Exploring the Grit of Submission Wrestling Mastery

Finn Mitoma
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submission wrestling

When it comes to combat sports, there’s a captivating world beyond strikes and kicks. One discipline that demands both technical finesse and unyielding determination is submission wrestling. Whether you’re a Brazilian jiu-jitsu enthusiast, a practitioner of mixed martial arts, or simply intrigued by the art of grappling, submission wrestling offers an exhilarating journey into the realm of holds, submissions, and technique.

Submission wrestling, also known as Catch Wrestling, is a dynamic form of wrestling that encompasses a wide range of grappling techniques and submission holds. It combines the fluidity of Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the raw power of traditional wrestling, making it a favorite among athletes seeking a versatile and effective approach to combat.

In this article, we’ll delve into the essence of Catch Wrestling, exploring its rich history and the traits that define a Catch Wrestler. We’ll also take a closer look at iconic Catch Wrestling holds and their practical application in modern competition. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a curious newcomer, join me as we discover the true grit of submission wrestling mastery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Submission wrestling, also known as Catch Wrestling, combines grappling techniques and submission holds to create a dynamic and versatile combat sport.
  • It blends the finesse of Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the power and intensity of traditional wrestling.
  • Catch Wrestling has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century and draws inspiration from various wrestling styles.
  • Catch Wrestlers possess unique traits such as adaptability, technical prowess, tenacity, and grit.
  • Iconic Catch Wrestling holds, including the Double Wrist Lock, Toe Hold, Neck Crank, and Hammerlock, showcase the depth and versatility of the discipline.

Catch Wrestling: A Glimpse into Its Origins

Catch Wrestling, with its rich history and diverse techniques, traces its origins to Europe and North America in the late 19th century. This dynamic combat sport emerged as a fusion of various traditional wrestling styles, including Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling.

Catch Wrestling stands out for its adaptive nature, allowing practitioners to utilize any hold or technique within the rules of the sport. Its roots in European wrestling styles contribute to its versatility and the wide array of techniques employed by Catch Wrestlers.

European wrestling styles, such as Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling, played instrumental roles in shaping Catch Wrestling. While Greco-Roman wrestling emphasizes upper-body techniques and prohibits attacks below the waist, freestyle wrestling incorporates both upper-body and lower-body techniques.

“Catch Wrestling incorporates the best of both worlds, blending the technical precision of Greco-Roman wrestling with the adaptability of freestyle wrestling.” – Catch Wrestling enthusiast

The fusion of these European wrestling styles in Catch Wrestling has resulted in a dynamic and formidable grappling art, renowned for its effectiveness in combat situations.

The Influence of Greco-Roman Wrestling

Greco-Roman wrestling, originating from ancient Greece and Rome, forms a significant foundation of Catch Wrestling. This style emphasizes powerful throws, clinches, and takedowns, focusing solely on the use of upper-body techniques.

  • Throws and Takedowns: Greco-Roman wrestling techniques like the suplex and the fireman’s carry have found their way into the repertoire of Catch Wrestling.
  • Clinches and Holds: Techniques such as the collar tie and the double underhook, commonly used in Greco-Roman wrestling, provide Catch Wrestlers with valuable control and positioning advantages.

The Incorporation of Freestyle Wrestling

Freestyle wrestling, known for its explosive techniques and emphasis on both upper and lower-body attacks, has also significantly influenced Catch Wrestling. This style allows competitors to perform a broader range of techniques, adding versatility to Catch Wrestling’s arsenal.

  • Takedowns and Throws: Catch Wrestlers adopt various freestyle wrestling techniques, such as the single leg takedown and the double leg takedown, to execute swift and effective takedowns.
  • Ground Fighting: Freestyle wrestling’s focus on maintaining control and executing techniques on the ground translates into Catch Wrestling’s mastery of ground position and submissions.

Incorporating the best elements of both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, Catch Wrestling has evolved into a unique discipline that thrives on innovation and adaptability, offering its practitioners a wide range of techniques to employ during competitions.

Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling: The Essence of Catch Wrestling


Catch-As-Catch-Can, also known as Catch Wrestling, is a captivating grappling style that epitomizes versatility and adaptability. Unlike traditional wrestling styles, Catch Wrestling fosters a dynamic environment where creativity and fluidity in techniques are highly valued. This approach allows practitioners to explore a vast array of submissions and pins, bringing complexity and excitement to the sport.

