I remember reading up on Gene LeBell and how he got started in "grappling" under Ed "Strangler" Lewis. According to Gene, when Ed asked him if he wanted to learn the way of the mat, he posed him with the question "Do you want to learn how to wrestle... or do you want to learn grappling?" Gene didn't know what he meant at the time, so when he asked why it mattered, Ed explained [as taken from www.genelebell.com]
"that with grappling you could do just about anything to your opponent. You could hit the guy, do heel locks, ankle locks, armbars, back locks, neck locks, tweak the nose or choke him out." Being the anxious young lad that he was, Gene took up grappling under Lewis before enrolling into Judo.
Under this contention is how Gene trained in Judo, Wrestling and Boxing. Granted, seeing as how he was always around pro-wrestlers and boxers at that time I can see his influences. But, he shared many philophical views with Bruce Lee (even trained him in the grappling arts). So yeah, I can see how the term "True Grappler" comes into play.
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