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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Sunday, January 25, 2015

    No Holds Barred: A Tribute to Phyllis Lee, the First Lady of NHB 




    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents a tribute to one of the true pioneers in the sport once known as no-holds-barred fighting (NHB) and now known as mixed martial arts, Phyllis Lee.

    Coming from a background as a pro wrestler, she was one of the first fight managers in the earliest days of MMA, representing numerous fighters including Dan Severn, Ron Waterman, Gary Myers, Chris Lytle, Nathan Marquardt, Shane Carwin, Carlos Condit, and many others. Besides getting fighters in North American organizations such as UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting, she had a particularly close relationship for many years with the Pancrase organization of Japan.

    All over the world Phyllis Lee was known as the First Lady of NHB.

    After a bout with pneumonia, Phyllis Lee passed away Sunday, January 18, 2015, at age 76, while in her sleep and hospitalized. A memorial service for family and friends will be held Saturday, January 31, at her church in West Unity, Ohio.

    As a tribute to her, we are reposting an interview conducted with her in June 2006. In it, she explained how she got involved with MMA; why this grandmother from the Toledo, Ohio, area, had such a passion for the combat sports and the people involved in it; her connections with Pancrase and Karl Gotch; pro and amateur wrestling; some of the events which took place and fighters who fought at the time of this interview; and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Friday, January 23, 2015

    "A Challenge in Catch Wrestling", on DefenseSoap.com 



    My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "A Challenge in Catch Wrestling", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/a-challenge-in-catch-wrestling.

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    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Ken Shamrock, Bare-Knuckle Boxer 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with MMA pioneer and legend Ken Shamrock.

    A veteran of the early days of MMA, the first King of Pancrase, and known especially for his skill with submissions, Ken Shamrock, now 50 years old, is embarking on yet another pioneering venture: to become a champion in bare-knuckle boxing.

    His debut fight is slated to take place this April in the U.K. against bare-knuckle boxing legend James Quinn, at a date and location to be announced. It is also planned for this fight to be shown on pay-per-view, with details forthcoming.

    We spoke with Ken Shamrock by phone Tuesday.

    Just like he articulately defended MMA in its formative days against various detractors, Ken Shamrock is defending this latest incarnation of bare-knuckle boxing, both for its relative safety and as an art form.

    Gloves in both boxing and MMA were introduced, he said, "under the same myth that I believe, is to try and make it safer. And I thought to myself, 'Safer for who?'"

    He explained, "It's really not to protect the guy getting punched. It's really to protect the guy that's doing the punching and make it more exciting for the fans to get more knockouts and be able to have the fighters sustain their career longer without breaking their hands and having to retire."

    Bare-knuckle boxing, he said, makes "fighters become more articulate and more accurate and more cautious about letting their hands fly, holding back some of the power that they may have, to be able to land strikes that are going to be perfect and not miss their target. Because if they do, the consequences are whether they could lose the fight because they broke their hand."

    Similarly, he argued that when gloves were brought into MMA, "They took away the purity of submissions," and made it harder to win by submission.

    We also discussed how he feels "rejuvenated" and "better than I have in the last 15 years", how bare-knuckle boxing is legal in the U.K. although unregulated, the development of the rules for this 21st century version of bare-knuckle boxing, why MMA today only has an "edge" in safety over gloved boxing, why history shows that bare-knuckle boxing is safer than gloved boxing, why bare-knuckle boxing will be "more exciting" than MMA, his views on the potential of submission wrestling and catch wrestling, his plans for training for this fight, and much more.

    In addition, we commented on the passing of another MMA pioneer, Phyllis Lee, who was known as the "First Lady of NHB".

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Monday, January 19, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Curran Jacobs and His Catch Wrestling Challenge 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestler and former Michigan State Spartans' team captain Curran Jacobs.

    After a victory by pin over Christopher Crossan of the Snake Pit Wigan on June 7, 2014, in the main event of the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth, at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, and thus winning the Frank Gotch Award, he is planning to return to action this year.

    Towards this end, he is issuing a challenge to Travis Newaza, who was victorious at the West Coast King of Catch Wrestling Tournament held January 11, 2015, in San Diego, California.

    We spoke with Curran Jacobs by phone Monday.

