The Four Pragmatic Advantages of Catch Wrestling When Compared to Jiu Jitsu

If you live in or around Fort Collins, you definitely know about Horsetooth Mountain. But what’s with the ‘Hybrid Grappling’ part of our appellation? For our club, it’s the synthesis of functional wrestling styles, interwoven to create a complete grappling martial art, regardless of ruleset or circumstance.

The foundation of our hybrid approach is catch-as-catch-can wrestling, or simply, catch wrestling, which holds the strange distinction of being the most influential martial art ever, while still being shrouded in obscurity from public conciousness. I’ll save the explanation of both circumstances for a future blog, but for this inaugural post, I thought it critical to begin with a comparison of catch wrestling with its current and most popular contemporary, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). In doing so, I’d like to dispel the presently held misconception that BJJ is the most functional martial art for the street and sport grappling competition.

Please note that as a decade-long BJJ practitioner—and a coach who interweaves a lot of jiu jitsu into his hybrid grappling curriculum, plus a father of an eight-year-old who loves his gi and belt!—I have no figurative axe to grind here. This is merely my ‘scientific’ assessment through many hours on the mat, sampling techniques and training modalities, and trying to understand what works best for me, my students, and my two kids. So, forthwith, here are what I consider as catch wrestling’s advantages when compared to BJJ.

  1. We don’t train in the gi/kimono/hakama
  2. We emphasize stand-up grappling and takedowns in our training
  3. Matches are won with pins and submissions
  4. No point on the body is off-limits to submissions

The BJJ adherent in my heart and head rankles just typing that! I also understand that each point probably instigates debate (and maybe fist-shaking at your screen) without further, and objective, explication. For my posts in the coming weeks, I’ll grab one of these points in successive order and do my best to explain my reasoning. In doing so, my goal is not to drive people away from the ‘gentle art’ of jiu jitsu, but to encourage BJJ practitioners to seek additional training opportunities and continue our collective evolution toward a more complete grappling system.

Meantime, if this has whetted your appetite to learn more about hybrid grappling and the foundational layer of catch wrestling, feel free to reach out to me directly, visit our club in the coming weeks and beat up on the old man typing this. Our family and adult classes begin October 23 and more information is here. You can also visit, which is an unparalleled resource for all things catch wrestling!

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