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Sunday, November 30, 2014

No Holds Barred: Wade Schalles on How Wrestling Wins 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestling legend Wade Schalles.

Besides serving as the coach at Scientific Wrestling, he has been writing a multi-part series called "How Wrestling Wins".

Mainly focusing on the decline of American wrestling, he goes in-depth to analyze the problems of the sport and offer numerous innovative solutions. Whether or not you agree with everything he writes, people in wrestling and the combat sports will find this series to be a much-needed and refreshing change from the mediocrity and lack of critical analysis which characterizes most discussion about wrestling.

We spoke with Wade Schalles by phone Monday.

This series "covers the greatness of the sport of wrestling, what's unique about it, why I think it's the best sport for young men and young ladies to participate in, certainly at an early age, and the reasons why I believe that way," he said.

"I follow up with where we are struggling, where we are in the world of sports today both domestically and internationally, and why we are where we are, who's at fault, why they're at fault, and how do we go about fixing it."

We discussed the urgent need for wrestling to attract more spectators to live events, how those events have to be much better organized and presented than they are now, the effect on wrestling of the film and book "Foxcatcher", his own experiences with John du Pont, and more.

We also discussed the revival of catch wrestling and his role in that. He explained why this style, where you win by pin or submission, has great potential to grow, why college wrestling should consider adding submissions, the creativeness of catch wrestling, and much more about catch wrestling.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach Tom Brands on Iowa Wrestling 2014-15 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Olympic gold medalist, world champion, and three-time NCAA Div. I national champion wrestler Tom Brands, who is the current head wrestling coach of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

Although the Iowa Hawkeyes have won 23 NCAA Div. I wrestling championships, they have not finished first since the 2009-10 season. This season, however, the early polls put their team atop the rankings, as they hope to end the four-year reign of Penn State.

We spoke with Coach Brands, now in his ninth season as head coach, by phone Tuesday.

As for these early season rankings, he said, "I think that you keep it in context like anything, and we have to do a lot of work before we get there in the end."

He continued, "There's a lot of parity out there, at least that's what people are excited about, fans and pundits are excited about. And I've never been a fan of parity. And what we do is the same whether we're ranked number one or number three. What we have to do is, we have to continue to get better every day in such a way that we widen the gap. There's no automatic, but there's also no reason why this team can't be the champion at the end."

Interestingly, he did note that while the team is ranked number one, no individual Iowa wrestler has a number one ranking now, nor are there any returning national champions on the team. But he does believe that this team has a number of wrestlers who could win national titles, including: heavyweight senior and two-time All-American Bobby Telford, 133-pound sophomore and returning All-American Cody Clark, 174-pound senior and two-time All-American Mike Evans, 125-pound sophomore and bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2014 junior world championships Thomas Gilman, and several others.

We also discussed the importance of wrestling freestyle for college wrestlers and how the team encourages that, why college wrestling needs a "more entertaining style" to appeal to fans, why the 1982 NCAA 177-pound finals between future Olympic champions Mark Schultz of Oklahoma and Ed Banach of Iowa is still one of his favorite matches to watch, the effect the court ruling which mandates that some colleges compensate some college athletes will have on Olympic sports in college like wrestling, why "entertainment will bring in fans", this Saturday's in-state showdown with longtime rival Iowa State, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

"Give Mark Schultz An Award", on DefenseSoap.com 



My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Give Mark Schultz An Award", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/give-mark-schultz-an-award/.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

No Holds Barred: Renzo Gracie and Mario Mercado on Metamoris 5 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA legend Renzo Gracie, and Mario Mercado, who among many other tasks coaches wrestling at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.

Our main topic was the grappling match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba held Saturday, November 22, at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California. This match, in which you could only win by submission and there were no points of judges, went to a 20-minute draw, although most observers felt that Renzo dominated the positions in it.

We spoke with Mario Mercado at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York right after a viewing party there of Metamoris 5. We discussed what happened in the match, Renzo's game plan, the influence of wrestling on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, plans for a Team Renzo Gracie vs. Team Joe Warren wrestling meet at the 2014 Grapple at the Garden event at Madison Square Garden December 21, and much more.

