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"The Last Wrestlers" by Marcus Trower

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    "The Last Wrestlers" by Marcus Trower

    I picked up a copy of this book in London about a month ago. The author, English journalist Marcus Trower, like Tyler Durden in Fight Club, became sick of being told to "play safe" in his life and fell in love with weight lifting, judo and submission wrestling (in that order).

    Contracting a mysterious illness that prevented him from training and competing, he set out to discover what wrestling meant in other cultures. This book records his adventures tracking down traditional wrestlng styles in India, Mongolia, Nigeria and Brazil, interspersed with his theories about the origins of the sport.

    I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but "the Last Wrestlers" is well-written, entertaining and educational. It's a good read and I'd recommend it.

    All right! I will give it a shot!



      I just finished reading this. It's really quite good, and he makes some excellent points.

      Some of the more interesting points/claims/discoveries:

      the modern school system is "anti-male" in that it represses male instincts and behaviors moreso than female. (OMG SEXISTZ?!?! ... I don't think so)

      wrestling is disappearing all around the world. India is losing its proud wrestling tradition to a generation raised to aspire to an office job; African cultures' wrestling traditions are caught between Westernization on one hand and chaos on the other; England seems to have mostly forgotten what wrestling even is in favor of more "civilized" behaviors. Only Mongolia, of the nations he visited, seems to be holding strong, though the author hopes that MMA and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu will inspire a wrestling resurgence.

      By suppressing and/or forgetting wrestling, cultures will find aggressive tendencies being channeled into less healthy avenues.

      Eh, basically you should just read it yourself. Also, I think he should have visited Russia and the former Soviet bloc nations like Georgia.


        The book is a worthwhile read, I finished it some time ago. I remember thinking that a little more in depth history/cultural review prior to going and taking part in folk various folk wrestling styles would have helped out the book. The connections between the culture and the sports would have been clearer.

        It seemed to me he went where he went, with something in mind. Rather than going and finding.

        As I can speak to what wrestling is like in Mongolia, some of his oberservations were on the mark, but many were off.

        I would hazard a guess that such was the case with everywhere he went.

        All that being said, the book is a worthwhile read.

        Aaron Fields



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