By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here
I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler - Socrates
I've done many martial arts in my life, none so hard as wrestling (even MMA, Muay Thai, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). It's the only combative art offered as a sport in American schools and has its roots as the first martial art ever. Even the term "martial art" comes from Mars, the Roman god of war. With extreme combat sports, we now know without a doubt its effectiveness. What separates a wrestler from the rest is their mental toughness and is the reason why nearly every MMA champion, including in the UFC (currently 7 out of 8 champions) is a wrestler.
Fitness owes its roots to wrestling. All the modern exercises we know of now were initially the conditioning exercises for wrestlers, gladiators, and warriors. Even in India, wrestling was around long prior to the activity we know as yoga. Wrestling was the preferred art for many warriors because it was a way to engage with a partner full out and gain control, without necessarily maiming your partner with the use of weapons or bludgeoning them with your fists and legs. Holding them down and making them cry uncle would keep the warrior healthy for battle and at the same time build their mental fortitude.
The Ego still exists in fitness
Have you ever heard "what do you bench?" Or its newer envisioning, "do you even lift bro?"
People quickly forget exercise isn't an activity in itself. Exercise is not a sport. It's a function, it's a means to an end. The end in being a more capable person. It helps us understand our bodies in relationship to our environment. How to properly apply leverage, distribute weight, biomechanics, math, and reasoning. It's our body in relationship to the laws of physics. In learning this, we do something to also strengthen our minds.
My high school wrestling coach was also our school's physics teacher (which isn't all that uncommon) and he would make all of us take his physics class. He was right, wrestling was just physics applied in real life. It's your application of physics vs someone else attempting to apply it on you. It's a hard sport, few student athletes would consider it pleasant enough to try. It got the least amount of recognition and glory so why would we do it?
We did it because it's hard. Before Neil deGrasse Tyson became a famous pop scientist, many of us knew of him as just another example of a wrestler living an outstanding life. Applying what he's learned on that mats to the world. The ability to control your behavior to create the best possible outcome.
"When I think of the frontier of astrophysics, the challenges, we do it not because it's easy but because it's hard. You don't wrestle because it's easy, you wrestle because it's hard. I don't do astrophysics because it's easy, I do it because it's hard. And I juxtapose the two in my mind, body, and soul all the time."
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
If a wrestler had to pick a science, it would be physics. Before the world recognized him as a poster boy for science, he was just another wrestler to us. And in wrestling, he was just average.
Interview courtesy of Flowrestling
Most of the world will never know Neil deGrasse Tyson's wrestling past. No one cares about wrestling except wrestlers. He did it knowing that. How many things do you choose to do in life for no personal glory or recognition, only to do it because it's hard, because you know others wouldn't?
Source: Must Triumph
Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.