UnderGround Forums Why so Few Catch Wrestling Techniques in MMA?

3/26/20 9:35 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 63482
BJ Penn Forever - 
wiggum -
Kirik - 

People have sort of fetishized catch wrestling. It's wrestling. It's the best base for MMA, be it folk greco, f/s, etc. Best form of wrestling is maybe what they are doing in Dagestan. Some people want to just learn super secret catch wrestling moves. It reminds me of the blue belts in the 90s who thought they could beat Mike Tyson. It's worthless unless you can wrestle.


Agreed.

I think it's important to note that a lot of the best Dagestanti/Caucasian wrestlers have been very heavily influenced by the top rides of American folk wrestling. (And I'm not disagreeing with what you say, just adding to it). Watch Khabib's top game evolve over the years--very clearly influenced by DC.

Free wrestling doesn't really have a spiral ride or wrist rides. Folk does. And once the Russians started learning those rides -- at AKA, at Ricardo Almeida's, etc. -- they became much, much better.

Its worth pointing out that folk began in the 20's and it sounds like all the dangers of catch had to be removed so wrestling could be a sport safe enough to offer in colleges and high schools. It got to the point I'd say 99% of folk guys have no catch knowledge that someone like Saku or Barnett would have.

Folk has for sure influenced Khabib's MMA free wrestling, judo and sambo base. Add up everything he does and he is sort of "cutting ege" in his MMA grappling.

Meanwhile Tony's folk base has been heavily influenced by the 10th Planet BJJ system. His versatility is on display in a very different way.

I think both Khabib and Tony are pretty versatile out there and and show a wider variety of techniques tailored for MMA than the 1st gen of fighters from folk, judo, BJJ bases.


A guy at Iowa or Iowa state, I forget, did his doctorate on the changes in folk wrestling rules from 1900 on. It's super interesting. I read it on microfiche (sp?) in 198p or so. Will try to find it again.

3/27/20 1:32 AM
7/16/13
Posts: 3936

No mention of Karl Gotch? 

Decent little article on the history of catch. 

History Of Catch Wrestling

3/27/20 11:20 AM
2/2/12
Posts: 4113

I am going to respond to this in parts since I have my 2 week old baby girl on me and she gets attention on demand.

 

First of all thank you to pretty much everyone in this thread for being respectful. All too often you get people who don't train making absurd statements and shitting all over catch.

 

My background. I've been grappling for 15+ years of my life on and off since highschool but the last 7 years I've primarily trained in cacc and judo (judo to get more mat time in and plus judo is super bad ass). I've trained with amazing cacc wrestlers (some of who are past and present mma fighters) in Canada, Japan and the US. I'm not going to go all Dan the wolf man and name drop because I'm respectful of the time and knowledge some of these athletes have bestowed upon me.

 

That being said there are a few factors why cacc is not as popular as it should be. I will expand on these points in later posts.

 

1. It's hard and it hurts.

2. Lack of organization/infighting.

3. Steep learning curve compared to bjj

4. Lack of instruction/charlatans trying to make a buck of something they portray as "mystical" when they shouldn't be teaching in the first place.

5. The internet troll community both bjj noobs and keyboard catch wrestlers.

 

Let's keep this civil.

3/27/20 11:35 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 32736

Why so few caych wrestling techniques in mma?

Simple

Most of them require superior position. Which would you think is more safe and effective from superior position? A sub or punches and elbows?

Im mean honestly, outside of low level mma, we dont even see that many armbars, kimuras, and triangles anymore.

3/27/20 12:21 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 41633
Kirik - 

People have sort of fetishized catch wrestling. It's wrestling. It's the best base for MMA, be it folk greco, f/s, etc. Best form of wrestling is maybe what they are doing in Dagestan. Some people want to just learn super secret catch wrestling moves. It reminds me of the blue belts in the 90s who thought they could beat Mike Tyson. It's worthless unless you can wrestle.


Thank you.

This point always fell on deaf ears.   In Catch, you wrestle from position to position.  Without that the hooks are meaningless.   And the wrestling was different from regular amateur wrestling.  A lot of comp stuff would get you in trouble once subs are introduced.

 

Most guys back then were just looking to learn subs that they can magically tap everyone with and Catch was exotic.   There were only a handful of guys out there that knew it and all but one were over 70.  

 

As for Catch in MMA,  there are just too few teachers.  And since there is striking in MMA, a lot of Catch stuff would be fooish to use.

When Tony's first seminar tape came out., we loved it, but disected it.  There were 41 subs.  Only a handful were what I would call safe to use in an actual fight.   In a sub only environment, different story.

Oh,  NEVER EVER say that Furey knew Catch.  He knew NOTHING.  He was in it for the money only.  Taking advantage of Tony.

3/27/20 2:07 PM
7/12/03
Posts: 11526
Flavorful - Is pinching the nose allowed in MMA?

Its not specifically banned. You can cover their mouth so I would say its ok to do but the ref may tell you not to.

