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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

No Holds Barred: Brandon Ruiz on Grappling, Catch Wrestling, and the Olympics 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with wrestler, grappler, and coach Brandon Ruiz.

A 2011 FILA grappling world champion and the holder of numerous championships and medals in grappling, freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, his next grappling competition will be next week at the 2013 FILA world championships in London, Ontario, Canada, where he represents the USA in the +100 kg no-gi division. But it will also be his last grappling championship under the FILA banner.

The reason is that FILA has recently decided to drop grappling, as well as amateur MMA, after this year.

We spoke with Brandon Ruiz by phone about all this last Thursday.

"Anything that can help continue to grow and legitimize grappling I think is great for the sport," he said.

While the current leadership of FILA is abandoning grappling, he noted that there today are many opportunities for people to train and compete in grappling.

Speaking about the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and ADCC, he said, "Those are probably the two biggest and the two most well-known among grappling circles. I've competed in all of those events, and I've done pretty well in all the ones that I've gone to."

He added, "That's the great part about grappling, is that you're not really beholden to any one group."

The issue of whether or not any of the various styles of grappling can ever become major spectator sports for a wide audience was discussed, and what would have to be done to achieve that.

"I think you're on to something with catch wrestling having the potential to be a great spectator sport," he said. He noted that catch wrestling laid the basis for the growth of American folkstyle wrestling in schools and colleges, and the growth of the catch wrestling circuit today.

And we discussed wrestling and grappling and the Olympics, training techniques, why he has liked participating in the FILA grappling events, and much more about these and related topics.

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