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Frank Gotch World Catch Championships in Humboldt, Iowa 2016!

An event of epic proportions will be held in Humboldt, Iowa, on July 3, 2016, when the

first ever Frank Gotch World Catch Championships come to the hometown of the most

legendary figure in catch wrestling history.

The Catch Wrestling Alliance (CWA) headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, has announced

it will hold its third annual event on July 3 in Humboldt. The CWA has already hosted two major

tournaments but this is the first one that will have Frank Gotch’s name attached.

“We are tremendously excited to make this announcement,” said Dr. Raul Ramirez,

executive director of the CWA and a catch wrestling instructor and practitioner. “Catch wrestling

was the top form of wrestling in America in the early part of the 20th century, and Frank Gotch

was its foremost star. He is the Babe Ruth or the Muhammad Ali of this sport.”

Gotch was born in 1878 on a farm three miles south of Humboldt, a town of 5,000

situated in north central Iowa. His legacy has been kept alive in the town for a century, and an

eight-foot bronze statue was unveiled there July 4, 2012, on the site of his popular training camp.

Ramirez said the tournament will include five weight classes with eight contestants per

weight class. There will also be one division for women, with no weight divisions. Ramirez

expects the event to have an international flavor as he already has fielded inquiries from

England, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia and Singapore.

Ramirez visited Humboldt in early August to scout the area and meet with Humboldt

officials, and came away very impressed with all he saw and the people he met.

“We toured the area, and went to the farm where Frank grew up, the home he lived in

after he got married, the site of his legendary training camp in Bicknell Park, and the mausoleum

where he is buried,” said Ramirez. “It was a wonderful trip and convinced us to hold the event

here. That and the great cooperation we received from members of the Gotch Statue Committee,

and other town leaders.”

The event will take place at Humboldt High School, and is being co-sponsored by the

Gotch Statue Committee and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club. All participants will receive

a certificate suitable for framing, and the top three placewinners will receive a large medal with

Gotch’s image on it, attached to a ribbon.

“This seems like a very appropriate way to continue to support what Frank Gotch means

to this community,” said Maury Abens, a member of the Frank Gotch Statue Committee. “”We

think it’s very exciting that Frank’s style of wrestling is having a comeback, and the chamber of

ecommerce and city administration are all very supportive. We think it’s a great educational


Mike Chapman, wrestling author and historian, brought Ramirez and Curran Jacobs to

Humboldt to explore the opportunity. Jacobs was captain of the 2011 wrestling team at Michigan

State University, and has a winning record in catch wrestling over the past two years. He plans to

enter the Gotch tourney.

“It’s a fast moving, exciting style of wrestling that allows joint-lock submissions as well

as pins,” said Jacobs, who is an aspiring movie actor, dividing his time between Hollywood and

the Michigan State campus, where he is working on a master’s degree in theater arts. “I am a

huge Frank Gotch fan and this is going to be an incredible event for all of catch wrestling.”

Ramirez says the matches will be 20 minutes long and the primary way an athlete can

win is with a joint-lock submission or a three-second pin. If neither happens during the time

limit, then the referee will pick the winner based on aggressiveness.  Kicking, hitting and choke

holds are not allowed.

“Catch wrestling is struggling to gain a foothold in America once again, and this event

has the ability to add tremendous impetus to that movement,” said Chapman, who has written 27

books, two of them about Gotch, and also has written a movie screenplay about Gotch that is

currently owned by a Hollywood film company. “We expect to get a lot of press coverage – from

newspapers, to radio talk shows and to various wrestling websites. We want to video tape the

event and have DVDs available for purchase shortly afterwards.”

Contestants and fans will be invited to take the Frank Gotch Tour, and to stay overnight

in town for the July 4 activities. Some travelers may want to take advantage of the RV

availability at Frank Gotch State Park, located just three miles south of town, next to the old

Gotch farmstead.

“This is a grand opportunity for all fans of Frank Gotch and catch wrestling to have a

very meaningful and historic experience,” said Ramirez.

Chapman, who created Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (WIN), amateur wrestling’s top

publication and the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, said he will bring various Gotch and

wrestling memorabilia items to have on display.

For further information, go to the CWA website.


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