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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Sunday, November 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: Mike Van Arsdale on Training, Fighting, and Wrestling 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with trainer and former MMA fighter and wrestler Mike Van Arsdale.

Mike Van Arsdale had a distinguished career in wrestling, winning an NCAA Div. I national championship at 167 pounds in 1988 for Iowa State, and winning a gold medal at 97 kg in freestyle wrestling at the 1997 World Cup. In 1998 he began fighting in MMA, competing in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. until 2006.

Now 48 years old and retired as an active MMA fighter and wrestler, he is training fighters in strength and conditioning, wrestling, and wrestling for MMA. He is widely known as one of the most respected and sharpest coaches and trainers.

We spoke with him Friday while he was in New York cornering a fighter at the Glory 12 kickboxing event.

A lot of what he teaches is influenced by the old school training methods. Many trainers today, he said, just "make things up," which is not the best approach.

"What they're making up does not replace the real lifts, like the dead lift, or the pullup, or the dip," he said. "Going back to the old days and looking at their systems, some of them are good. Some of them are better than some of the stuff they have out right now."

Along with his business partner, the world-renowned strength and conditioning coach Tim McClellan, he uses what he calls "a prime system".

This is based on "what really worked the best. We looked at everything, and we use what works the best, and it's just a matter of putting the sequence together in the proper order."

We also discussed some of the many problems associated with training, including overtraining, as well as the growing concern in all contact and combat sports with head trauma, brain injuries, concussions, and CTE, and how that is affecting the future of these sports.

In addition, we discussed the recent revival of real professional wrestling in the U.S. He noted that in order for this to be successful, a tournament format is needed, along with new and better leadership in wrestling to organize these events. And we discussed why so many wrestlers have turned to MMA, how his view of wrestling compares to that of the many other combat sports, and much more.

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