skip navigation


Bobby Douglas: Do It Right!

By Bill X. Barron, 08/16/18, 3:00PM MDT


Partners with RMN to Make Books Available

Do It the Right Way

The Legendary Story of Bobby Douglas

In His Words, as Related by Bill X. Barron – RMN Events Writer

One day I will come from the grave screaming: WRESTLING!  It’s the greatest thing that happened, especially for guys like me who are 5’9”. “The Soul of American Wrestling” – that’s me – and the title for a new chapter in my book. It is for all who are in the minority – minority by race, gender, or circumstance – diversity is not only key to our survival as a people, but also for the sport of wrestling.

Legendary wrestler and coach Bobby Douglas is just getting started talking about his (our) sport. After 75 years, burns an unquenchable fire. As a coach and official myself for 44 years, I am more than a willing scribe … Always a man willing to say what’s on his mind, Bobby continues: In order for wrestling to survive, we have to promote diversity – women, ethnicity, handicapped, seniors. Wrestling is the oldest organized sport in the world, with the richest history.  Wrestling is good for America and for the world.

American athletes are now rising to the top because high school and college wrestling adapted the rules to create more action and interest. We are also succeeding because Americans are in shape. When I was first asked to join the National Wrestling Board, I told the other directors that in order to win at the international level, we needed to pay our athletes and we needed to change the rules to help us be more competitive. Those rule changes – such as no longer allowing a wrestler to step out of bounds without penalty – are now showing in our positive results on the world stage. America is back.

Unlike the days of no risk-taking in 15-minute matches, modern wrestling requires action. One of the reasons why my books Wrestling, The Making of a Champion: The Takedown & Takedown II, The Last Takedown,  and Take It to the Mat are still relevant and in demand is that I wrote them with the future in mind. I knew that one day they would change the rules to “take wrestling to the mat.”

I am very pleased to announce that Ed Gutierrez, CEO of RMN Events, will be partnering with me to make all my wrestling coaching books available again at an affordable price. It is exciting to know that today’s generation will have access to what are still the key teaching points of successful wrestling, whether on your feet or on the mat. However, there is one book which I would like to locate, The Last Takedown (Sunkist Kids Takedown Book). If you have a copy that you would be willing to part with, please send your contact information to

I am proud of what the books have accomplished. Every wrestler who ever competed for me received one of those books. With the grid system, an athlete can see what to do and when to do it. The book helps a wrestler visualize, literally writing a roadmap to success. Taking the book with him, the wrestler can visualize and practice what he is being taught. For example, the book shows how to use your hands to penetrate, and how to throw your opponent’s body forward. When you get the opponent to move toward you, it helps your penetration as well as your set up.

Wrestling technique has evolved in order to keep pace with the rules. Takedown wrestling now requires wrestlers to stay inbounds. Mat wrestlers now apply more pressure. It was Gable who reinforced the concept of pressure. For him, it worked well due to his superior conditioning. He wore his opponents down. Good technique works better when your opponent is tired.

What worked for me is movement – both moving my opponent and moving my feet. Pressure enhances speed, and speed is a key aspect of being successful in applying pressure. If you can get your opponent to lean on you, it is easier to break his balance. The new rules reinforce this concept by forcing wrestlers to remain in contact with each other. You can no longer go out of bounds or wrestle on the edge. You have to wrestle against pressure.

This September I will begin work on a film chronicling my wrestling career. We will shoot the bridge at Route 40 on the Cumberland Trail in Ohio, where the first white man to walk there was George Washington. In Akron, where LeBron is establishing a new school to ensure that those who follow him have the opportunity for education, I am working with Ray McDonald (point man) and Justin “Harry” Lester (an Akron native and a 2-time world bronze medalist) to make wrestling part of their curriculum.  I am also working with Kevin Jackson on the American Development Program.

I have lived my life by the “right” principles: Do the right thing at the right time to get the right result. Do the right thing: help wrestling retain its rightful place in our history. Respect the basic fundamentals on the mat and how you live your life. The soul of American wrestling lies within what makes each of us unique from one another. Diversity is the key to our survival as a sport and in our humanity. PURCHASE ON AMAZON KINDLE TODAY

{Full length article posted under “News” and will be published in WIN Magazine.}