We spoke with Renzo by phone Sunday, before he returned from California to the East Coast. We discussed this match, in which he said his "knee popped out" early on, hindering him somewhat.

While showing great respect for catch wrestling and wrestlers in general, Renzo did not agree with those who said that this match with Sakuraba was a showdown between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and catch wrestling.

"The knowledge is out there," he said. "To claim that Sakuraba is a catch-canner -- Sakuraba is a jiu-jitsu man. That's what made him brilliant."

Noting that Sakuraba lasted 20 minutes with him without ever being in serious danger of being submitted, he said, "He was able to survive there, which amazed me. And that shows what kind of jiu-jitsu he has."

We also discussed why he likes the Metamoris format, more on this BJJ vs. catch wrestling rivalry, the growing wrestling program at his academy, his ADCC 2015 superfight with Matt Hughes, his plans to return to fighting next year in UFC, how he feels "better than I was 27," his plans to accompany Roger Gracie at the December 5 ONE FC event in Manila, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mark Schultz on 'Foxcatcher' 




(Photo of Dave and Mark Schultz, courtesy of Mark Schultz.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the 1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in freestyle wrestling for the U.S., a three-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion at Oklahoma, and 1-0 MMA fighter, wrestling legend Mark Schultz.

The book of his life story, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, written with sportswriter David Thomas, has just been released.

The film Foxcatcher, which is a dramatization based on that book and focuses on the events surrounding the 1996 murder of his brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, was released in New York and Los Angeles November 14, and will be released in many more cities around the world in the coming weeks and months.

We spoke with Mark Schultz by Skype Wednesday.

The movie has already been widely mentioned in the film media as a major candidate for numerous Academy Award nominations. In particular, the performances of actors Steve Carell (du Pont), Channing Tatum (Mark Schultz), and Mark Ruffalo (Dave Schultz) have all been singled out as extraordinary, as well as the directing of Bennett Miller. The film is already being recognized as a major work of art, and easily the most important film ever made involving wrestling.

Speaking about the film, he said, "It's like epic. There are so many themes and undertones and metaphors."

He noted, "It's like a Greek tragedy about what happens when everything can be had at a price. And it teaches people, too -- it's about what happens when these worlds collide."

Stressing that the film's story has lessons which go far beyond the particulars of this one tragic tale, he said, "It's a movie for people who like to think."

But the film will also have an effect on the sport of wrestling, since the murder of Dave Schultz took place on du Pont's Foxcatcher estate while Dave was employed there as a wrestling coach.

The film, Mark said, "is going to make wrestling a part of pop culture."

But besides showing the countless benefits of wrestling, such as building character, molding one's body and mind through hard training, etc., the film, along with Mark's book, also demonstrates the weaknesses in the governance of the sport of wrestling. The result has been that wrestling legends like Mark and Dave Schultz, in Mark's own words in his book, "were having to stoop to rely on a lowlife like John du Pont to survive."

He also said that the most important thing to him in this whole project of this book and film is "immortalizing my brother." Few will argue that he has not succeeded in doing precisely that.

We also discussed more on what wrestling needs to do in order to become self-sustaining, the appeal of submission wrestling and catch wrestling, his training in jiu-jitsu and his one pro fight in UFC in 1996, his experience seeing his project bloom from a draft of his book into a major motion picture and autobiography, his connecting with the actors in the film and in particular with Channing Tatum, his current activities of doing public speaking and conducting seminars, and much more.

The No Holds Barred recommendation: For Mark's whole story, get the book. It is a must-read, whether or not you know much about wrestling. For a dramatization which will also go down in history, watch the film. It is a must-see.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on the Bellator Boom, Renzo-Sakuraba, and Foxcatcher 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our longtime colleague and correspondent, Chris Thomas.

Chris covered the historic Bellator 131 card on November 15 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Besides taking place in a packed arena, the main event between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar drew 1.8 million viewers in the U.S., peaking at two million, on Spike TV, making it the most-watched and highest-rated MMA fight on cable in 2014, and the sixth-highest rated cable show of all types that night in ages 18-49 in the U.S.