    "I would like to actually call out that gentleman who won that tournament, Travis Newaza, I believe his name is," he said.

    "He is being claimed the King of the West Coast, and I'm on the West Coast." He added that he was unaware of the January 11 event.

    He went on to criticize his performance in that event.

    "He's a good jiu-jitsu guy, but I saw no catch wrestling happening at all."

    We discussed his continuing training at Catch Wrestling Los Angeles, why he considers there to be "fake titles" being handed out in catch wrestling today, why he believes that many of the matches at these tournaments are "not a good display of catch wrestling", why he calls the Catch Wrestling Alliance "the leader of the pack", and much, much more.

    We also comment on the passing of an MMA pioneer, Phyllis Lee, who was known as the "First Lady of NHB".

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Friday, January 16, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Lamont Peterson, Roberto Duran, Lou DiBella, John Miller, PBC on NBC 


    (Photo by Keisha Morrisey.)

    No Holds Barred: Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Lamont Peterson, Roberto Duran, Lou DiBella, John Miller, PBC on NBC

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the interviews recorded at the inaugural news conference for the new Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series on NBC.

    This news conference took place Wednesday, January 14, at NBC's studio 8H, the home of "Saturday Night Live", at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York. For this year, there will be 20 live "PBC on NBC" events. This will include five Saturday primetime shows on NBC, six Saturday afternoon shows on NBC, and nine Saturday primetime shows on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), with specific dates and times to be announced. In this Premier Boxing Champions venture, NBC is working with Haymon Boxing and its head, boxing manager Al Haymon.

    We spoke with:

    -- Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs), who will face Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) on March 7.

    -- Adrien Broner (29-1, 22 KOs), who will face John Molina Jr. (27-2, 22 KOs), also on March 7.

    -- Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), who will face Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) on April 11.

    -- Boxing legend Roberto Duran.

    -- Promoter Lou DiBella, who will officially act as the promoter for several of these cards, about the potential for the "PBC on NBC" to elevate the status of boxing.

    -- John Miller, the Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Sports Group, about some of the business aspects of the "PBC on NBC".

    A photo gallery from this news conference can be seen here.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Photos from Premier Boxing Champions news conference at NBC, Jan. 14, 2015 

    This news conference took place Wednesday, January 14, at NBC's studio 8H, the home of "Saturday Night Live", at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York.


    Left to right: Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lamont Peterson, John Molina Jr., and Robert Guerrero.


    Al Michaels video at news conference.


    Sugar Ray Leonard.


    Sugar Ray Leonard.


    Lamont Jones, Vice President of Operations for Haymon Boxing Management.


    Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero.


    Adrien Broner and John Molina Jr.


    Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.


    Eddie Goldman, Keisha Morrisey, and Roberto Duran.


    Eddie interviewing Roberto Duran with manager Luis DeCubas Jr. and Keisha Morrisey.


    Eddie interviewing John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Sports Group.


    Eddie interviewing boxing promoter Lou DiBella.


    Eddie interviewing Lamont Peterson.


    Eddie interviewing Keith Thurman.


    (Photos of fighters, Al Michaels, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lamont Jones, Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero, Adrien Broner and John Molina Jr., and Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson by Eddie Goldman. The other photos are courtesy of Keisha Morrisey.)

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    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC News Conference 





    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio from the inaugural news conference for the new Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series on NBC.

    This news conference took place Wednesday, January 14, at NBC's studio 8H, the home of "Saturday Night Live", at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York.

    The return of major boxing shows to network television in the U.S. will start with a card on Saturday, March 7. Thus far announced are matches featuring Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) vs. Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs), and Adrien Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) vs. John Molina Jr. (27-2, 22 KOs). On April 11, Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) will face Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs).

    For this year, there will be 20 live "PBC on NBC" events. This will include five Saturday primetime shows on NBC, six Saturday afternoon shows on NBC, and nine Saturday primetime shows on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), with specific dates and times to be announced.

    There will also be Spanish-language audio and video coverage of these cards, as well as video streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra via their TV Everywhere service.

    In this Premier Boxing Champions venture, NBC is working with Haymon Boxing and its head, boxing manager Al Haymon.