3/27/20 2:19 PM
5/18/06
Posts: 6993

Karl Gotch, Billy Robinson, Billy Wicks...there were only a few legitimate sources of information.  Given that, it's actually amazing how much of an impression it DID make, via guys like Sakuraba and Barnett. 

Edited: 3/27/20 3:34 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 8196

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."

3/27/20 3:29 PM
5/11/11
Posts: 2829

From the bit of catch I’ve practiced it seems like a lot of “submissions” taught wouldn’t actually close the show in a competition. Neck cranks and things designed to control people and set up other movements and pins. 

3/27/20 4:07 PM
5/11/11
Posts: 2830

That thing Vagner has been doing with the arm trap and suffocate the mouth and nose is awesome though. 

3/27/20 4:23 PM
2/17/03
Posts: 14590
Calhoon - 

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."


Great post.

Another guy who has a catch influenced style but learned guard, as well, is Hume (and his greatest student, Mighty Mouse).

I think it was Mark Schultz who said that nothing beats wrestling, except for jiujitsu. I think that applies to Catch, as well.

But, great wrestling and adequate jiujitsu often beats jiujitsu alone. Especially when punches and elbows are allowed.
3/27/20 4:30 PM
10/9/15
Posts: 573

Matt Hume has had a bjj black belt for a while now.

3/27/20 4:47 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 10591

Getting into debates about and strengths Vs weaknesses is attractive but in this case I think there's simply a much simpler answer. Numbers.

 

I'm in the UK, the home of CACC and I've looked multiple times over the years and there's no one teaching it remotely close to me. But I can walk out my front door and join a BJJ gym 5 minutes walk from here, and judo and MMA gyms are similarly close and accessible. I don't doubt that it's a similar story in most places in the world.

Edited: 3/27/20 5:19 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 8199
wiggum -
Calhoon - 

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."


Great post.

Another guy who has a catch influenced but learned guard, as well, is Hume (and his greatest student, Mighty Mouse).

I think it was Mark Schultz who said that nothing beats wrestling, except for jiujitsu. I think that applies to Catch, as well.

But, great wrestling and adequate jiujitsu often beats jiujitsu alone. Especially when punches and elbows are allowed.

Agreed!

 

I also think that a lot of "wrestlers" in mma have a lot more than adequate jiu-jitsu when it comes to quality of their jiu-jitsu. Adequate in terms of quantity is what you are referring to I'm sure and I am posting agreeing with you but I just wanted to stress to the sport bjj guys that a lot of mma fighters get what they need out of jiu-jitsu because a lot of sport guys dont understand the difference imo. They see an mma guy enter a sport comp and get beat and they think the sport guy has better jiu-jitsu but that is not always the case. The mma guy might not know the best way to deal with spider guard in the gi or a lot of the nuances of even nogi sport jiu-jitsu but nogi jiu-jitsu and mma jiu-jitsu is as different as gi and nogi. A lot of similarities between the two but also small differences in techniques that make a big difference in the outcome.These "wrestlers" have great vale tudo or mma jiu-jitsu and it is often on another level than even a lot of these purely sport jiu-jitsu guys when it comes to jiu-jitsu for mma.

3/27/20 5:27 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 41635
Calhoon - 

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."


Interesting that you think that.

Catch has plenty of bottom game.   

Unlike BJJ, the focus is to regain top position.   i.e.  to WRESTLE out from under and into hooks.

The wrestling is the bottom game. And there are numerous finishes that you wrestle into.  That is, the finish is part of the reversal.  Not two separate things.   Not wrestling to the top and than go for the hook.  You wrestle to the top and the sub is a consequense of the wrestling.  That act of getting to top is where the sub is.

 

 

3/27/20 5:30 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 8200
HULC -

Getting into debates about and strengths Vs weaknesses is attractive but in this case I think there's simply a much simpler answer. Numbers.

 

I'm in the UK, the home of CACC and I've looked multiple times over the years and there's no one teaching it remotely close to me. But I can walk out my front door and join a BJJ gym 5 minutes walk from here, and judo and MMA gyms are similarly close and accessible. I don't doubt that it's a similar story in most places in the world.

I'm not looking to debate just looking for your educated opinion. You might now of someone I have never herd of and I can learn something by looking hi up.

 

Who in your opinion was the best guard player out of any catch wrestler ever pre UFC 1? How would you rate the guard play of them compared to how catch wrestlers like Barnett handle the guard now? Thanks for your opinion.

Edited: 3/27/20 5:44 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 8201
e. kaye -
Calhoon - 

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."

 

Interesting that you think that.

Catch has plenty of bottom game.   

Unlike BJJ, the focus is to regain top position.   i.e.  to WRESTLE out from under and into hooks.

The wrestling is the bottom game. And there are numerous finishes that you wrestle into.  That is, the finish is part of the reversal.  Not two separate things.   Not wrestling to the top and than go for the hook.  You wrestle to the top and the sub is a consequense of the wrestling.  That act of getting to top is where the sub is.

