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Crash course in amateur wrestling

takeAnap

Posted 10:50 pm, 03/23/2009

Gygax

Brent Metcalf got beat pretty good by Darrion Caldwell of NC State. Darrion wrestled the best way against a kid as aggressive as Metcalf is - he went for broke and was ultra aggressive as well. He got the early takedowns, heck he even almost headlocked Metcalf to his back in the first period, a purely high school level move. He really beat Metcalf at his own game.

The last time Metcalf lost? November of 2007, when Caldwell pinned him! Metcalf's career record will end at 72-2 with both losses to Caldwell. Metcalf tech falled (more embarrassing than being pinned IMO) Caldwell this past November, 19-3.

The last NCAA wrestling champion from NC State? Sylvester Terkay of K-1 HERO's infamy.



Great write up bro! I had no idea you were so involved in wrestling! I wrestled from age 5 all the way through HS.

I too was very suprised to see Caldwell beat Metcalf again. Caldwell looked very solid, and Metcalf seemed to keep getting more and more frustrated as tme match went along.

opsy

Posted 1:36 pm, 03/23/2009

I'm sure with China's new year round Olympic training centers opening, they will make a huge showing in London.

Thanks again for bringing the info.

Gygax

Posted 12:46 pm, 03/23/2009

opsyyyyyyy

Also something I was wondering, as far as I have seen our wrestling program has not had very much international success, especially at the Olympics. Is this because people choose not to continue past college, or is the sport bigger in other countries? If I recall correctly it was smaller countries from the former Soviet Union who I saw a lot of in the Olympics.



We've had a decent amount of success, though maybe not quite as much as many of the former Soviet territories, Cuba, and China. In some of these countries, the very best athletes are pushed into wrestling, whereas there is a plethora of sports to choose from in the more westernized countries.

But it has a lot more to due with styles. Like I said, we in the US wrestled almost solely folkstyle until the end of college. Sure, there are plenty of kids wrestling freestyle and greco in the summer/off season, but far from the intensity that the kids wrestling in other countries are working on their free/greco yearround. Thus while there are similarities between the styles, especially folk and free, they are far from identical especially with folk's emphasis on mat wrestling. Many of our very best folkstyle guys are not exposed heavily to free/greco until after they leave college.

MCx2

Posted 12:26 pm, 03/23/2009

Wow, awesome thread!! Thanks a ton for this one Gygax!

Gygax

Posted 12:16 pm, 03/23/2009

Brent Metcalf got beat pretty good by Darrion Caldwell of NC State. Darrion wrestled the best way against a kid as aggressive as Metcalf is - he went for broke and was ultra aggressive as well. He got the early takedowns, heck he even almost headlocked Metcalf to his back in the first period, a purely high school level move. He really beat Metcalf at his own game.

The last time Metcalf lost? November of 2007, when Caldwell pinned him! Metcalf's career record will end at 72-2 with both losses to Caldwell. Metcalf tech falled (more embarrassing than being pinned IMO) Caldwell this past November, 19-3.

The last NCAA wrestling champion from NC State? Sylvester Terkay of K-1 HERO's infamy.

basslogic4003

Posted 12:26 am, 03/22/2009

opsyyyyyyy

Huge upset it was. But I just missed it. Anyone see?



What was the outcome?

CounterPuncher

Posted 6:17 pm, 03/21/2009

opsyyyyyyy

Huge upset it was. But I just missed it. Anyone see?



Damn, I forgot to watch it too.

opsy

Posted 5:45 pm, 03/21/2009

Huge upset it was. But I just missed it. Anyone see?

basslogic4003

Posted 4:25 pm, 03/21/2009

Gygax

I was very underwhelmed by last night's NCAA semi-finals. Way too many guys going the conservative route trying not to lose rather than to win. There are going to be some very boring finals matches tonight, especially 165 and 174.

But on a high note, if you get a chance, watch Brent Metcalf of Iowa at 149 or Jake Herbert of Northwestern at 184. Both are super aggressive, go for broke, and have endless engines. It would be a huge upset if either got beaten tonight. They are each elite level wrestlers who will represent the US in international competitions through 2012 and have good potential to switch to MMA eventually.

