the nicest guy OFF the mat who was also the meanest ON the mat.
He spoke to me like he'd known me all our lives. Asked me questions that let me know he remembered me.
And while its true that I'd seen him before, even trained in the same room with him before, this is a guy who'd met thousands of people and seen thousands of faces.
That he could put one at ease, like longtime besties, was beyond amazing to me.
That's the way he was.
People revered him around the world. Russians, Germans, Iranians, all revered him and spoke highly of America's #1 wrestling diplomat...
despite the fact that on the mat, he was one of the meanest SOBs you'd ever see.
He routinely choked out the opposition, leaving coaches and wrestlers scrambling for trainers.
His style led to the 'Dave Schultz rule' that was specifically designed to take away his edge (no matter - he beat them anyway).
While not overwhelmingly strong or athletic, he was extremely good at this...
and it was nearly impossible to penetrate his defenses.
and while excellent positioning is a common trait among elite level athletes...Dave's was exceptional.
In fact, his was so devastating (illegal by today's standards by the way), that FILA assigned an extra referee to his and brother Mark's matches in the 1984 Olympics (they both won Gold).
- his nearly counter culture view of wrestling
- his affability
- finally, his flamboyant style
Dave embraced some things others wouldn't. For instance, he didn't mind wrestling with his head down and didn't particularly care of the opponent tried to grab or control it. He blocked with his head, he led with his head, and he defended extremely well when people grabbed it. In short, nobody could do to him what he did to others in front headlock. This day, he was gentle in comparison - meaning, nobody had to gasp for air after drilling with him (unlike his unfortunate Olympic opponents).
However, our goal in Attack System Wrestling is to score first (although punishment will happen too and is an essential element).
Since I implemented this system, and fined tuned it to near-perfection in just the last two years, our wrestlers who have adapted it have devastated opponents at every level...local, state, national.