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Friday, September 11, 2015
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with grappler Matt Kaiser.
Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, he is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Fierce Studio.
Representing Canada, he competed at the inaugural combat wrestling world championship held by the International Federation of Combat Wrestling (FICW) August 22 at the Spartak Stadium in Varna, Bulgaria.
At that event, he won a gold medal in the 74 kg division.
We spoke with Matt Kaiser by phone Wednesday.
His desire to compete in combat wrestling, like many people, was sparked by watching videos of classic combat wrestling matches from Japan in the 1990s, and searching the Internet.
"I had heard about combat wrestling, kind of informed and whatever, deep buried in the Internet," he said. "And I'd seen a lot of video from back in the day of some combat wrestlers, the most famous being Sato and Takanori Gomi and Imanari and all those kind of guys. It always looked like a fascinating, kind of quick style of grappling that I really excelled at."
He soon saw videos and photos posted by Sambo Steve Koepfer of the 2015 U.S. Combat Wrestling Team Trials, and contacted him to find out if there would be a Canadian Team Trials. When he was informed that there indeed would be and that they would take place in Montreal, he prepared to travel from his location in the western part of Canada all the way east to Montreal in Quebec.
"I couldn't miss it, so I scrounged some stuff together, and I made it out there," he said.
"And it was a great experience, absolutely wonderful."
At the world championship, in the finals, he won his gold medal by defeating American BJJ black belt Roli Delgado by submission with a guillotine choke. We discussed how his strategy for this match worked, and his defeating a BJJ black belt while he is still a BJJ purple belt.
We discussed how all the competitors at the combat wrestling world championship had earned their places through winning national qualifiers, and how he adapted to the rules, which reward takedowns as well as allow pins and submissions. These rules, he said, "stimulate the most realistic style of combat in a grappling tournament right now, which is why I enjoy combat wrestling."
The next event he will be attending will see him coaching his own wrestling coach, the 73-year-old Peter Richards, who will be wrestling and grappling at the 29th Don Jung Memorial Tournament and Folsom Weekend Event. This wrestling and grappling event is hosted by the Golden Gate Wrestling Club and takes place the weekend of September 25-27, with the wrestling and grappling at the Eureka Valley Rec Center, 100 Collingwood Streeet, San Francisco, California 94114.
We also discussed how combat wrestling has the potential to become a popular spectator sport, how today "there is no money in being a competitive grappler", his desire to compete at the ADCC world championships, and much, much more.
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