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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, January 03, 2014

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Catch Wrestling in 2014 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with our correspondent Raul Ramirez of the Catch Wrestling Alliance.

Based in the Los Angeles, California, area, and working with the Snake Pit Wigan in the U.K., which is the home of catch-as-catch-can wrestling, he has set his sights on hosting a major international catch wrestling event this year in Los Angeles.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Wednesday, New Year's Day.

"Everyone who's involved with catch wrestling, it's their dream to really help revive it as a real, maybe even professional sport, hearken back to the glory days of catch wrestling," he said.

"So basically this past year I've been working hard with the Snake Pit Wigan and reaching out to other people in the United States who have been involved with catch wrestling for a long time. A lot of them want to work together to try to provide wrestlers for a big event that we plan on having, most likely June of this year."

Many of the details of this event are yet to be finalized, but the basic rules of catch wrestling will be in place: you can only win by pin or submission.

Among the many issues facing catch wrestling as it is being revived is governance. The building of regional, national, and international infrastructures is already taking place, with the hopes of holding events to determine credible national and world champions "who earned" these titles. At the same time, he also stressed the need to guard against corruption. This is what killed real professional catch wrestling a century ago, when it completely degenerated and left the realm of sport.

At this point, this Catch Wrestling Alliance event is planned to be held on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, where many sumo wrestling and jiu-jitsu events have taken place. Wrestlers will be invited from several countries, including some of those who have competed at the Snake Pit Wigan's annual International Catch Wrestling Tournaments.

The aim, he said, is "a real international event."

We also discussed why catch wrestling has as its basics the fundamentals of wrestling; possible different rule sets which include or exclude chokeholds; other catch wrestling events already planned for 2014, including the Virginia Shooter's Challenge, which is the North American Catch Wrestling Association's regional qualifier, on April 5 in Amherst, Virginia; the eventual need for an international federation to govern catch wrestling; 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.

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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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

No Holds Barred: Dr. Sherry Wulkan on Transgender Athletes, Concussions, and Combat Sports 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Dr. Sherry Wulkan, who is the Medical Chair of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), the lead MMA and muay Thai physician of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, and the Medical Director of Long Island Sports Care Group Inc. in Bayport, New York.

In 2012, Dr. Wulkan presented the policy proposal to the Association of Boxing Commissions on transgender fighters, which was based on what had already been adopted by the International Olympic Committee and many other major sports organizations. With the coming to prominence in 2013 of Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender MMA fighter, this policy has been much debated.

We spoke with Dr. Wulkan by phone Tuesday.

Dr. Wulkan worked on this policy towards transgender athletes with Eric Vilain, M.D., Ph.D., who is a Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology at UCLA, the Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics, the Chief of Medical Genetics, and an attending physician in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Vilain was also instrumental in developing the IOC's policy on transgender athletes.

"What we found out," said Dr. Wulkan, "was in fact when an athlete undergoes [male-to-female] sexual reassignment, that the hormones, the male advantage in this case, is mitigated, after some say one year, but we were very conservative and made it two years."

She continued, "Testosterone, which can cause what we call male aggression and also increases muscle mass, is mitigated if the hormones are removed. After a two-year interval there is really no advantage that we know about at this point from having a sex change."

Dr. Wulkan also worked with the Florida commission on this issue, where Fallon Fox was licensed and fought three times in 2013.

We discussed the scientific reasons for this policy and why more education is needed on this issue. "There is a learning curve for everybody," she said.

We also moved on to the issues of concussions, head injuries, brain damage, and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). "We're ahead of the game because of everything the NFL has gone through," she said, including the major media coverage on this issue for American football, and the settlement of a lawsuit brought by over 4000 former NFL players against the league for allegedly covering up information about the risks of playing that sport.

While the relative safety of sports like American football, boxing, MMA, and muay Thai can be debated, they all pose the risk of brain damage for at least some of their athletes. Much more research needs to be done to understand fully those risk factors, she said, but today the regulators like her are "trying to make it as safe as possible" by seeing their role as "fighter advocates".

In addition, we also discussed where fighters can get more information on these health and safety issues, the growing awareness about them by the members of the Association of Boxing Commissions, 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.

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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Monday, December 30, 2013

No Holds Barred: The Crisis in Wrestling and 2014 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses some of the main lessons of the tumultuous year of 2013 for wrestling, where it was almost banished from the Olympics, and examines what international, real professional, and catch wrestling must do in order to resolve the problems holding back the sport. The need for professional leadership, being media-savvy, running the various wrestling organizations like real sports, and battling corruption are among the topics stressed.

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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