If you involved in the world of grappling then you have probably heard of catch wrestling. The problem is that catch wrestling is not as popular as many other styles of submission grappling such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Because of this, it can be hard to figure out where, how, and who to learn it from. So what are you supposed to do? If there is not a school in your area how are you supposed to learn catch wrestling?
The first step you need to take if you want to learn catch wrestling is if there is a place that teaches it nearby. If not the only other option I can think of is to learn some catch wrestling techniques online. There is a ton of free content on the internet as well as membership websites and paid online courses.
If you are interested in learning catch wrestling but do not know where to start this is the right place for you. Though you might not get the exact answer you want, I will do my best to help you find the best path to incorporating catch wrestling into your game. But before that let’s first talk about why you should learn catch wrestling in the first place.
Why You Need To Learn Catch Wrestling
There are a ton of reasons why someone would want to learn catch wrestling. This is especially true if you are trying to become a well-rounded grappler or an MMA fighter. Catch wrestling is an old school style of submission wrestling. It is in my opinion one of the most complete and well-rounded styles of grappling that someone can learn.
Catch wrestling incorporates takedowns, control, pins, and submissions. In fact, the only way to win a catch wrestling match is through a pin or a submission. It has a wide variety of submission holds not often found in other martial arts. This can give you an advantage when grappling with people who are unaware of these submissions.
This would include things such as spine locks, neck cranks, heel hooks, toe holds, and much more. Of course, many of these submissions might be frowned upon at some academies and not allowed in many tournaments. The only area someone might say that catch wrestling is lacking is grappling from off your back.
In catch wrestling, you never want your back on the ground because one of the ways you can lose is getting your shoulders pinned to the floor. This is different than what you might learn in other grappling styles such as BJJ. In fact, being able to grapple with your back to the ground is a very important skill to learn in BJJ.
This is because the way you will a BJJ match is by submitting your opponent or through the BJJ points system. There are no pins in BJJ so the players don’t have to worry about getting their shoulders pinned like they would in wrestling.
Many people would argue however that catch wrestling is more complete because it teaches a wide variety of takedowns and submissions. Personally, instead of worrying about which one is more complete, I would simply suggest learning the best techniques from all of the grappling styles.
With that said, there is a ton of awesome stuff that any grappler can learn from catch wrestling. With that said, let’s look at the steps you can take to start learning this amazing grappling style.
Step # 1 See If There Is A Catch Wrestling Training Center Near You
If you have not already tried, the very first step would be to see if there is a catch wrestling training center near you. Unfortunately, these are not very common. If you live in a major city you probably have access to plenty of BJJ and MMA gyms to choose from. However, if you want to learn catch wrestling you have to be very lucky to live in the right area.
Some people who are very serious about learning real catch wrestling have even moved across states and even countries to learn this art from one of the few qualified instructors. So if you have not already, first take a look in your area and see what comes up.
If you find a place to learn catch wrestling consider yourself lucky. However, you might not want to get too excited until you look up some reviews and make sure it is a good place to train. The catch wrestling community is small enough that you should be able to find out where the person teaching learned catch wrestling in the first place.
If you don’t see that they truly have knowledge of good catch wrestling then you might be wasting your time and money. If you can’t find anything don’t worry there are still some other options you might want to consider.
How Learning BJJ Can Help You Understand Catch Wrestling
This might sound a little bit crazy but if you can’t find a catch wrestling school then you should probably learn BJJ to help you learn catch wrestling. I know this might not make sense at first but let me explain. If you don’t have a background in a style of submission grappling you are going to have a very hard time learning techniques from books or online.
Just getting the basic understanding of how to move and how to do some basic submissions will certainly help you learn from other grappling styles as well. A good example would be learning music. Someone who grew up playing the piano is going to have a much easier time learning a new instrument than someone with no musical background.
In the same way, just learning how to grappling will help you pick up on new grappling styles much faster. Also, BJJ is just a great style of grappling to learn anyway. Instead of simply wanting to learn one style over the other, why not learn the best of all of the grappling styles?
The truth of the matter is that you can learn many catch wrestling techniques and submissions online but without a background in grappling it is going to be very difficult. All I am saying is that a black belt in BJJ is going to be able to learn catch wrestling online much faster than someone starting from scratch.
So before going off and buying the newest catch wrestling instructional I would suggest simply getting your feet wet into the world of grappling. In addition to BJJ, having a background in folkstyle or freestyle wrestling would also come in very handy. Especially when incorporating catch wrestling takedowns.
You Can Learn Catch Wrestling Online
If you can’t find a place to learn catch wrestling in person, then the next best thing is learning techniques online. Of course, this is not as good as learning in person but it is the only other option that I can think of. As I said, I do think you should have at least a little background in a grappling style before trying to teach yourself online.
That said, there are a ton of great places that you can learn online. If you don’t have a ton of money you could simply start with the free content on youtube. The problem here is that it is hard to know where to start. Online programs on the other hand will take you step by step. That said, here are some good resources to start learning catch wrestling online.
* Note that this post contains affiliate links in which I will earn a commission on products advertised or recommended on this page at no extra cost to you!
If you only want to focus on one resource I would go with Scientific Wrestling Online. This is a great resource with tons of content and digital programs on catch wrestling. The site is run by Jake Shannon who is one of the most well-known teachers of catch wrestling today.
The Catch Wrestling Formula DVD and Instructional By Neil Melanson
The catch wrestling formula is an amazing instructional if you want to from a person many consider to be the best catch wrestling coach today. Neil has coached some of the best grapplers and MMA fighters in the world.
This would include Randy Couture, Dominic Cruz, and Michael Chandler. This is a great program whether a competitive grappler or an MMA fighter looking to expand your knowledge of catch wrestling.
You can find this course on BJJfanatics.com as well as many other catch wrestling DVDs and digital programs. The only thing that is not great about catch wrestling is that finding a training center is very difficult. Thankfully, there are some good resources online to learn catch wrestling.