In that fight, the ever-popular Tito Ortiz won by split decision over Stephan Bonnar. Will Brooks, coming in as the interim lightweight champion, scored a fourth-round TKO over a former champion, Michael Chandler, to capture the Bellator lightweight belt. "King" Mo Lawal dominated Joe Vedepo and won by third-round TKO. And in what was, as expected, a slugfest, Joe Schilling survived a first-round knockdown and onslaught from Melvin Manhoef to win by knockout in the second round.

We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Tuesday.

"It was really interesting seeing this be the first real, in my opinion, Scott Coker show," he said, referring to new Bellator president and former Strikeforce head Scott Coker. "And he put his stamp on it like he is going to make a statement. And you could tell that he is ready to take the next step."

He continued, "Everything was on par. I mean everything. The production, the look, the feel, the fans were there, it was a sold-out show. It was pretty amazing. It was pretty exciting. I felt like MMA is about to take another step in the right direction."

We also discussed the fights themselves, the emergence of Will Brooks as a bona fide star and top-level MMA fighter, Bellator's plans for 2015, and more.

In addition, this coming Saturday, November 22, two legends hit the mat, as Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba have a grappling match at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California. We discussed how this match, unlike their Pride 10 MMA fight in 2000, is being positioned as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs. catch wrestling, and what that says about the growth of the prestige of catch wrestling. We also discussed some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Metamoris organization.

This past week saw the release of the highly-acclaimed "Foxcatcher" movie as well as the book of the same name, which inspired the film, by Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Mark Schultz. We discussed some of the lessons of this tragic tale of the 1996 murder of Mark's brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, for the sport of wrestling.

Plus, we discussed some of Chris's business ventures, and a lot more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

No Holds Barred: Frank Shamrock, Movie Star 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with MMA legend Frank Shamrock.

Now retired as a fighter, he is focusing on many entertainment projects, including acting. He is currently starring in a new horror short film called "Everlast". Mainly shot at YouTube Space LA, it is showing on BlackboxTV, one of YouTube's most popular horror channels, and for free, at https://youtu.be/6hAUjD3MZj0.

We spoke with Frank Shamrock by phone Friday about this film and what else he is doing.

In this film, Frank plays MMA fighter Nikolai Faust.

"I'm actually dead. I've crossed over to another world," he said of his character. "I've actually done a deal with the Devil about a decade ago to become the greatest fighter in the world. And that sort of traps me in this little parallel universe where I have to sort of live in that inter-hell and have to fight every comer that comes along, until someone takes my place, I guess. And that's what happens in the movie."

The film climaxes when Faust must take on the undefeated Angel Shepard, played by Kevin McNamara.

We discussed this film, and to what degree its underworldly theme is an allegory about the real world of MMA. We also discussed how today's movie fighting is utilizing realistic MMA techniques, how the future of martial arts and combat sports may change with a new generation becoming much more aware of the dangers of head trauma than earlier generations, what role scripted film fighting can play in satisfying the desire of many to watch fights, how this more educated next generation of fighters will change martial arts for the better, how he would "love to see" catch wrestling grow, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on Bellator 131, Wanderlei Silva, and Robot Fighting 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our longtime colleague and correspondent, Chris Thomas.

He will be covering this Saturday's Bellator 131 card at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California, headlined by the Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar, Will Brooks-Michael Chandler, "King" Mo Lawal-Joe Vedepo, and Melvin Manhoef-Joe Schilling fights.

We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Wednesday.

Besides discussing the fights on the Bellator 131 card, we also noted how MMA legend Wanderlei Silva had originally been scheduled to appear at a pre-party kickoff event for that card the night before the fights, but was pulled from that, reportedly because of contractual obligations.

"For anybody to begrudge someone like Wanderlei Silva, who's given so much of himself to this sport for so many years, and to not allow him to make a living, is ridiculous in where the sport is today in 2014," he said. "That's horrible."

