Category Archives: Wrestling

Pro Wresting is not a Martial Arts Style

So do you think that an untrained hip hop dancer could win a ball room dancing contest under their rules? No way, the two are completely different. Why did CM Punk think he could win a fight, not to mention a pro fight, double-not-to-mention that it was in the pinnacle of Mixed Martial Arts promotion? Well, he didn’t. He lasted a whole minute longer than I thought he would. He looked like the new guys in class that try in vain to throw hard punches against a far more experienced fighter. I was discussing this with someone the other day and I asserted that not only do guys in the UFC have way more than 2 years of MMA experience, they usually have a lifetime of martial arts experience.

What else could be said. Others might say that Brock Lesnar did it. I have some counters to that also. First of all, Brock Lesnar was a legitimate collegiate wrestler way before he slipped on the speedo and oiled up to wrestle other buffians in front of a mainstream crowd. Not only that, Brock is a heavyweight, not just a heavyweight, but the biggest heavyweight around.

Everyone knows that a heavyweight will most likely knock your head 36 rows back with a well timed punch, but the skill level and athleticism is not at the same level as the lighter weight classes.

With that combination, you see why Brock has a semi-successful career as a UFC fighter, and CM Punk never stood a chance.

Let’s talk about his payday. CM Punk earned a cool $500k for that rotten debut. His opponent Mickey Gall cashed in a cool $30k. Tell me that’s fair. Well, fair isn’t what it is about in the UFC or in MMA at all. Everyone that asks me about MMA for their kids is quickly told that if they want their child to end up possibly having a career in MMA then they might as well get them boxing early. Boxing offers a far more lucrative option than MMA. Kids and MMA careers aren’t really related, but some parents are psychos. Nobody knows this more than a guy like me who has experience in all of the above.

Aside from Punk, five other fighters on the card hit the six-figure mark in earnings, including heavyweight headliners Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. Miocic cashed a $600k check for his first-round knockout victory over Overeem ($800k) to successfully defend his UFC heavyweight title for the first time in front of his hometown Cleveland crowd. These are good paydays but if you think about the fighters making six figures in relation to how many fighters are professionals, you would see a huge, lob-sided figure. MMA isn’t a realistic career for most people. It is hard on your body, and unless you make it to the elite and get to that main event among the elite, you are not going to make a great living.

Martial Arts should be studied for several reasons that I go over almost every time I blog but money, fame, success, and likeability should not be those reasons.

It takes a rare and special breed to make it to the top of the MMA game and even when you make it, how long can your career possibly last?

A Story That Is a Lifetime in the Making

Since Wrestling is certainly a Martial Arts style, I wanted to touch base about something that happened a couple weeks back. It is an amazing story about a young female wrestler that shocked the world at the recent Rio Olympic games. The American wrestler defeated Japan’s Saori Yoshida 4-1 in the 53-kilogram freestyle final to win the first-ever gold medal for a United States women’s wrestler and crush Yoshida’s attempt for a fourth straight gold. It reminded me of American wrestler Rulon Gardner’s victory over three-time gold medalist Aleksandr Karelin at the 2000 Olympics. I felt a similar feeling when I saw both victories because I knew the odds were against both champions when they walked on the mat for those fated matches.

After the match, Maroulis said “At the end of it, I was like, ‘Really, I just did this?” she said. “Like, oh my gosh!'” Yoshida was trying to become the second woman to ever win four Olympic gold medals in a single event across four Summer Games, and the second wrestler to win four Olympic golds. Yoshida’s teammate, Kaori Icho, accomplished the feats Wednesday by winning the 58 kilogram gold. Yoshida hadn’t lost in a major tournament in a lot of years, but she had been less dominant in recent tournaments, and Maroulis was on a two-year win streak so it wouldn’t have seemed so hard to accomplish. The fact remained that Maroulis had wrestled Yoshida in the past and been wildly unsuccessful in coming close to a victory. The humble Olympic gold medalist went on to say,

“It’s an honor to wrestle Yoshida, for someone to win three gold medals and come back and risk that and accept that challenge to win a fourth – that’s another four years of work, dedication, of giving your life to the sport.” ~ Helen Maroulis, USA Olympic Gold Medalist

In true sportmaship like Martial Art behavior, Yoshida made no excuses after the match when asked why she lost. “Just that the opponent is stronger than me,” she said. “I should have attacked sooner and faster, but the opponent was stronger than me.” Maroulis said her coach, Valentin Kalika, played a key role in the victory. But even with the game plan in place, she became a bit tense before the start. “I’m like, stepping on the mat, and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t even know how this is going to get done. I don’t know. I’m just going to trust, and I just want to give my all,'” Maroulis said. To add to the drama, Maroulis fell behind 1-0, but a takedown early in the second period gave her the lead for good. “I’ve dreamed of this my whole life,” Maroulis said. “I put it on this pedestal.” Sounds to me like she knew her objective and tried her hardest to accomplish it.

For Maroulis, things went much deeper than a single match. I read some interesting things about the back story that help me respect the work ethic and attention to detail of this young wrestler. Maroulis prepared in every way possible, she even learned as much Japanese as possible to be able to understand Yoshida’s coaches when they were yelling instructions. Maroulis had to overcome that voice in the back of her head that was telling her that she was going to wrestle not only the best wrestler in the world but a wrestler who had beaten her at every attempt in the past. Maroulis was also ranked number one in the world, but at a different weight class, when she was asked why she wanted to wrestle in a different weight class, she simply said, ”
That’s Yosida’s weight class.” There it is there. Her winning attitude in a fearless nutshell.

Maroulis start in wrestling is storied and noble. She was a training partner for her brother because he didnt’ have anyone else to practice with at times, she then expressed her interest to wrestle. Her dad told her yes, but only under the condition that she could only continue to wrestle if she won her first match. She did just that, however after that initial victory, she went on to lose the next 30 or so matches she wrestled. She persevered through that to become one of the most prolific wrestlers in the history of the united states. She is a trailblazer. At her young age, she certainly has more World and Olympic titles to go after, but being the first female American wrestler to win gold in the Olympics is something nobody can ever take away from her. Congrats and I’m proud you represented my country in those games.