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Rough and Tumble - The History Of American Submission Wrestling Paperback – 2010

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Paperback, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Erik Paulson's new landmark book Rough and Tumble explores the History of American Submission Wrestling in a way the style has never been looked at before. Erik worked with American Combat Association president Matt Granahan and researcher and author JD Dwyer to trace the history of catch wrestling throughout the world and explore the overwhelming influence the style has had on No Holds Barred Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts. In addition to their extensive research the authors sat down with the last living take on all comers carnival wrestlers to explore the history from a first hand perspective. From George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, to Mitsuyo Maeda's background before teaching the Gracie Family to the dawn of the Ultimate Fighting Championships this book touches upon virtually every facet of the history of grappling. Rough and Tumble is guaranteed to captivate and enlighten fans, fighters and history buffs alike.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0615382886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615382883
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Chu on October 31, 2010
This is a fun and fact filled book with stories and sources from around the world. It covers anecdotes of grappling history from America's founding fathers all the way to the modern MMA fighters of 2010. The contents include both interviews and pictures of fights in action. While not a technique book, the knowledge in this book will beneficial to the eastern and western martial arts buff of yesteryear.

Update: As of this edit, does not directly sell it. Go to Erik Paulson's website to order.
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This is a book that needed to be written about amazing authentically American martial arts traditions that have held their own and more often than not prevailed in contests for over a century against Asian martial arts that were often as surrounded with a mystic air in the past as they are in the present. These are American martial traditions practiced by American presidents like Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt (Lincoln actually broke an opponent's neck in a match), and similar versions are as near to us as our nearest high school wrestling room. While Joe Rogan may give credit to the great Japanese fighter Kimora for the hold he broke Helio Gracie's arm with whenever a UFC fighter goes for the "kimora", the same lock had been used for over a hundred years in American "catch as catch can" wrestling--and it is sad that Americans cannot recognize it as such. This book chronicles the great traditions of "no holds barred", "catch as catch can", "shoot", carnival "take all comers" boxing and wrestling, etc. It is a great historical overview and one that I think is needed for any true student of martial arts and history.

My only critique is that the book seems to be published rather hastily, and it is in serious need of revision and editing (I am an English professor, so this is something I know a bit about). I feel that this book needed published--it needed to get out there. This said, another edition needs to be developed without any of these things detracting from the presentation.

I will be incorporating much of the material into my future lectures and teaching on martial arts, and I have to thank Guro Barry Danelian for recommending the book.
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The best book you will ever read on the history of American catch wrestling. Rough and Tumble uncovers so much forgotten history of American submission wrestling led to the birth of juijistu. A must read for anybody that enjoys wrestling, mma and combat sports. Wouldn't pay 100. You can order it from for 36.96, and that includes 3 day shipping. I thank the authors for bringing this piece of history to life. Yoyu have to read it yourself to truly appreciate it!
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