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Dmsmelby

International folk style competition

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Anyone else think wrestling would be more popular if folk style was used internationally instead of freestyle and Greco? I wrestled folk style my whole life. Never did free style or Greco because I was in other sports. I have watched many of the biggest international matches on YouTube and it's hard for me to follow. Let alone someone who doesn't know wrestling.

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Can't believe I am agreeing with Wiesjahn...but we are the only people in the world doing folkstyle...if we could switch high school and college to freestyle we would likely see much more international success.

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No....If anything we should switch the us to freestyle...Typical American stance

Also you are mostly going to get roasted

Although I agree if there were to be a switch we should move more towards FS or GR as opposed to the world being expected to embrace FK. However the issue he is bringing up regarding the rules is valid and shared by many folkstyle fans. The ambiguity of many calls in FS (not to mention flat out match fixing) hurts the sport, and does it no favors in drawing new eyeballs to the sport. The rule changes every other year isn't helping either. Ultimately the guy who already likes folkstyle wrestling should be easier for the FS and GR to acquire as fans, as opposed to someone who is entirely unfamiliar with wrestling as a whole. Dmsmelby's comments hit home with many folkstyle fans, and if FS & GR really want to grow the sport they need to start converting some of these people into spectators.

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"Folkstyle" is really just a general term for a country's own local style/rules.  American Folkstyle is what we know but nobody else in the world does.  Lots of African and South American countries still have their own folkstyle wrestling that looks very different than anybody else's.  A loose example would be sumo wrestling in Japan as their "folkstyle" wrestling, even though they primarily do freestyle in school now.  Many countries have gotten rid of their own folkstyles and solely focus on freestyle and greco.

 

Everyone hates things that are different than what they know and grew up doing.  A Russian wrestler who has only done freestyle and greco his whole life would be very confused about American folkstyle.

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I'm going to guess that the decisions the IOC make are way out of my scope of what I actually know. 

 

But I'm also assuming that there were not many Russians doing snowboard half pipe before they made that a Winter Olympic sport.  I also will assume that adding the 'extreme sports' to Winter Olympics did wonders for the television revenue because of the Americans success and the amount of TV viewers it added.

 

The question that this thought brought to my head is 'would the USA dominate the Olympics if they added Folkstyle'?  My first guess is that we would dominate because the 'best wrestler' in every country would wrestle freestyle and the 'best wrestler' in America would do Folkstyle. 

 

In other words, if Folkstyle was added to Olympics, then our freestyle team would be Varsity 2 but some would call them JV! ha!

 

But if freestyle was replaced by folkstyle, I don't think we would dominate as much as we first think. 

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I love Freestyle and Greco but I will admit following matches and the difference in what scores are thrown up by officials watching the same match really pushes me more and more to Folkstyle.

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"Folkstyle" is really just a general term for a country's own local style/rules.  American Folkstyle is what we know but nobody else in the world does.  Lots of African and South American countries still have their own folkstyle wrestling that looks very different than anybody else's.  A loose example would be sumo wrestling in Japan as their "folkstyle" wrestling, even though they primarily do freestyle in school now.  Many countries have gotten rid of their own folkstyles and solely focus on freestyle and greco.

 

Everyone hates things that are different than what they know and grew up doing.  A Russian wrestler who has only done freestyle and greco his whole life would be very confused about American folkstyle.

You are absolutely correct, but he'd be more inclined to understand the rules if they weren't a moving target. I understand the recent rule changes have been implemented to try to keep the sport viable and make it more exciting, as they were facing losing FS and GR as olympic sports. Whether the most recent changes have help or hurt, I don't have the expertise to say (you however do) but either way it makes it more difficult for the newcomers or casual fans.

 

If you want more participation in Olympic styles you first need to boost interest. If kids aren't exposed to it (because dad doesn't understand it) then they are less likely to participate. If more Americans cared about FS and GR we wouldn't have NBC essentially blacking out coverage of FS competition in the Olympics. Although I feel like a have a pretty good grasp of the FS & GR rules at this point, I know from talking with folks that this is a barrier to entry for many parents and ultimately their kids. The number of off season folkstyle tournaments during the traditional FS & GR season is testament to that. Those FK tournaments weren't forced on parents they were created and have flourished because of a demand.

 

I believe in pushing both FS & GR (although in IN we do lip service to GR at best) and believe that kids will benefit and the sport will benefit as a whole. I love watching the world's best compete, and I know anyone who enjoys FK would love it too if they got to understand it. So how do we drive interest? You have to be excited about something before you are going to sit down and read a rule book, and without many hours of watching you will need to read the rule book to really understand what's going on, as there simply isn't enough time in a broadcast for this to happen.

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There are just as many rule changes and rule nuances in folkstyle as there are in freestyle. I'm sure if you brought a Russian over here for NCAA's he'd be just as confused.

 

The "constant rule changes" reason for hating freestyle is a crutch many use because they have no better reason to hate freestyle. The only change in how you score points has been the push-out, other than that scoring takedowns and exposing the back has been a time honored way of scoring points in freestyle.

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There are just as many rule changes and rule nuances in folkstyle as there are in freestyle. I'm sure if you brought a Russian over here for NCAA's he'd be just as confused.

