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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, May 06, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero on MidwoodMania V 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Coach George Hero, the legendary coach and founder of the Midwood High School wrestling team in Brooklyn, New York.

On Saturday, May 10, Midwood High School will be the scene of this year's edition of what has now become an annual tradition, MidwoodMania V: May Madness on the Mat.

The event runs from 11 AM to 3 PM, at the Campus Road Gymnasium of Midwood High School, 2839 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11210, right across the street from Brooklyn College.

This year there will be ten matches involving Midwood alumni, wrestlers, and coaches, as well as alumni from other schools. Matches will be held under NCAA, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling rules, as well as a folkstyle tag team match.

In the main event, the 56-year-old Coach Hero will be returning to the mat in a heavyweight tag team match. He will team with Jon Guarino of NYU and face the pair who were Coach Hero's opponents at last year's MidwoodMania, Brian Anderson and Anthony Chu, both of NYU.

The tag team match will be held under folkstyle rules, but with some important modifications. It is scheduled for three, four-minute periods. A wrestler can only tag out when there is a break or a lull in the action, and must indicate this to the referee. Each team is allowed only one tag per period. Also, a pin ends the period, but not the match.

We spoke with Coach George Hero by phone last Monday.

"Oh yeah, I'll be on again," said Coach Hero.

"I can't believe it's been five years already. It's MidwoodMania V. The event has really grown. We're getting more and more wrestlers now who are not Midwood alumni. And hopefully, as I said, this can be a model for something city-wide eventually, maybe even the creation of some kind of a league just for former high school and college wrestlers who may not necessarily want to go and get involved in international competition or national competition per se, but just wrestle for their own pleasure or just to be able to stay in shape."

Besides discussing the idea of establishing an organization for recreational wrestlers who are out of school to compete, we also talked about his continuing to wrestle at age 56, the need for other schools to hold similar events, some of the other matches planned for MidwoodMania V, 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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City July 26 and 27, 2014, for the fifth annual MMA World Expo, featuring the Fighters Source U.S. Nationals amateur MMA tournament, two days of ADCC no-gi and gi grappling tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, 2014, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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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Sunday, May 04, 2014

No Holds Barred: Dr. Michael Hutchison on Head Trauma in MMA 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Dr. Michael Hutchison of the University of Toronto Concussion Program.

A research associate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Dr. Hutchison is also the lead author of a study, published in March 2014 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, called "Head Trauma in Mixed Martial Arts".

The purpose of this study was "(1) To determine the incidence, risk factors, and characteristics of knockouts (KOs) and technical knockouts (TKOs) from repetitive strikes in professional MMA; and (2) to identify the mechanisms of head trauma and the situational factors that lead to KOs and TKOs secondary to repetitive strikes through video analysis."

While no fighters were actually examined in this study, it did look at all the competition data and video records for all knockouts and TKOs from numbered Ultimate Fighting Championship events between 2006 and 2012.

It found that the "combined incidence of match-ending head trauma of 15.9 per 100 AEs (31.9% of matches)."

When comparing these figures to other combat and contact sports like boxing, kickboxing, and American football, it concluded, "Rates of KOs and TKOs in MMA are higher than previously reported rates in other combative and contact sports."

It also noted that "we have likely underestimated the incidence of TBIs [traumatic brain injuries] in MMA as we have (1) reviewed only events immediately preceding the conclusion of a match and (2) recognized that a certain percentage of concussions have no observable signs evident on video footage."

We spoke with Dr. Michael Hutchison by phone Friday.

"What I see at this point for what we can do as researchers, is to at least document the frequency [of KOs and TKOs], to educate the public to allow people to make informed decisions, and with informed decisions and having this concerning frequency, is that you would potentially over time see a reduction in interest. And a reduction in interest will lead to obviously less people participating, and the trickle-down effect will likely occur, if people are informed well enough about the potential risks and associated consequences potentially with these outcomes," he said.

"And so, from my perspective, I would like to inform the public, and allow them as adults, and adults should be making decisions for their kids, is that, just be educated, understand, and then make informed decisions. I think that's the most that we can do. And if more people look at this, and find similar information, then as we grow this body of information, then we will have enough information to make sound conclusions."

We discussed many details of this study, what its methodology was, the strengths and limitations of this methodology, what can be known from it regarding the relative risks of head trauma in MMA and other sports, the increasing progression of strikes to the head in the 30 seconds prior to a knockout or TKO in MMA in many fights, the need for people to be active and participate in sports and exercise, the reactions to this report in both the scientific community and the media, how its findings validate the dangers of what John Perretti terms the "anvil effect" where fighters are repeatedly punched in the head while on the ground, 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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City July 26 and 27, 2014, for the fifth annual MMA World Expo, featuring the Fighters Source U.S. Nationals amateur MMA tournament, two days of ADCC no-gi and gi grappling tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, 2014, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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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