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Thread: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

  1. #10

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Funny. I've noticed the opposite. My impression so far has been, after a year and change with the Cubans and many years with Darell Gholar ( whom I still consider my coach) is that the American style seemed more physical and the Cuban style seems more structured and modeled after the Soviet style. More attention to mastering one technique through repetition and dividing training hard and blood and guts some days as opposed to technically on others.

    Darell and most Americans I know seem blood-and-guts types. Of course, as a caveat, Darell was training all of his students to wrestle for MMA so over many ye4ars of Wrestling with Darell and now the Cubans I have gotten exceedingly good at techniques that work well in MMA and less so if it opens you to strikes etc.........

    Any opinions on what I am about to say - I'd really like to know.

    Since Darell has been in Brazil I have actually been Wrestling for over 6-7 years with Darell and I am going on to my second year with the Cubans and I am training with Brazil's national team. All of my fight experience has been MMA and BJJ/Submission but I have developed a solid reputation as a good BJJ man (FAR better submission no-gi of course) who is a very good wrestler. I never wrestled in college or high school but I thought about wrestling in some matches in Brazil and seeing if I could do some matches in the international sector. I'm not expecting a gold medal but who knows if I couldn't win something or other as I wrestle and have been wrestling quite literally every day for years. It's been almost exclusively on top but Greco's ground game isn't exactly high-tech and I have gone entiely from white belt to brown belt (a year off from going white to black) in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    On the one hand, I feel disrespectful of all the collegiate wrestlers who have dreamed of gold medals their whole lives. On the other hand, I want to see what i can do and what's the worst that can happen, other than getting experience and losing but shoring up my confidence in wrestling and high level and high pressure events.

    If I go though with it I will do what i was planning to anyhow and travel to wrestling clubs around the States and other countries to train with as many top level guys as possible.

    At the end of the day I would be be an internationally experienced Greco Roman Wrestler with a BJJ black belt and other martial arts (besides boxing/muay thai) of course) to add to my resume. I feel very "at home" in Greco. Moreso tha Freestyle and gi jiu jitsu. Essentially I feel best in

    1 - MMA (that's what it's all about after all - getting into a big event and staying there)
    2 - Greco/Submission
    3 - BJJ (gi)/Freestyle

    in grappling terms.


    Opinions???????? I feel inspired by the challenge.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    I'd recommend freestyle for mma over greco, you'd eat punches getting into and clinch, also greco is limited freestyle isn't. Cubans are right up there with the best when they're not selling themselves off, unbelievable counter wrestlers, I think their style and iranian style of wrestling best suits mma over the russians.

  3. #12

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    the mentality of a greco athlete may be more of a factor than the style.

  4. #13

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Im going to revive this thread form the dead as I have begun competing in wrestling and I have gotten my BJJ black Belt and Im moving into pro MMA, so this is a less academica question for me

    I've noticed that the American style I learned was VERY well-suited for MMA because of the teacher I have - Darell Gholar. His style was very Terry Brands like in that he taught us how to impose our will by pushing in the clinch, being bulling and forcing mistakes by pummeling until we forced an opening

    The Cubans seem very tactical and , much like their boxing - as my boxing coaches are Cuban as well, they place a huge emphasis on mobility. They seem allergic to shooting and touching their knees to the ground. They spend lots of time clearing the obstacle to the opening and then getting the takedown from a semi crouched position where they can quickly switch off to a secondry and third attack. They actually remind me of jiu jitsu fighters but stnanding with a ground game that is very elaborate and jiu jitsu like

    I think mixing the aggression of the Gholar game to having counters once you force the mistake will be an excellent choice

    I didn't understand the comment of what you mean by "when they are selling themsleves off" could you explain? Im still int he position of having all ogf my wrestling training and competitons without having wrestled in college or high school. Im wrestling all over the world now but it was a different route than most

    In MMA the very best combo is 70% greco-30% freestyle.

