Russian Wrestling vs American Wrestling

I “believe” in technical wrestling. Similar to the spirit of jiu jitsu, I believe that technique can beat power and aggression. That’s a tough thing to believe because it involves being crushed a lot as part of the learning process.

That’s why I’m a fan of Mike Denny-run wrestling practice. He’s a Gable guy, with that Iowa wrestling mindset, and at the same time he emphasizes crisp slow drilling of technique. To take a quote a bit out of context, Tuesday he said “Russians are the best wrestlers” for the reason that they drill and drill and drill with clean technique.

I’m not sure how real it is, but there certainly seems to be a divide between the American way and the Russian way of wrestling. The former is a style of hard aggressive wrestling that wears down the opponent while the latter puts much more emphasis on timing and technique.

I like to watch the American way, but I like to grapple the Russian way. In practice, I try to relax and work on the right timing of applying technique with minimal strength. It’s very frustrating at times, because as long as my technique sucks, I get punished for it. But I try to remind myself that there’s no losing or winning on the mat during practice, and sometimes I even believe it 😉

0 thoughts on “Russian Wrestling vs American Wrestling

  1. Harry

    I prefer to wrestle the Russian way then, to be honest with you. A lot of guys focus on the raw power and brute force, when a well timed takedown will win every time.

  2. Charlie Neely

    The Russians are the best, I’m sorry to say, at least in freestyle wrestling. But boy did I enjoy watching 163-pound Jordan Burroughs, a New Jersey kid, become a World Champion last year in Istanbul. He beat the unbeatable Russian Denis Tsargush in the second round of the tournament. From my standpoint he did it with technique and timing in addition to athleticism and pace. It will be very interesting to see whether Burroughs, who is now a known quantity, can also win an Olympic title in London.


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