Benefits of Catch Wrestling

Benefits of Catch Wrestling

Catch Wrestling was established over 100 years ago.  The roots of catch wrestling go far beyond those of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  By many accounts, Catch wrestling was established in 1870, but it is very hard to actually determine how accurate that is.  Catch Wrestling has been deemed by many one of the best martial arts for self-defense, one of the best submission wrestling disciplines, and one of the most beneficial things to learn from up and coming MMA stars.  So what are the difference between catch and bjj?

Well, first off, catch wrestling does not use the gi or kimono.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is derived from Judo, Judo has been using Kimono’s for hundreds of years, and catch is derived from many forms of wrestling such as Greco-Roman and others.  This is what makes them distinctly different.  Although they are both submissions grappling arts, they are different and similar as contradicting as that may seem.  On a philosophical note and training methodology, they are diffrenet.  For instance, catch wrestling believes in “Catch as Catch Can.”  This means that take what you are gives, many bjj practitioners believe in “position before Submissions.” Not only this but catch also emphasizes pins very much.

So, bringing this back to a Jiu Jitsu note, is it worth learning Catch to supplement your bjj?  The simple answer is yes.  Why?  Well, there are many similarities between the arts so you can pick up on the technique quickly, you can learn many new submissions, takedowns, sweeps and pins from learning catch.  Catch will give you a competitive edge because many bjj practitioners don’t know it so you will have the element of surprise, you will learn new techniques, and you will expand your game.

Element of Surprise

The element of surprise can be one of the best things you can possess when doing Jiu Jitsu.  If your opponent does not know what is coming be it a submissions, sweep, or takedown, it will be much harder to defend.  So if we use unorthodox techniques that are not traditionally taught, or that are not popular, it will be easier to land them successfully.  This can be one of the main benefits of supplementing your bjj training with catch wrestling.  It will give you a new perspective on things and allow you to develop some unorthodox techniques that still work.

For instance, let’s look at bjj, one of the most popular positions today is the heel hook.  The heel hook was developed by sambo, catch and other grappling forms and was not adapted by bjj practitioners till lately.  You can see that since people have neglected heel hooks for so long all of these years and it is an unorthodox technique, the people that have taken the time to learn them are having excellent success with them.  The guys we see killing the sub only scene are the Danaher Death Squad guys who always utilize the help hook.

So if you learn catch wrestling, maybe you will be able to learn unorthodox techniques such as slicers, holds, and cranks that bjj may not have adapted yet.   This will allow you to use the element of surprise. Check out our article “The Brutal Art of Catch Wrestling” to learn more on catch.

Learning New Techniques

Learning new techniques is never a bad thing, whether it is for your offense or your defense.  If you learn techniques and never use them, if someone tries to do them to you, you will be familiar with them.  What kind of techniques does catch have to offer?  Well, you can learn a bunch of new pins, passes, sweeps, submissions, and takedowns.  Sound familiar?  Well it should because they teach techniques that are very similar to bjj, the main difference would be how they are taught, and maybe some of the specific movements.  Catch tends to have more smashing and gritty passing and pinning techniques.   Some of the submissions that you learn may be different, lets take a look at one of the bets matches that displayed catch wrestling vs bjj when Josh Barnett went against ADCC champion, Dean Lister at Metamoris.  

Josh Barnett was able to submit Dean for the first time in over a decade.  He used a very unorthodox head and arm choke to accomplish this and displayed excellent passing and catch.  If you want to learn more head and arm chokes check out our article “Mastering head and arm chokes.” Also, check out this basic Catch Wrestling sequence below with one of the best modern day catch wrestlers, Neil Melanson.

Neil Melanson is the head coach of the world famous MMA team, Blackzillians and he has been grappling for decades.  Many people such as Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen have credited Neil with being one of the best grapplers on the planet behind closed doors.  He is an extremely methodical instructor as well and will make people see things they never even knew before.  Check out his DVD “The Catch Wrestling Formula” Below.

Expanding Your Game

One of the best reasons to supplement your bjj training with any other grappling martial art not just Catch Wrestling is because of the expansion you will see in your game.  Whether you are learning Greco roman wrestling, judo, or Catch, they will all help you to develop your bjj game.  This is because all of these arts have something to offer that the other does not.  When it comes to catch wrestling, you will learn many techniques that you may not in bjj specifically pertaining to nogi.  The catch wrestling system on the Kimura or as they refer to it “The Double Wrist Lock” is one of the best systems in the world. 

Catch also places a lot of emphasis on stand up where bjj tends to neglect this aspect of grappling.  A lot of catch is about how to get your opponent to the ground In the best position possible, some of the catch roots are from Greco Roman wrestling which has arguably the best takedowns in the world.  Catch, much like bjj is a hybrid art so there is a lot of useful tactics that can expand your bjj game.

So as you can see catch is very similar to bjj but there are differences in the two.  If you like no gi and you want to add something different to your game to supplement your training; catch wrestling can be one of the best things that you can learn.  Catch can be a very hard martial art to find instruction for; if you want to learn some catch here at BJJ Fanatics we actually just picked up a bunch of new catch wrestling DVD’s.  Check out two of our best sellers below “Attacking the Guard” with Josh Barnett and “The Sport of Catch as Catch Can” by Billy Robinson.  They are both excellent resources for anybody who wants to learn some excellent catch.

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