The sad demise of Catch Wrestling

Discussion in 'Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling' started by Freestyler777, May 13, 2007.

  1. Freestyler777

    Freestyler777 Blue Belt

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    Catch Wrestling, the western equivalent of Ju-jitsu, died out with the advent of professionalism (and therefore became 'worked' matches) and sportification as Amateur Freestyle wrestling was made to be a safe sport, without the throws and submissions of the parent art.

    So if Ju-jutsu spawned judo and aikido,

    Catch Wrestling spawned Pro Wrestling and Freestyle wrestling.

    Something to ponder
     
  2. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

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    There are still some Catch Wrestlers out there. One is even in the UFC. I believe it is making a comeback, along with the rest of WMA. I'll be starting my training in Ringen (medieval German combative wrestling, also an equivalent to jiu-jutsu) in the next month or two. Keep the faith. :)

    Best regards,

    -Mark
     
  3. Freestyler777

    Freestyler777 Blue Belt

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    Thank you for responding. How is the german style different from Lancanshire Catch Wrestling (a British art)? I know that there is Gene Labelle, who is both a judoka and a catch wrestler, and there's that guy Tony Cechine who makes instructional DVDs. But what made it so scarce now is the advent of professionalism, which ruins everything!

    That's why I like freestyle wrestling and judo, because they are amatuer sports, not professional.
     
  4. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

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    No clue, since I know nothing about Catch, and not very much about Ringen. A lot of Ringen is apparently very similar to some Koryu jiu-jutsu. It's generally not "sporting" in nature but intended for lethal encounters. There are a lot of throws, locks and limb breaks, kicks to the groin, etc. A lot of the ground fighting (called "Ston" in Ringeck's manual) involves pinning the opponent and beating the tar out of him. There is comparitively little striking. AFAIK, most of the strikes are used to soften someone up to wrestle him, such as a punch to the opponent's heart, followed by wrestling. Does that help?

    Best regards,

    -MArk
     
  5. Freestyler777

    Freestyler777 Blue Belt

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    Excellent, thank you. So it really is like traditional jiu-jitsu.

    From what I know, Catch Wrestling is more like pro wrestling if it was real. Best of three falls, win by pin or submission, and no strangles allowed. So essentially, it has many similarities to SAMBO. But Catch Wrestlers don't wear a jacket. Many different submission holds were allowed in the old days of 'shooting' meaning 'actual matches, not pre-determined matches).

    I think what has become of Catch Wrestling, Pro Wrestling in America, is a cruel mockery of sport. However, in Japan, they practice something called 'Pancrase' or 'Shootfighting' or 'Strong style of wrestling', where people slap(competitors don't wear gloves, so punching closed fist is not allowed), kick (with boots on!) and grapple, and its all real! Shootfighting is a name for this style of real pro wrestling coined by an American, Bart Vale. He taught John Busto, who I studied with for a few years. I've been to a couple of seminars of Bart Vale, and I was impressed. And John Busto is practically a family friend, my brother still trains with him. I train in judo now, just to stay in shape.

    I hope I didn't bog you down with details.
     
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd like to hear more about this art!
     
  7. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

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    Wish granted! :) Here are images from the Codex Wallerstein. There are two Ringen sections. Scroll down and have a look-see: http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/CodexW.htm Also in the manual are some longsword techniques, and messer techniques, and a good selection of dagger work.

    An English translation is available from Paladin Press. It's one of my faves.

    Here's a group in Poland that does some Ringen. They did a DVD detailing some of the throws used. Download this trailer and enjoy: http://tesa.pop.e-wro.pl/ott2/ I think this one is from the 2nd DVD. The first trailer is really nice, but I can't seem to find it. :(

    There's also a short Ringen clip on youtube:

    Enjoy!

    Best regards,

    -Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  8. streetwise

    streetwise Yellow Belt

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    Demise of CAtch? I would say it is enjoying quite the revival, look at the wrestling background of many UFC champions, more wrestling there than BJJ. If you want to claim a "lineage" formal style called "catch wrestling" has died out, maybe so, but catch as catch can wrestling is alive and well.
     
  9. Freestyler777

    Freestyler777 Blue Belt

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    You are absolutely right that most UFC guys have collegiate/freestyle backgrounds, freestyle wrestling itself used to be called 'catch as catch can', and America is very succesful in winning medals in the sport.

    I'm talking about how professionalism turned a real sport 'pro wrestling' into comedic drama 'WWE'. There were the days when the sport was real contests.....
     
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks, I enjoyed that especially!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  11. Ybot

    Ybot Blue Belt

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    I'm not sure that Catch spawned freestyle, but I do know that the most direct decedent of catch-as-catch-can is American Folk style wrestling. Basically our high school and college wrestling. Folk Style is catch with no submissions (also known as "hooks" in catch lingo).

    As far as fighters that claim a catch lineage would be most of the Japanese fighters from a pro-wresting background including Sakuraba. The most famous fighter claiming catch as a style today is Josh Barnett.

    It wasn't professional wrestling that killed catch, because there were many legitimate pro catch wrestlers at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Frank Gotch was a legit wrestler and a pro. Also, many of the At-Show (athletic shows sort of like traveling carnivals) wrestlers, that continued doing some legit and some worked matches well into the late 50s and 60s, could technically be considered pros because they were paid for what they did.

    My guess is the oldtimers had good subs, but since matches were ended by falls (either a sub or a pin) they didn't necessarily concentrate on them. My guess is that it was the At-Show folk who had the real nasty subs. They were the ones taking on challenges from the audience for money (like in Spider-Man), and a good sub was the best way to make sure your opponent doesn't argue with your win.
     
  12. Shogun

    Shogun Master Black Belt

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  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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  14. Karatedrifter7

    Karatedrifter7 Purple Belt

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    I dont think it did. You still see Gene Lebell books everywhere.
     
  15. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    You know where Pancrase got a big influence from right? Karl Gotch a catch wrestler, a bunch of his students went on to form the UWF, which had a big influence on all the later shows.
     
  16. Kosho Gakkusei

    Kosho Gakkusei Blue Belt

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    I heard it was TV that led to the demise of Catch Wrestling. Professional matches were known to take hours with no fall or submission. Sometimes matches were stopped and re-started the next day. Didn't make for good TV - hence the advent of staged matches.

    _Don Flatt
     
  17. Freestyler777

    Freestyler777 Blue Belt

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    I didn't think about it that way. Maybe TV and commercialism led to the demise of "shoots" and the rise of "worked" matches.
     
  18. TjThunder

    TjThunder Yellow Belt

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    TV definitely led to the commercialism that changed the face of wrestling. By the way is Karl Gotch still around??? Last I heard of him was the letter he sent to Matt Furey a couple of years ago
     
  19. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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  20. TjThunder

    TjThunder Yellow Belt

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    sorry, missed that thread. He sure did pack a lot of life in his years though, Rest in Peace.123
     

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