Alexander Karelin – The Legend of Wrestling

Wrestling is an age-old sport. Two people try to get the best of each other and slam and pin each other to the ground. It’s very simple – yet it requires devastating levels of strength and technique in order to be good at it. Well, if there was one person – one man that was towering over all of his wrestling opponents – then it has to be Alexander Karelin – one of the greatest names in the world of wrestling. You can learn more about this beast of a man by reading the article below.

Who is Alexander Karelin?

To ease things off – we will start by telling you about this man’s nicknames. Alexander Karelin is also known as the Russian Bear, Alexander the Great, and Russian King Kong, among other monikers. Our personal favorite is “The Experiment”. It means that people thought he was so out of this world that he was created in a lab as a test subject carrying inhuman levels of strength. The meaning of these aliases will tell you about the nature of this person and how he is.

He’s known as one of the greatest Greco-Roman wrestlers in history. And his wrestling career record speaks volumes – he has won 882 professional wrestling matches, while only losing 2 times in the span of his whole career.

During his career, he has won three Olympic gold medals in wrestling – and one silver medal. He is the sole athlete in wrestling that has managed to do this feat in his career. Nobody managed to defeat Karelin for 13 solid years of active competing against him. Perhaps even more impressive – nobody managed to win a single point against him for 10 years straight. If you have ever wrestled in your life – or if even if you have only seen wrestling in action – then you’re fully aware of just how impossible a feat this is.

Again – wrestling is a sport that takes a lifetime to master – and even if you do invest a whole lifetime, then it wouldn’t be enough. And wrestlers are some of the most inhuman athletes in terms of producing strength and willpower not to be outdone by their opponents on the mat. This goes to show you just how big of a beast Alexander Karelin really was during his career.

Karelin’s specialty

Karelin, when he was in his prime, was known for the sheer brute strength that he dominated his opponents with. One of his most used, trademark moves was eventually named after him – the Karelin Lift. The opponent would give their best to become “dead weight” and make themselves as difficult as possible to be lifted by their opponent. But this wasn’t a deterrent for Karelin. On the contrary – he cherished this challenge as it was a way for him to show his vast strength and dominate his opponent.

What he would do is use his titanic strength to completely lift his “dead weight wannabe” opponent in the air – and, after a showoff second of deliberation, slam their heads onto the ground as hard as possible. If you haven’t seen or experienced wrestling first-hand, then this may not seem like anything special to you. But we assure you that this is one of the most difficult to execute moves in the entire wrestling arsenal – and especially against highly-skilled opponents that are wrestling professionals. The move now known as the Karelin Lift awards its performer with the maximum 5 points, giving merit to how difficult it is to perform.

Giving credence to just how inhumanly strong Alexander Karelin was is one anecdote about him that circles among wrestlers. It’s said that once upon a time Karelin was asked by someone which opponent had been his most difficult one in his entire career. Karelin smirked and said that of all the opponents that he had in his career – his most difficult one was his refrigerator. What this pertains to is one experience that Karelin had when he picked a huge refrigerator on his back and wore it to his apartment in multi-storied building – all by himself.

Karelin’s legacy

It’s a shame that Karelin is relatively unknown outside wrestling circles – where he holds the status of a living deity. He’s currently retired from his wrestling career – but his legacy is still alive as one of the greatest Greco-Roman wrestlers in history. In fact, some of MMA’s own legends speak very highly of Karelin. Among them are the likes of UFC ex-heavyweight champion Randy Couture, and the PRIDE MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Many of Karelin’s feats are considered impossible to be accomplished – even by wrestling royalty. In fact, it’s speculated by wrestling’s and MMA’s top brass that Karelin had huge potential for MMA. So, if he switched careers, according to many, he would be an MMA legend. Once, he had a pro wrestling/MMA match against Maeda Akira. He was in very high esteem among the people of Japan – and he was an outright star in this country. However, he proved to be no match to Karelin’s might, and he was practically destroyed in the match by his opponent.

In conclusion

So, if one mentions the name of Alexander Karelin, then you should be aware that this is wrestling royalty that they are talking about. Kareling was inhumanly strong in his prime – but he was also highly technically skilled and savvy. If you just watch what kinds of techniques he was doing and with what grace and speed he was doing them when wrestling – you will learn a lot about wrestling itself. Sure, his patented Karelin Lift takes vast strength to execute on an unwilling opponent – but even if you aren’t that strong, you can pick up various nuances of how Karelin moves and sets up leverage for achieving his feats. And this will help in dramatically improving your wrestling game – and as many us know – wrestling is a strong base and a foundation for all the martial arts – including the Mixed Martial Arts.