INDEPENDENCE Catch wrestling is not a team sport. One man stands alone atop the mountain of beaten and broken competitors to be crowned champion. The catch wrestler understands that he alone is responsible for his successes and his failures.
REASON Catch wrestling is a dangerous game of physical chess. The terms “science” and “scientific” are frequently used in the context of catch wrestling. It’s the smart player who’s rewarded, not necessarily the strongest.
HARD WORK Catch wrestlers didn’t have cushy mats. During the American Civil War they competed on grassy fields. After the war they’d compete on gravel–covered clearings following a full day in coal mines or steel mills. During the height of its popularity, with the likes of Tom Jenkins, George Hackenschmidt, and Frank Gotch, catch wrestlers competed on hard floors covered only in canvas. Wrestling is hard. It takes a special person to show up at the gym, day after day, year after year, and push beyond his physical and mental limits.
COMPETITIVENESS These men were filled with pride and were motivated to prove their skills. They would bring an equal purse to each match and the winner would take all—meaning they literally put their money where their mouths were, and were always game.
The aim of this book is to share the history and strategies of old–time catch wrestlers with today’s grapplers and encourage the evolution and development of the modern sport of catch wrestling. I also hope to awaken fans of fighting sports to the fact that catch–as–catch–can is, arguably, the direct ancestor of today’s mixed martial arts, pro wrestling, and Olympic freestyle wrestling. In fact, the term “no–holds–barred” was coined to promote early 20th century American catch–as–catch–can wrestling matches. If you enjoy the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the WWE, Olympic or collegiate freestyle wrestling, or high school folkstyle wrestling, you owe an enormous debt of gratitude to catch wrestling.
This book contains a number of interviews with venerable catch wrestlers, some of whom have since passed away, combined with an extensive series of photographs and descriptions of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matthew Posner
This is a history book essentially. It begins with some history and some rules of competition, then on to interviews with practitioners and legends. Read morePublished 7 months ago by James
Thin, a bit disappointing and not particularly well written. The author mentions over an hour of taped interviews with Karl Gotch, but this equals about three pages of print which... Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. C. ELLIOTT
A wonderful and informative book. Goes into good detail about the history and some techniques used.Published 8 months ago by mike
Extremely disappointing. I wrestled 25-30 years ago in JH and HS in the mid-west. I had heard about Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestling then. I knew it as carnival wrestling. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Screen Name
The writing is great because the author is a practicing martial artist with a love for the history of grappling. The interview with Karl Gotch is greatPublished 16 months ago by jason claus
The book can be defensive about the world's oldest form of hand to hand combat, and defensive doesn't serve the title well. Good for true enthusiasts; well-made. Dull at points.Published on June 29, 2013 by Charles Coulter
I won this book in a Facebook contest and I was eager to read it from the moment it arrived in my mailbox. Say Uncle! Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Ryan
Good stuff! A must read for anyone lookng to learn about Catch. Really good interviews. I wish it had more techniques(although I understand its not the focus of the book). Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Cid