Spreading the Message
On this special episode, Matt Dernlan sits down with Olympic Gold Medalist, 3x World Champion, and International Coach, Anatoly Beloglazov as well as Anatoly’s son Alex for an exclusive interview. Beloglazov is currently in the middle of his second tour around the USA putting on world-class wrestling clinics. Dernlan starts by asking Beloglazov what his overall goal is and why he’s willing to travel across the world to share his knowledge. Beleglazov says he wants to promote wrestling around the world. He enjoys working with and teaching all levels of wrestlers.
How it All Began (4:20)
Dernlan asks how most kids are introduced to wrestling in Russia. Beloglazov says it is very similar to the USA but Russia doesn’t have many brands that represent, sponsor, and uplift wrestling like other sports have. From an outsiders perspective, it seems wrestling is the premier sport of Russia but Beloglazov says this is far from reality. There are pockets of Russia such as Dagestan where wrestling is entrenched in their traditions and culture. Beloglazov talks about schools in Russia where athletes live, learn, and train and how every sport not only wrestling has that. The recruiting process for these schools is similar to the college one in the USA. The athletes are fully funded and paid for also similar to college athletes. Beloglazov was walking home from soccer practice and happened upon a building where they were having a wrestling practice. He was invited in and enjoyed it so he brought his brother back with him the next day.
Build the Foundation (14:58)
In Russia, after young wrestlers learn the basics, coaches start to introduce more difficult and technical techniques. Beloglazov says the older you get the more individualized your training becomes and you get put together with others on your level. He says in the USA he has many more parents asking him to have their very young wrestlers go live instead of technique drilling. This is different than in Russia where parents and coaches don’t push inexperienced wrestlers in that way. Beloglazov’s parents were very hands off when it came to wrestling and never saw a single match of his.
Sports Academy (25:45)
Circling back to the topic of sporting schools and the process that system entails, Dernlan asks about what the next step after an athlete has been at the school for 3-4 years. In Russia, College is between high school and University and you can get a 2-year education before moving to University. There are sporting Universities where they specialize in careers within athletics. For example, Beloglazov was a wrestler and his other classes were sports science, nutrition, history all geared towards wrestling. a difference between the USA and Russia is that most of our coaches are elected because of their accomplishments as an athlete competing in the sport. In Russia, this is not the case and to be a high-level coach you must get certification via a degree.
Wrestling Then vs Now (55:08)
The conversation shifts to how Russian wrestlers make money by wrestling in different countries, wrestling leagues. In the United States, we have regional training centers and high-level athletes can get paid to train there. This is not state sponsored but rather community sponsored through donors who are passionate about wrestling. While Beloglazov was coming through the ranks he was not allowed to go wrestle for another country that is no longer the case. This brings up how when the Soviet Union broke apart into different republics it was easier for Russians to make their respective national teams but harder for the USA because instead of wrestling against one super team we had to defeat up to fifteen wrestlers representing their country. Beloglazov says it was harder to make the national team than to win Worlds. Beloglazov gives insight on how the world team selections are made. Even if you’re the number one ranked wrestler or win nationals it doesn’t mean you make the team. If coaches don’t think you’ll be ready they will find someone else who is.
Snyder vs Sadulaev (1:07:00)
Dernlan asks how Russians reacted when Kyle Snyder beat Abdulrashid Sadulaev. Beloglazov says they told Sadulaev the things he needed to work on and get better at. In today’s world wrestlers can watch any match they want online and don’t have to travel to watch the best wrestlers in the world.
Dave Schultz (1:15:50)
Beloglazov talks about his history with Dave Schultz. He first met him in the USA in the 1970s. Russian’s had a hard time figuring him out because he always had a relaxed presence and didn’t get nervous. It took them time to realize Dave was a different person on and off the mat. What made Dave great was not his power or strength but rather his mind for wrestling and his relentless studying, drilling, and perfecting of technique.
Featured RUDIS Gear:
Matt is wearing the KS Journey Soft Shell Jacket found here: https://rudis.com/product/ks-journey-soft-shell-jacket/
Anatoly is wearing the RUDIS Wrestler Block Hoodie found here: https://rudis.com/product/rudis-wrestler-block-adult-hoodie-2/
Alex is wearing the RUDIS Essential Hex Performance Quarter Zip found here: https://rudis.com/product/essential-hex-performance-quarter-zip-rudis/
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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.
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