The Way to Live in Health and Strength

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For my birthday this year, I purchased one of my favorite books, The Way to Live in Health and Strength by Georg Hackenschmidt.  Georg Hackenschmidt set many weightlifitng world records before focusing on professional wrestling.  Hackenschmidt would win the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in 1901. Hackenschmidt would reign as undefeated World Champion for 7 years until losing his title to

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Lewis Solves Masked Marvel

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When the 1915 New York International Wrestling Tournament restarted in October 1915, a mysterious masked man sat at ringside demanding an entry into the tournament.  Prior to the masked man’s arrival, the tournament had been lightly attended. The attraction of the masked man sitting at ringside attracted both fan and newspaper interest.  Crowds started showing up for the matches.  After

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Sullivan Wins Fight of the 19th Century

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John L. Sullivan was the transitional heavyweight prize fighting champion.  He transitioned prize fighting from the bare knuckle era to modern boxing under the Marquis of Queensbury rules by refusing to fight in any more non-gloved bouts.  Before he made this pledge, he took part in the Fight of the 19th Century with the formidable Jake Kilrain. Jake Kilrain was

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Burns Beats Hart for Heavyweight Title

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On February 23, 1906, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Marvin Hart defended his title in Los Angeles.  When James J. Jeffries retired as heavyweight champion, Hart and Jack Sharkey fought for the vacant title.  Hart was the surprise winner of the fight. Hart refused to fight Jack Johnson, the recognized best heavyweight.  Instead he fought Tommy Burns, a 5’07” skilled boxer. 

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Russian Civil War Snags Aberg and Lurich

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Estonia gave birth to three of the greatest wrestlers of the first two decades of the 20th Century: Georg Lurich, George Hackenschmidt and Aleksander “Alex” Aberg.  As part of the Russian Empire at the time, Estonia contained a number of elementary and high schools with superior physical education programs. Lurich and Hackenschmidt both started out as weightlifters and transitioned into

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Dave Shade Battles NY Police

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Between 1918 and 1935, Charles D. “Dave” Shade fought all the talented welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight boxers at the time.  Shade employed a defensive boxing style over 249 professional bouts leading to his reputation as a clever boxer.  When he met the New York Police in January 1933, Shade’s science went out the window.  It was a pure brawl.

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Oliver Kirk and the 1904 St. Louis Olympics

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Oliver Leonard Kirk has the distinction of being the only Olympic boxer to win a gold medal in two separate weight classes in the same Olympic Games.  Oliver Kirk accomplished this feat at his hometown Olympics in 1904. St. Louis hosted the third Olympiad during the 1904 World’s Fair Exposition.  Like the Paris Games four years before, St. Louis gave

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Wladek Zbyszko Loses Unexpectedly

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Wladek Zbyszko’s legacy is often overshadowed by his brother Stanislaus Zbyszko.  Stanislaus, who was 12 years older, posed the last real threat to Frank Gotch’s World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship. Wladek Zbyszko was a skilled wrestler in his own right.  Unfortunately, he didn’t arrive in the United States until 1914, when most wrestling matches were prearranged.  Wladek had proved his bona

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