One of the defining aspects of Catch Wrestling is its emphasis on both submissions and pins. This unique combination sets it apart from other wrestling styles, as it requires practitioners to be proficient in various techniques to gain an advantage over their opponents. Catch Wrestlers must possess a deep understanding of leverage and body mechanics, enabling them to execute precise submissions and secure effective pinning positions.

The versatility of Catch Wrestling extends beyond its techniques. Catch Wrestlers must adapt to different situations and opponents, using their knowledge and skillset to strategically outmaneuver their counterparts. This adaptability is a testament to the flexibility and resourcefulness that Catch Wrestling cultivates in its practitioners.

In the words of legendary Catch Wrestler, Billy Robinson, “Catch Wrestling is about thinking while you are moving – using your mind as well as your body.”

Whether it’s utilizing innovative submissions or employing strategic pins, Catch Wrestling showcases a multifaceted approach to grappling that demands technical prowess, agility, and mental acuity. The comprehensive training and rigorous practice that Catch Wrestlers undergo contribute to their ability to seamlessly transition between different techniques and adapt to ever-changing circumstances during a match.

The Art of Submissions and Pins

Catch Wrestling thrives on an intricate blend of submissions and pins, providing practitioners with a wide range of options to dominate their opponents.

Submissions Pins
Double Wrist Lock (Kimura) Lateral Press
Toe Hold Crucifix Pin
Neck Crank Far-Leg Cradle
Hammerlock Double Grapevine

The diverse range of submissions in Catch Wrestling allows for the application of joint locks, compression holds, and chokeholds. These techniques target specific vulnerable areas of an opponent’s body, forcing them into submission or creating openings for a pin. Simultaneously, the art of pinning in Catch Wrestling is equally important, enabling wrestlers to immobilize their opponents and secure a win by maintaining control over them for a specific duration.

With its focus on both submissions and pins, Catch Wrestling presents a challenge to practitioners, requiring them to master an extensive repertoire of techniques, adapt their strategies on the fly, and showcase the versatility that defines this remarkable form of grappling.

What Defines a Catch Wrestler?

A Catch Wrestler embodies specific traits that set them apart in the world of grappling. They possess a unique combination of adaptability, technical prowess, tenacity, and grit, making them formidable opponents in the ring. Let’s take a closer look at the defining characteristics of a Catch Wrestler:

  1. Adaptability: Catch Wrestlers are known for their ability to adapt to different situations. They have a diverse arsenal of techniques and are skilled at improvising and adjusting their strategies on the fly. This adaptability allows them to counter their opponents’ moves effectively and seize opportunities for victory.
  2. Technical Prowess: Catch Wrestlers possess a deep understanding of leverage, body mechanics, and grappling techniques. They have honed their skills through years of training and experience, mastering both the fundamental holds and the more intricate submissions. Their technical prowess allows them to execute techniques with precision and efficiency.
  3. Tenacity: Catch Wrestlers are renowned for their unwavering determination. They never give up, even in the face of adversity or fatigue. Their indomitable spirit drives them to push through pain and exhaustion, constantly striving for victory. This resilience makes them formidable opponents who refuse to be easily defeated.
  4. Grit: Catch Wrestling is not for the faint of heart, and Catch Wrestlers possess a unique level of grit. They possess mental toughness and an unyielding spirit that allows them to endure the physical demands of the sport. This grit is what enables them to dig deep and find the strength to overcome challenges and emerge victorious.

With their adaptability, technical prowess, tenacity, and grit, Catch Wrestlers embody the essence of this dynamic and captivating sport. They are relentless competitors who strive for excellence and leave everything on the mat.

The Growing Popularity of Catch Wrestling

In recent years, the sport of Catch Wrestling has gained popularity around the world. Its emphasis on versatility and its inclusion of both submissions and pins make it a thrilling and engaging spectacle for both participants and spectators. As more individuals recognize the unique qualities of Catch Wrestlers, the sport continues to grow and attract a diverse range of practitioners.

Key Attributes of a Catch Wrestler Examples
Adaptability Being able to seamlessly transition between different grappling techniques in a match, adjusting strategies based on the opponent’s moves.
Technical Prowess Mastering a wide range of holds, locks, and submissions, and executing them with precision and efficiency.
Tenacity Never giving up, even in the face of intense physical and mental challenges, and constantly pushing through adversity.
Grit Having the mental and physical toughness to endure the demands of Catch Wrestling and emerge victorious.

