Paul Belling

Posted on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 by John Wood
Paul Belling was billed as the national champion wrestler of Austria in the late 1800’s. He scrapped with the best of them including: Alex Aberg, George Lurich, Ursus Jankowsky, Stan Zbyszko, Ivan Poddubny, John Pohl, Tom Cannon, George Hackenschmidt, Magnus Bech-Olsen, Jess Pedersen, and Franz “Cyclops” Bienkowski. When his competitive career came to a close Belling took his winnings and opened a cafe on the west end of London (which was eventually raided for being an illegal casino.)

How to Wrestle by Frederick R. Toombs

Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2021 by John Wood
In the late 1899’s and early 29th century, The American Sports Publishing Co. put out dozens of booklets as part of Spalding’s Sports Library. — everything from lawn tennis, bowling, how to play 3rd base, to almanacs and rule books. This “How to Wrestle,” published in 1905, features a drawing of one of the biggest stars of the day, George Hackenschmidt, performing a wrestler’s bridge on the cover. Frederick R. Toombs also authored athletic guides for the Spalding’s Sports Library on squash and ice hockey.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt II

Posted on Saturday, March 9th, 2019 by John Wood
Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt II
September 4, 1911 was the date when George Hackenschmidt faced Frank Gotch for the second time. The bout took place in the infield right on home plate at the newly opened Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois and which drew a crowd of nearly 30,000 spectators and a record gate of $87,000. Hackenschmidt was easy prey for Gotch, losing in straight falls in only 20 minutes. Gotch clinched the match with his feared toe hold, which forced Hackenschmidt to quit. Here’s an extremely rare wide shot that you probably haven’t seen before.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Frank Gotch

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 by John Wood
Frank Gotch
Frank Gotch defeated George Hackenschmidt twice, and the likes of Tom Jenkins, Benjamin Roller, and Stanislaus Zbyszko on his way to holding the Heavyweight Championship longer than any man before or since. It was Gotch’s technique that made him a Champion (Gotch’s feared step-over-toe-hold was nearly impossible to defend) but it was his training that made him a Legend.

There have been few wrestlers since then who trained more seriously than Gotch… and he trained just like a wrestler should. Calisthenics, road work, and sparing gave Gotch a killer’s heart and an advantage in every single match. The “Old Farmer” Farmer Burns understood the game of wrestling better than anyone and trained his student to be the best.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Buttan Singh’s Clubs

Posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2018 by John Wood
Buttan Singh was an early catch wrestler who was billed as being from Afghanistan (although who knows if that is the real story or not.) Singh eventually settled in Australia where he became the first recognized holder of the Championship of Australia title when he defeated Gunga Brahm on May 2, 1903. Buttan often traveled with Wirth’s Circus, offering to take on all comers one of whom was Hackenschmidt who he faced in 1905.

As part of his traditional training, Singh was also an accomplished club swinger and his exploits were often reported in the sporting pages of the day. It was said that Singh swung a pair of nail-studded 45-pound clubs for an hour, he would swing his 79-pounders about fifty times without a break and his 100-pounder for 20 times. Swinging these heavy clubs gave Singh a substantial grip.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Videos

Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018 by John Wood
Videos
Here you’ll find videos of various sorts that we put together for Youtube and other reasons. To follow my channel CLICK HERE.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Road Work

Posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2018 by John Wood
If you’re going to be an athlete, you better be prepared to run. Shown here is George Hackenschmidt training in Chicago to face Frank Gotch for the second time. (Taken in 1911) Hack is flanked by his training partners Dr. Benjamin Roller, Gus “Americus” Schoenlein, and Jacob Koch, the former World Champion from Germany — and they all appear to be in fine fettle.

Pole Climbing – George Hackenschmidt

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018 by John Wood
An incredibly rare snapshot from the training of George Hackenschmidt. In addition to lifting, road work, and wrestling practice, Hack also liked to climb telephone poles to build his upper-body strength. “Hugging” the telephone pole built the perfect kind of strength for throwing and grappling. His training partner Dr. Roller looks on in amazement.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Carl Busch

Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 by John Wood
Carl Busch was a great strongman and wrestler who was active in the early 20th century. After winning the 1901 German national title, he toured Europe performing feats of strength and wrestling all comers. He even wrestled the great Frank Gotch to a draw under Greco-Roman rules. Busch also wrestled the likes of George Hackenschmidt, Professor Roller, Heinrich Weber, Yousef Holusane, Fred Beell, and even Farmer Burns. As far as feats of strength, Busch could bent press 250 pounds at a bodyweight of only 175 pounds. In 1891, Busch started his own circus which is actually still going strong today if you can believe it.

Training for Gotch

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
George Hackenshmidt drew a crowd while in training to face Frank Gotch for the second time, in Chicago in 1911. Hack is shown here building his neck strength with the the wrestler’s bridge. His training partners Dr. Benjamin Roller and Gus ‘Americus’ Schoenlein, look on.