karl gotch

Most of us already know that karl taught his stuff to the japanese.Also he had a couple american students ,but not for any real length of time.I'm wondering if he has any american students to date.I know he is getting up there in age ,and he's had hip replacemnt "i believe".I'm just curious if he will teach again ,and if so will it be in america?Hopefully someone out there knows him and keeps in touch,and can answer this question.

Well, he's been teaching me for over 2 years! I'm suprised I made it this far!

The last guy he trained in the US was Joe Malenko, but that was 15+ years ago. He said Joe could shoot well.

He also had Tom Pucket for a while about 10 years ago, and matt furey for 5 months in 1999. Another guy trained with him a little but wasn't dealing with the conditioning very well. And then me, I seem to get along with him well, but to some he could be a bit too realistically harsh.

The coolest dude I have ever met, and knows more about grappling than anyone I have ever met.

Glad to see he's still sharing his knowledge and wisdom of the this great sport.I knew he trained pucket for a while and fury ,and I heard he trained the malenko's.Always have heard he's real paticular about conditioning.I know I couldn't do all that he would require.
Do you know tiger burto or carl malenko?I have trained with them a couple of times"great guys"It's really cool to know that Gotch is still coaching.There are only a few old timers who can or who are willing to pass there knowledge on.Billy wicks,karl gotch,and dick cardinal are the only ones that I know of who are doing so!Cheers to the greats of this sport!

I wouldn't say he's still coaching. His doors aren't exactly wide open. I am lucky I guess.

I like Carl Malenko, and I have seen Berto on tape. Karl says Berto is a very nice guy. I hope I can meet them someday.

I was wondering if you could ask him some things for me Kansetsu...

What really happened between himself and Buddy Rogers?
What does he think about squating with weights, and military press? (I think I heard someone say that he doesn't like weights)
And if he could help me with a conditioning routine, my conditioning sucks, and my body is so different from anything anyone has seen.

Anyways, shoot me an email if you can kansetsuwaza as I would have a few more questions if you could possibly help me with.


  1. Karl was a shooter and did it often.

  2. one leg squats and handstand pushups would be the answer to those exercises.

  3. Get a deck of cards.

  4. you've got mail

Thanks Kansetsuwaza.

I don't think verne was any slouch...he was a fantastic wrestler and was inducted into the pro ranks by joe pazandak...who also showed gordienko a few things. So to say that he could stretch people was probably an understatement. he didn't seem to have much problem controlling billy robinson with a standing 3/4 nelson. Also the fact that he could hold his own with Dick Hutton , arguably the fastest heavyweight in mat wrestling, speaks volumes of his ability (he beat hutton in a controversial referee decision for the ncaa title in 1949).

"1. Karl was a shooter and did it often"

I dont' mean to start a flame war or anything..but... We all Know that Karl is a HOOKER but fact being said who did Gotch Shoot with??? I know for a fact Billy had a Few shoots Dick had a few shoots. There is no Record of Gotch haveing a Shoot with another Catchwrestler (unless you count that fiasco with him and Thesz)

I read somewere on an old pro-wrestling fourm that when Gotch and Robinson used to train at the snake pit Karl really took it to him as time went by Billy got better and called Gotch out for a shoot and Gotch refused. Now i'm not saying the is a Fact but what i am saying is i did not did up anything of Karl haveing a Shoot with anyone...so is it fare to call him a shooter...or better to call him a Hooker?

P.S Verne Gagne is a tough SOB and knows the game inside and out i dont see Karl or for that matter any old timer haveing there way with him...he may not be a Hooker but he is one Hellova Wrestler and knows how to stretch the shit out of someone.

could we stop using the term "Hooker"...that is a moniker that the old timers did not use. They called each other "shooter"...that was a title of respect. Or they used the term hook shooter, or in some cases used the term "pistol". The term "Hooker" seems to have come from Lou Thesz, and in my opinion is not historically accurate.

One of the best ever?I have to disagree on that,and I like lou a lot.Lou does seem to be the only person who uses that term"hooker"I have to agree with drew on that.
Lou was protected by the promotion,and others would handle any shoot challenges that came into the gym.So that would make ray steele and ed lewis shooters.Ed Lewis would have handled lou ..easily.I think lou was a good wrestler ,but his reputaion is inflated"imo"

"or in some cases used the term "pistol""

Yep, Frankie Cain used that term in a very long intervieqw that I have. I thought it really had a ring to it.

Again drewprice, The sith, and scuffler are right and get extra points for going the extra mile in researching. You guys really amaze me and I am so grateful your contributions.

History is a tough subject epistemologically speaking and we have to rely heavily upon oral tradition and witness testimony. From everyone I talk to that would actually know, Lou was very protected, and while he could more than easily handle your average Joe in the street, he was a cash cow that the promotions hyped because he was a stellar performer.

