and excitement. There wasn't a single level change in this match. By either wrestler.

 

I would be interested in anyone defending the old time wrestlers to explain this video.

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What's to defend? Poor video quality? Lack of color? A wrestler who lost once, in The NCAA final, in OT, by ref decision, as a freshman, to the defending champion? Or his challenger who simply wasn't able to dent Kemp's defense?

 

Kemp wasn't ever a balls out aggressive style guy, but even in low scoring matches he completely dominated. Did Ward come close to scoring? He wasn't my favorite to watch. Too defensive, always felt he could have blown most out - if he was willing to take a little more risk. But how can you criticize the results? He'd have been everyone's first choice if fantasy wrestling had been around.

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It's likely there were more stalling points awarded in that one match than we'll see in five finals this year - perhaps more.

 

Note the neutral start with back foot on ten foot circle. Step back on the whistle was an automatic stall call.

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That is because there was 5X more stalling. What is more interesting is that Kemp was penalized more than Ward. I didn't know what to think of him standing out of harms way with his leg stuck out and arms over his head. I suppose he conceded the match before he wrestled in it.

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qlayer - That is not a super duck.

 

Surely no one will hold this match up as a shining example of skill and excitement. There wasn't a single level change in this match. By either wrestler.

 

I would be interested in anyone defending the old time wrestlers to explain this video.

 

What do you want explained? That match looks like many of the matches that still happen today.

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qlayer - That is not a super duck.

 

Surely no one will hold this match up as a shining example of skill and excitement. There wasn't a single level change in this match. By either wrestler.

 

I would be interested in anyone defending the old time wrestlers to explain this video.

 

What do you want explained? That match looks like many of the matches that still happen today.

 

Agreed. That match was wrestled exactly like a heavyweight match is wrestled today.

I would like the stalling enforcement, or lack thereof, explained. That is why I posted the match. There is some talk about how strict it was back in the day, but this match indicates that stalling was not called as strictly 40 years ago as it is today.

Of course, the ref enforcing stall rules disproportionately against the wrestler with more points spans generations.

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That is because there was 5X more stalling. What is more interesting is that Kemp was penalized more than Ward. I didn't know what to think of him standing out of harms way with his leg stuck out and arms over his head. I suppose he conceded the match before he wrestled in it.

Oh, BS. It was called more. We've had plenty of snooze fests with a late inconsequential warning in current times. They use to recognize that the one with the lead often would/will limit his risk and therefore were willing to call him. Both wrestlers in the Gonzales/Mills final, where 30 points were scored, were warned.

 

Ward was trying to bait a shot and/or draw a stall call by offering a leg. He wasn't quick enough to match him on their feet and needed to stop a shot on the mat to engage in a scramble. (Not sure Kemp ever shot a true deep to the mat shot. Drags, shucks, snapdowns, snatch singles, running doubles, foot sweeps...anything that allowed his quickness to not be neutralized.) Sanders, Schalles, Lewis, Kolat immediately come to mind as names you'd recognize that regularly offered a leg to initiate action.

 

I doubt a finalist for that years championship team would concede before the match, but beyond the ISU team and some relatives you'd find little action placed on him to win.

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Plasmodium,

 

That match was wrestled the same way many middle and lightweight matches are wrestled today. How was this match so much different from Jenkins vs Taylor?

 

And remember that the Kemp match was a finals match. Finals matches are almost always called more conservatively.

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What's to defend? Poor video quality? Lack of color? A wrestler who lost once, in The NCAA final, in OT, by ref decision, as a freshman, to the defending champion? Or his challenger who simply wasn't able to dent Kemp's defense?

 

Kemp wasn't ever a balls out aggressive style guy, but even in low scoring matches he completely dominated. Did Ward come close to scoring? He wasn't my favorite to watch. Too defensive, always felt he could have blown most out - if he was willing to take a little more risk. But how can you criticize the results? He'd have been everyone's first choice if fantasy wrestling had been around.

