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, May 02, 2014

No Holds Barred: Kyle Johnson on Catch Wrestling in L.A. and Japan 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with catch wrestler Kyle Johnson.

Originally trained in the martial arts of Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Aikido, Capoeira, and Sanda, he has now been training in catch wrestling both at Catch Wrestling Los Angeles and at the Snake Pit Japan.

He will be wrestling on the card of the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.

This event will take place 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.

This invitational event will be held under catch wrestling rules, where you can only win by pin or submission. His opponent will be announced shortly.

We spoke with Kyle Johnson by phone Wednesday.

Discussing the rapid growth in popularity of catch wrestling and his training at Catch Wrestling Los Angeles, he said, "We've been having a lot of students becoming more and more interested in this now, and classes are being pretty much filled to capacity. We're running out of space. And I'm just wondering, why is the timing right now? Why did I fall into this at this point in time?"

He continued, "I think the sentiments that I share with catch wrestling are shared by a lot of people who are looking for something.

"Catch wrestling is very substantial to me. It's the first time when I felt like, this is a really, a tough, a tough art. It's not for someone who wants to come in there looking flashy. It's a lot of pain. There's a lot of technique that you have to practice very, very thoroughly to pull off effectively, not hurt yourself, not hurt your partner, too."

We discussed how he has made the transition to catch wrestling from the other martial arts in which he trained, despite having no wrestling or grappling background beforehand. He noted that he "felt something was missing" in his previous training, especially some years ago while watching Pride FC MMA events from Japan.

One of the highlights of his training was being allowed in to the prestigious Snake Pit Japan. There he trained under Yukou Miyato, and often worked with professional fighters. He explained how he came to be accepted there, and that people "just can't walk in there" without a good background.

Catch wrestling, he said, has the potential "to be the next big thing." We also discussed how it is an art form, how his training in catch wrestling under Raul Ramirez has helped him, how catch wrestling needs to be organized and marketed properly, and much, much more.

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