About Combat Sports School Olympic Wrestling Club

In 1929 Harry Baldock began teaching wrestling out of Hannah’s gymnasium in Dunedin. From 1927 Harry had been instructing unarmed combat wrestling and weightlifting. He moved to his own gymnasium in the mutual building in the exchange Dunedin in 1931. Three years later he moved to a bigger premises in the Cromwell Chambers in Dowling Street Dunedin. His final move was to number 6 Stuart Street Dunedin in 1938.

Harry Baldock - Wrestling Coach
Harry Baldock

The wrestling room in the front of the building had Mats made of horsehair and canvas covered in the early days and later was replaced with vinyl-covered mats.


Harry Baldock oversees wrestling class

Harry had many New Zealand champions as part of his wrestling team, including his son Peter. Harry was a great fan of George Hackenschmidt the undefeated world-wrestling champion.

In the 1930s the Baldock Institute was a training place for visiting professional wrestlers. Harry trained many fine wrestlers from the 1930s to the 1970s and they were highly thought of by visiting US professionals that used the Baldock Institute as their training gym when in town and Harry and his wrestlers including Andy Idour, Len Couglan, George Terry, Frank Keach, Harry Munt and John Da Silva for training.

Harry Baldock - Wrestling Group Shot
Baldock Institute class photo

Harry's top understudies included Billy Lucas, Archie Edgar, Bertie Marks and George McKay. In the 1960s and 70s Peter Baldock, Paul Massetti and Bill Pay kept the Baldock name and reputation at the forefront of wrestling.

Harry Baldock - Wrestling Group 2
Baldock Institute class photo

In the early 1970s Geoff Todd began training at the Baldock Institute initially in weight training, physical culture, wrestling, boxing  Jiu Jitsu and later unarmed combat, which he specialized in.

In 1984, after completing very stringent requirements to take over the facility, Geoff Todd become the second owner of the Baldock Institute now the Todd Group.

Harry had been an army unarmed combat chief instructor during World War II and was a self-defence instructor and it was unarmed combat and self defence that Geoff Todd specialized in, and like Harry, becoming an Army CQB chief instructor.

Harry passed away at age 86 on July 8, 1991. Harry's only regret in wrestling was that he was not permitted to compete back then as he was considered a professional because he trained and wrestled with professional wrestlers from around the world. Harry was disappointed to have to officiate or coach when he would have preferred to be out on the mat competing.

His wrestling team knew well that there was no one that could have dominated Harry and that he was never beaten in training even by professional heavyweights of the era. He could hold his own with the best of heavyweight professionals that visited the Baldock Institute and wrestled with him.

He was a wrestling and weightlifting official and left behind him a legacy of a no nonsense approach to training and competing.

In 1999 Geoff Todd, wanting to re-establish wrestling especially for members' children to be involved with the group, approached his long-time friend and former New Zealand wrestling team member Alan Rolton. Alan agreed to come on board as the head wrestling coach and the club the combat sports school Olympic wrestling club has grown from strength to strength.

Wrestling - Nationals 2006
Combat Sports School Olympic Wrestling Club
National Championship Team 2006

For the last two years the club has taken more New Zealand wrestling titles at the nationals than any other club.  In 2007 Alan was awarded the top coaches award for the year for New Zealand.

Jessica Todd, the daughter of Geoff and Trish, is the clubs most successful wrestler to date having won multiple national and provincial titles and a gold medal at the Down Under Games in Australia in 2007.

Jessica Todd - Wrestling
Jessica Todd

The club is one of the largest wrestling clubs in the country and the largest in Otago.

The team includes some good wrestlers like Craig Miller, Flo Rades, Ryan Gray-McCoy Jessica Todd, Drew Handcock, Nico Bloemsaat, Aiden Spence,Hayden Bell,Bonnie Begley, Lee and Ryan Van der Lem, Ben McKinlay, Oliver Wilson Caleb Steven, Joanna Tokona.

Previous top wrestlers have included Lee Smith, Simon Ussher, Ben Herring, Joe Jansen from America, Vinnie Roxburgh.

Wrestling Team
Combat Sports School Olympic Wrestling Club
National Championship Team 2007

The gym with two classes per training night is often wall-to-wall with wrestlers and will soon be refurnished with the joining and expanding of the two mat rooms. There will be all new mats and covers and this will allow us to take on more wrestlers.

Copyright © 2007–2017 Combat Sports School Olympic Wrestling Club. A division of the Todd Group.