Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling: Bridging the Past and Present of Professional Wrestling
First done for side bets in the fields and coal pits of Lancashire, England after a grueling day of labor, and later brought across the Atlantic after the Civil War, professional wrestling in North America traces its origins most directly to the art of catch-as-catch-can wrestling and its competitive champions like Evan “Strangler” Lewis, Tom Jenkins, and Frank Gotch.
While showmanship always played a part in the professional wrestling business, the art of professional wrestling was built upon a bedrock of real technical wrestling know-how (characterized by riding, pinning, escapes, and submissions). Professional wrestlers took their craft seriously, and despite the rise in prominence of showmanship, the most skilled competitive wrestlers were still held in high esteem within the wrestling fraternity.
In past generations, wrestlers had at least some passing knowledge of professional wrestling’s more dangerous methods. Occasionally, they were displayed, with the added showman’s flare, in the ring in public exhibitions. The recent evolution of “sports entertainment” to focus on never-ending high spots and false finishes resulted in the near-disappearance of the old foundations of professional wrestling.
With the rise in popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts), there has been pressure on performers and promoters alike to provide a more realistic product. This Scientific Wrestling catch-as-catch-can learning seminar will revivify the heart and soul of what it once meant to be a professional wrestler by introducing attendees to the history, techniques, and sport of professional catch-as-catch-can wrestling. For older CAC members, it may be a trip down memory lane, but it is also our hope to light a passion within younger members for the sport’s past by bringing real catch-as-catch-can wrestling into the future.
Your presenter: Jake Shannon, Head Coach at Scientific Wrestling (est. 2003) launched the first catch-as-catch-can competitions in nearly 100 years with his King of Catch Wrestling open tournaments in 2006 with a rule set co-created by Karl Gotch. He apprenticed in coaching catch wrestling under Billy Robinson for the last seven years of Billy’s life, helping ghost-write Billy’s autobiography, Physical Chess. Prior, he trained in American carnival style catch-as-catch-can with Pacific Northwest hooker Dick Cardinal. Jake is a proud lifetime CAC member. He lives in Denver with his wife, three children, two dogs, cat, and bearded dragon.
- Date and time
- Salon D