The CACC Triangle

When I first saw Gene LeBell make the claim that the triangle was made popular by Ed "Strangler" Lewis in 1916 I was somewhat surprised. I went on a search to see if I could locate any evidence for the triangle being used in CACC. After much digging I was able to find a few training photos of a triangle being used by CACC wrestlers.

In each of these...from the oldest (Lewis himself) to the most recent (Fujiwara) the man being choked is strecthed out almost prone on the mat...a seemingly impossible position. I realized at once that this hold could not have been obtained from the (guard) or the Body-Scissors. Besides, why would a man defending against the pin put himself into this position in the first place?

Later, while working on attacks against an opponent who has "turtled" what I believe to be the answer revealed itself. If the top man is working a High Crotch and lever (a turnover done by reaching through the crotch area of the turtled man at the very top of his thigh on the far side, clasping your hands together, and using your elbow/forearm as a lever in the Kidney area to roll the man to his back) now the bottom man is in position to reach through as he is being turned for the pin and grasp the far wrist of the top man and place him into just such a position with the triangle. It is in fact almost impossible to miss from this scenario.

Just some thoughts...if anyone has other ideas that would be great.

Finally, lets all do everything we can to make this the best forum on this board . I think it has wonderfull possibilities.



Nice post. I suppose it's too much to hope a pic might be up on the web somewhere. Did you know of any examples in any catch books? I will look around at what I have and see if I can find a pic. The catch triangle is a fascinating concept.

Paulson did some wild triangles in a seminar which turned into his "triangles" tape. One was from the referee position- you are controlling the left arm of the underneath guy and step past his head and roll forward, causing him to roll into a triangle. you would both end up on your back. Sounds different than what you described, but might give you some ideas.



I think I know the leg choke you describe.

I think the only one I've seen on the web is by Fujiwara...but it is the same way...opponent prone. I'll look from the address.

Maybe I did see one of Jim Londos...not sure...I'll look.

There are some arm and neck scissors in Henry Stones wrestling instructional I think...not triangles though, same for E.C. Gallagher's.

scuffler-I was taught the CACC triangle by Tony C. and indeed you wind up with the opponent lying on his side prone on the floor. The way Tony teaches it, if you are on your back and the opponent is in the body scissors(guard) and you go for a triangle, you shoot your hips up and into the opponent and as you latch your legs over him force him to fall to the side as you hit him with your hips. By getting the guy on his side you are depriving him of any leverage he could use to get out.

Thanks e. kaye...I have seen that variation of the catch triangle from my friend Shane Tucker.....guess you could be right....try the one I described...the top man just falls right into that position also.

Jason, you're going to think that I'm nuts.....but whenever I try to type the address it won't give the site to me....good thing I have it on my favorites. However, if you will go to lycos and search the following (lutte wrestling catch) the first site it will give you is......

this is the one I had in mind...go to'll find tons of neat stuff...for the Fujiwara triangle go to (Old galleries at xoom) link then to japanese wrestling...then to'll be on about the fourth page.

You'll find many other cool galleries as well. The Londos and Deglane are very good.

That is a great site, I remember looking for some lutte parisienne on there once. Didn't seem the most user-friendly the first time I tried it, but it is great to wander around and explore. Thanks.

I saw Fujiwara in two triangles- (1) the "standard" like BJJ and Judo, and (2) where the other guy was on his back and Fujiwara was on his side/hip. I think you are obviously talking about the second one from your description.

One thing I noticed is that a handful of those Fujiwara pics are like snaphots out of the different shootwrestling lock flow series. I think you do end up in that position from the triangle I described, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was related, because of the shooto lineage. Not saying that is what it is, obviously, just that it is one possibility. I can also see it from the technique you described, as the guy would fall right into it.


Some fascinating info here...

WOW! Great stuff there guys!


BTW, if any of you guys have the original edition of "Gene LeBell's Encyclopedia of Finishing Holds" this triangle is demonstrated on page 331 in the Chokes section. It gives a reference to Lewis' development of the hold there.

Interestingly enough, the BJJ triangle choke is described in the section directly above the CACC version.


Thanks Steve, I do have LeBell's Finishing Holds book. I'll get it out and check that out. Is it Gokor showing both holds?

I 'll look at the Lebell book tonight.

A pic of Ed Lewis doing the triangle.


I don't know if it's just my computer or what, but none of the pictures at Tony's site will load for me right now....and I wanted to see this one bad...wondering if it's the same one I've seen before.


I looked in LeBell's book. Yeah, that's kind of what I was talking about....with the opponent in a much lower position (almost flattened out) with the arm extended straight out, not pulled back across. Gokor's isn't nearly as pronounced as in most other shots I've seen...but that's the general idea.

Thanks Charles,

I finally got it to load. That's not the one I had in mind, that appears to be a crooked-head-scissor with a far-side arm-bar.


There is also a pic of this triangle being demonstrated by Karl Gotch on Page 72 of the November 2000 issue of Grappling magazine.

This is a very interesting subject to say the least. The idea of Paulson's triangles intrigues me also. I know he comes up with some crazy stuff. That triangle instructional should be great! Can anyone give me any opinions on it?


I looked in every CACC book that I have and could find no picture of the triangle aka figure four leg choke from the bottom position. The old timers seem to always demonstrate it from other positions. I think that as wrestlers they didn't think of attacking in that fashion from the bottom. They would wrestle their way to the top or behind someone before applying a hook. I have both Gotch books, the three Sandow-Lewis books, the Cameron book, the Harrison books, and couple of other oldies. A lot of cool stuff in there, but nothing from the bottom body scissors. Like I said Tony teaches you to take the guy to the side so he has no leverage to break the hold.

"I think that as wrestlers they didn't think of attacking in that fashion from the bottom."

I would agree, first and foremost they would want to avoid the pin.

Fujiwara shows it- under what rules did he normally compete? Was he a pro wrestler doing works or shooto or a combination or what?


I'll see if I have that one. If I don't, one of the other guys at class has about every issue.

Jason and e. kaye,

The idea that the bottom man wouldn't be defending from his back when this hold is secured is exactly what led me to believe that I might be on to something with the application of the hold I mentioned in my first post.

The "caught" man ends up in that same low, extended position. Also, when defending they nearly always did so from "turtle" or flattened out on the belly. This would mean that the top man would be working to turn them over, opening an opportunity for this.

e. kaye, that's some nice books you have. Is the Cameron book any good?

Here's is a related note that I found interesting. It's an interview with Jacare where he comments that the triangle was pretty much unknown when he was training at Roll's until a fellow student found it in an old book.

Near the bottom of the page.

Yeah it's good. They are all interesting in their own way.