Years of Practice
This week Cary Kolat was inquired about how he developed his ankle lace technique. Footage was posted of the move being performed by Kolat during a World Team Trials on the RUDIS Instagram. In the clip, Kolat steps over his opponent pushing their leg with his hip then he crosses their legs with his locking in the lace. This was not an accident and was actually a move Kolat came up with when he was about 13. He fell into it during practice at a summer wrestling club, realized the potential, and worked on perfecting it. Kolat nicknamed the ankle lace the grasshopper.
Kolat continued to use this move throughout his career from 13 on. In the clip, Kolat got to it from a takedown after trapping his opponent’s leg. The way the move usually happened was when the opponent moved their leg up behind them Kolat would act like he was attempting to get a figure four but he would let the pressure off to allow them to drop their feet back down. What they didn’t realize was that Kolat had their foot trapped on his hip and he was stepping over their bottom leg and trapping it behind his knee. This took time to perfect and a lot of drilling to really get a flow of muscle memory. The move confused his opponents like many of his techniques.
The Importance of Freestyle
Kolat developed most of his unique techniques in freestyle wrestling and then carried that creativity into folkstyle. Kolat enjoyed freestyle wrestling and the creativity he could bring to it including being risk-taking. He says folkstyle attempts to teach everyone to wrestle the same and when he learned of all the possibilities of freestyle he was hooked as all the boxes previous coaches tried to put his style in were removed. It shows how important freestyle wrestling is. When asked about the best wrestlers of all time, freestyle wrestlers top that list. Even so, folkstyle coaches shy away from their wrestlers practicing freestyle. Kolat advises against restricting your athletes from freestyle wrestling. It makes them more creative and allows them to open up new possibilities.
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