Yojiro Uetake Obata and Jordan Oliver

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RoVerto Solo

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#1
Oliver certainly has the drive, the discipline, the tools and the technique to approach Uetake. Time will only tell if Oliver's last three years of collegiate wrestling can be compared.

I won't pull a Walter Mondale here, but let us refresh our memories. I saw Uetake wrestle many times. He lived across the hallway from me in West Bennett Hall. I saw all his hardware up close.

In order to get his opponent to wrestle with him he had to give them a leg at times, then he would turn them upside down. The only time Uetake was taken down in a collegiate match was by Penn State Mark Piven, who took Uetake down in an early round of the 1964 NCAA Tournament.

According to the current oSu Media Guide he is the only Cowboy wrestler to go undefeated, 57-0 with 11 falls.

The Cowboys have had 14 men awarded NCAA Outstanding Wrestler. Uetake is the only Cowboy to win it twice. He is certainly in the Top 10 in all of collegiate wrestling.

After winning the national high school championship of Japan, he came to the United States to complete his education. By the time Yojiro Uetake returned to his native land, he had given a whole generation of American wrestlers an education in winning technique. He won all 58 of his collegiate matches for Oklahoma State University and three Big Eight Conference titles. Three times a National Collegiate champion, he was voted outstanding wrestler of the national tournament as a junior and again as a senior. After his sophomore year of competition in 1964, "Yo-Jo" returned home to Japan to win the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. Four years later, in Mexico City, he repeated this achievement and became the first Japanese wrestler ever to win two championships in the Olympic Games. He was the complete wrestler, blending speed, strength and unparalleled skills to dominate all areas of the sport-takedowns, control, escapes and falls. Seldom did any opponent score offensive points against him. "I don't know how good he was," said his collegiate coach, Myron Roderick. "because I never saw him challenged." Such was the range of his ability that every match became a small "clinic" in itself, attracting coaches and rival contestants from all parts of the arena to learn from his masterful techniques. While preparing for his second Olympic crown, he spent two years as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, then returned home to become Japan's national freestyle coach. He guided his country's wrestlers into the 1972 Olympics at Munich and the 1976 Games at Montreal. Upon his marriage, he took the surname of his wife's family, Obata. As an athlete of awesome skills and ultimate achievement, Yojiro Uetake Obata is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
http://www.wrestlinghalloffame.org/bio.php?id=41

 

the truth

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#3
My father-in-law who recruited him and coached him at OSU has said on many occasions he's the best he ever saw. And you're right he is a true gentleman.
 

RoVerto Solo

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Why the discrepancy? The Article says he won all 58 collegiate matches, but his record is 57-0? I met him once at an OSU-OU match. He had returned for some awaed ceremony and was sitting in the stands next to me. Very much the gentleman.
The Wrestling Hall of Fame bio on Uetake has it at 58 wins. oSu records have it at 57 wins.

Again, here is the link to the quote with the higher number of wins:

http://www.wrestlinghalloffame.org/bio.php?id=41
 
Nov 28, 2008
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#8
OK. I'm slow on the uptake I suppose. "pull a Walter M."?

What the heck does that mean? (google has 0 returns)
 
Feb 12, 2006
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#11
Maybe the Truth or one of the rest of you knows this story more fully, but didn't Uetake recruit another Japanese wrestler who was the only one to beat him? Yoshiro Fujita who wrestled in the early 70's. Thought Fujita also held the record still for most take downs in a match(18 or something like that?)
 
Oct 8, 2010
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#12
Utake was certainly the best I ever saw, but we had a ton of others in those days who were right behind:
Fred Fozzard, Keller brothers, Fujita, etal.

One of my favoirites was Jerry Sherk just because he wrestled at heavy weight when it wasn't his natural weight and he went against one mammoth after another and won.
 
Feb 3, 2011
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#14
My father-in-law who recruited him and coached him at OSU has said on many occasions he's the best he ever saw. And you're right he is a true gentleman.
How did they ever think a Japanese kid would come to oSu to wrestle? I was at a match where they honored Uetake, he looked years younger. I lived in Tokyo for 21 years and wanted to look him up to talk about his experiences because I'm sure a lot of Jpnse need to hear his story!
 
Sep 25, 2007
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#16
Utake was certainly the best I ever saw, but we had a ton of others in those days who were right behind:
Fred Fozzard, Keller brothers, Fujita, etal.

One of my favoirites was Jerry Sherk just because he wrestled at heavy weight when it wasn't his natural weight and he went against one mammoth after another and won.
I saw them all at GIA and I couldn't agree more, especially Utake and Fujita. Those who don't appreciate the sport of wrestling might change their opinions after watching the skills that these two had. I also chringe when I hear or read some young sooner fans belittle OSU's reputation in the sport by claiming it a "minor" sport because I also got to see some great OU teams too and they should be taking pride it that instead of mocking the sport. That's like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
 
Sep 25, 2007
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#17
"He lived across the hallway from me in West Bennett Hall. I saw all his hardware up close."

West Bennet, 1966, been there done that too.
 

RoVerto Solo

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#18
"He lived across the hallway from me in West Bennett Hall. I saw all his hardware up close."

West Bennet, 1966, been there done that too.
OU has as many NCAA Championships in wrestling as they do MNC in football. They have 7. The problem is most people don't remember their last one in 1974. They are 4th in number behind oSu (34), Iowa (23) and Iowa State (8).
 
May 6, 2008
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#19
On ou's last championship, they had a $250,000 slush fund to buy some guys according to a little birdie. I know one of the wrestler's dad was a single father, with a job of a janitor, at a high school and had like 6 kids. After he signed with ou, his dad had a new pickup with a sooners sticker on the back.
 

the truth

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#20
Maybe the Truth or one of the rest of you knows this story more fully, but didn't Uetake recruit another Japanese wrestler who was the only one to beat him? Yoshiro Fujita who wrestled in the early 70's. Thought Fujita also held the record still for most take downs in a match(18 or something like that?)
Uptake didn't recruit japan for Myron but Mr. Hatter did. Quick story about how Yojo got to OSU. Mr. Hatta sent Myron a wrestler from Japan. On his way to Stillwater (late 1950's) he stopped in Utah, long story short he stayed at BYU. Myron spoke with Mr. Hatta and wondered where the wrestler he sent him was. Mr. Hatta found out his wrestler had stayed at BYU and called Myron and told him he would send him another wrestler that was better, turned out to be Yojo, who Myron says is the best wrestler he's ever seen at any weight. Yojo was never threatened in college, no collegiate wrestler was even close.