We also had a wide-ranging discussion on numerous topics, including the potential for robot fighting to become the future of combat sports, even in the wake of the poor ratings for the Robot Combat League TV show last year; the WSOF 15 card with three title fights, also on November 15; the proposal to have same-day weigh-ins in MMA and boxing, as is done in wrestling; in boxing, last Saturday's Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight title fight, and this coming Saturday's Wladimir Klitschko-Kubrat Pulev heavyweight title fight; the success of the Baltimore Orioles and failures of the New York Yankees in baseball, along with the reasons for the sharp increase in injuries in that sport; the issue of doping in sports; and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Holds Barred: Will Brooks On His Nov. 15 Bellator Title Fight 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with American Top Team fighter and Bellator MMA interim lightweight champion Will Brooks.

His next fight will be featured on the Bellator 131 card on Saturday, November 15, from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. There he will fight for the vacant Bellator lightweight title against former champion Michael Chandler. These two first met on May 17 of this year, with Will Brooks winning a five-round split decision in a close and thrilling fight to capture the interim belt.

Bellator 131 will air in the U.S. live and for free this Saturday night on Spike TV, and on Sunday, November 16, in the U.K. on Viacom's 5*.

We spoke with Will Brooks by phone Monday.

"I think everybody can expect a high level of skillsets," he said of this rematch. "In the last fight, I think I did a good job, showed everybody that I was evolving as a fighter. There were a couple of things I didn't do as well as I wanted to do, especially because there were a lot of skills I was just learning, just working on. But this fight I think people can expect a cleaner, sharper performance on my part coming out of the gate."

He said he would be "getting back to the basics and coming right out the first round, the first bell, and putting on a display of striking that people haven't seen."

We discussed the rapid trajectory of his MMA career, including his upset TKO victory over Japanese submission master and former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka on the Dream 18 New Year's Eve card in Saitama, Japan, on December 31, 2012; his first-round knockout loss to Saad Awad in the Bellator season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals on February 28, 2013; his bouncing right back to win the season 9 lightweight tournament, including avenging the loss to Awad by winning a clear-cut unanimous decision over him in those semifinals; his unexpected opportunity, on very short notice, to face Michael Chandler on the Bellator pay-per-view on May 17, 2014, after then-champion Eddie Alvarez withdrew because of an injury; and the advantage of now having a full training camp to prepare for the rematch.

In addition, we discussed how his training at American Top Team has developed him as a fighter; how he is now based in the Coconut Creek, Florida, area so he can train regularly with the many people at American Top Team; the changes in Bellator since Scott Coker took over as president this past summer; and more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mark Setrakian on the Future of Robot Fighting 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with robotics expert Mark Setrakian.

Besides being the designer and creator of the robots on the Robot Combat League, which aired in 2013 on Syfy in the U.S. and on Space in Canada, he has been involved in robotics and animatronics since his youth. He started his professional career at the age of 19 at George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic. Besides developing animatronics for numerous major films, he has been involved in several robot fighting ventures including Robot Wars, BattleBots, and RoboGames, which is still holding events.

We spoke with Mark Setrakian right after he made a presentation on Saturday, November 8, entitled "Making TV and Movie Magic with Robots" at the Engadget Expand New York 2014 event at the Javits Center in New York.

At present, the Robot Combat League TV show is in limbo. It received disappointing ratings last year on Syfy, and was not renewed, or, for that matter, officially cancelled. Numerous problems in the positioning of that show led to a decline in its ratings as the season progressed.

"We went in with the intention of creating a sports show," he said. The Syfy network, however, is more "skewed" to running what are called (usually inaccurately) "reality shows".

"It became more like a reality competition and less like a sporting event," he continued. "And as a result, I think the tone of the show came off inauthentic enough that people who were tuning in who really wanted to see the sport aspect of it were really disappointed."

We discussed the status of that show, which he also noted did not draw a big enough audience to survive, and was not promoted well. However, there has been a change in leadership at Syfy, so there is a glimmer of hope that it can be revived.

Whatever the fate of that particular show, he is committed to robot fighting.

"I can tell you on my own, that I have been thinking about it non-stop since the show was on," he said. "I am still very much intending to go forward with some form of humanoid robot fighting. I really believe in that format."

