Catch wrestling is a combat sport that originated in Britain in the 19th century. It’s a hybrid grappling style that combines elements of judo, wrestling, and jujitsu. Catch wrestling is known for its emphasis on submission holds and pins, making it a popular choice for MMA fighters and wrestlers. In this blog post, we’ll explore what catch wrestling is and how it differs from other grappling styles.
Origins of Catch Wrestling
Catch wrestling has its roots in the Lancashire region of England, where it was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was initially used as a way for miners and laborers to settle disputes and show off their strength. Catch wrestling matches were often held in pubs and were watched by large crowds.
The name originated from the phrase “catch-as-catch-can” which in old Lancashire English essentially translates to “catch me if you can.”
Catch wrestling was brought to the United States by traveling wrestlers in the late 19th century, and it quickly gained popularity in the country. It became a fixture in carnivals and circuses, where wrestlers would challenge members of the audience to matches.
In the early 1900’s catch wrestling began to lose popularity as other grappling styles such as judo and wrestling became more popular. However, catch wrestling experienced a resurgence in the 21st century, thanks largely to its use in MMA competitions.
Techniques Used in Catch Wrestling
Catch wrestling is known for its focus on submission holds and pins. The goal of catch wrestling is to force your opponent to submit by putting them in a submission hold, or by pinning them to the ground. Catch wrestlers also use takedowns and throws to gain an advantage over their opponents.
There are fewer limits with catch wrestling than there are in either freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling. While you can pin your opponents, you can also force them to tap out (i.e. surrender) which does not exist in either of the other two styles.
One of the key techniques used in catch wrestling is the catch hold. A catch hold is a type of submission hold that involves grabbing your opponent’s limb or neck and twisting it in a way that causes pain. Catch wrestlers are known for their ability to apply these holds quickly and efficiently, often catching their opponents off guard.
Another technique commonly used in catch wrestling is the bridge. The bridge is a way of using your hips and legs to create space between you and your opponent. Catch wrestlers use the bridge to escape from pins and to gain leverage in submission holds.
Catch wrestling also places a lot of emphasis on grappling from the top position. Catch wrestlers are trained to use their weight and leverage to control their opponents from the top position, making it difficult for their opponents to escape.
Differences Between Catch Wrestling and Other Grappling Styles
Catch wrestling is often compared to other grappling styles such as judo and wrestling. While these styles share some similarities, there are some key differences between them.
One of the main differences between catch wrestling and other grappling styles is the emphasis on submission holds. Catch wrestling is focused on forcing your opponent to submit, while other grappling styles such as wrestling and judo place more emphasis on pins and takedowns.
Another difference between catch wrestling and other grappling styles is the use of the catch hold. Catch holds are unique to catch wrestling and are not commonly used in other grappling styles.
Catch wrestling also differs from other grappling styles in its use of the bridge. While other grappling styles teach the bridge, catch wrestling places a lot of emphasis on using the bridge to escape from pins and gain leverage in submission holds.
Techniques that Are Allowed
Legal techniques include the following:
- Knee locks
- Ankle locks
- Spine locks
- Hip locks
- Neck locks
- Shoulder locks
- Wrist locks
- Elbow locks
- Hand locks
- Chokes (as long as one of the opponent’s arms is involved)
Techniques that are Not Allowed
Illegal techniques include the following:
- Eye gouging
- Fish hooks
- Toe holds
- Individual finger locks
- Full nelsons
- Grabbing your opponent’s clothes
- Grabbing your opponent’s hair
Benefits of Catch Wrestling
Catch wrestling offers many benefits for those who practice it. One of the main benefits is improved physical fitness. Catch wrestling is a high-intensity sport that requires a lot of strength and endurance. Practicing catch wrestling can help improve your cardiovascular health, strength, and overall fitness.
Catch wrestling also offers many mental benefits. It requires a lot of mental focus and concentration, making it a great way to improve your mental discipline. Catch wrestling also teaches important life skills such as perseverance, dedication, and discipline.
Finally, catch wrestling is a great way to learn self-defense. A lot of these moves are widely used during MMA fights as the submissions can be fast and brutal. Adding catch wrestling techniques to boxing, taekwondo, or other striking styles can make you a fearsome competitor!