A common complaint from casual combat sports fans when the topic of amateur scholastic wrestling and international freestyle wrestling comes up, is not only the lack of a submission element - deemed a more definitive contest end than the pin - but also the perceived difficulty of following the scoring methodology for takedowns, escapes and reversals. Add in situations like 'riding time' in the school and college folkstyle variant of wrestling, or the instances of the 'ball grab' to help decide an even period in freestyle wrestling and it's not hard to see how the sport to an outside observer can seem complicated and convoluted.
The grass roots effort to bring Catch Wrestling back in the USA, Canada and the UK has looked to address all this by being far simpler to follow: you win by pin or submission, and there's a time limit draw. Submission only matches in jiu jitsu have been increasing in popularity, but the concept isn't a new idea and has been successfully tried out in the much smaller Catch Wrestling circles over the last decade.
The first of its kind in the modern era, the Catch Wrestling Alliance will host its inaugural USA vs The World event tomorrow on Saturday June 7 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) inside the John Wooden Center (Collins Court) and features a wide and varied selection of participants. Here are just some of them:
Curran Jacobs - Former captain of the Michigan State University 'Spartans' Division I wrestling team, he is currently learning Catch Wrestling under Raul Ramirez (Billy Robinson and Roy Wood trained) at Catch Wrestling Los Angeles.
Jennifer Thomas - Former Pro Wrestler and WWE Developmental star, Thomas has ditched the pre determined world of sports entertainment in favour of competitive sport catch wrestling.
John Strickland - Full coach under Billy Wicks, he has been training in the Farmer Burns lineage of Catch Wrestling since 1999 in the Carolinas, and currently coaches MMA fighters Johhny Buck (Bellator), Johnny Boyd, Matt Tran and Caleb Savage.
Stephen Greenfield - has been training with Roy Wood at The Snake Pit Wigan since 2011 after a 20 year background in Japanese Martial Arts. Currently runs a Snake Pit affiliated club in Llanelli, Wales.
Amin Nazer - Born in Dagestan, moved to Iran as a small child and has lived in England for the past 7 years. Backgrounds in Luta Livre and BJJ, he is 1-0 in Amateur MMA and has been training at The Snake Pit Wigan.
Special guests expected for this event include former UFC champions Josh Barnett and Frank Shamrock, head coach and Billy Riley successor Roy Wood of The Snake Pit Wigan, and wrestling historian, former WIN writer and Frank Gotch museum and National Wrestling Hall of Fame curator Mike Chapman.
Tickets are still available for this event through Ticket Master or on the door, please see www.catchwrestlingalliance.com for more details and more thorough competitor profiles. Be sure to follow them on Facebook too.
There will be no live stream of this event, however matches will be recorded and made available with commentary over the coming days.
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