Matt Furey was born in a small town in Iowa, named Carroll.
At eight years of age he began competing in swimming and wrestling and through dedicated practice
became a champion in both. In 1981, Matt Furey was the state runner-up in the Class 3A Iowa High
School State Wrestling Championships at 167-pounds. He attended The University of Iowa from 1981-1984,
where he wrestled for Olympic Gold medalist, Dan Gable, and was a member of three national championship teams.
In the fall of 1984, in order to help rebuild a doormat wrestling program, Furey transferred to Edinboro University
of Pennsylvania, and in 1985 he won the NCAA II national title at 167-pounds, defeating two-time California
state champion, Howard Lawson, in the finals. While at Edinboro he was coached by Mike DeAnna and
two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Baumgartner.
Matt Furey Wins NCAA II Title in 1985
Matt Furey in China
In February of 1987, Furey opened a personal training business for wrestlers and fitness enthusiasts.
Most of the high school wrestlers he trained went on to wrestle in college.
Furey began studying various martial arts in 1990 and immediately saw the physical, mental and philosophical links
these arts had with wrestling. This lead to the publication of his first book and videos in 1996, entitled, The Martial Art of Wrestling.
Also in 1996, Furey began competing in the ancient Chinese grappling art of Shuai-Chiao, the oldest style of kung fu. Furey's teacher, Dr. Daniel Weng, a
national champion from Taiwan, and a ninth-degree black belt, guided Furey to three national titles.
During Christmas of 1997, Dr. Weng brought two U.S. teams to Beijing, China, to compete in the world championships. In Beijing, Furey won the gold medal
at 90 KG (198-pounds), and was the only non-Chinese to win a title. In addition, Furey's world title was historic because it marked the first time that an
American had won a gold medal in any world kung fu competition held in China.
In the spring of 1998, Furey was inducted into the Edinboro University of Pennslyvania Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1999, Furey traveled to Tampa, Florida to train under the legendary Karl Gotch. Several months later Furey moved his family from California to Tampa, Florida,
so he could train with Gotch full-time. Gotch taught Furey a treasure trove of knowledge on conditioning as well as the real professional style of wrestling, known as c
atch-as-catch-can (catch wrestling).
Furey's unique experience as a Chinese kung fu and wrestling champion, earned him covers for Grappling, Inside Kung Fu,
Karate Illustrated, Gladiator and Martial Arts Illustrated.
In 2002, Grappling magazine dubbed Furey, "The King of Catch Wrestling" - and in the book Grappling Masters,
Furey is one of 22 elite world class grapplers who are interviewed and featured.
Matt Furey being inducted into the Edinboro University Hall of Fame
Matt Furey in the May 2002 issue of Grappling
Matt Furey in the April 2003 issue of the U.K.'s Martial Arts Illustrated
Matt Furey in the February 2000 issue of Karate Illustrated
Matt Furey in the September 2007 issue of Gladiator Magazine
Matt Furey in the March 2008 issue of Inside Kung Fu Magazine
In 2010, Inside Kung Fu named Furey as their Hall of Fame Writer of the Year.