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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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Saturday, December 08, 2012

No Holds Barred: Dr. Ann McKee on Concussions, CTE, and Contact Sports 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Dr. Ann McKee of the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

A study was published Monday by Boston University School of Medicine researchers, including Dr. McKee, about the effects of head injuries on 85 deceased brain donors, most of whom had been professional athletes in contact sports.

We spoke with Dr. McKee about the findings of this study on Friday by Skype.

"This is a study of 85 individuals who all had a history of repetitive, what we call mild brain traumas, meaning by that concussion and sub-concussive injuries, so injury that didn't even rise to the level of a concussion," said Dr. McKee in this interview. "Most of the individuals studied were football players, but there were also hockey players, boxers, as well as military veterans, most of which had had some athletic exposure. In this study, we looked for the effects of this repetitive mild brain trauma."

The key finding of this study was, "We found in 80 percent that they had a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)."

CTE is a brain disease associated with dementia, impairment and loss of cognition, and related physical and mental problems.

A study with this size of a sample, of course, could not definitively establish the exact relationship between head trauma, concussions, and CTE, and there are also genetic factors involved which remain to be studied. But the evidence is moving in a direction which indicates that at least, repetitive head injuries greatly increase the risk of CTE.

While much more research still must be done, and CTE can at this time only be diagnosed through autopsies, the existing research poses a question, especially for parents of children who are participating or considering participating in contact sports like football, hockey, boxing, or MMA: Should parents let their children participate in these sports, and if so, what special safeguards are needed for children in them?

Again, while more research needs to be done, Dr. McKee acknowledged this problem today, advising parents, with caution, "Let's play sports that don't involve hitting your head."

We also discussed how this ongoing research may affect contact and combat sports in years to come, what we know and don't know about head trauma in combat sports with no striking like wrestling and grappling, how interested people can assist this research, 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:

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City February 16 and 17, 2013, for the fourth annual MMA World Expo, featuring an amateur MMA tournament, grappling, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

No Holds Barred: Jeff Monson on His Undefeated 2012 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with American Top Team MMA fighter and two-time ADCC and three-time FILA world grappling champion, Jeff Monson.

Jeff has just completed a whirlwind series of events, competing on three cards and in a total of five fights in MMA and grappling, in just 10 days, and winning them all. He followed up a second-round submission victory over Alexander Emelianenko on November 15 at the M-1 15th anniversary show in St. Petersburg, Russia, and another world championship on November 17 at the FILA no-gi grappling world championship in Skala, Poland, with a decision win on November 24 over Kang Dong-Gook on the ROAD FC 10 card in Busan, Korea. This meant that in 2012, Jeff Monson went undefeated in both MMA and grappling.

"The year went pretty good," he said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Wednesday night. "I got a little banged up in the last match, so that's probably going to be it for the rest of the year, till looking at M-1 coming up in February."

We discussed his incredible 12-hour layover in China after leaving Korea, during which he was treated by an ophthalmologist. We also discussed with Jeff, who turns 42 in January, his plans to drop to 205 pounds for MMA, his 2013 plans to fight in M-1 and Road FC and possibly elsewhere, his desire to compete in grappling at both the ADCC and FILA world championships next year, what grappling might do in order to become a popular spectator sport, fighting at his age, and 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:

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City February 16 and 17, 2013, for the fourth annual MMA World Expo, featuring an amateur MMA tournament, grappling, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

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Sunday, December 02, 2012

No Holds Barred: John Perretti on His Pioneering 1997 Grappling Event, The Contenders 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with lifelong martial artist, former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker, TV commentator, and our senior correspondent, John Perretti.

On October 11, 1997, before the major no-gi grappling championships of today, John Perretti was the main organizer of a pioneering grappling event known simply as "The Contenders". The format was a seven-match card, held in Sioux City, Iowa, pitting a team of various martial artists against a team of elite U.S. wrestlers. Victory in each match could come by submission or, if there was none, judges' decision. There was no striking permitted, and the matches were held in a cage. The martial artists won, four matches to three, including three wins by submissions, but controversy ensued during and after the event about the rules and decisions.

This ended up being a money-losing, one-shot deal, because attendance was sparse and pay-per-view buys were minuscule. Still, it is considered a pioneering event because its concept helped inspire the numerous no-gi grappling championships which followed it.

Calling the event his "brainchild," John Perretti said in this interview, which was recorded by Skype Sunday, "I am to blame for all the problems with it." But he added, quoting a widely-held view about this event, "It's the greatest show no one ever saw."

We thus discussed what happened at this historic event, many of whose matches can be seen on YouTube, some of the lessons for today, 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:

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City February 16 and 17, 2013, for the fourth annual MMA World Expo, featuring an amateur MMA tournament, grappling, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

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