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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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    Friday, February 01, 2013

    No Holds Barred: Dr. Alex Eingorn and John Perretti on the Practical Martial Art That Failed 

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman continues our discussions exploring the origins and evolution of mixed martial arts, with our senior correspondent John Perretti and one of his many martial arts students from the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Alex Eingorn.

    Dr. Eingorn, considered by many to be the best chiropractor in New York, founded one of New York City's first multi-disciplinary health care centers in 1989 that later became Better Health Chiropractic, which he still runs.

    Our discussion was recorded by phone Monday night.

    Dr. Eingorn first met and began training with John Perretti in New York in 1977. The techniques taught by John were officially known as Tao Jutsu Do, combining the best techniques of the martial arts and combat sports. Even in the 1970s and '80s, Dr. Eingorn recalled, Tao Jutsu Do was also known by a term which would later eclipse it: mixed martial arts.

    The training included everything from grappling to use of weapons to kickboxing to running gauntlets while blindfolded. The emphasis, Dr. Eingorn stated, was on "the practicality of everything" rather than style. The training not only focused on these many techniques of fighting, but also on how to "repair people" from any injuries they suffered, something which reinforced Dr. Eingorn's career choice.

    Along the way, however, something went wrong. While Dr. Eingorn said he used to follow professional MMA and has attended several live events, he no longer follows MMA like he once did.

    "In my opinion, it's evolved into a totally different animal," he said in this interview.

    Discussing his training from 1977 to 1983 with John Perretti, he said, "We had rules. We couldn't just get somebody on the ground and keep pummeling them in the head. You know, you get somebody on the ground, you land a punch, you know it's solid, you stop the fight."

    He continued, "Initially, when John was starting this, it was all about stopping your opponent and discouraging them from continuing, whether it was through an arm bar or a choke hold or some other technique. And then it stopped. What I see now is that the damage is relentless." And he said, "These people are coming out injured, more than they need to be, in my opinion." When asked what he wants to see in MMA today, he responded, "more technique and less violence."

    He concluded, "When we were working on this, we were trying to create a practical art, a practical martial art, that will do no harm, that will just develop the person's ability, it will teach them honor, it will teach them boundaries, it will teach them discipline, and teach them all the beauty that the martial arts has to offer, without the devastating trauma and lasting injury." But that, in his opinion has not occurred with professional MMA.

    "And I think, unfortunately, we failed. I think the powers that be took that to a totally different level."

    We also discussed some of the style vs. style challenge fights of the 1970s and 1980s, the issues of head injuries and brain trauma in combat and contact sports, and much more.

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    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.

    "The Martist" with John Perretti. A "martist" is an artist as well as a martial artist. This is a blog for those who think about fighting, published by John Perretti, the lifelong martial artist and former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker. Check out John's writings at http://johnperretti.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.

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    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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