A Pioneer in the Sport
This week, Kolat was asked about how he came up with and developed his rubber knee or trick knee defense. Flexibility in wrestling is important but Kolat had never seen another wrestler use this technique before he began to. Another technique Kolat famously did was the backflip out of a single leg takedown, which he did during the Pennsylvania high school state finals. This was brought up recently when Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young successfully pulled the move off during their dual against Lehigh. Many people credit Kolat for inventing this move as well by calling it the “Kolat Flip” but Kolat doesn’t take credit. He says he saw a wrestler do the move at Midlands and then practiced it before using it in the match.
Developing the Technique
Kolat can’t recall the exact age he started using the rubber knee defense but it was around college. He found himself in positions most people wouldn’t be able to get in. There is some flexibility in the knee but Kolat says it’s mostly in the hips and the twisting of the leg. Kolat developed an extreme amount of confidence in this position. The very best wrestlers in the world all have different areas where they feel extremely confident. For Kolat, He felt that if his opponent got on his right leg, he was in the driver seat and would win the position.
Winning the Mental Game
There is nothing more draining on your opponent than when they take a deep offensive position and you’re able to stop it and score off it. After this happens it is mentally draining. Once he figured out how far he could take it he began to develop scoring positions off that position. Overall, he believed even if he wasn’t scoring he was taking a lot out of his opponents mental capacity by not allowing them to score.
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