 

The "constant rule changes" reason for hating freestyle is a crutch many use because they have no better reason to hate freestyle. The only change in how you score points has been the push-out, other than that scoring takedowns and exposing the back has been a time honored way of scoring points in freestyle.

So you are saying FS and GR has a perception problem as opposed to an actual problem?

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So you are saying FS and GR has a perception problem as opposed to an actual problem?

Yes, anyone who dislikes them will immediately go to the "constant rule changes" excuse.

 

Greco has had some changes recently that I won't touch since I can't tell you what they are at this point.

 

Try explaining locking hands to a new person in the sport...it's kinda confusing if you have no grasp of the concept. Same with trying to explain proper starting positions.

 

If I am teaching a new kid how to wrestle, I'd much rather teach them freestyle. In freestyle, you get in your stance and wrestle. In folkstyle I need to teach how to put your foot on the line, then proper top and bottom positions...then SUPER reinforce them as they could lose points. Then I have to teach locking hands and other illegal moves. In freestyle you teach about the illegal moves, but in most cases they will just stop the action and you won't score any points.

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Be nice if American folkstyle would be recognized, but I'd love to see freestyle and Greco-Roman become more popular too. Actually would love to see a "combined style" developed. One period each of folkstyle,freestyle,and Greco-Roman regardless of each outcome in said periods. Winning 2 of 3 periods wins the match.

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Be nice if American folkstyle would be recognized, but I'd love to see freestyle and Greco-Roman become more popular too. Actually would love to see a "combined style" developed. One period each of folkstyle,freestyle,and Greco-Roman regardless of each outcome in said periods. Winning 2 of 3 periods wins the match.

Tried this a few years back at Madison, had to cancel bc of low numbers after the first year

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Tried this a few years back at Madison, had to cancel bc of low numbers after the first year

Wonder if it would be better globally as most other countries focus on Greco-Roman and Freestyle. They'd just struggle with American folkstyle, while we'd struggle with Greco-Roman and Freestyle more than most.

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Though I wrestled freestyle in high school, enjoyed it well enough, and followed it at the Trials and Olympics over the years (saw Kurt Angle and others at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; went to World Team Trials in Indy once); I was never fully "into" it until the last 7 seasons or so--starting with Hump's first world team in 2011. Now I'm fully hooked, study it as much as I can--and even enjoy Greco too. Especially with the rules overhaul a few years ago, the matches--especially top-level international matches--are non-stop action. I've become more and more convinced that the reason we (including me) have been hooked on folkstyle is simply because it's what we know the best. I've said this before on threads like this one. Of course we love folkstyle the best. We associate all our best high school and college moments--some of the best moments of our lives--with folkstyle wrestling. But here's the thing: if freestyle were regulated by the NFHS and the IHSAA and we'd been doing THAT style our whole lives, those feelings would be no different toward freestyle and we wouldn't care about folkstyle. If we'd gotten goosebumps our whole lives when the march of teams started on Friday night in Indy and the style was freestyle--freestyle would be our bestest friend for life. If we regulated freestyle internally in the U.S. in ways that made full sense to us culturally and logistically, it would feel "perfect" in the way we're convinced folkstyle is perfect.

 

Russian and Iranian fans watch a lot of college folkstyle because they know it's our "major leagues." And they hate it and mock it for the long, boring riding sections, freedom to stall and play the edge, and the fact that there are too many risks involved with trying throws (miss, give up 2; too strong, get rolled through and get nothing; etc.) so we suck at them. Meanwhile, they thrive off of an exciting brand of head-to-toe attacking neutral wrestling--filled with thrilling trips and throws where they can make you look silly and don't have to worry about whether they get full control or not because control isn't the primary objective in freestyle. 

 

I get the angst with international politicking in wrestling, but my point is that we're fooling ourselves if we think it has 2 cents to do with which style is best. Russian mobsters' and central Asian dictators' influence over the sport, if they were still the best at it, would be exactly the same whether it's folkstyle, freestyle, sumo, or armwrestling. It's the sad reality. 

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You know, this reminds me a little bit of our resistance to the metric system.  Just sayin'.

 

I think in the long run a switch to "international styles" would be best.  But this will have to be a 'top down' change and will take some time. 

 

I think 'folkstyle fans' would enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptaNak1B3_Q

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As much I would love to see a stronger embrace of the international styles here in the US, I also see great value in FK. American folkstyle is uniquely ours, and it originated from traditional English styles of wrestling that has long since disappeared in the UK. I certainly don't think we want to lose folkstyle as it is a part of our unique cultural heritage.

 

Twenty years ago when I would travel to various small and mid sized cities across the country, they used to look different. Each one had their own independent restaurants and shops, and character that made it unique. Now when I travel the towns all have the same fast food, same chain restaurants, same big box stores and they are essentially the same (insert Jackson Brown lyric). We have lost our local and regional identities to embody a national consumer class. If FK would ever go away we'd be giving up national heritage for a global uniformity. I know FK is in no real danger to disappear anytime soon, but I do think its important to keep in mind the cultural importance.

 

Baseball & Basketball started as solely American sports, and were ultimately exported around the world. Who's to say that we couldn't get folks in other countries, particularly those without strong wrestling traditions, to embrace American folkstyle.

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