    The news conference featured Jon Miller, the President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN; a video from sportscaster Al Michaels, who will be the host of these prime time shows on NBC; boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who will be the lead analyst on these shows; award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who will be in charge of composing the music for these shows; Lamont Jones, Vice President of Operations for Haymon Boxing Management; introductions of the fighters; and a short video on the history of boxing on NBC radio and TV.

    Of particular note were these announcements by Lamont Jones: "With the support of the United States Anti‑Doping Agency, each boxer who competes in a PBC bout will be subjected to rigorous Olympic‑style random drug testing. With the involvement of the Cleveland Clinic, each boxer who competes in a PBC bout will benefit from evaluations by staff physicians from the clinic. And the PBC series will support the clinic's important Professional Fighter’s Brain Health Study."

    We will also have several individual interviews from this news conference posted shortly.

    We also open with a commentary on how this can all be a game-changer for the oft-beleaguered sport of boxing.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Nevada State Athletic Commission Passes the Buck on Doping 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio from the section of Monday's Nevada State Athletic Commission public meeting on the issue of out-of-competition drug testing. This issue has came to the fore since they claimed they had no "jurisdiction" to punish UFC fighter Jon Jones for a positive drug test, a month before his UFC 182 fight with Daniel Cormier, for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine. We also read a statement from Dr. Margaret Goodman, the President and Board Chairman of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), explaining why "Any fighter who had a drug problem should not be declared fit to compete."

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Mike Martelle on Grizzly's Quest to Wrestle in Senegal 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Mike Martelle, the owner and head instructor of the Grizzly Gym.

    A martial artist who has mastered numerous disciplines and styles of both grappling and striking, he will be traveling from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, this coming week to Dakar, Senegal, in Africa, to train and compete in the traditional style of wrestling known as Laamb. There he will train with Kairé Deux at the Soumbédioune Training Center (l'écurie Soumbédioune), as well as conduct seminars in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.

    He is working on this project with the Lion Heart Initiative.

    We spoke with Mike Martelle by phone Thursday.

    "Ever since I was a little kid when I started martial arts decades ago, it was always my lifelong dream to compete on every continent," he said. "This trip to Africa will complete that goal. This will be the last of the six viable continents that I will be traveling to and competing upon."

    He continued, "We'll be competing in a traditional form of wrestling, the national sport of Senegal, called Laamb."

    There are two versions of Laamb: amateur and professional.

    "Essentially you're looking to win via taking your opponent down, or putting him out-of-bounds. And in the professional version, you can also use closed-fist punches to, shall we say, encourage the takedown," he said.

    "So I'm very excited about it. It's going to be fantastic."

    We discussed more about the Lion Heart Initiative, the potential for Laamb (also called Senegalese Wrestling) to become a popular sport worldwide, why this is "sport at its purest, at its most primal", upcoming plans for catch wrestling and combat wrestling events this year, and much, much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Friday, January 09, 2015

    "Springtime for Catch Wrestling, 2015 Edition", on DefenseSoap.com 



    My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Springtime for Catch Wrestling, 2015 Edition", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/springtime-for-catch-wrestling-2015-edition.

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    Thursday, January 08, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Akil Patterson on Diversity and Inclusion in the Wrestling Family 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with LGBT sports advocate, former Terrapin Wrestling Club director, and a member of USA Wrestling's diversity committee, Akil Patterson.

    We spoke with him by phone Wednesday.

    Although he had been a top college football player, he was also a wrestler and a wrestling coach. "I'm a wrestler at heart," he said. Akil identifies himself as a Black, gay, Christian male.

    We thus focused on the issues of overcoming homophobia and transphobia, and fighting for diversity and inclusion, in wrestling and other sports.

    "I try to help bring along some new initiatives to frame some new and outstanding information that's going to be going out to the wrestling communities," he said. "And also just to kind of bridge the gap between what is considered D and I, what really is diversity and inclusion in America, and how we can not only take the LGBT part, but also a minority perspective, and really make sure that everyone understands and is culturally aware and competent about what wrestling really means."

    He explained, "The crux of it is, is you're out there to compete. You're out there to have fun. And at the end of the day, we're one big family. We really are."

    We discussed why acceptance and equality for LGBT athletes will come, but "a little slower than we like it." We also discussed his own experiences in sports when he came out as gay, the treatment of LGBT athletes in many sports today, the support he has been given in his efforts, his work with Athlete Ally, and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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