So I recently attended the ESU open wrestling tournament, and yet again, I was amazed at the wrestlers. Wrestling is hardcore. There is truly nothing like it. I know, I have done both (wrestling and fighting).

As I sat and watched the guys battling back and forth, random bruised faces walking around the arena, something dawned on me. When I, or anyone for that matter, goes into a fight, you always hear…”Oh, he’s a wrestler, that’s a tough matchup.” “He wrestled, you sure that’s a smart fight to take?”

Well here’s the thing, when you’ve wrestled your whole life, every single match you’ve wrestled is against a “wrestler.” Every single match in my life, close to 1000, has therefore been a tough matchup, and that’s certainly not true. What I’m saying is, just because someone wrestled, doesn’t mean they are inherently a stud wrestler. That’d be like saying, “Oh, he played linebacker in high school, Ray Lewis better watch out for his job.”

In fighting, there has been a tremendous generalization of, “he’s a wrestler.” That it carries an extreme value. And against a non-wrestler, I guess it does, but when you’re talking about one guy who wrestled in high school, and another who was a D-I all-american, there couldn’t be more of a difference bt the two. And even further, an all-american compared to an NCAA champ is a HUGE difference. 

Being a wrestler is like being part of the jungle. Yeah, you’re a wild animal; you’re out on your own for survival. But in that jungle, there are wildebeests and there are lions.