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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Von Krajewski’s Gym

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s a unique look at Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski’s Gym in St. Petersburg, Russia, circa 1901. This is the place where an untold number of strength champions trained, most notably George Hackenschmidt. I know that I could sure get strong in a place like this.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Dr. Benjamin Roller

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Benjamin Franklin “B.F.” Roller was an early catch wrestler who sparred with the likes of Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, The Great Gama, and Stanislaus Zbyszko. Aside from wrestling, Roller was a great athlete in other sports, captaining the football and track teams at DePauw University where he attended in the late 1800’s. Roller briefly held the world record in the discus.

Roller was actually a legitimate Doctor having graduated from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Roller played a bit of professional football to pay the bills after that but eventually accepted a professorship at the University of Washington. Shortly after, in a rather interesting twist, he instead chose to chase fame and fortune — mostly fortune — as a professional wrestler.. Roller’s first professional match was against Jack Carkeek whom he defeated in two falls after 17 minutes and for which he received $1600 which was a rather princely sum in the early 20th century.

Roller was a very good (but not great) wrestler although he did win his fair share of matches, and held the American Heavyweight title on three occasions. Roller wrestled the likes of Farmer Burns, Fred Beell, Raymond Cazeaux, Hjalmar Lundin, Raoul Le Boucher, George Lurich, Jim Londos, Ed Lewis, and Joe Stecher (among others.) Eventually he became a training partner for George Hackenschmidt during the time Hack famously tussled with Frank Gotch.

In the years after, Roller wrote a syndicated column for newspapers around the country on health and physical culture topics and even came up with his own training system dubbed “Rollerism.”

Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski

Posted on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski was one of the leading physical training of the day, the founder of the St. Petersburg Athletic and Cycling Club and personal physician to the Czar of Russia. The good doctor’s interest in physical training was as a method of securing and preserving health, strength, activity and vigor (both mental and physical). He created a system of training around these goals, and it was the reason behind the success of many of the strongest men who ever lived. Some of Dr. Von Krajewski’s most famous pupils included George Hackenschmidt, George Lurich, and Ivan Poddubny.