 

Kemp made Dustin Fox look like an offensive dynamo in this match. Its literally 10 minutes of standing still. Very little stall calls.

 

All I have heard is that Lee Kemp was as offensive, fast, and technical as they come; even moreso than most wrestlers of today. All I have heard is that stalling was called much more frequently in the past which forced wrestlers to be way more active.

 

I am not asking people to defend Kemp's credentials. I already know the guy was a stud in his era. I was asking people to defend the points above based on this video. I am interested in the approach that old timers or those defending the point of little evolution will take.

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What's to defend? Poor video quality? Lack of color? A wrestler who lost once, in The NCAA final, in OT, by ref decision, as a freshman, to the defending champion? Or his challenger who simply wasn't able to dent Kemp's defense?

 

Kemp wasn't ever a balls out aggressive style guy, but even in low scoring matches he completely dominated. Did Ward come close to scoring? He wasn't my favorite to watch. Too defensive, always felt he could have blown most out - if he was willing to take a little more risk. But how can you criticize the results? He'd have been everyone's first choice if fantasy wrestling had been around.

 

Kemp made Dustin Fox look like an offensive dynamo in this match. Its literally 10 minutes of standing still. Very little stall calls.

 

All I have heard is that Lee Kemp was as offensive, fast, and technical as they come; even moreso than most wrestlers of today. All I have heard is that stalling was called much more frequently in the past which forced wrestlers to be way more active.

 

I am not asking people to defend Kemp's credentials. I already know the guy was a stud in his era. I was asking people to defend the points above based on this video. I am interested in the approach that old timers or those defending the point of little evolution will take.

 

Kemp was never really known as an offensive wrestler. The criticism of Kemp was that he seemingly had so much offensive potential, but never used it.

 

Olddirty, how does the Kemp video provide evidence that wrestling has evolved so much today? Maybe you're seeing something diffently than I am, because it seems to me that matches like that ncaa final still happen.

 

Don't forget that it's not uncommon for finals matches to be called more conservatively. Refs try to get out of the way and leave the outcome in the wrestlers' hands.

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Old dirty:

 

"Kemp made Dustin Fox look like an offensive dynamo in this match. Its literally 10 minutes of standing still. Very little stall calls."

 

BS. When did Fox score 9 and get at least 3 stall calls against him? Warnings to both early followed by actual points?

 

"All I have heard is that Lee Kemp was as offensive, fast, and technical as they come; even moreso than most wrestlers of today. All I have heard is that stalling was called much more frequently in the past which forced wrestlers to be way more active."

 

I'd never call him aggressively offensive. But he did advance, initiate contact, defend the center, etc. he was extremely fast and technical. I wouldn't have minded seeing him called even more because I don't think he really reached his max ability offensively. He was Dake like, but scored more often. (And was stall warned much more often)

 

Again, watch Mills/Gonzalez and tell me stall warnings would come today somewhere during the over 30 points being scored.

I'm not saying stalling was called enough 40 years ago. It wasn't. But we've trended to fewer and fewer in spite of that. A smaller problem has become a bigger one. Having the ref influence the activity through stall calls is not the ref causing the outcome. The wrestlers do that through their action, or inaction. That realization has been lost on many.

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Superold and ccrider are correct that Kemp was never really known as an offensive wrestler, olddirty. While he's one of the greatest we've ever had, his lack of "opening up" was mentioned in virtually any discussion about Lee. As an example, below is a 1977 Sports illustrated article about Kemp (when he was a junior), titled "The Suppression of His Aggression."

