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, June 15, 2014

No Holds Barred: Wade Schalles and Jake Shannon on Why Catch Wrestling Is Hot 

Wade Schalles demonstrating pinning techniques

Jake Shannon demonstrating catch wrestling leglocks

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Wade Schalles and Jake Shannon of Scientific Wrestling.

They were the lead instructors at the Certified Catch Wrestler Training Camp Spring 2014, which was held June 13-15 in Englishtown, New Jersey. We spoke with them at the conclusion of Saturday's session.

This was also the first camp where Wade Schalles -- a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, a master pinner, and a 1991 inductee in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame -- was serving as coach of Scientific Wrestling, following the recent passing of their previous coach, the legendary Billy Robinson.

"It's exciting to branch off and try some new things," said Wade Schalles. "I was in wrestling for over 40 years, and I don't want to say I'm tired of [it], I'm just looking for a different challenge, and catch wrestling provides that. It adds another element that's been void in my life from wrestling, and that's the submission side, either through chokes or joint locks. And that's a lot of fun, too. It's a different animal. And learning a different method, a different strategy, is exciting."

Said Jake Shannon, "Billy [Robinson] brought us, with his being in movies, with him being all over the world, globe-trotting from competitive wrestling to pro wrestling, all this other stuff, training all the MMA guys in Japan, all that -- he brought a certain sensibility to us. What I'm hoping is now with Wade, and Wade's incredible resume, that we start attracting these high-level wrestling athletes."

Along with the current series of catch wrestling competitions, all this marks the start of a rapid period of growth for catch wrestling.

"I've been doing this for a long time. I know there's not a huge market for it yet," said Jake Shannon. "But I see enormous potential. And I've never seen it hotter than it is now."

We discussed why catch wrestling is so hot now, why the next five years will likely see it dramatically grow, the opportunities it gives college and elite wrestlers as an alternative to MMA without the dangers of that sport or for training for MMA, the need to create a level of real professional wrestling, the role of Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson, the relation of catch wrestling to MMA and folkstyle and freestyle wrestling, and much, much more.

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No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City July 26 and 27, 2014, for the fifth annual MMA World Expo, featuring the Fighters Source U.S. Nationals amateur MMA tournament, two days of ADCC no-gi and gi grappling tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, 2014, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

The 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, presented by the Snake Pit U.S.A., taking place Sunday, July 27, at the MMA World Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. You can only win by pin or submission. Best two out of three falls. All styles welcome. For more information or to register, go to snakepitusa.com.

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, a catch wrestling promotion that works with the highest level catch wrestlers from around the world with the goal of reviving the great sport of catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance organizes catch wrestling sporting events, and its primary organizer is Dr. Raul Ramirez. For more information, go to catchwrestlingalliance.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 http://takedownradio.com.

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