No Holds Barred: CTE, Concussions, Combat Sports, Grappling, and the Road to the Olympics
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the impact that the death of 28-year-old New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard from still-unknown causes might have on combat sports. Boogaard had suffered numerous concussions from his hockey fights. His family is donating his brain to the Sports Legacy Institute at the Boston University School of Medicine to see if he had suffered from the brain disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which is caused by repeated head and brain trauma.
How this will affect combat sports like mixed martial arts and boxing, where inflicting head and brain trauma and causing concussions are keys to winning fights, remains to be seen. One possible scenario is that the popularity, exposure, and sponsorships of these sports will all fall dramatically at some point. That could open the door for safer combat sports which have much less head trauma, such as the various forms of grappling.
Grappling, however, is not on the program of the Olympic Games, the largest sporting event in the world. We thus discuss how one or more style of grappling might gain inclusion in the Olympics, the international structure of sports which the International Olympic committee uses as a feeder for the Olympics, the importance of events like the World Combat Games, how grappling in America is falling behind in the movement for Olympic inclusion, and much more.
The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.
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The American Sambo Association, which is committed to becoming the premier association in the U.S. dedicated to the advancement of Sambo. Sambo is a form of sport, self-defense, and combat established in the former Soviet Union during the early twentieth century. For more information, go to ussambo.com.
Thanks, Eddie Goldman