Right now he is in the process of developing new robot prototypes. We discussed how close we are technologically to the creation of the kind of self-contained humanoid robots seen in the popular fictional movie "Real Steel", which was set in the future.

We also discussed events like RoboGames which do not use humanoid robots, whether one day robot fighting can at least partially replace combat sports which have people fighting, why it is "inevitable" that there will be successful humanoid robot fighting shows and events, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

"'Foxcatcher', A Review of the Book and Film", on DefenseSoap.com 



My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Foxcatcher, A Review of the Book and Film", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/foxcatcher-a-review-of-the-book-and-film.

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Friday, November 07, 2014

No Holds Barred: Ulf Elm and Steve Koepfer on Grappling, Sambo, and Catch Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Ulf Elm of the Växjö Titans gym in Sweden, and Steve Koepfer of New York Combat Sambo.

We spoke with them Monday while Ulf Elm was visiting New York and conducting grappling seminars at New York Combat Sambo.

With a background in multiple disciplines in the martial arts and combat sports, Ulf Elm has been spending much of his time instructing people in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling in Sweden. There he has seen the growth and development of both BJJ and grappling organizationally.

"I would say it's getting more and more formalized," he said. While in the U.S. there are many disparate jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions and organizations, "In Sweden, it's more formalized. Jiu-jitsu competitions with IBJJF rules -- it's really big. It's huge."

As for no-gi grappling, the main organization is ADCC.

"The Swedish Submission Wrestling Federation, now they are starting again with ADCC rules," he said. "They tried to go with FILA, the FILA grappling rules for a couple of years, but that basically broke down. FILA dropped grappling, and no one picked it up. So now they are back to ADCC rules and sending the national team to the ADCC European Trials."

We also discussed the controversy involving Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who handed back his bronze medal after losing a highly controversial semifinal match in the 2008 Olympics, in which almost all observers felt that he had been robbed. The Court of Arbitration for Sport later sided with Abrahamian in his appeal of a ban from wrestling, but the damage from this scandal once again disgraced the international wrestling authorities. Thus, we discussed how since this mess, which received wide attention in the Swedish media, wrestling has declined in Sweden.

In addition, we discussed with both Ulf Elm and Steve Koepfer the state of sambo and catch wrestling in Sweden and Scandinavia, what they need to do to expand there and around the world, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

No Holds Barred: Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev 



Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews what should be regarded as one of the most important and incredible sports stories in the world: the November 8 light heavyweight title unification fight between the 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins and the unbeaten 31-year-old knockout artist Sergey Kovalev.

In this fight, Hopkins, with a record of 55-6-2 and 32 KOs, and holder of IBF and WBA belts, takes on Kovalev, 25-0-1 with 23 KOs, who holds the WBO belt. It takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will be shown live in the U.S. on HBO and in the U.K. and Ireland on BoxNation.

The story behind this fight is almost unmatched in sports, and the implications of its outcome should reverberate far beyond the marginalized world of boxing. How can Hopkins, just two months shy of his 50th birthday, still compete at such a high level, and in such a brutal sport? And after a career of being counted out as finished numerous times, only to defeat younger and unbeaten favorites one after another, is this the night that Father Time finally arrives for Hopkins, as he faces the dangerous and relentless slugger Kovalev?

Besides our commentary on why this fight is not getting the coverage it deserves from the sports and general media, the careers of both fighters, and what is the likeliest outcome of it, we also have comments from both fighters, Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, from their recent media conference call.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Snake Pit Wigan International Week 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Raul Ramirez of the Catch Wrestling Alliance.

He is currently in Wigan, England, for the third annual International Week organized by the legendary home of catch-as-catch-can wrestling, the Snake Pit Wigan. There will be several days of training, capped off by the annual catch wrestling invitational tournament involving wrestlers from around the world, which will take place this year on Saturday, November 8, in Bolton, England.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Saturday before he left for the U.K.

"This year is going to be a little bit different from all the other years," he said. While there still will be several days of training and the event on Saturday, this year the people from the Snake Pit Wigan decided to have American catch wrestler "Jon Strickland teach a few of the training sessions."

