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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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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No Holds Barred: Dan Schon and the Rise of Jiu-Jitsu in Mexico 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with grappler Dan Schon.

Representing his home country of Mexico, he recently made headlines at the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a dominant performance, on October 24, he won a gold medal in the -85 kg men's ne waza division over David Ben Zaken of Israel by a score of 4-0. This competition, organized by the JJIF (Ju Jitsu International Federation), had rules which were very similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules, with some minor differences such as a shorter time limit of six minutes. This was the only medal won by a Mexican athlete in the JJIF competition at the World Combat Games.

Besides running a jiu-jitsu school, he has competed in numerous other competitions run by IBJJF, ADCC, NAGA, and other organizations.

We spoke with Dan Schon by Skype Thursday.

"It was a tough match. It was a tough tournament," he said, noting that his semifinal match was even more difficult than the gold medal final.

"I can say that Mexican jiu-jitsu is growing in a way," he said.

"We Mexicans are tough guys. We like boxing. We like a lot of the combat sports. So jiu-jitsu is new here in Mexico, but we're trying to grow it. Thanks to this jiu-jitsu federation, the JJIF, it's been able to grow, because the government is giving us a lot of help in taking us to all these international tournaments and having us compete with some of the best guys."

While he still plans to compete in events organized by other groups, he had high praise for JJIF and said he would recommend that people "at least look into us. None of the federations are exclusive, or at least not in Mexico and not in the States. You can compete in the Brazilian federation, and you can also compete in the JJIF." He also said that all his travel expenses and accommodations were paid for during the World Combat Games.

We discussed his background, and how he was born in Mexico, moved to the U.S. and graduated from UC Davis in California where he had a wrestling scholarship, and moved back to Mexico City where he also works. He talked of his love of jiu-jitsu, why it "is for everybody", how he advanced step-by-step up to black belt, his victory in the 2013 World Games in Colombia, the other styles of traditional jiu-jitsu in which JJIF holds competitions, how JJIF has gained ground in regions where other organizations have not, how he works full-time while training two to four hours a day, his thanks for the guidance his parents continue to give him, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

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 http://defensesoap.com.

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, November 10, 2013

No Holds Barred: Hudson Taylor of Athlete Ally 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Hudson Taylor, the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally.

Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand.

A three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland, Hudson Taylor is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Columbia University wrestling team.

On Wednesday, November 13, he will be one of the recipients of an Emery Award, presented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a professional provider of social support and programming for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

We spoke with Hudson Taylor by phone Wednesday.

"I founded Athlete Ally about three years ago, shortly after graduating from the University of Maryland," he said. While still wrestling at Maryland in his senior year, "I decided to start speaking out about homophobia in sports and my opinions about it. So I actually started the season wearing a Human Rights Campaign sticker on my headgear. One, because I thought it looked cool," he said with a laugh. "Two, because I thought it would really start a conversation that I didn't see occurring in the sports world."

And wrestling, he believes, is a great venue in which to speak up for all forms of equality.

"I think that wrestling is a unique sport in its diversity. It's one of the only sports where you can really be any size, any body type, and really be successful at an elite level," he said. "It's pure in a lot of ways, because you don't need to rely on anyone but yourself and what you bring to the mat."

He also is outspoken on the various forms of abuse which have been aimed at transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. "It's a real shame what Fallon Fox has had to put up with," he said.

We also discussed how Athlete Ally aids the battle against homophobia and transphobia in sports, what non-LGBT people can do to aid this fight, the support Athlete Ally has gotten from organizations including the NCAA and USA Wrestling, the situation facing closeted athletes, the fight against anti-LGBT laws in countries like Russia, the outlook for Columbia wrestling this season, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

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 http://defensesoap.com.

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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