The 149 final should happen around 7:10pm at the earliest, 184 will be around 8:15 pm at the earliest.



Metcalf's badass! I watched a little a couple nights ago and saw him completely run through some poor kid. Nice writeup homeslice:)

opsy

Posted 9:44 am, 03/21/2009

I think I will check that out tonight.

Also something I was wondering, as far as I have seen our wrestling program has not had very much international success, especially at the Olympics. Is this because people choose not to continue past college, or is the sport bigger in other countries? If I recall correctly it was smaller countries from the former Soviet Union who I saw a lot of in the Olympics.

Gygax

Posted 9:20 am, 03/21/2009

I was very underwhelmed by last night's NCAA semi-finals. Way too many guys going the conservative route trying not to lose rather than to win. There are going to be some very boring finals matches tonight, especially 165 and 174.

But on a high note, if you get a chance, watch Brent Metcalf of Iowa at 149 or Jake Herbert of Northwestern at 184. Both are super aggressive, go for broke, and have endless engines. It would be a huge upset if either got beaten tonight. They are each elite level wrestlers who will represent the US in international competitions through 2012 and have good potential to switch to MMA eventually.

The 149 final should happen around 7:10pm at the earliest, 184 will be around 8:15 pm at the earliest.

AikaImmortal

Posted 9:08 am, 03/21/2009

Very good stuff.. thanks again! :)

CounterPuncher

Posted 9:03 pm, 03/18/2009

Yep, interesting read.

Thanks.

opsy

Posted 8:57 pm, 03/18/2009

Thanks Gygax :) Great write-up.

Gygax

Posted 4:12 pm, 03/18/2009

As a followup for those who might be interested, the NCAA D1 Championships are this week. ESPN is broadcasting some parts. If you are lucky enough to get ESPNu, you get a ton. Otherwise it looks like this.

Friday 7pm-10pmEST NCAA Wrestling D1 Semi-finals on ESPN2

Saturday 6:30pm-9pmEST NCAA Wrestling D1 Finals on ESPN

If you are going to choose between the two, watch the semis. Guys really get aggressive trying to make it to the Finals. The Finals are often much more conservative as guys are reluctant to make a mistake that will cost them a National Title.

MMA related, Jake Rosholt's brother Jared is the #4 seed at heavyweight. Max Askren, the brother of Ben Askren is the #6 seed at 197. There is a Jake Varner at the #2 seed at 197, but I don't believe he's related to Jamie.

Gygax

Posted 4:05 pm, 03/18/2009

A while back, Aika asked me to outline a bit more about American amateur wrestling, especially since so many wrestlers are moving into MMA.

There are a few guys on the site who have actually wrestled a lot and thus have a much better basis for explaining moves, points, and the more technical aspects of the sport. Iím simply basing the below observations on my experiences with it. I wrestled until sophomore year of high school and then continued to watch the sport. As an athletic trainer, I was assigned to wrestling my first 2 years at a very successful D3 program, and went to 2 NCAA D3 championships. I then went to the D1 level where I was once again assigned to the wrestling program. I worked at 8 NCAA National Championships and 1 World Championship (2001), as well as dozens of high profile tournaments such as the Cliff Keen Classic in Las Vegas and the Midlands. It was these experiences that allowed me to meet and watch many of the very best American amateur wrestlers, some of whom have moved on to MMA.

Thus here goes a crash course on amateur wrestling.

Folkstyle wrestling is the type that most Americans are familiar. It is a uniquely American style of wrestling in that it is not commonly practiced anywhere else in the world. The primary difference between it and the two other styles is that it puts much more emphasis on "mat wrestling". For the lay person, this would mean there is much more time and effort spent wrestling while on the mat vs. on the feet. In addition, there is a real focus in the scoring toward ones ability to control the opponent on the mat, working toward long exposures of their back to the mat. The techniques are very similar to those used in the other styles, but Folkstyle simply puts more emphasis in a different area.