Iconic Catch Wrestling Holds

Catch Wrestling is renowned for its wide array of iconic holds and techniques that showcase the depth and versatility of the sport. These holds require precision, technique, and expert manipulation of an opponent’s joints and limbs. Let’s explore some of the most renowned and effective Catch Wrestling holds:

1. Double Wrist Lock (Kimura)

The Double Wrist Lock, also known as the Kimura, is a devastating submission hold that targets the shoulder joint. By leveraging control over both of an opponent’s wrists, a Catch Wrestler can exert immense pressure on the shoulder, forcing their opponent to submit or risk injury.

2. Toe Hold

The Toe Hold is a highly effective submission hold that targets the foot and ankle. By applying torque and pressure to an opponent’s foot, a Catch Wrestler can create immense pain and discomfort, forcing their opponent to tap out. The Toe Hold is notorious for its ability to immobilize and cripple an opponent’s lower body.

3. Neck Crank

The Neck Crank is a powerful submission hold that targets the neck and cervical spine. By applying upward pressure on an opponent’s head and neck, a Catch Wrestler can cause excruciating pain and potentially force their opponent into submission. The effectiveness of the Neck Crank lies in its ability to control an opponent’s upper body while causing immense discomfort.

4. Hammerlock

The Hammerlock is a versatile hold that targets the shoulder joint and can be applied from various positions. By manipulating an opponent’s arm and locking it behind their back, a Catch Wrestler can exert control and immobilize their opponent. The Hammerlock is known for its ability to neutralize an opponent’s offense and leave them vulnerable to further attacks.

These iconic Catch Wrestling holds exemplify the technical prowess and strategic ingenuity required to dominate in the sport. Catch Wrestlers master these holds through extensive training and meticulous attention to detail, allowing them to secure victories against skilled opponents.

Hold Target Description
Double Wrist Lock (Kimura) Shoulder Exerts pressure on the shoulder joint by controlling both wrists
Toe Hold Foot and ankle Applies torque and pressure to immobilize the opponent’s lower body
Neck Crank Neck and cervical spine Applies upward pressure to cause pain and discomfort
Hammerlock Shoulder joint Manipulates the opponent’s arm, locking it behind their back

Catch Wrestling and its Connections to Other Wrestling Styles

Catch Wrestling and its Connections to Other Wrestling Styles

Catch Wrestling, with its rich history and dynamic techniques, has intriguing connections to various wrestling styles across cultures and histories. Let’s explore some of these fascinating wrestling styles and their interplay with Catch Wrestling.

Indian Leg Wrestling

Deeply rooted in Indian culture, Indian Leg Wrestling is a traditional form of wrestling that focuses on a battle of strength, balance, and technique. In this style, opponents grasp each other’s leg and engage in a fierce struggle to bring their opponent down. Indian Leg Wrestling shares similarities with Catch Wrestling, particularly in terms of close-quarter combat and leveraging technique.

Shoot Wrestling

Shoot Wrestling, popularized in Japan, combines elements of Catch Wrestling with martial arts techniques. It emphasizes a realistic and intense approach to combat, incorporating striking, throws, and submissions. The blend of Catch Wrestling and martial arts principles in Shoot Wrestling creates a dynamic and formidable style that tests practitioners’ skills and adaptability.

Wrestling Grappling

“Wrestling grappling involves a complex dance of technique, strength, and strategy. Wrestlers strive to overcome their opponents through precise takedowns, holds, and ground controls. Catch Wrestling’s focus on submissions and pins adds an extra layer of complexity to the already intricate world of wrestling grappling.”

Barefoot Wrestling

Barefoot Wrestling, as the name suggests, is a style where participants wrestle without the use of footwear. Often practiced on sandy or grassy surfaces, this style emphasizes agility, balance, and adaptability. Barefoot Wrestling shares common ground with Catch Wrestling in terms of dynamic movement and the need to quickly transition between techniques.

Chain Wrestling

“Chain Wrestling is a technique-heavy style that involves linking together a series of fluid movements, holds, and counters. Practitioners aim to seamlessly transition from one move to the next, creating a chain-like flow of attack and defense. Catch Wrestling’s emphasis on adaptability and technical prowess makes it a natural fit within the world of Chain Wrestling.”

