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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, March 09, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Frank Shamrock on Fatherhood, Catch Wrestling, and Head Injuries 


    (Frank Shamrock and Eddie Goldman, New York, July 1, 2010.)

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with MMA legend and the best MMA fighter of the 1990s, Frank Shamrock.

    Now retired as a fighter, we discussed, in an interview recorded by phone Friday, what he is doing now and what his plans are.

    A major focus of his life now is raising his five-year-old daughter, "five-year-old immersion" as he calls it, including all the tasks of a father from watching children's shows with her, to getting her to train in taekwondo, to explaining why so many people know him.

    While he does not follow MMA much anymore, he does have an interest in the rebirth of catch wrestling. He said that both he and veteran combat sports announcer Mauro Ranallo plan to attend the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational on June 7 at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

    "Catch wrestling is the basis of my fighting style. And the basis of catch wrestling is conditioning, athleticism, and continuously trying to finish," he said.

    "Anybody doing that is exciting. You're in shape, you know what to do, and you're constantly moving. So It's a recipe for creating exciting action."

    He did caution, "I know as soon as super-athletes come along, the game will change. But let's wait until the super-athletes come before we worry about it."

    For now, he said, "This is the type of martial art and social presentation and participation that's really good for everybody."

    What he does have second thoughts about are those sports where there are strikes to the head.

    "If you do that for a continuous period of time, if you develop a style that eats punches, if you are not good, if you are in over your head, if you're taking shots, none of that is good for you, in any sport, no matter what you're doing. You cannot get hit in the head. You cannot mess with the computer that runs the machine," he said.

    "My whole style is based around not getting hit. I don't have any memory loss. I don't have any speech problems. I've been very, very blessed. And when I started getting hit, when the game started turning to boxing and wrestling, I got out, because I didn't want to get mashed up."

    As for his daughter, he said, "The brain is the most important thing. You cannot damage it. My daughter is not going into any contact sport that hits her in the head. It's not going to happen. Might be volleyball, at best."

    Asked whether at the start of his fighting career he would have gone into professional grappling or real wrestling rather than MMA if the financial and career opportunities were equivalent to those in MMA, without hesitation he replied, "100 percent."

    We also discussed his now mellow life as a father and "a normal house dude", how his views on violent sports have evolved over the past two decades, the "huge potential" for sports like catch wrestling, some of his favorite experiences in Pancrase and Strikeforce, the lack of a martial arts code in present-day MMA, how the martial arts changed him, his relationship with his brother Ken, and much, 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.

    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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