    Once you are in the clinch the opponent has NO chance to hit you. In freestyle you can get caught on the shoot. The trick is you have to be good at stand up fighting to close the distance and use the clich to open up your shots, if you dont know how to box you wont be very succesufl at MMA as a wrestler

    I watched a lot of Mike van Arsdales fightd and I saw wrestlers that I thought were inferior to him in pure wrestling adapt their wrestling to MMA better for tht very reason

    Ive been in the wrestling world in abig way over the last two years, Im going to be on this board a lot. I love talking to you guys - I have so much to learn about wrestling this board is a miracle of information and genuinely good people

    After I got my BJJ black belt here in Brazil I realized that the world of wrestling breeds far better people overall than BJJ. There are obviously exceptions - but I am now convinced that wrestling is better at building character and disicipline as well as metnal toughness - although BJJ is weakened by being far less organized which refelcts in this

    I havent slept last night so please excuse the incoherent rambling. I will ost something more coherent tomorrow

    Glad to be back on board

  5. #14

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Quote Originally Posted by gutfirst View Post
    the mentality of a greco athlete may be more of a factor than the style.
    I agree with Gutfirst. In order to succeed in MMA you have to use some of the skills that you have from wrestling but get rid of some of your other instincts. Greco athletes are used to that because most of them first learned to wrestle freestyle and folkstyle. In order to wrestle Greco you have to keep some of the skills you learned in freestyle and abandon some of the other ones. In my opinion that is why Greco guys have succeeded at first in MMA. The ability to adapt and change your combat style and philosophy.

  6. #15

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Looking back on my post, i've changed my mind, i don't think the cubans have that good of a style for mma, because how often is a high level wrestler going to have to counter wrestle? Not much in mma he will need to be good at attacking and putting opponents down fast and holding them down, so I think americans and Iranians have the best styles as they have and agressive leg attack orientated styles, but wrestlers differ in their own countries, perfect example otarsultanov and lebedev. I still believe freestyle and bjj(without forgetting leg lock defense) are the best combinations for mma, given that freestyle wrestlers finish better and bjj will control them, defend submissions, show good technique and keep correct positioning.

  7. #16

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Have to agree to disagree. In modern MMA the base style has shifted away from BJJ and it has essentially become wrestling with a watered dwon muay thai and a watred down and highly modified jiu jitsu

    What I am personally trying to be is an MMA fighter with - great boxing and a mobile style of muay thai/karate-kung fu (since I always trained my whole life) great greco with good freestyle - an MMA oriented BJJ

    That means that BJJ in my opinion should be fast if you're on the bottom, or should look to suffocate and confuse at all times - no more patient guard, If you're on the bottom and you aren't tall with quick hips you'll get hit. If you're like me, a short, muscly guy - its lots of leg locks and sweeps, getting the back and attacking or getting back up at light speed - only resting if you pull your opponent in tight to set up a tricky finish.

    Greco to dominate the standing action and open up positions to get the legs and freestyle attacks - I see it like this. If you shoot for 3 5 minute rounds while you are getting hit, worrying about the ground, the muay thai etc.... you will gas or at the very least - get sloppier by the end of the fight. Greco (and Judo/Sambo) are about controlling and thats the real rest position. Dominate the clinch and pummel inside to take the leg, move your opponent to take the leg but start from on top unless you are shooting off of his punch. It's VERY easy to eat a knee on a shoot. The top game requires the most craftsmanship.

    BJJ from the top should mean you are controlling the top game and getting to a better position or avoiding subs while punching. Its also a goo dplace to finish the fight with a sub - its not a place to be spending a lot of time laying the BJJ game

    Boxing and muay tahi should be the top - lots of head movement and foot work - agitate the opponents legs and kick high if he dozes off


    What i see happening is lots of Freestyle shooters - bad stand up- athletic - but predicatble punch punch kick - shots and scrambles to a very non tactical ground. its becoming more and more a conditoning match


    The Cubans - IMO - have the right strategy. They (or at least seem to me) to switch effortlessly from one position to another and their wrestling game is almost jiu jitsu lie in that they have a plan b, plan c, plan d for every reaction the opponent makes. I think they are more efficient whereas the Amercian game is a bit more power and speed oriented.

    As long as you use the right wrestling tactic in MMA it doesn't matter though. If you are a smarter wrestler it will make you a better MMA fighter

    The heart of wrestling in MMA IMO is to control the clinch and manipulate it to open up attacks. As a fight goes on you wear on your opponent and he caries your weight - freestyle shots require you to load and set up and in the third round, thats hard to do. If you pummle inside, snatch a single and run the pipe you'll get a takedown better and more efficiently IMO

    I'm sold on the Cuban school and the American Greco players

  8. #17

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Any good wrestler shouldn't have a problem taking down MMA fighters; greco or freestyle or any good wrestling nation. It will be a walk in the park...

    Good luck with your international greco career.... lol

  9. #18

    Default Re: Question About Cuban Wrestler's

    Quote Originally Posted by JudoWrestler View Post
    Any good wrestler shouldn't have a problem taking down MMA fighters; greco or freestyle or any good wrestling nation. It will be a walk in the park...

    Good luck with your international greco career.... lol
    Tell that to romero and kurtanidze.

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