rev•o•lu•tion: the procedure or course, as if in a circuit, back
to a starting point.
Since 2003, Scientific Wrestling has blazed the trail providing martial artists and athletes with the very cream of the crop in wrestling instruction, especially with regards brutal submissions, crushing cradles, painful pins and terminal takedowns (i.e., catch-as- catch-can wrestling).
We are the first catch wrestling organization of its kind and we continue to lead the way in providing the undisputed top-of-the-food-chain coaching, competition and camaraderie for both aspiring and accomplished catch wrestlers from all backgrounds. We live and breathe the entirety of catch wrestling; from its rough & tumble origins and its evolution into modern “freestyle” and “folkstyle”, to our own open King of Catch Wrestling tournaments. In our sport of catch-as-catch-can wrestling players win via pin or submission (no holds barred), no points, and matches are contested as the best 2 of 3 falls.
Western-style submission grappling is not new. Likely originating in Ireland and first recorded and popularized in the Lancashire county of England, catch-as-catch-can wrestling was by far the most popular American sport during the post- Civil War period up until just before World War I. Wrestling events drew crowds larger than boxing, baseball, and basketball combined!
These men knew how to control their opponents, they knew how to take them down, they knew how to pin their opponent and how to make their opponents say “Uncle”. Bear in mind they didn’t wrestle on cushy pads or mats, they grappled on hard floors and grassy fields (this is the reason they did NOT like being on their backs. Try playing bottom game on the asphalt and you too will see why they hated being in that position) after a hard day working a grueling blue-collar job.
What is Scientific Wrestling?
Scientific Wrestling (aka catch-as-catch-can wrestling) is a distinctly Western style of grappling and where the terms of the contest were agreed upon by both parties but in general a winner is determined by pin OR submission. No points, no politics, and most matches are held for the best 2 of 3. A true spectacular martial art, Scientific Wrestling is being rediscovered largely due to it’s merits as a:
Exciting Spectator Sport
Means to Exceptional Fitness & Sportsmanship
A Gateway to Western Combatives History and Traditions
A Brutally Effective Form of Self-Defense
As a result, Scientific Wrestling is sometimes referred to as the “Great Granddaddy” of Ultimate Fighting, Professional Wrestling, and Olympic Freestyle Wrestling. In fact, the term “No-Holds-Barred” was specifically coined to describe early 20th century American Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling matches and Olympic Freestyle was originally called “amateur catch-as-catch-can”.
Influence Upon Folkstyle & Olympics Freestyle Wrestling
Just as Jigoro Kano removed the dangerous maneuvers from jiu-jitsu to create the safer sport of Judo, so were the more dangerous holds and submissions of Catch removed to allow people to safely participate in wrestling. Hence “Amateur” or freestyle wrestling was born.
Influence Upon Pro-wrestling
The legitimate contests became “worked” or fixed when greedy promoters decided that scripted matches with predetermined outcomes were more profitable than the legitimate Catch-As-Catch-Can contests. Outraged journalist learned of the fixed fights and this betrayal of the public’s trust sadly spelled the end of authentic scientific wrestling in America. Unfortunately, it still attracts unsavory and opportunistic individuals today (many of whom never even entered an amateur submission grappling tournament!), so “caveat emptor” applies when looking for instruction. However, the rules you see on today’s televised “Sports Entertainment” still reflect the old Catch-As-Catch-Can rules where a pin or submission win the contest.
Influence Upon Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
The first modern match between a striker and a grappler happened in 1887 between heavyweight boxing champion of the world John L. Sullivan and Greco-Roman wrestling champion William Muldoon. Sullivan was slammed to the mat in two minutes.
The next big mixed match took place in the late 1890s when boxer Bob Fitzsimmons challenged European wrestling champ Ernest Roeber.
Roeber took Fitzsimmons to the mat and applied an arm lock, making Fitzsimmons quit. In 1936, heavyweight boxer Kingfish Levinsky challenged professional wrestler Ray Steele in a mixed match that saw Steele win in just 35 seconds.