This week, USOEC students escaped their usual training with each other and locked arms with Japanese wrestlers that traveled all the way from Tokyo.
"It??ll get us prepared for guys that are gonna switch it up," says Junior NMU wrestler, Nick Alvarez.
The Japanese team is comprised of athletes from Gunma, Waseda Universities as well as the Nippon Sports Science University in Japan. The team travels to Marquette every year as part of a cultural and wrestling exchange.
Japanese junior wrestler, Nori Fumi, believes it??s a "good experience."
"It??s a good thing to practice with American people because it??s different styles," said Fumi. "American people are strong."
For now, they aren't opponents but teammates. Both the Japanese and American wrestlers know these practices can help them get a better grip on technique.
"Most the U.S. wrestlers; more power than us," said Japanese trainer, Yoshimaro Yanagawa. "It??s very important to wrestle here."
Differences aside, there??s one match wrestlers worldwide are fighting against--the removal of wrestling from the Olympics. Students say regardless of what wrestling style or country you represent, if the sport gets removed from the Olympics, it will be a universal loss.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is looking at dropping it, and the decision could come sometime after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Northern Michigan wrestler, Mark Stenberg, has a chance at making the 2016 Olympics. He feels the possible removal is sad, adding, "for some kids, wrestling??s their whole life."
"A lot of kids, a lot of parents out there that have big dreams just got crushed," said Stenberg.