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, March 20, 2015

No Holds Barred: Steve Koepfer on April 11 U.S. Combat Wrestling World Team Trials 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Steve Koepfer, the owner and head coach of New York Combat Sambo.

Our main topic was a new and important event, the 2015 U.S. Combat Wrestling World Team Trials.

This event takes place Saturday, April 11, at the TK Martial Arts Academy, 223 East Monroe Avenue, Lowell, Arkansas 72745.

Combat wrestling, originally developed in Japan over 20 years ago by wrestling legend Noriaki Kiguchi, is being revived internationally. It is a style of submission wrestling which includes winning by submission or points, with points being awarded for attaining takedowns, superior positions, pins, and more.

The U.S. Combat Wrestling World Team Trials is a qualifying event for the first-ever Combat Wrestling World Championships held by the International Federation of Combat Wrestling (FICW), which will take place August 22, 2015, in Varna, Bulgaria.

A crowdfunding page to help support the U.S. combat wrestling team has been set up here.

We spoke with Steve Koepfer Monday at the headquarters of New York Combat Sambo.

"The end of last year, I was contacted by Ivaylo Ivanov," the founder and president of the FICW, he said.

"He had been working with Kiguchi-san from Japan on really getting this world federation together for combat wrestling."

As for the sport of combat wrestling, "It's been around a long time. This is pre-Abu Dhabi submission wrestling sport. It kind of declined in Japan for a bit, like MMA and everything else, but I think the rise and popularity of no-jacket submission wrestling-type events has really brought it back."

With plans being made for the first combat wrestling world championships in August, "Ivaylo had reached out to me to help through the American Sambo Association organize the first U.S. team trials and put the team together."

We discussed the rules of combat wrestling, how the U.S. Combat Wrestling World Team Trials are being organized in a professional manner, the rapid growth around the world of combat wrestling and its international federation in just one year, some of the other important events coming up in sambo and catch wrestling, and much more.

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