Coach Lee Kemp Training Camp

Got my picture taken with wrestling legend Coach Lee Kemp!

Got my picture taken with wrestling legend Coach Lee Kemp!

Some kids have all the luck! What are the chances that a 10-year-old kid like me is going to be trained by the 2008 US Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Coach? Slim to none right? Wrong!

One of the benefits of training with Coach Ruben Leon and Coach Roy Oliver is that they know a lot of people. Including Coach Lee Kemp. He came out to San Diego from his home in Atlanta to work with No Mercy School of Wrestling for three days. It was an amazing experience and I picked up a few tricks from Coach Kemp.

In case you don’t know, Lee Kemp is one of most decorated wrestlers in United States history. He was the first American to win three world titles (1978-79 & 1982) and is the youngest American to win a gold medal in the World Championships at the age of 21! Most likely he would have won gold at the 1980 Olympics, but the USA decided to boycott the games.

Coach Kemp won 4 World Cup titles and 2 Pan-American titles finishing his career with nine gold medals in World and Pan-American championship competition. In addition he won 7 US Freestyle National Championships and was a 3-time NCAA Champion, for the University of Wisconsin, finishing 2nd as a true freshmen, losing on a split referees’ decision. Oh and along the way he happened to beat his coach, his idol, and a legend – Dan Gable.

You can see that match here:

My favorite move that he taught us was called “The Pulverizer.” Coach Kemp demonstrated it on a high school kid, and man you could tell it was painful. It’s a very complex move, but if you do have a chance to use it in a match, your opponent will be more than willing to give up!

The technique was great, but I think the most important thing that I learned from Lee Kemp was to believe in myself. To believe that I can win against any opponent and never be intimidated. He’s living proof that the mental side of the game is just as important as the physical side. He told all of us to “Dream Big!” It worked for him, so I may as well give it a try!


~ by kidfighter on June 3, 2008.

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