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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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Thursday, May 22, 2014

No Holds Barred: Jessica Aguilar on Her June 21 WSOF 10 Fight 



(Photo credit: WSOF/Lucas Noonan)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the world's top-ranked MMA fighter in the women's 115-pound division, and the WSOF women's strawweight champion, American Top Team fighter Jessica Aguilar.

Her first title defense will at WSOF 10 on Saturday, June 21, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her opponent will be Japanese veteran MMA fighter and kickboxer Emi "The Kamikaze Angel" Fujino, who has never lost in MMA by submission or knockout/TKO.

This fight will be part of the live telecast of WSOF 10 in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network.

We spoke with Jessica Aguilar by phone Wednesday.

Speaking of her opponent, she said, "I know that she's very experienced and she's a vet. She's fought tough competition and I know that she loves to fight, she comes to fight."

She added, "That's normal with Japanese fighters. They always come to fight. They're warriors and they're very tough."

And she noted, "She's never lost by submission. She's lost by decision. She's tough to tap. She has a wrestling background as well and she looks strong. So it's going to be a really, really good fight for me."

We also discussed her connections with Japan. "I love Japan," she said, adding that she hopes to fight there again soon.

In addition, she spoke about the many activities in which she is involved outside combat sports in her community in south Florida and elsewhere. Those included hosting an event as part of this year's Aqua Girl events in south Florida, whose aim "is to provide a safe and positive environment for LBT [lesbian, bisexual, and transgender] women to socialize and network"; attending and being honored on stage along with other openly LGBT athletes at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards in New York; and doing volunteer work at the Miami Children's Hospital, among other things.

Plus, she also recently had a successful return to the mat, winning a gold medal in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the IBJJF Boca Raton International Open 2014. We discussed her grappling background, where her MMA career is at right now, her future plans, the growing acceptance of LGBT athletes, 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.

Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth. This invitational event will be held under catch wrestling rules, where you can only win by pin or submission. It will take place Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California. For more information, go to catchwrestlingalliance.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/.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to http://takedownradio.com.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

No Holds Barred: Steve Greenfield on June 7 Catch Wrestling in L.A. 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Steve Greenfield, who runs the Llanelli Catch Wrestling and Traditional Japanese Martial Arts Club.

Located in Llanelli, Wales, in the U.K., it is the only club in Wales, and only one of two in the U.K., which are affiliate clubs of the home of catch-as-catch-can wrestling, the Snake Pit Wigan.

Steve Greenfield not only trains people in catch wrestling, but also competes himself. A veteran of the Snake Pit Wigan's international tournaments, he will be wrestling at the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.

This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612.

His opponent will be Ned Morales of Catch Wrestling Los Angeles.

We spoke with Steve Greenfield by Skype Sunday.

He explained that besides training and coaching, he is working on three books about the history of catch wrestling, focusing on the legendary Riley's Gym in Wigan, catch wrestling in Lancashire, and the many varied styles of wrestling.

A hot topic in contemporary catch wrestling is the issue of the absence of any central governing body. While the ranks of this reviving sport are presently relatively small, he agreed that a goal must be the eventual formation of precisely just such a body. This is especially true given the facts that, last century, the entire sport of professional catch-as-catch-can wrestling devolved into a staged spectacle, and that corruption is still evident today in international wrestling.

"All the problems you've sort of focused at have obviously shown their face in the history of professional wrestling," he said.

"The last thing we want to do is to see all this happening once more. So I agree, I think you have to have a central organization that everyone's sort of tied into and part of, but again is accountable to."

The current state of catch wrestling, with numerous small "disparate groups," even though they communicate with each other, will not advance the sport very much, he argued. Thus, a central governing body must eventually be formed.

"Unless that happens ... whilst we're all doing our own little thing here and there, it's going to remain what it is, a niche sort of market basically," he said.

We also discussed another controversy in catch wrestling: the use of strangulations or chokes. In the the old Riley's Gym and in current Snake Pit Wigan events, they are prohibited. Historically, they were also usually banned in catch wrestling in earlier times. We thus talked about the reasons for this, which included both the fact that strangulations and chokes "kill" or "change" the wrestling, and that there is some evidence that they can be dangerous.

In addition, we discussed what should be done today to create a foundation for the eventual establishment of a governing body for catch wrestling, how steps can be taken to fight corruption in 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:

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.

Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth. This invitational event will be held under catch wrestling rules, where you can only win by pin or submission. It will take place Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California. For more information, go to catchwrestlingalliance.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/.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to http://takedownradio.com.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

No Holds Barred: Malcolm X and the Martial Arts and Combat Sports 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman reposts a commentary from May 2013 about the legacy of Malcolm X and its meaning for the martial arts and combat sports.

Plus, added is a new introduction which discusses Malcolm X's emphasis on continuing to learn, adapt, and change, and how this applies to the martial arts and combat sports, especially for the reviving sport of catch wrestling and for those sports which produce repetitive head trauma and brain injuries.

On March 29, 1964, at a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York, Malcolm X repeated what he had said many times about the importance of the martial arts: "If you're interested in freedom, you need some judo, you need some karate, you need all the things that will help you fight for freedom."

That building now houses the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, at 3940 Broadway, New York, NY 10032, where one of the many celebrations of the 89th anniversary of Malcolm's birth will take place this Monday, May 19.

Malcolm X also explained the importance of martial arts training in "The Autobiography of Malcolm X", and how the values they teach are part of the overall training in values which "are vital in a person, a home, a community, a nation, and a civilization," and not only the aspect of training in self-defense. The book also discussed his relations with Muhammad Ali, when he won the heavyweight boxing championship of the world from Sonny Liston in 1964.

But the type of positive values which Malcolm advocated are today often not being promoted, particularly in combat sports like MMA and wrestling, and this is discussed.

So the lessons taught by Malcolm X about the martial arts and combat sports are still valid. It is up to us to learn this legacy, and to apply it to what we do today.

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.

Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth. This invitational event will be held under catch wrestling rules, where you can only win by pin or submission. It will take place Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California. For more information, go to catchwrestlingalliance.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/.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to http://takedownradio.com.

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