By exploring the connections between Catch Wrestling and these distinctive wrestling styles, we gain a deeper understanding of the intricate web that exists within the grappling world. Let’s continue to explore the grit and versatility that Catch Wrestling brings to the realm of combat sports.

The Grit of Catch Wrestling in Contemporary Competitions

Catch Wrestling continues to showcase its grit and effectiveness in contemporary submission wrestling competitions. With a growing interest in the sport, practitioners have access to various training options tailored specifically for submission wrestling. Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or simply looking to enhance your grappling skills, there are submission wrestling classes and training programs available to suit your needs.

Training for submission wrestling involves honing a combination of technical skills, physical strength, and mental resilience. These classes provide a structured environment where instructors focus on teaching the fundamental submission wrestling techniques and strategies. Through regular practice and guidance, participants develop a solid foundation for success in submission wrestling tournaments.

Submission wrestling classes emphasize both the offensive and defensive aspects of the sport. Participants learn a diverse range of submission holds, takedowns, escapes, and transitions. Instructors also focus on improving overall conditioning and flexibility, ensuring participants are physically prepared for the demanding nature of submission wrestling.

Submission Wrestling Techniques

During submission wrestling training, participants are introduced to various proven techniques that can be utilized in different situations. These techniques can range from joint locks and chokes to complex grappling maneuvers. Here are some key submission wrestling techniques that participants learn:

  • The Rear-Naked Choke: A highly effective submission hold that involves wrapping one arm around the opponent’s neck while securing a grip with the other arm. This technique restricts the opponent’s blood flow and air supply, resulting in a potential submission victory.
  • The Armbar: This technique focuses on hyperextending the opponent’s arm by applying pressure on their elbow joint. By isolating the arm and controlling the opponent’s body positioning, participants can effectively execute this submission hold.
  • The Guillotine Choke: This technique involves trapping the opponent’s head within the participant’s arm while applying pressure on their neck. The submission hold can be executed from various positions, including standing or on the ground.

These are just a few examples of the many submission wrestling techniques taught in training programs and classes. Learning these techniques and their proper execution is crucial for success in submission wrestling competitions.

Submission Wrestling Tips

“To excel in submission wrestling, it’s important to not only focus on technique but also develop mental toughness. The ability to stay calm under pressure and strategize in real-time can make all the difference in a competition.” – Professional submission wrestler

Here are some valuable tips that can help aspiring submission wrestlers further enhance their skills:

  1. Stay Consistent with Training: Regular training and practice are essential for honing your submission wrestling skills.
  2. Focus on Core Strength and Conditioning: Building a solid foundation of core strength and overall fitness will improve your endurance and ability to execute techniques effectively.
  3. Study and Analyze Matches: Watching and analyzing high-level submission wrestling matches can provide valuable insights into strategy, technique, and positioning.
  4. Develop a Well-Rounded Game: Don’t rely solely on a few techniques. Explore and master a variety of submissions, takedowns, and escapes to become a well-rounded submission wrestler.
  5. Stay Composed Under Pressure: Remain focused and composed during matches, even in challenging situations. This will help you make better decisions and capitalize on opportunities.

By incorporating these tips into your training regimen and consistently pushing yourself to improve, you can elevate your skills in submission wrestling.

Submission Wrestling Tournaments Training for Submission Wrestling Submission Wrestling Classes
Participating in submission wrestling tournaments allows practitioners to test their skills against other competitors and gain valuable experience. Training for submission wrestling involves consistent practice, focusing on developing both technical skills and physical conditioning. Submission wrestling classes provide structured training programs tailored specifically for participants interested in the sport, offering opportunities to learn and refine techniques.

The image above provides a visual representation of the various submission wrestling techniques that participants learn and apply in tournaments.


Catch Wrestling stands as a dynamic and captivating form of grappling, emphasizing adaptability, versatility, and technical prowess. The Catch Wrestlers personify the true spirit of this disciplined sport, showcasing their tenacity and grit in competitions.

The iconic holds of Catch Wrestling clearly demonstrate the depth and versatility of this art. From the bone-crushing Double Wrist Lock to the debilitating Toe Hold and the neck-straining Neck Crank, Catch Wrestling offers a wide array of techniques that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Whether you’re a wrestling enthusiast seeking to expand your repertoire or simply curious about the world of grappling, Catch Wrestling provides an exhilarating journey into the realm of submissions and pins. So step into the ring, embrace the challenge, and experience the electrifying thrill of Catch Wrestling firsthand.

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Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

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