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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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Saturday, October 18, 2014

No Holds Barred: Umar Lee on Wrestling and Ferguson, Missouri 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with independent journalist, freelance writer, St. Louis cab driver, and youth wrestling coach Umar Lee.

Ferguson is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, is part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, and is just north of the City of St. Louis. It became the focus of international scrutiny when, on August 9 of this year, an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, was gunned down by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. Many eyewitnesses have said that Brown was surrendering, with his hands up, when he was shot and killed by Wilson. His body was left in the street for four hours.

Months of mass protests charging systematic police brutality, white supremacy, and racism have followed. Currently, there is a grand jury investigation going on to determine whether or not to bring charges against Wilson, as well as a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Many people, however, are skeptical that these investigations will lead to justice for all in this case.

Ferguson is also a city which used to be known as a high school wrestling powerhouse. But in recent years, with the emergence of a majority African-American population, there has been disinvestment in the city along with white flight to the suburbs. Wrestling has declined as a result.

While working full-time and being active in the movement demanding justice for Michael Brown, Umar Lee has also found the time to issue a call for the development of more youth wrestling programs in Ferguson. We spoke with him by phone Thursday.

He explained: "When this whole situation in Ferguson developed -- you know, I'm a political guy, too, and I've been out there in the streets from day one -- I re-issued the call and said, 'Hey, all this fraternity of ex-wrestlers need to really think about what we can do for these kids that seem to be having a problem. We really need to reinvigorate our efforts to start this wrestling program.'"

While from the 1950s to the 1990s the area was a wrestling powerhouse, he said, "Over the course of the last 15 years, there's been a sharp decline in wrestling in North St. Louis County, which was once really a breadbasket for wrestling talent." Factors included job loss and the closing of factories in the area, resulting in white flight to other counties, many coaches leaving the area, and the subsequent drying up of many high school wrestling programs in the largely African-American areas.

We discussed the plans to create new wrestling programs to provide the benefits of wrestling to the youth of the area, the need for wrestling to reach out much more into the inner cities, the role of former wrestlers in continuing their commitment to the sport, how the holding of the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis numerous times in recent years has not resulted in the growth of wrestling in places like Ferguson, what to expect in the political situation in Ferguson and St. Louis, 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

No Holds Barred: Eddie Goldman and Kristal Hart on the Bright Future of Catch Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with TV host and producer Kristal Hart.

While covering boxing, entertainment, and various cultural events for many years, she has now started covering catch wrestling.

Her show, the Kristal Hart Show, is aired on Manhattan Neighborhood Network every Tuesday at 9 PM ET. On Time Warner Cable, it is on channels 56 and 1996. On RCN, it is on channel 83. And on Verizon FiOS it is on channel 34.

Besides being aired on various networks outside Manhattan, many of her videos are also available online at http://www.youtube.com/kristalhart.

We spoke with her both at the start of the 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, presented by the Snake Pit U.S.A., at the MMA World Expo in New York on July 27, and again on October 15 in New York to reflect on that event and discuss the emergence of catch wrestling.

Speaking about the 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, she said, "I definitely enjoyed it. I thought that it's quick and there has an athletic as well as an entertainment value."

The basic rules of catch wrestling, where you win by pin or submission and there are no points, make it "sort of simple in its own way," she said.

"I think it could have a bright future if it could get some backing," she added.

We discussed the main matches at the 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, why 2014 has been a banner year for the revival of catch wrestling, what catch wrestling needs to do to advance to the next level, and 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Holds Barred: On 'Foxcatcher', the Book and Film 





On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman reviews "Foxcatcher", both the upcoming film and the book of the same name. The film will be publicly released in the U.S. November 14, with the book coming out November 18.

The full title of the book is Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold. It was written by wrestling legend Mark Schultz, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in freestyle wrestling for the U.S., a three-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion at Oklahoma, and who was 1-0 in MMA, along with David Thomas. More information, including how to order it, can be found here.

The book is an autobiographical account of Mark Schultz's life, including the events surrounding the murder in January 1996 of Mark Schultz's older brother and fellow Olympic gold medalist wrestler, Dave Schultz, by the multimillionaire John du Pont. The film is a dramatization of the events surrounding Mark's experiences with du Pont at the Foxcatcher wrestling facility, and Dave's murder by du Pont.

The review of the film is based on a media screening of it which was part of the New York Film Festival on Friday, October 10. The review of the book is based on an advance reading copy sent by the publisher, Dutton.

My recommendation: If you want to know all about what happened at Foxcatcher, pre-order the book by Mark Schultz. It is a must-read, whether or not you know a lot about wrestling.

As for the movie, while the acting was superb, well, if you want to know all about what happened at Foxcatcher, pre-order the book by Mark Schultz.

All these points are discussed on this edition of No Holds Barred, including what this story says about the continuing crisis in the sport of wrestling, and 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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