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Why Lineage is Important and Why it's Not


By Jon Strickland, head coach of American Hook Wrestling

Why Lineage Matters

The human race typically gains it's knowledge from a specific source or sources. Look at the Ivy League, they hold a very long tradition of the pursuit of excellence in education and professional studies. Harvard being one of those schools, is known for its law and business schools. Other schools not Ivy League, like MIT, have a long tradition of science and engineering. 
These schools produce top professionals more often than not. We could take specific collegiate sports, like football, and see a traditional within them. Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State are usually good and hold numerous championships. Not only do they send a lot of guys to the pros, they also produce the future coaches who are sought out so highly. 
Today we see a lot of these for profit colleges who don't produce such things. In fact, very often they have no credibility and base graduation on pay not knowledge. Lineage should have years of experience and their records should represent this. Take other combat sports. Personally, I would seek out a boxing coach who has a resume before I would one making claims of greatness. 
When you look at the big wrestling schools, Iowa, Oklahoma State, etc., you see great wrestling throughout the years. Wrestlers go there because of lineage and usually aren't disappointed. In fact, the two schools I mentioned even have different styles so to speak, and a long tradition of being different. Lineage matters. 

Why it Doesn't Matter 

For all I listed, a person could fail and not live up to that tradition. Also, sometimes the unknown small school shocks the world. While Catch is certainly its own art, a Judo guy could certainly win a catch championship by using Judo. However it doesn't make him a Catch Wrestler, or what he's doing Catch Wrestling. Just means he won at an outside completion. You can be an engineer without attending college. However you must pass each state's exam. That said, its a much harder path, a longer path than having those who've been there to help.

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