"Another large aspect of catch wrestling is “the ride”. The ability to advance position and hold the opponent there is an important part of the art."
The history of catch wrestling can be traced back all the way to the Middle Ages. This discipline emanated from Lancashire, England during the late 19th century, drawing from the British styles of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, Cornwall and Devon wrestling, Irish collar-and-elbow wrestling and Lancashire wrestling. It has since evolved into the basis for Olympic Freestyle Wrestling.
Catch wrestling is known as a brutal and very effective form of fighting, often referred to as “the violent art”. There are no limits to how the wrestler can manipulate their opponent’s body. The practitioner may use whatever means available to end the match. There no illegal holds, submissions or takedowns, thus the term “No Holds Barred”.
It is an aggressive style of fighting that utilizes grappling and submissions, which tend to be based around chokes, joint locks, neck cranks and leg locks. The guard is not a huge part of catch wrestling, but it is utilized in certain instances. If the catch wrestler finds himself on his back, he or she will generally work to create space and scramble to top position or back to standing.
Once on the ground, a catch wrestler will demonstrate an ability to stay on top with heavy pressure, control and an offensively oriented submission game. Another large aspect of catch wrestling is “the ride”. The ability to advance position and hold the opponent there is an important part of the art. It is what enables the athlete to pin his or her opponent underneath them and prevents them from escaping the dominant position. The ride is also used to transition to submission attempts, utilizing the dominant top position while the opponent is preoccupied on bottom.
The fact that catch wrestling is still relevant in contemporary combat sports is a testament to its effectiveness throughout its history.