Catch Wrestling - it's that art that people don't necessarily want to talk about, or even know enough to do so. Despite the fact that Catch has influenced virtually every modern grappling art it gets little respect in return.
Over the years I have always admired what some would consider the Mother of grappling arts, but as you could imagine it was't the easiest trying to find true CACC gym. So I did the next best thing, I incorporated training with wrestlers into my BJJ schedule and started my never-ending search to find CACC influenced arts. I have had the opportunity to train with Erik Paulson and I even ran across a Luta Livre gym and trained with Leozada Noguiera. Despite my years of training, reading, and research, I wasn't sure if I truly understood CACC as a whole. Yes, the sporting aspects are fairly simple to understand and the techniques not all that dissimilar from the many grappling arts I had trained in, but I wanted to learn the true essence of the art. It wasn't until a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to train with the legendary Billy Robinson, when I truly understood CACC. I'll start by saying that CACC has more similarities than differences to modern BJJ, Judo, Sambo, and Jiu Jitsu, but the methods, concepts and foundational techniques allow it to stand apart from all the others.
Roy Wood was one of the youngest and one of the last students of Billy Riley's Snake Pit Gym in Wigan England. The gym's historic significance and influence in sport grappling as well as Pro Wrestling and MMA remains felt to this day yet is often unrecognized. Roy has continued to train wrestlers over the years, but it hasn't been until recently where he has brought back the lost art of Lancashire Catch.
Check out this beautiful movie short by Roy Wood's son Matthew Wood and celebrate a grappling art that goes back 3,000 plus years.