Two-For-One Special: Catch Wrestling Strength Secrets Revealed!

I spent the majority of my day off yesterday watching the video series “Catch Wrestling Takedowns by Jake Shannon” as distributed by BJJ Fanatics

The night before I had been devouring Jake Shannon’s groundbreaking book, Modern Catch-As-Catch-Can: The Sport of Professional Wrestling

I wanted to further learn the ins and outs of the Six Basic Skills of Catch Wrestling that made me fall in love with Jake Shannon’s system. 

And consequently, that’s exactly what I did!

Here’s what I learned!


I love the Catch Wrestling take on Stance. 

It’s no nonsense…upright, shoulder width, full frontal, and staggered with the feet both pointing forward. The back foot’s toes are in line with the front foot’s heel. Hips, knees, and ankles bent. 

I like this alot better than the extremely wide regular Wrestling base, or the straight legged BJJ base before they lay on their backs and go to Guard…it feels a lot more comfortable, I feel like I’m using a lot less energy, and I feel a lot more mobile! 

It’s easy to move around in, and I feel like I have a lot more control over my own body in space! 

I also love their approach to dominating takedowns…it makes a lot of sense to me. Forget the changing of levels to crouch in low for lower body takedowns. 

Instead, the Catch Wrestlers like to use their hands and arms to control the bad guys hands and arms, setting themselves up to pivot 90 to 180 degrees for all manner of lower body takedowns and full body throws. 

This makes a lot of sense…especially for Cops and all others in various expressions of the Law Enforcement professions! 

I absolutely love this, and so I started thinking of specific strength and conditioning exercises to solidify these skills.

I wouldn’t have to think long!


The venerable strength coach Lucas Aaron is bringing back the training principles of the Old Time 19th and 20th Century Strongmen…the Pulp Fiction Era Heroes!

Not only were these guys like George Hackensmidt, “The Russian Lion”Joseph L. Greenstein, “The Mighty Atom”; and Alexander Zass, “The Iron Samson” weren’t just strongmen…they were Catch Wrestlers too! 

Consequently, their training regimes are perfect for preparing for Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling today! 

The secret to their grip strength, according to Lucas Aaron, was their mastery of one handed deadlifts.

That got me thinking…kill two birds with one stone!


Consequently, I decided to do Single-Arm, Staggered Stance Kettlebell Deadlifts. 

I put the front foot heel on the edge of the yoga mat, and put the back foot toes on the other side of the edge of the yoga mat, shoulder width apart. 

Boom. There’s your Catch Wrestling Stance.

For the mechanics of the Deadlifts themselves, I didn’t do the hip hinge, Powerlifting style Romanian Deadlift or Kettlebell Swing where all the weight is on the heels and the butt is pushed back, with no hip or ankle movement. 

No, instead I bent at the hips, knees, and ankles together…just like you would in the Catch Wrestling Stance.

This kind of a Deadlift is very easy to do if you have been working on Internal Hip Rotation…which is vital to everything in combat sports, not to mention the 90 to 180 degree pivots that make Catch Wrestling takedowns work!


From there, I did five reps with the left hand and five reps with the right and with the left forward and the right foot back. 

Then I switched the stance and put the right foot forward and the left foot back, and did five reps in the left hand, and five reps in the right hand.

I did this with an 80 lbs. Kettlebell. 

This worked the grip BIG TIME, and I followed it up with 20 reps of Ramali Dambal Swings with 20 lbs Dumbbells. 

This got the External and Internal Hip Rotation going, lat and shoulder and bicep strength going, and grip strength endurance tested BIG TIME again!

This was especially tough after the grip strength intensive One-Arm-Staggered Stance Kettlebell Deadlifts above!

I did this for five sets…One-Arm, Staggered Stance Kettlebell Deadlifts first, Ramali Dambal Swings second.

50 reps total in the first, 100 reps total in the second.

And let me tell you…it worked!


Well, there you have it, people. 

If you are looking to use your Strength and Conditioning to help solidify your Catch Wrestling skillset, then you won’t have to look far. 

Give the old One-Arm, Staggered Stance Kettlebell Deadlifts and Ramali Dambal Swings Two-For-One Special a try, and you’ll get a run for your money! 

And when you couple it with Modern Catch-As-Catch-Can: The Sport of Professional Wrestling and “Catch Wrestling Takedowns by Jake Shannon”, you’ll be unstoppable…just like the Pulp Fiction Heroes of Old!

And who knows?

You might even be the next Catch Wrestling Champion to rival those legends of yesteryear!

Until then…

Pulp Fiction Power to you, my friends!


Richard Barrett


Written at 2:29 AM, somewhere in the USA…

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