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dclark145

"The Jungle" - Free Feature by Flo

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http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/25 ... The-Jungle

(Wasn't sure if this belonged in college or international - I felt like college best suited the type of conversation I was looking for)

 

(TL;DR - How do we get a culture more like Russia's, where poverty is not an issue when it comes to success in wrestling?)

 

Very interesting, short video on wrestling culture over in Russia. The good part starts at 4:50. Long story short, the concept of 'The Jungle' is that here in the USA, the majority of kids who want to wrestle have a decent facility, good living and training conditions, support, etc. Over there, however, you have 50-100 kids drilling in cycles on two mats so there's enough room, all of them fighting to survive. The notion is that if you skip one practice or take it just a bit too easy, you will NOT be successful.

 

Over here in the USA, I think it's a bit different. Wrestling, for most of us, is a vessel for success. Success is not completely and only your wrestling accolades.

 

Let's take that kid who started early, got 1-on-1 training with an amazing clinician, had parents who took him to camps and tournaments, went to a high school with an amazing program, and ends up relatively successful in college. Now, contrast that with a kid from NYC, Philly, Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, LA, Compton, Houston, etc - the ones that start in HS with struggles that most on this board cannot relate to. We hold these kids to the same standards, and some of them do reach them - State Champ Joe Galasso of Philly is headed to Cornell this semester, Henry Cejudo of LA won the Olympics, State Champ Godwin Nyama went to Pittsburgh - but the reality is, the situation is very, very different.

 

Those kids in Russia with poor conditions are able to succeed because the culture tells them to. It's just like how we have homeless kids getting into Ivy Leagues and scholarships to other great institutions - the emphasis is on academia. Now, I'm not saying everyone across America should drop books and lace up their shoes, but imagine the amount of athletic potential we have untapped in those poor rural and urban settings. For every success story we have, there are 10 kids behind him who wished he had the money to buy a healthy meal instead of fast food, or could go to the gym before school to get strong enough to compete on a high level.

 

My main question is, how do you help out a culture like that? What would it take to make sure we can start turning the misfortune of our inner city kids into successful wrestlers/people?

Football does it.. Baksetball does it.. Track & Field does it.. I'm pretty sure wrestling can, too.

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