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.

Ivan Orloff

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Ivan Orloff, of Siberia, Russia, was a mid-card pro wrestler in the early 20th century who was quite prolific, he wrestled well into the 1940’s. Later on, he became a promoter. Orloff was billed as 6’2 and 210 pounds of wiry muscle — he was also adept at bending steel bars.
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.

Gholamreza Takhti

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Gholamreza Takhti was the greatest wrestler in Iranian history. He won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. He also won Silver medals at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki and the 1960 Games in Rome. To build his strength and upper body endurance, he trained in the traditional methods, as is pictured here, finishing up a workout with the light Meels.
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.

Raymond Cazeaux

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
Born into a family of farmers in the Ossau Valley of Southern France in 1881, Raymond Cazeaux went on to became of the greatest French wrestlers of all time. He fought over a thousand matches, tussling with champions from all over the world, the likes of: Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis, Constant le Marin, Stanislaus Zbyszko, George Lurich, Dr. Ben Roller, Paul Pons, Jess Petersen, Yussif Hussane, Nikola Petroff, and Ivan Poddubny. During his travels, Cazeaux would happily give free wrestling lessons to police officers wherever he went. Needless to say, he made many friends.

Cazeaux was actually not his real name, his given name was Cazeau but early in his career, a promoter thought the added “X” on the end looked better on a poster, and so it was! Cazeaux stood six feet and weighed around 220 lbs.

Rather remarkably, Cazeaux’s fame did not end a century ago, his likeness, was featured as the exotic boxer who was the namesake of Uncle Pastuzo, in the delightful 2014 children’s movie Paddington.

Yousef Housane

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by John Wood

Yousef Housane was a great early wrestler and one of Earle E. Liederman’s top students. Housane was well-known for his incredible Bicep Development which was quite impressive, especially considering the time period (he could use some work on his forearms though).
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.

Nikola Petroff

Posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s a rare shot of the great Bulgarian wrestling champion, Nikola Petroff and, like most wrestlers of the day, Petroff was impressive from a physique standpoint as well. Petroff became the World Greco-Roman champion in 1900 by defeating Paul Pons. Over his 25 year career, Petroff only suffered defeat once, and it was at the hands of Marijan Matijevic.
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.

“Starke” Arvid Andersson

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by John Wood
Arvid Andersson was a Champion Swedish strongman who put up some very impressive numbers at the turn of the century. He got his start lifting horses in the circus and once he moves on to more conventional weights, quickly set the world record in the Clean & Jerk with a lift of 328 lbs on November 7th, 1906.

Professor Desbonnet, was the judge, and was highly impressed with the lift. Andersson’s nickname soon became “Starke Arvid” or Strong Arvid.
Like many strongmen of the time he was also a wrestler, and held the Swedish Heavyweight Championship for many years. After he retired from wrestling and lifting contests, “Starke Arvid” moved back to Stockholm and opened a café.

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.

Henry “Milo” Steinborn

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Henry "Milo" Steinborn

Henry “Milo” Steinborn was a German strongman and wrestler who came the the U.S. in 1921 and immediately caused a big splash in the world of physical training. At a bodyweight of 210 pounds, he could snatch 220 pounds with one hand, military press 265 pounds and clean and jerk 347-1/2.

Milo was most well-known for introducing hard and heavy squatting to this side of the world.
Milo could tip a barbell loaded to 550 pounds up and onto his back unassisted and then perform five deep reps with it — a feat yet to be duplicated.

Karl Abs at The Winter Circus

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by John Wood

Karl Abs at The Winter Circus

Here’s an extremely rare poster from the late 1880’s, when Karl Abs was the featured attraction at the Cirque d’ Hiver (Winter Circus) exhibition hall in Paris, France. Each night, Abs harness-lifted a horse and challenged all comers in the wrestling ring, (among other feats.) It’s pretty awesome that the Cirque d’ Hiver, which opened in 1852, is actually still going strong to this day.

Alex Aberg

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 by John Wood

An extremely rare picture of the great Estonian wrestler Alexander Aberg who was also Georg Lurich’s brother-in-law. On his way to the World Wrestling Championship in 1915, Aberg defeated the likes of Dr. Benjamin Roller (of America), Wladek Zbyszko (of Poland), Pierre La Colosse (of France), Harry De Nys (of Belgium) Leo Pardell (of Italy), Sulo Hevonpaa (of Finland) and Johan Tigane (of Mongolia).