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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, November 07, 2014

No Holds Barred: Ulf Elm and Steve Koepfer on Grappling, Sambo, and Catch Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Ulf Elm of the Växjö Titans gym in Sweden, and Steve Koepfer of New York Combat Sambo.

We spoke with them Monday while Ulf Elm was visiting New York and conducting grappling seminars at New York Combat Sambo.

With a background in multiple disciplines in the martial arts and combat sports, Ulf Elm has been spending much of his time instructing people in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling in Sweden. There he has seen the growth and development of both BJJ and grappling organizationally.

"I would say it's getting more and more formalized," he said. While in the U.S. there are many disparate jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions and organizations, "In Sweden, it's more formalized. Jiu-jitsu competitions with IBJJF rules -- it's really big. It's huge."

As for no-gi grappling, the main organization is ADCC.

"The Swedish Submission Wrestling Federation, now they are starting again with ADCC rules," he said. "They tried to go with FILA, the FILA grappling rules for a couple of years, but that basically broke down. FILA dropped grappling, and no one picked it up. So now they are back to ADCC rules and sending the national team to the ADCC European Trials."

We also discussed the controversy involving Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who handed back his bronze medal after losing a highly controversial semifinal match in the 2008 Olympics, in which almost all observers felt that he had been robbed. The Court of Arbitration for Sport later sided with Abrahamian in his appeal of a ban from wrestling, but the damage from this scandal once again disgraced the international wrestling authorities. Thus, we discussed how since this mess, which received wide attention in the Swedish media, wrestling has declined in Sweden.

In addition, we discussed with both Ulf Elm and Steve Koepfer the state of sambo and catch wrestling in Sweden and Scandinavia, what they need to do to expand there and around the world, 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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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

No Holds Barred: Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev 



Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews what should be regarded as one of the most important and incredible sports stories in the world: the November 8 light heavyweight title unification fight between the 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins and the unbeaten 31-year-old knockout artist Sergey Kovalev.

In this fight, Hopkins, with a record of 55-6-2 and 32 KOs, and holder of IBF and WBA belts, takes on Kovalev, 25-0-1 with 23 KOs, who holds the WBO belt. It takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will be shown live in the U.S. on HBO and in the U.K. and Ireland on BoxNation.

The story behind this fight is almost unmatched in sports, and the implications of its outcome should reverberate far beyond the marginalized world of boxing. How can Hopkins, just two months shy of his 50th birthday, still compete at such a high level, and in such a brutal sport? And after a career of being counted out as finished numerous times, only to defeat younger and unbeaten favorites one after another, is this the night that Father Time finally arrives for Hopkins, as he faces the dangerous and relentless slugger Kovalev?

Besides our commentary on why this fight is not getting the coverage it deserves from the sports and general media, the careers of both fighters, and what is the likeliest outcome of it, we also have comments from both fighters, Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, from their recent media conference call.

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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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Snake Pit Wigan International Week 


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

He is currently in Wigan, England, for the third annual International Week organized by the legendary home of catch-as-catch-can wrestling, the Snake Pit Wigan. There will be several days of training, capped off by the annual catch wrestling invitational tournament involving wrestlers from around the world, which will take place this year on Saturday, November 8, in Bolton, England.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Saturday before he left for the U.K.

"This year is going to be a little bit different from all the other years," he said. While there still will be several days of training and the event on Saturday, this year the people from the Snake Pit Wigan decided to have American catch wrestler "Jon Strickland teach a few of the training sessions."

We also discussed some of the differences between American-style and British-style catch wrestling, how the wrestlers who will compete in the catch tournament on Saturday will be selected by Snake Pit Coach Roy Wood, Raul's own plans to wrestle at this event for the third year in a row, the book on Snake Pit founder Billy Riley by Stephen Greenfield and Mark De Courcy which is due out this week, the need to raise the quality of wrestling and focus on fundamentals more in catch wrestling training and events, plans for the future, 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:

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, November 02, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero, Makar Tchekalenkov, Midwood Wrestling 



Photo: Makar Tchekalenkov, in red, vs. Javlon Xaydarov, in blue.

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, and team co-captain Makar Tchekalenkov.

On Thursday, October 30, at a packed Campus Road Gymnasium in Midwood High School, the team held the Midwood Wrestling Exhibition 2014, now an annual event which kicks off and promotes the upcoming wrestling season.

In this event, the current Midwood wrestlers were divided into two teams, red and blue. As it went to the final match, the team score was tied at 18-18.

The last match had Makar Tchekalenkov, originally from Moscow, Russia, and weighing 128 pounds, representing the red team, against Javlon Xaydarov, originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and weighing 145 pounds, for the blue team. These two were at first scheduled to be partners in a planned tag-team match under high school wrestling rules, but that match had to be cancelled when one of the wrestlers on the opposing team suffered an injury and had to withdraw.

As they wrestled in the first period, it appeared that the heavier Javlon Xaydarov had the advantage. He scored a takedown to go up 2-0. Makar Tchekalenkov did get an escape, and the period ended with a 2-1 score. Javlon started the second period on top, but Makar escaped again, making it 2-2 as it went to the third and final period. With Makar on top, he not only rode Javlon the entire period, but also secured a near fall to score three more points. That was enough to win this exciting match by a score of 5-2, and for his red team to win the meet in dramatic fashion by a score of 21-18.

We spoke with Coach Hero and Makar Tchekalenkov right after the matches ended.

"It was a very exciting match," said Coach Hero. "It was a lot of fun. and I've got to say, I'm very proud of the boys. All the matches were very good and they were very competitive."

"I'm very good of a top wrestler," said Makar Tchekalenkov, who is a senior this year. "I knew I just had to either let him up, or just ride him out and get the back points and win it. So it's 2-2 and I got my back points and I won the match, and I was really excited for that."

We also discussed the importance of events like this in promoting wrestling, the prospects for the team this season, what Makar plans to do after graduating high school and going to college, Coach Hero's assurances that he will indeed wrestle at MidwoodMania in the spring of 2015, 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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