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What do international freestylers think about US freestylers?


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In the past it seemed like international freestylers thought that US freestylers lacked technical ability and relied on conditioning. But given that we’ve had renewed success in recent years, has that perception changed? Someone like DT certainly couldn’t be described as lacking in technique. 

  • Bob 1
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Good question. I imagine part of the muscle and gas tank perception comes from our folkstyle tradition. Strength and conditioning can get you pretty far in a style that's based heavily on control, riding, and long scrambles whereas wrestling through takedowns or scrambles in freestyle to get or prevent an exposure could be perceived as more finesse or technique-based. 

Idk if many people believe that's true today, there are so many opportunities for American wrestlers to train with or be coached by international FS/GR folks and develop solid technique, plus tons of international wrestling footage for us to learn from. 

The introduction of the step-out rule could arguably have played to the success of some American wrestlers but I'd guess that ppl outside the US would broadly say that our wrestlers are successful because we're a wealthy country with lots of resources, as is assumed with many other sports.

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If they were to paint with a broad brush, I'd say the average evaluation is "wealthy bulldozers with good gas tanks and sub-par match tactics" would be my guess.

My guess though is they don't actually say anything about any one wrestler more than our guys do about any one of their wrestlers.  

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13 hours ago, CHROMEBIRD said:

The introduction of the step-out rule could arguably have played to the success of some American wrestlers but I'd guess that ppl outside the US would broadly say that our wrestlers are successful because we're a wealthy country with lots of resources, as is assumed with many other sports.

It seems to me that other countries, particularly Iran might be just as good (or better) with stepouts as a nation.  However, I don't have the #s to prove this.  All anecdotal.

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I think the old perception of strong like bull, keeps attacking, good cardio with limited FS techniques and tactics should be obsolete. This seemed fair for the last generation of guys, like Brent Metcalf, who could never really break through on the international level, but with all the Golds we have been getting at all age levels it would be foolish to still generalize in this manner.

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10 minutes ago, Jim L said:

I think the old perception of strong like bull, keeps attacking, good cardio with limited FS techniques and tactics should be obsolete. This seemed fair for the last generation of guys, like Brent Metcalf, who could never really break through on the international level, but with all the Golds we have been getting at all age levels it would be foolish to still generalize in this manner.

Metcalf was pretty good and had some great wins (Sidakov); just couldn't put it together at Worlds.  "Quick Single" on the old board, who was a technique snob of the highest order said that Metcalf was one of our best technicians at the time.  That really made me pay a bit more attention.

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Even with our renewed success, I think we have very few guys that can throw or are all that comfortable in upper body or counter positions leading to back exposure.  The Russians hit these moves like it’s part of their regular arsenal. This is also true of Par terre but to a lesser extent. A guy like Dake is the outlier, he is uncharacteristically complete in a technical sense for a US wrestler.

To me this seems like the biggest weakness in the “American style”. A quick four point exposure can often be the match.

When you think about it, it’s pretty incredible how successful we are while neglecting such an important aspect of freestyle.

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Metcalf unfortunately didn’t get a World or Olympic medal or title, that would have probably been his crowning achievement in his international career, but he did place at the Worlds toughest tournament, The Yarygin, a couple of times. 
I do remember a match I saw at the World Cup in Los Angeles ( actually in Inglewood at the Fabulous Forum ), where we were Wrestling against Iran. And Metcalf got tossed a couple of times and had to mount a huge come back to come back and win. One of my favorite Metcalf matches. 

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I don't see a lot of FS technique in our US Wrestlers.   They don't often get back points by gut wrench or ankle lace.   Yes there is some but not against the toughest competition.   They are mostly content to get takedowns.  

But saying that, Sadulaev used to turn guys right after the takedown.   I don't see him doing that against the top competition.   So maybe it is different when wrestling top talent.  

mspart

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Metcalf's problem at Worlds was he would lose but beat the other guy up and that guy would lose next match and Metcalf was toast. I would have loved to see how he could have done in a true full bracket double elimination format. 

 

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