Here is a post from our newest correspondent, Aidanfitzy9933. He’s a sports nut, and he’s here to discuss some of his thoughts about his favorite form of athletic competition: wrestling. If you haven’t taken the time to learn more about one of the word’s oldest martial arts, then you should start here by reading about the history and state of wrestling today. Enjoy!
I’m here to talk about wrestling, one of the oldest forms of hand-to-hand combat in the world today and the oldest word still in use to describe Mano-y-Mano battle. Dating back to 1100 A.D., wrestling was the most popular sport at the Olympics and was celebrated throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Gradually, wrestling gained popularity in the U.S.; there are currently over eight different forms of non-folk style wrestling, including mixed martial arts. The problem faced today is that history means nothing to people of the last 20 years, and the thought of two men rolling around in unitards doesn’t appeal to many–unless it’s spiced up with a few kimora’s and “ground and pounds”.
Unfortunately, mixed martial arts is the only form of wrestling that remains in the mainstream; keep in mind, I mean real wrestling, not show business, cough cough, like the WWE. As a high school wrestler, I actually find the dilemma frustrating: there is no exposure for a sport that dates back centuries, and takes more discipline, agility, and skill than one can imagine. Currently golf is more prominently featured than wrestling, and it is gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Maybe it’s because wrestling has never had a Tiger Woods, or at least one you’ve heard of.
Cael Sanderson, the only collegiate wrestler to never lose, while winning over 100 matches–159 consecutive to be exact. Or then there is Dan Gable, infamous for his motivational quotes, rather than well known for his incredible skill and accomplishments. His accomplishments consist of a 181-1 career collegiate record, his only loss coming in his final match by 1 point, and two Gold medals, one at the Olympics and one at the World Championships. Most recently there was a wrestler at Arizona State, Anthony Robles, who won the NCAA championship with one leg; he was prominently featured on SportsCenter but only for the sheer wow factor that comes with a handicapped athlete. You’ve also probably seen wrestler Ellis Coleman’s “Flying Squirrel” takedown on SportsCenter’s top ten plays, or plastered all over Youtube, but if you haven’t, its worth a look:
I’m a sports fan, don’t get me wrong, but, having said that, for anyone to say that they need to truly appreciate that some of the most dominant athletes of the last 30 years have been wrestlers. Even in my high school, football gets the front page; almost nobody other than the wrestlers knows that my high school is second in all time wins in the state of Connecticut. Our shoddy basketball team, or even our golf team, will capture the sports page before wrestling. I have no solution to the problem; people are just turned off by what wrestling represents: to them, its too “homoerotic” or pointless. But really it’s a mind game as much as a display of physical dominance. Maybe you have to experience it before you can appreciate it, but I encourage everyone to take some time and study wrestling, watch some collegiate wrestlers, or even type in “Dan Gable inspirational videos” on Youtube. It’ll help you start your day right.