Catch Wrestling - Keeping the spirit alive

Alex Scientific WRESTLING.png

In support of the re-launch of Scientific Wrestling’s website, I was asked to complete a few formal questions. As part of the official Scientific Wrestling accredited training staff, I was only too happy to take part and discuss my involvement with the Catch As Catch Can movement:

1) What drew you to CACC?
My first involvement of any kind, was the Billy Robinson training seminar DVD, W.A.R. A friend of mine and my assistant coach at our local MMA Training School, downloaded the DVD from a file sharing site - noting it had Josh Barnett on it. At the time, we knew nothing of Billy Robinson or the history of Catch Wrestling. The fact that Billy Robinson had a Lancashire accent drew me in, and I found the physical techniques so appealing too. The fact that the techniques actually promoted pain appealed to me even more as it added an extra dimension to the grappling we were teaching at the time which was heavily influenced by Judo and No-Gi grappling.

2) Why learn with Scientific Wrestling?
The interest that was peaked from the W.A.R DVD led me to research both Billy and Jake and as such led me to the previous Scientific Wrestling website where I got in touch with Jake about coming over to Salt Lake for one of the weekend training camps with Billy Robinson in 2009. It seemed like the perfect match to learn from Billy Robinson who was born, raised and learned how to wrestle in the North West of England and being from the working class north west myself.

3) Please describe your personal coaching style.
Not having coached for a number of years now due to other priority commitments, but at the time of teaching, I tended to primarily use the techniques that I’d learned under Billy and Jake. Mike Grundy, the British Commonwealth Games medalist and pro MMA fighter from WIGAN, was also a big influence on my teaching style, but more from a freestyle wrestling perspective.
It was always important for me to teach the transition from standing to ground. Using the techniques we’d learned in Judo, refined by Catch with the addition of pain holds became a staple of the classes I was teaching. The importance of high fitness levels was also top of the teaching agenda, coupled with stress innoculation from the grind of the pain and pressure holds.

4) What is your favorite memory with Billy Robinson
I have many great memories from having the privelage of training with Billy. I guess the first one is actually meeting him in person during my first trip to UTAH in 2009. Jake invited me down early to train with Harry Smith whilst he was in town, and I was basically used as a grappling dummy for Harry - which was absolutely fine - and in many ways I think it was Billy’s way of testing my physical endurance. I was also very proud when both Billy and Jake taught at the local gym I was coaching at at that time. To introduce Billy, who I considered a living legend, along with his techniques, to the younger generation of fighters and competitors was a real treat. And giving the them a glimpse of a tougher time, from when Billy had been taught and raised was really special.

5) Your website
www.thanktheuniverse.org