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MonagFam

Catch Wrestling?

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I wasn't sure what section to put this in, because it really doesn't fit either very well.  I am fascinating by several aspects of it:

  • It's certainly historical and if some of what I had read is accurate, they toned it down to make it acceptable for things like the Olympics.
  • That said, it effectively goes from being this legit form of competition to the more carney-aspects of what would eventually become the "pro" wrestling/sports entertainment. 
  • It always seemed strange that while BJJ or even folkstyle/freestyle wrestlers graced things like Grappling magazine, "catch wrestling" was a full page ad that always felt it had the quality of x-ray glasses/sea monkeys.  
  • I do think Kazushi Sakuraba and somewhat later Josh Barnett may have put some spotlight on catch wrestling.

 

I was curious what people's general opinions of it?

  • Is it even relevant to a wrestling discussion?
  • Is it a path for post-wrestling that former wrestlers could go into?
  • etc etc

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2 hours ago, MonagFam said:

I wasn't sure what section to put this in, because it really doesn't fit either very well.  I am fascinating by several aspects of it:

  • It's certainly historical and if some of what I had read is accurate, they toned it down to make it acceptable for things like the Olympics.
  • That said, it effectively goes from being this legit form of competition to the more carney-aspects of what would eventually become the "pro" wrestling/sports entertainment. 
  • It always seemed strange that while BJJ or even folkstyle/freestyle wrestlers graced things like Grappling magazine, "catch wrestling" was a full page ad that always felt it had the quality of x-ray glasses/sea monkeys.  
  • I do think Kazushi Sakuraba and somewhat later Josh Barnett may have put some spotlight on catch wrestling.

 

I was curious what people's general opinions of it?

  • Is it even relevant to a wrestling discussion?
  • Is it a path for post-wrestling that former wrestlers could go into?
  • etc etc

The way most ex wrestlers practice no gi BJJ, is similar enough to catch wrestling that there is no significant distinction. Wrestlers are going to be using more aggressive style of grappling versus guys who started in the gi with bjj. The numbers and tournaments are in bjj

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15 minutes ago, Jim L said:

The way most ex wrestlers practice no gi BJJ, is similar enough to catch wrestling that there is no significant distinction. Wrestlers are going to be using more aggressive style of grappling versus guys who started in the gi with bjj. The numbers and tournaments are in bjj

That's a good point.  I know that some catch competitions include pinning, so they would have to definitely grow it to grab ex-wrestler's attention from the much bigger bjj tournaments.  

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I think Catch wrestling is somewhat, a farce.  You learn much better hand-fighting, stance, motion, takedowns and set-ups from freestyle/whatever classes you have.  You also learn much better grappling techniques at a BJJ class.  

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Even after looking it up I don't totally understand what catch wrestling is, but between grappling, Goresh/belt wrestling, beach wrestling, Pankration, Kushti, Pahlevani, Goresh and all the variants that fall under the umbrella of UWW, plus MMA, BJJ, Judo, Sanda, Silat, Sambo, folkstyle, etc. idk if it would be a destination sport for wrestlers?

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2 hours ago, pamela said:

Even after looking it up I don't totally understand what catch wrestling is, but between grappling, Goresh/belt wrestling, beach wrestling, Pankration, Kushti, Pahlevani, Goresh and all the variants that fall under the umbrella of UWW, plus MMA, BJJ, Judo, Sanda, Silat, Sambo, folkstyle, etc. idk if it would be a destination sport for wrestlers?

Seems real similar to no gi BJJ.  all the clubs and tournaments are nominally BJJ and I don't see enough differences between the two to justify going to the less popular option.

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it's basically like folkstyle except you can win by make opponents submit with illegal moves rather than having the ref call 'illegal move' on you, as well as by pinning them.

which shouldn't be too surprising because collegate wrestling was adapted from catch wrestling to make it more 'acceptable' to moms and pops as a collegate sport, so far as I gather. (I suppose freestyle traces the same roots but it moved further away from the original ethos with very limited mat time and a focus on moves that roll the opponent to score 'exposure points').

IMO it should become more relevant again in today's neverending quest for ratings, as I can see it being potentially a lot more fun to watch (for the layperson) than the pretty much any other grappling style.

Edited by ufo

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I would say what I sort of practice is considered catch wrestling.  Most of it is from a wrestling perspective, but a lot of the things we do submission wise are kind of frowned upon in BJJ.  We kind of mix in submission holds you might see in Sambo, or whatever.  The thing a lot of people who aren't wrestlers don't realize is that a lot of things you can do in wrestling can and will really hurt somebody absent a ref to call potentially dangerous.  I've submitted plenty of folks with just a simple half nelson.  

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22 hours ago, sidakova4991 said:

You also learn much better grappling techniques at a BJJ class.  

BJJ didn't exist at the time catch wrestling was a thing. JJ did, of course, but access to Japanese JJ sensei around that time was either impossible or extremely limited. 

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9 hours ago, pamela said:

Even after looking it up I don't totally understand what catch wrestling is, but between grappling, Goresh/belt wrestling, beach wrestling, Pankration, Kushti, Pahlevani, Goresh and all the variants that fall under the umbrella of UWW, plus MMA, BJJ, Judo, Sanda, Silat, Sambo, folkstyle, etc. idk if it would be a destination sport for wrestlers?

Josh Barnett is a catch wrestler.  If you see some of his highlights it may help to understand.  It has more emphasis on takedowns than BJJ does. However BJJ usually wins over Catch because bjj pays more attention to position 

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go watch barnett vs lister and get some perspective...

wrestling will always be a more aggressive sport than BJJ by it's very nature...

catch wrestling might be the most brutal of all grappling and sport BJJ might the most nancy of all grappling...

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Yes, Katie, that is true. Curran Jacobs, captain of the Michigan State team in 2012 (round of 12 at the NCAA) is the big star of catch wrestling right now. He has won the Frank Gotch Championships in Humboldt, Iowa, twice and won the United Catch World Championships in 2018. You can go on You Tube to see his matches and to see him training.  Randy Couture is one of his mentors and Curran is also 5-0 in MMA, choking out his last foe in 58 seconds.. Catch  wrestling was very popular in the early 1900s when men like Frank  Gotch, Tom Jenkins (who went on to coach at West Point for 37 years), Earl Caddock and Joe Stecher drew huge crowds and were household names. Over 30,000 fans saw the Gotch-Hackenschmidt match in Chicago in 1911. Also, Dr. Raul Ramirez in LA is head of the Catch Wrestling Alliance so you may want to check out his web site too. For two years, Raul had a booth at the WIN show during the NCAAs and hundreds of people came by to learn about catch wrestling. BTW, Curran is available to give seminars. -- Mike Chapman, author of 31 books, including bios of Frank Gotch and Earl Caddock.

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