As it has recently found its way into our Bloody Elbow news cycle I thought I'd take a minute to show this recent interview with Kris Iatskevich talking about the history of Catch Wrestling and how it relates to the history of MMA. It's a well put together conversation on the roots of a sport that is so heavily intertwined with what we now call mixed martial arts and yet entirely separate.
Here's an excerpt from Kris, talking about the similarities between the classic Catch matches and MMA:
They were going in there expecting to do a wrestling match. But a lot of the time they were drinking, expecting to prove something...
They were expecting to do a wrestling match and then out of nowhere somebody would hit them and they would just go out into an all out brawl. So they had to expect anything and everything.
Well there was a lot of mixed matches back then. Wrestler against boxer, that was very popular at the time. And there were also a lot of performers at the carnivals who were doing both wrestling and boxing. MMA is not a new concept, if you want.
It's good to see people driving their instruction of the art through a passion for its history and its connections to current martial arts culture. Catch can and should have a real home in the martial arts world, but it will take the dedication of people invested in its past as well as its future to give it one. There are a couple of Catch Wrestling tournaments coming up, so if you can check them out. NACWA Liberty Classic & the 10th annual ISWA Catch Wrestling Tournament.
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