Catch Rules Thread

Hi Guys,

For a while now I have been working from a manual a friend of mine found in a library in Canberra (ACT Australia) on

The Science of Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. by W.E. Winthrow of the Winthrow Physical Culture Institute Sydney.

Here is an excerpt that may prove interesting to some.
parts in square brackets are me. :)

Here is an excerpt:

Conditions of Wrestling in Australia

Rounds are of 10 mins each with a two-minutes' interval between each round.

The Referee's decision shall be final and he shall decide all questions which arise during the bout.

The Referee's decision is given on pin falls, that is when one wrestler is thrown on his back with both shoulders touching the floor at the same time for a period of three seconds, which must be counted by the Referee.

A fall may also be awarded when a contestant surrenders (submission fall) which is usually signalled by tapping the mat.

When a wrestler refuses to continue at the Referee's instruction, the decision may be awarded against him.

Opponent's may grasp any part of each other's body. One arm may be pressed against an opponent's throat, but the other arm must not touch the opponent's head or neck. (The stranglehold is barred in Australia)[suggesting it may still be allowed elsewhere?]

Deliberate striking and kicking, scratching and biting are regarded as fouls. Boring and gouging are prohibited. [What is boring?]

When a foul or deliberate breach of the rules occurs, the Referee may award a fall against the offending wrestler.

When the wrestler's roll off the mat, beyond the boundary lines, or under the ropes they shall be ordered to the middle of the mat. The wrestler who has the advantage the when rolling out of the ring occurs must be given the position of aggressor when the bout resumes in the middle of the mat.

The Referee must tap on the shoulders or on the back, the wrestler securing a fall.

Seconds must not touch their man or give him advice during the progress of a round.

Changing holds or grabbing of the legs is permitted.

The use of oil or grease on the body or on the head of a wrestler is not permitted.

Australian championships may be decided on points, but World's Championship is only decided on falls.

If anyone is interested, I am happy to type up more stuff from this manual.

sounds cool stu. give us more.

what year is the book from?

are u training more wrestling these days? whereabouts?

I think Winthrow is undated. I think I estimated about 1929 at one point, but that's just a guess.

[What is boring?]

I'm guessing here, but I'd say it means things like grinding the fist or elbow into sensitive areas.

Very interesting rules. A bit different than those I've seen before.

The strangle was barred pretty much everwhere by the early 1900's.

I'd like to hear a bit more. I do know how difficult it is and how much time it takes to type word for word from a book though.

Does it say if these are amateur or pro rules. I guess amateur with points being awarded.

Very interesting--let's hear more!

ttt for more, if you can do it


Hi All,

Mike, I am teaching myself from the manual. I have a bit of a tendency to want to do that kind of thing these days. Can't think where I got this from ;). I really enjoy figuring stuff out for myself these days and after training with Stoccata, really don't like formal classes anymore, especially if they train dead patterns. (I'm not completely clueless on wrestling btw I have a background in old style Japanese jujutsu through the Bujinkan and also a little Judo and Hapkido)

So far I have found that through live training I am getting most stuff right which is nice. A couple of things that I have "invented" spontaneously during rolling I have later found in the manual which is gratifying. (And one of the reasons why I like figuring stuff out for myself)

I'll get to this typing from the book thing when I can guys but for now I think I have the answer as to why Winthrow seems to favour combination holds.

It is because in Catch it would seem that any grip you take of your opponent is a hold. For example, you may have a far nelson (one arm nelson hold on the arm on the opposite side of the body to which you are standing) and be holding his wrist on the close side in a simple grip. According to Winthrow, this would be a combination hold.

In fact, looking through the manual there are a few holds where one is a complex one and the other simple.
More soon,


How many falls equalled a win?

Hi GG,

It doesn't state this in the manual but it seems in every source I have read from the period that matches were played to three falls.

I will type some more from the book soon.

Okey Dokey, Time for some more.

Bits from the Foreword:

Wrestling, like boxing is an art every man and boy should have a good practical knowledge of. This is especially true of wrestling in a rough and tumble fight (which is the type you are more likely to encounter in your daily life)the knowledge of wrestling is slightly more valuable than boxing. One reason for this is that the fights are without rules, which allow the wrestler to get on his opponent any or all of the punishing holds he desires. Besides this, it has been proven that a wrestler can conquer a boxer when their respective abilities are equal.

For the beginner and non-professional, wrestling is the most interesting of these two arts. In wrestling, provided both men are nearly alike in weight, one is not so likely to hurt his opponent or get hurt himself as in boxing. Therefore, there is less chance of hard feeling cropping up between friends as there is in boxing.

[Talks about wrestling being more scientific than generally believed.]

[Talks about every worthwhile man having a hobby in the way of Sport.]

[Talks about Wrestling and boxing being the best two hobbies for a young man and wrestling the better of the two]

[Talks about strong character and strong body being linked]

Therefore as you study this book, practicing and aquiring the many advantages which it offers you over your fellow man, do it with the purpose of preparing yourself for the enjoyment of a manly pastime, to protect yourself and others against assault, and to make of yourself a strong virile man with a clean body and an active mind fir for the accomplishment of the bigger things in life.

Hope you guys enjoyed that.

Here is a few snippets from the text.

"If a reader will practice with an opponent each and every one of the attacks and counters shown in this book, not only will he become a proficient exponent on the mat, but he will never again have any physical fear in him no matter how heavy or tough his adversary may be. You will also find that wrestling will, without a doubt change your whole physical appearance, especially the neck and back for a great stress is put on those parts of the body by the constant mat work. Wrestling is a real man's sport and must be tackled with a real he-man's sporting blood [Do you reckon this guy might have been English perchance? ;)]

As an exercise and an aid in developing the muscles of the body, wrestling is superior to any other athletic sport known.

Next post, TACTICS.

Sweet. Appreciate it, Stu.

thanks Steve