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Friday, January 01, 2016

No Holds Barred: Jake Shannon on Catch Wrestling in 2016 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Jake Shannon of Scientific Wrestling.

We spoke with him by phone Wednesday.

2016 promises to be another year of advancement for the reviving sport of catch wrestling, with Scientific Wrestling and other groups already scheduling numerous events, training camps, and seminars. But the sport is still small and lacks strong organizations.

We discussed how to deal with this, and how also to prevent the type of corruption that is plaguing much of world sport today.

With these types of problems in mind, Jake Shannon said, "I've tried to treat catch wrestling as more of an open-source kind of endeavor by just letting anybody contribute, trying to keep everybody honest, trying to keep everybody upright, upbeat, and focused on the goal of promoting catch wrestling as a sport and participating and putting on events and things of that nature."

He continued, "My view is keeping the model kind of open-source, distributed, a loose federation of people all working together with like-minded goals and keeping each other honest, and that kind of stuff."

There were many highlights in 2015 for catch wrestling, most notably the match between the two-time East Coast King of Catch Wrestling, Thomas Velasquez, and the West Coast King of Catch, Travis Newaza, for the 2015 North American Heavyweight King of Catch championship. This match was won by Thomas Velasquez two falls to one, getting two pins after being submitted in the first fall. It took place December 12, 2015, at the North American Catch Wrestling Association event at the MMA World Expo in New York, and was the top catch wrestling match in 2015 (with video hopefully coming soon).

"If there is anything for me personally that marks catch wrestling in 2015, was everybody kind of just started to focus on moving forward," said Jake Shannon. "I'm hoping we can take that leverage into 2016 and really showcase the sport to everybody."

We also discussed the pressing need for catch wrestling to get good sources of funds and revenue; the important role of catch wrestling coaches like Josh Barnett and Wade Schalles, who will be conducting a series of training camps this year; how catch wrestling's rules of winning by pin or submission makes it attractive both to fans and to athletes from all grappling and wrestling styles and disciplines; the importance of the upcoming catch wrestling event in July in Humboldt, Iowa, which is Frank Gotch's hometown; and much, much more.

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