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, September 19, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mike Martelle on Let's Shoot Catch Wrestling Championships 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Mike Martelle, the owner and head instructor of the Grizzly Gym.

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the gym offers instruction and training in numerous martial arts and combat sports, reflecting Mike Martelle's extensive and varied background and experience.

For the last several years, Mike has also been involved in the revival of catch wrestling. He has been running the biannual Let's Shoot catch wrestling tournaments in Canada since 2008.

This year, Grizzly Gym, along with Fight Club Guatemala and Grizzly Gym Central America, brought this event to Guatemala, the first time it took place outside North America.

On August 17, Let's Shoot 2014 - the Mesoamerican Catch Wrestling Championships was held at the Parque de la Industria in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

We spoke with Mike Martelle by phone Thursday.

"As far as I can tell, and of course I mean this with no disrespect to any of the other events -- the events have been great and I'm glad to see more of them -- but as far as we can tell," he said, "it appears as though Let's Shoot 2014 in Guatemala City was the largest attended, participated catch wrestling tournament possibly not only of this year, but possibly of the entire modern era of catch wrestling."

Mentioning the many other catch wrestling events held recently around the world, he noted that Let's Shoot 2014 had more than 70 competitors.

"With all due modesty, and I'm very proud that it appears as though we've produced the largest one yet."

A short video highlight of this event can be seen here.

We thus discussed the significance of Let's Shoot 2014, how it has moved catch wrestling forward internationally, the rules of the event, and the backgrounds of the wrestlers.

He stated that one wrestler, Luis Ciraiz, should be viewed as a "pioneer" of catch wrestling and other grappling styles in Central America. His father, Luis Ciraiz Sr., had trained at the legendary Lion's Den. Now Luis Ciraiz, with a background in amateur wrestling, is regarded as among the best in Central America in catch wrestling, grappling, and MMA.

We also discussed the need to grow catch wrestling on the grassroots level, plans for a Let's Shoot World Championships in 2015, how all those in catch wrestling need to form a "united front" to pool resources and move the sport to the next level, and much more.

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