We also discussed some of the differences between American-style and British-style catch wrestling, how the wrestlers who will compete in the catch tournament on Saturday will be selected by Snake Pit Coach Roy Wood, Raul's own plans to wrestle at this event for the third year in a row, the book on Snake Pit founder Billy Riley by Stephen Greenfield and Mark De Courcy which is due out this week, the need to raise the quality of wrestling and focus on fundamentals more in catch wrestling training and events, plans for the future, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero, Makar Tchekalenkov, Midwood Wrestling 



Photo: Makar Tchekalenkov, in red, vs. Javlon Xaydarov, in blue.

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Coach George Hero, the legendary coach and founder of the Midwood High School wrestling team in Brooklyn, New York, and team co-captain Makar Tchekalenkov.

On Thursday, October 30, at a packed Campus Road Gymnasium in Midwood High School, the team held the Midwood Wrestling Exhibition 2014, now an annual event which kicks off and promotes the upcoming wrestling season.

In this event, the current Midwood wrestlers were divided into two teams, red and blue. As it went to the final match, the team score was tied at 18-18.

The last match had Makar Tchekalenkov, originally from Moscow, Russia, and weighing 128 pounds, representing the red team, against Javlon Xaydarov, originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and weighing 145 pounds, for the blue team. These two were at first scheduled to be partners in a planned tag-team match under high school wrestling rules, but that match had to be cancelled when one of the wrestlers on the opposing team suffered an injury and had to withdraw.

As they wrestled in the first period, it appeared that the heavier Javlon Xaydarov had the advantage. He scored a takedown to go up 2-0. Makar Tchekalenkov did get an escape, and the period ended with a 2-1 score. Javlon started the second period on top, but Makar escaped again, making it 2-2 as it went to the third and final period. With Makar on top, he not only rode Javlon the entire period, but also secured a near fall to score three more points. That was enough to win this exciting match by a score of 5-2, and for his red team to win the meet in dramatic fashion by a score of 21-18.

We spoke with Coach Hero and Makar Tchekalenkov right after the matches ended.

"It was a very exciting match," said Coach Hero. "It was a lot of fun. and I've got to say, I'm very proud of the boys. All the matches were very good and they were very competitive."

"I'm very good of a top wrestler," said Makar Tchekalenkov, who is a senior this year. "I knew I just had to either let him up, or just ride him out and get the back points and win it. So it's 2-2 and I got my back points and I won the match, and I was really excited for that."

We also discussed the importance of events like this in promoting wrestling, the prospects for the team this season, what Makar plans to do after graduating high school and going to college, Coach Hero's assurances that he will indeed wrestle at MidwoodMania in the spring of 2015, and more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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Saturday, November 01, 2014

No Holds Barred: Qin Yunquan on Catch Wrestling in Singapore and Wigan 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with martial artist and catch wrestler Qin Yunquan.

She is an instructor for women's and children's self-defense at the Kapap Academy Singapore.

Her next travel destination is the U.K., specifically the historic home of catch wrestling, the Snake Pit Wigan, for their annual International Week events. While she is still recovering from knee surgery and may not be able to wrestle in their tournament, she will attend the training sessions with several goals in mind.

We spoke with Qin Yunquan by Skype Friday.

"Our goal is actually to start a catch wrestling tournament in Singapore, probably next year, probably the second half of next year," she said.

"One of the key reasons why I'm going to Snake Pit Wigan is so, because I understand at the end of the camp, there would be a competition, a catch wrestling competition, and I'm actually there to find out how a catch wrestling competition is organized, and things as such."

While rehabbing her knee, she has also been going to watch both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and no-gi grappling in Singapore. She noted that the level of grappling in Singapore has risen in recent years, but it also has been influenced by catch wrestling.

We discussed how catch wrestling is different from jiu-jitsu and should not look like it, how wrestling has not grown as much as other combat sports in Singapore have, the self-defense training (especially for women) she provides, her plans to compete much more next year, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.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 TakedownRadio.com.

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