Provided by J Michael Kenyon through WRESTLING AS WE LIKED IT.
IN STRANGLER LEWIS' FIGHTING BOOK,
Detroit Free Press, March 15, 1943
WRESTLING -- JU-JITSU ESPECIALLY --- IS THE NO. 1 WEAPON
by Bob Latshaw
Robert Frederick Lewis (sic) is a very proud fellow these days. He is the only sports celebrity who has ever had a full page devoted to his exploits in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Robert Frederick, if you don't know, is better known as Ed (Strangler) Lewis, and he devotes his time to the gentle art of wrestling. In fact he has devoted 35 of his 51 years to the sport under that "Strangler" moniker.
During that thirty-five-year period Lewis has taken part in more than 6,000 bouts in nearly every country in the world. He speaks glibly of Egypt, Japan, India, England and other foreign countries. But his big interest at the present time is telling the public of the United States about the benefits which can be derived from wrestling.
Although he's in town for a return match with Orville Brown at the Arena Gardens Monday night, you would never know it from his conversation. Lewis will give a demonstration of the Judo or Commando type wrestling before the bout and his only wish is that all men and boys could have a chance to learn the fundamentals of the wrestling game.
"Wrestling is the only natural sport," Lewis points out. "Whenever one gets into a fight the natural thing is to seek to grapple with the opponent."
During recent months the Strangler has been giving instructions at various Army and Marine camps in the Judo method of combat. His claim as an expert in the Ju-Jitsu field is backed up with experience against that type of fighter during several trips to Japan.
"The only way to beat a Jap using Ju-Jitsu is to know the fundamentals of the holds," Lewis pointed out. "there has been much said about the good old American wrestler being able to beat a Jap anytime -- that's just a lot of hooey.
"I've seen little 135-pound Japs throw husky 225-pound Yanks," Lewis continued, "but those same 225- pounders would have been unbeatable if they knew the basic Ju-Jitsu holds and used their additional weight."
Drawing on his knowledge of wrestling picked up in his many years of travel, the Strangler reeled off tales of hand-to-hand combat that would convince even the most skeptical that wrestling is the original "art of self defense." He pointed out that in the Cairo (Egypt) Museum there is evidence that catch-as-catch-can style wrestling has been in existence since 4,200 B.C., although most people think that it started here in America some 150 years ago.
He is thoroughly convinced that wrestling is a good body building sport. His own case is his best proof. A few months ago Lewis weighed 350 pounds. Doctors feared that his life was endangered when his blood pressure reached 210, but getting back into shape through the use of his wrestling, he dropped 90 pounds and his blood pressure returned to normal.
At the moment he is trying to use wrestling to build a Marine back into fighting shape. Thor Morgan, a veteran of the Pacific battles, has been discharged from the service because of shell shock. But Lewis feels that Morgan will be ready for active duty in a few months after working out regularly on the mat with him.
Without trying to boast, Lewis said that he would take on the three top-flight heavyweights and guarantee to dispose of them in less than two minutes each. "I'll do it in private, public or any manner any promoter would wish it -- and remember I'm an old man," Lewis concluded.
For a fifty-one-year-old youngster, the Strangler is still quite a guy.