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The Training Mat Toe Hold Club

Toe Hold Club
Jesse Marez at the recent CACC certitcation. Along with Billy Robeinson and Jake Shannon

On April 27, 2008, Jesse Marez of THE TRAINING MAT became a certified Level 1 Coach of Scientific Wrestling/Authentic Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling.  And by doing so has made THE TRAINING MAT the first official member in the Inland Empire to join an organization of modern wrestlers called the TOE HOLD CLUB.  On hand to authenticate Mr. Marez's certification was legendary Wrestler Dick Cardinal. 

Mr. Marez has progressed to a Level 3 Certification in Catch Wrestling/Scientific Wrestling under Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon.  Level 3 Candidates are tested on their ability to "Put It All Together" and demonstrate technique and conditioning during exhibition and competitive CACC rules matches. Level 3 Certification allows you to demonstrate and be evaluated on your ability to compete, run a club, and train others.  We at THE TRAINING MAT are proud to be the Inland Empire ’s Toe Hold Club and a representative of Catch Wrestling.

This is what Jake Shannon says about Scientific Wrestling and the Toe Hold Clubs:

"Our people are legitimate Scientific Wrestling practitioners united around competition, innovation, grueling physical conditioning and the sharing of reliable resources all underneath the Toe-Hold Club banner. We are currently holding practices in Quebec, Los Angeles, South Orange County, and the Inland Empire. Toe Hold Clubs are created by REAL wrestlers (not phony tough guys that posture on the internet but spend little actual time on the mat wrestling). Those who really care about traditional Western Martial Arts, in particular Catch-As-Catch-Can, can now find a place to train."

Karl Gotch
Karl Gotch

What is Catch Wrestling?
Catch wrestling is a nearly forgotten American and Western European style of grappling and, more specifically, a rule set for grappling where the winner is determined via a submission OR a pin. There are no points and most matches are held for the best 2 of 3.

As such, Catch Wrestling is sometimes referred to as the "Great Granddaddy" of Ultimate Fighting, Pro-Wrestling, and Freestyle Wrestling. The term "No-Holds-Barred" was coined to describe early 20th century American Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling matches.

Catch Wrestling's Influence Upon Folkstyle & Freestyle Wrestling
Just as Jigoro Kano removed the dangerous maneuvers from jiu-jitsu to create the safer sport of Judo, so were the more dangerous holds and submissions of Catch removed to allow people to safely participate in wrestling. Hence "Amateur" or freestyle wrestling was born.


Josh Barnett
Josh Barnett



By becoming the first members of the TOE HOLD CLUB in the Inland Empire THE TRAINING MAT represents the newest link in an unbroken chain of historic wrestlers such as Frank Gotch, Martin "Farmer" Burns and the Legendary Karl Gotch. The influence of Catch Wrestling can be seen in fighters of today. Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Suzuki, Gene LeBell, Kazushi Sakuraba, Erik Paulson, Josh Barnett, and Frank & Ken Shamrock can all trace the lineage of their instruction back to authentic Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling.



Martin "Farmer" Burns

TOE HOLD CLUBS are gaining recognition on multiple fronts due in large part to the ongoing efforts of advocates such as Jake Shannon. It is in the honor and recognition of the great men who founded Catch Wrestling that Mr. Shannon created the concept of Old School, Traditional Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestling clubs. The term TOE HOLD CLUB was picked to represent current Catch Wrestling Clubs because of its effectiveness and versitilitity which made it a signature move of Catch Wrestling.  We are proud to host our own TOE HOLD CLUB and in this way continue the honor, respect and discipline of these great men here at THE TRAINING MAT. 


Kazushi Sakuraba



Billy Robinson trained at the Billy Riley's famous Snake Pit, in Wigan, England.  A part of being one of the important "shooters" of the shoot style movement, Billy Robinson began training youngsters in catch wrestling at the UWF Snake Pit in Japan. One of the most famous fighters to train at the UWF in Japan was Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Other fighters who have been heavily influenced by Billy Robinson include Kazushi Sakuraba and Josh Barnett.


Past Catch Seminar




We are proud to be an affiliate of Scientific Wrestling and having our own TOE HOLD CLUB at THE TRAINING MAT in Moreno Valley.  We will strive to keep this rich tradition alive and well.  Special thanks to Jake Shannon for bringing this all together and making this all possible.  From Old time Catch as Catch Can Lancashire Wrestling, to UWF Shoot Style Wrestling in Japan, you can learn the rich tradition and sport here at The Training Mat.