 

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1092088/index.htm

 

A little over five years later, Sports Illustrated published another article about the 1982 world freestyle championships, where Lee was our only gold medalist. It was his third world title, a feat

that no other American had accomplished before. Here's an excerpt from that article:

 

He's already the most deliberate, cautious wrestler around. In the three matches preceding the final, Kemp had won by scores of 2-1, 1-0 and 3-2. Schultz was sitting with friends in the stands as the bout began. "Kemp's gonna blow this guy out—2-or 3-0 at least," he told them. He wasn't kidding. Kemp and Karabin stayed on their feet virtually the entire six minutes, each playing defense. Kemp's attack consisted of six or eight tries at single-leg tackles. He scored on three of them and won 3-0. Even the Iranians almost fell asleep.

 

"That's just how I am," said Kemp, who celebrated his victory by just sort of standing there. "Even outside wrestling I've always envied people who are real outgoing, people who can get all fired up. But that's just not me."

.

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wouldn't you want wrestlers from 30+ years ago to "look bad" when compared to wrestlers of today? it means the sport is progressing. likewise, i hope that in the year 2044, people look back at the Dake Taylor final and point out how primitive their wrestling is.

I don't, as I think that's disrespectful to the sport as well as the wrestlers of past eras. Rather, I'd like people to look back, appreciate how great the past champions were, and say "imagine what they would accomplish today given the advances in training, nutrition and technique."

 

In my opinion, people are fully capable of recognizing that sports are progressing, without disparaging athletes from other eras who didn't have the same advantages as today's sportsmen.

.

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I don't, as I think that's disrespectful to the sport as well as the wrestlers of past eras. Rather, I'd like people to look back, appreciate how great the past champions were, and say "imagine what they would accomplish today given the advances in training, nutrition and technique."

 

In my opinion, people are fully capable of recognizing that sports are progressing, without disparaging athletes from other eras who didn't have the same advantages as today's sportsmen.

.

 

not trying to be disrespect or disparage anyone. i also like to appreciate the athletes of the past and wonder how they would do today with the same advancements that benefit current athletes.

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wouldn't you want wrestlers from 30+ years ago to "look bad" when compared to wrestlers of today? it means the sport is progressing. likewise, i hope that in the year 2044, people look back at the Dake Taylor final and point out how primitive their wrestling is.

No. I don't subscribe to the inevitability of progress/improvement. Technology may evolve quickly, but humans do so slowly. Grainy black and white 8mm film does not mean your grand parents were primitative, slow, and uncoordinated in real life. The rules, and thus the sport evolves/changes. But the sport is contested by humans reasonably matched by weight. Only during the introductory period of a sport would you expect dramatic improvement as the advantages and disadvantages of strategies (or physical attributes) are learned. But what is wrestling? The oldest and greatest sport.

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No problem, I wasn't calling you out as much as making a general point. That said, I do believe some are rather dismissive of guys from earlier eras. My view is that progression in the sport is only possible because of the foundation and contributions of earlier practitioners. We stand on the shoulders of giants, so we should show them proper respect. Anyway, thanks for clarifying your position.

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I don't, as I think that's disrespectful to the sport as well as the wrestlers of past eras. Rather, I'd like people to look back, appreciate how great the past champions were, and say "imagine what they would accomplish today given the advances in training, nutrition and technique."

 

In my opinion, people are fully capable of recognizing that sports are progressing, without disparaging athletes from other eras who didn't have the same advantages as today's sportsmen.

.

 

not trying to be disrespect or disparage anyone. i also like to appreciate the athletes of the past and wonder how they would do today with the same advancements that benefit current athletes.

No problem, I wasn't calling you out as much as making a general point. That said, I do believe some are rather dismissive of guys from earlier eras. My view is that progression in the sport is only possible because of the foundation and contributions of earlier practitioners. We stand on the shoulders of giants, so we should show them proper respect. Anyway, thanks for clarifying your position.

.

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Here's a match, ironically also involving Ward...20 total points scored and yet 4 stall calls, including one 7 seconds into the match, as discussed earlier in the thread.

Yup. He's called for leaving the circle voluntarily. That was the rule, a stall call applied like a technical violation (briefly locking hands while down even if it has no effect on the wrestling gets called if seen).

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