Could he wrestle? I am certain. Could he beat Karl Gotch, Danny Hodge, Dick Hutton, Verne Gagne, Ben Sherman, Frank Wolfe, Billy Robinson, Dick Cardinal, or Billy Wicks, etc in a competitive match? I don't think so (but we will really know so we can only make educated guessed).

Shoots didn't happen so much during shows as in the gym and this is where I am sure Karl earned his reputation (in England, America, and Japan).

Hope this helps!

According to Karl, Thesz was not a good shooter and would not ever shoot in the gym.

He was a good athlete, he would play handball for hours. And I am sure he knew how to wrestle, but never had a great reputation as a shooter.

There is no evidence (other than Lou saying it in his own book, lol) that he trained with Ad Santell as he detailed it in 'Hooker'.

Kayfabe is what the old timers called 'protected' the BUSINESS of wrestling. Competition is what protects the SPORT of wrestling. Karl Gotch was an Olympian and proved himself in competition (as did Hodge, Gagne, etc).

Lou would have had no real competitive matches to keep his abilities sharp (actual live grappling is the only way to stay sharp IMO). He worked matches almost from the very beginning of his career.

Please note, I am certain Lou was tough, just not to the level as the 'kayfabe' would have you believe. It is not, "he sucked" but "I am not sure he could have won in a legit catch competition against top level pistols"

Ps. Karl didn't respect Lou's competitive wrestling. Same with Dick Cardinal. Karl told me that an interview he did was altered without him knowing to speaking glowingly of Lou, lol.

Keep in mind, Lou was the top draw in phony wrestling decade after decade so if people wanted to actually earn a living in that field they had to kowtow to Lou or or be potentially blacklisted.

Karl understood he had to "work" but he is a very competitive guy and wouldn't bullsh*t anyone and had to go to Japan eventually to earn his living and train real shooters.

Again, Lou was good in my estimation, I think it is hard to really judge it objectively. Some of the men that would know better than any of us have told me the things I am sharing here... :)

I just got off the phone with Gene (another one that Gene endorses is Roddy Piper. I've met him too and he is a tough guy but I think he too would have a tough time hanging with olympic caliber athletes).

If you ask Gene, kayfabe aside, Gene will tell you he think Karl would win in a legit catch rules match, but it would be close. (BTW Gene and I will be presenting an award together soon...)

I respect Gene immensely (and have trained and talked with him a bit) I also respect Karl and Dick (having trained and spoken with them a bit too) and their word about this. Also, Dick and Karl were Lou's contemporaries while Gene came into it a little afterward.

I have found no evidence that Lou trained with Santell other than his book, have you or anyone else other evidence that he did in fact train there other than what Lou himself wrote? I'd love to see it. Until then I am rather agnostic about it and can't really say that he did with any confidence.

I hate repeating myself so this is the last time I will say it but I don't want to misquoted, I think Lou was a tough tough wrestler but not the best by any means (unless you judge him by ticket sales alone) when u compare him against proven competitive wrestlers like Danny Hodge and Karl Gotch.

Hello Guy's Karl is a Shooter. me and Billy Wicks were in FL. and I got to talk with a lot of the old timers. and they all said karl was the real deal! Hurt you bad. Also what was cool they said guy's would pay him not to suplex them in a match. Jake is right Billy wicks said lou never had to shoot so how could he keep his skills on point. lou was the money man they would keep him on the road making money not shooting. Lou had skill's but I dont think he could keep up with karl. and it's Shooter not Hooker, When I meet Frankie Cain he asked Billy if I was a pistol, Shooter. Thanks

Thesz was supposed to workout twice with Dick Cardinal and never showed up...also if you will notice Thesz never referred to himself as the greatest wrestler of all time, other people did that. Several years before he died Lou told Dick Cardinal that Ed Lewis in his 50's beat Thesz (25 at the time) in under a minute. Frankie Cain told a story of how he saw Ed Lewis eating some pancakes in a diner, and Lou came in. Lou said "Come on Ed, we're gonna be late." Ed then happened to see some chocolate pie and asked for some from the waitress. Lou said," well that's just great ed, you really need some more sugar." "Don't worry Hunky,"ed replied. "I'll just drink somemore coffee to kill the sugar in my stomach." Thesz, aggitated by now, said "That's just great Ed you've figured something out the entire medical establishment knows nothing about." Now Ed got mad and he said: "you know lou, that's what your problem is- You just know every damn thing. I guess that's why you never learned to wrestle!"

kayfabe to the end gentlemen...kayfabe to the end.

remember that Lou was Gene's idol from the time he was a boy. Gene was a teenager when thesz and Gotch were wrestling...and could be considered of the era after they were in their primes. And besides...nothing would make me believe that in the wild and wooly world of pro wrestling that Gene might exaggerate...surely not.