 

 

I could be wrong but I think catch has evolved tremedously after the impact UFC 1 made on the martial arts community. Either a catch guy added the guard more into their game like Hume and Paulson or a catch guy still suffers from an incomplete game imo because a bottom game of reversals and getting to your knees is not enough to fight a Demian Maia or a Gordon Ryan imo. You have to know and understand the guard to fight a top bjj guy.

3/27/20 5:39 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 41636

Not arguing that point.

Catch was never MMA.

Like I wrote earlier,  I changed Catch to suit me.    There are many things that in MMA or a real fight with striking that would put you in danger.  No biggy.

I never got caught up in the whole authentic Catch BS, that it had to have pins,etc.  

Who cares about pins, unless you are wrestling under rules where pins are legal.

3/27/20 6:31 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 3602

All take from each other. Years ago in bjj all I heard about it flowing & transitions & now I hear more about how to be heavy and stay on top & guys calling bjj the art or pressure. Most the bjj blackbelts I know are super strong & probably roll more like Karl Gotch than Royce Gracie.
Half the bjjers I know roll with what I would call catch strategy even tho they probably don't know what catch is

Edited: 3/27/20 7:44 PM
10/25/05
Posts: 10392
Because catch wrestling isnt a real thing.
3/27/20 7:53 PM
8/20/08
Posts: 4838

When my gym opens back up, I am definitely looking forward to trying out some of these CW moves.

3/27/20 8:03 PM
2/2/12
Posts: 4114
Calhoon -
e. kaye -
Calhoon - 

I do see a lot of "catch" in mma. I see a lot of "catch" in sub grappling also. There is a lot of good stuff from catch that is great for grappling. The biggest problem that I see for catch is the lack of guard. I believe that a good guard will kill pure catch guys of the past. Todays great catch guys like Eric Paulson benefitted tremendously when the Gracies introducdd bjj to them and his student Josh Barnett did also. Eric Paulson imo has a great grappling styIe because he has blended catch with bjj.

 

I believe that catch without bjj is inferior because the guard is such an important position in grappling. In order to be a great grappler you have to have a great guard imo and great guard defense because no matter how good of a wrestler you are you will not be complete without a guard game both top and bottom. There will be a Gordon Ryan out there who can take you down or sweep you and turtling against him is the worst idea you could have or he can submit you from his guard.

 

Why is the blended styIe of grappling today mostly recognized from the general public as bjj? I think this again is because of the addition of guard play. The guard is the heart and soul of jiu-jitsu and it is prevelant in grappling blended grappling competitions. I have heard catch guys say the "scissor position" has been around forever and it is the same as the guard. They will show you old footage of a catch match where one guy has a closed guard/scissor position but in all practical purposes he is not playing guard. In the videos I have seen the bottom guy has his legs wrapped around his opponent but he is also just holding his opponent while he is also up on his elbows to "avoid the pin". There is no offense and as you can guess the position did not last long. Having rules that allow you to win by "pinning" someone in guard is not good imo. A well developed grappler needs a good guard also no matter how good his top game is. every ADCC competitor has a guard that would demolish catch guys pre UFC 1 imo and that includes Sakaraba. I think Sakaraba is another one who benefitted from learning from the early UFC's and he is another one who has a great grappling that is blended but considered "catch."

 

Interesting that you think that.

Catch has plenty of bottom game.   

Unlike BJJ, the focus is to regain top position.   i.e.  to WRESTLE out from under and into hooks.

The wrestling is the bottom game. And there are numerous finishes that you wrestle into.  That is, the finish is part of the reversal.  Not two separate things.   Not wrestling to the top and than go for the hook.  You wrestle to the top and the sub is a consequense of the wrestling.  That act of getting to top is where the sub is.

 

 

I could be wrong but I think catch has evolved tremedously after the impact UFC 1 made on the martial arts community. Either a catch guy added the guard more into their game like Hume and Paulson or a catch guy still suffers from an incomplete game imo because a bottom game of reversals and getting to your knees is not enough to fight a Demian Maia or a Gordon Ryan imo. You have to know and understand the guard to fight a top bjj guy.

Yeah yeah.. the Gracies also invented breathing and shoes.. gotcha.

3/27/20 8:13 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 41637

You either did not read or did not understand what I wrote.

Did I say anything about reversals or knees?  Catch guys are rarely on their knees to begin in with. 

Edited: 3/27/20 9:18 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 8202
e. kaye -

You either did not read or did not understand what I wrote.

Did I say anything about reversals or knees?  Catch guys are rarely on their knees to begin in with. 

You and I were talking about catch's bottom game. They go to their knees often. What they do not do i go to guard often.

Edited: 3/27/20 9:53 PM
2/27/08
Posts: 1912

2009 nogi worlds. Watch Josh Barnett not pass the guard of Bruno Paulista.

Maybe he couldn't, maybe he didn't want to. Interesting nonetheless.