Hackenschmidt Tours St. Louis in 1905

george-hackenschmidt-posing

    The May 9, 1905 edition of the St. Louis Republic’s sport section contained a story about an upcoming match between local wrestler George Baptiste and the touring World Wrestling Champion, George Hackenschmidt.  The paper did not give Baptiste a chance against Hackenschmidt, who just beat Tom Jenkins for the World Championship.  If the editor knew “Hack’s” condition at the time, he

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Stanislaus Zbyszko and the Last Shoot Wrestling Match

stanislaus-zbyszko

     Stanislaus Zbyszko was born Stanislaw Jan Cyganiewicz on April 1, 1879 in Jodlow, Poland, which was part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. According to Wikipedia, he chose the ring name Stanislaus Zbyszko because it was the name of a fictional Polish knight.  An article in the Walla Walla, Washington newspaper, The Evening Statesman’s Tuesday, February 8, 1910 edition, publicized Zbyszko’s

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Ed “Strangler” Lewis Wins the Title in 1920

young-ed-strangler-lewis

     On Monday, December 13, 1920, Ed “Strangler” Lewis won the first of six World Heavyweight Wrestling Championships from Joe Stetcher.  The fact he won the title from his biggest rival and business enemy must have been particularly satisfying.      A year before this match, Stetcher and Lewis met in a match lasting over three hours.  Lewis made a mental

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Hack and What It Takes To Be Great

george-hackenschmidt-suit

    George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968) was a world record holding weightlifter and World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion before wrestling was prearranged and lifters were using steroids.  Hackenschmidt achieved a level of greatness due to several factors.      He achieved a high level of physical fitness.  His physical condition allowed him to be the most successful wrestler of his era.  A few

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Manassa Mauler Knocks Out Giant in 1919

jack-dempsey-training

     While doing research, I found this picture of the Manassa Mauler training for his July 4th, 1919 title fight with Jess Willard, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champions.  Willard had knocked out the great Jack Johnson in 1915 to become champion.  Willard was a giant of a man at 6’06” and 235 pounds.  He posed a threat to anyone based on size alone.

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William Muldoon, Legend of Physical Culture

whistler-and-muldoon

      I first read about William Muldoon in a biography of John L. Sullivan, the last bare knuckle heavyweight champion.  Sullivan ushered in gloved boxing by refusing to take part in any more bare knuckle bouts.      The last major bare knuckle bout was fought by Sullivan against Jake Kilrain in 1889.  Odds were against Sullivan, a binge drinker indulging

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Theodore Roosevelt on Judo

theodore-roosevelt-smiling

Theodore Roosevelt served as the twenty-sixth President of the United States from 1901 to 1909.  TR is famous for the “Strenuous Life”.  He practiced boxing and wrestling through his twenties and thirties.  What is not as widely known is that he practiced Judo around 1904, when he was in his mid-40s. Roosevelt would eventually earn a brown belt in Judo.  Yoshiaki

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Martin “Farmer” Burns

martin-farmer-burns

Martin “Farmer” Burns was a professional catch-as-catch can wrestler as well as wrestling and physical cultural trainer.  He had success as a professional wrestler even winning the American Heavyweight Championship.  However, he is more famous as a wrestling trainer. Martin “Farmer” Burns was born February 15, 1861 in Cedar County, Iowa.  Both then and now, wrestling is in an Iowan’s blood.  Burns

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