Freestyle wrestling puts much more emphasis on the wrestlers skill set while working from their feet. Nearly the entire match will take place from the standing position. Some wrestling will be done from the mat after a takedown. However, this is much more limited to short bursts and attempts for quick attempts to roll an opponent. There is much less emphasis on long-term mat control.

Freestyle is probably the most international of the three types. The Olympics features wrestlers in both the Freestyle and Greco-Roman style. Freestyle is certainly the most common in the United States, outside of Folkstyle.

Greco-Roman is the oldest and the most difficult to learn of the three styles. While all three styles share many skill sets, Greco-Roman puts specific emphasis on those skills which are most difficult to learn and execute. Greco-Roman is also used during Olympic and international competition.

Greco-Roman is similar to Freestyle in that the focus of the match is put on the wrestlers skills from their feet. Again, very little mat wrestling when compared with Folkstyle. The distinction between Freestyle and Greco-Roman is that Greco-Roman is focused entirely on the upper body. Moves from the feet that involve "shooting" or leg grabs are not legal. This style of wrestling involves mastery of the "throwing" techniques. This is why Greco-Roman is so useful in the clinch in MMA.

Points in Folk are awarded for takedowns (2), reversals (2), escapes (1), back points (2-3), riding time (1), and stalls/penalties (1-2) Freestyle and Greco award points for huge variety of things, from 1 point for both takedowns, reversals, and escapes (no sense to me), to 3-5 points for medium to ďgrand amplitudeĒ throws. In Folkstyle, you must have your opponents back be more than 45 degree angle exposed to the mat for at least 2 seconds to score back points. You will be awarded 2 pts for the initial exposure and 3 if you hold them for more than 5 seconds. In freestyle, a mere flash of mat exposure is a point. There is an emphasis in Folk for the bottom wrestler to try to get up and out, thus earning an escape point. In Freestyle, the bottom guy can just lay there and do everything he can to not get turned before the ref will stand them up for passivity. If you just lay there in Folk, the ref can warn you for stalling, then begin giving points to your opponent if you continue. This stalling can happen in any position, including if you are on top and are just trying to remain there within working towards the back exposure. In Freestyle, just grabbing the bottom manís legs and performing a twist roll will get you back exposure points even if there was never any danger to getting pinned. If your shoulder blades both touch the mat for just an instant in Free and Greco, itís a pin, whereas the shoulders need to be down and in control for at least half a second for a pin.

NCAA wrestling consists of 3 periods. The first period is 3 minutes long and is begun with both competitors facing each other. The next two periods are 2 minutes each. A coin flip determines the positioning for the start of the 2nd period. Much like football, if you win the flip, you can defer the choice to the next period. You may choose offence (top), defense (bottom), or neutral, which means both start standing again. Most will choose bottom as it will allow the chance to escape and get a point. Collegiate also has a riding time. If one wrestler accumulates over 1 minute of riding time better than his opponent at the end of a match, an additional point is awarded.

High school and grade school wrestling are basically the same as collegiate with a few minor differences. Some states do not utilize riding time and most use 2 minute periods across the board rather than the initial 3 minute 1st period. Freestyle and Greco Roman consist of 3 two minute periods. At the end of each period, a winner is declared. Thus if you win the first two periods, there is no need to wrestle the third. This is one of the changes that I feel has really hurt Freestyleís spectator appeal.

Greco Roman also gets far more technical in that they have to assume Par Terre positions (clinches) at certain times which they are not allowed to break. It was this technicality that cost Alexander Karelin his match against Rulon Gardner, breaking his 13 year win streak. Greco can be VERY subjective in judging and often leads to controversies like that. When Matt Lindland took US Wrestling to court in order to get placed over Keith Seiracki on the Olympic team, his case was based on whether a takedown awarded to Sieracki was actually a leg attack and thus illegal. Initially it was scored a takedown, then overturned a day later and the match awarded to Lindland. It was over turned again a week later, thatís when Lindland took them to court.

The fact that Folkstyle has so much of the ground element to it is why you see American wrestler much more successful in MMA than international wrestlers. International competitors are much better off with Judo, Sambo, BJJ, etc. as a basis, than wrestling.

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