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Catch-wrestling is a classical hybrid grappling style that was developed in Britain circa 1870 by J. G. Chambers then later refined and popularised by the wrestlers of travelling funfairs who developed their own submission holds, or "hooks", into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents. Catch wrestling derives from a number of different styles, the English styles of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, Cornwall and Devon wrestling, Lancashire wrestling, Irish collar-and-elbow wrestling, Greco Roman wrestling, Japanese judo & jujutsu, styles of the Indian subcontinent such as Pehlwani and Iranian styles such as Varzesh-e Pahlavani.
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The British term "catch as catch can" is generally understood to mean "catch (a hold) anywhere you can". As this implies, the rules of catch wrestling were more open than the earlier Folk styles it was based on and its French Greco-Roman counterpart which did not allow holds below the waist. Catch wrestlers can win a match by either submission or pin, and most matches are contested as the best two of three falls. Often, but not always, the chokehold was barred. Also just as today "tapping out" signifies a concession as does shouting out "Uncle!", back in the heyday of catch wrestling rolling to one's back could also signify defeat.
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