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Clip 1 Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling Revival
Clip 2 Catch the hold not taken
Clip 3 The Wigan Hold
- Granada TV
Clip 4 The Wrestler
- Granada TV
Facebook Introduction Biography Seminars Affiliate Clubs A.W.C.

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    Welcome to all. If you have got this far I can only assume that you have a love for Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling. Well you are right at home! We are passionate about Catch and it's in our blood and our shared passion for the sport brings us together. Our roots trace back to Riley's Gym in Wigan, United Kingdom, the historic coal mining town where some of the greatest wrestlers in the world originated.

    Well the good news is we are looking for the next generation to keep Catch alive. Catch is at risk of being forgotten as there are only a few remaining people in the world who carry the knowledge of the sport, a sport which goes back to the earliest of times and was about to be forgotten. The time is now and we are taking action!

    That's right this is where the UK revival kicks off! Roy Wood has agreed to coach Catch to a select group of people who can be trusted to not dilute, change or distort the original sport of Catch. He wants to get this ball rolling quickly as at the age of 69 he has a lifetime of knowledge to give out and is acutely aware that this information needs to be passed to the right hands. The good news is…. Roy is the fittest 69 year old man you will ever meet and when you see him on the mat demonstrating throws, take downs and submissions we promise you … you will be in awe. This sport is not for the faint hearted or for spectators. It is for only those willing to have a "no holds barred" attitude and willing to get on the mat and speak through their actions not their words. If that's you then …a huge welcome from Coach Roy Wood. Feel free to browse the rest of this website and ultimately submit your application to attend The Snake Pit Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling seminars.

    Coach Roy Wood

    Coach Roy Wood, who turns 70 this year, is a man of great knowledge. He is from a family of 5 brothers, one who died young and the remaining brothers all participated in boxing during their younger years. Boxing also played a part in Roy's life but he was the only brother who found and loved the sport of Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling at Riley's gym, Wigan, under the guidance of Billy Riley. Roy had the opportunity to be part of a club that would leave a legacy and would produce world class wrestlers including Bob Robinson (Billy Joyce), Karel Istaz (Karl Gotch) and Billy Robinson to name but a few.

    Roy has given his life to wrestling. The youngest wrestler himself at the age of 17 in Riley's gym, Roy went on to reopen the gym after its closure and he has continued tirelessly coaching wrestling ever since to keep Wigan on the map. He has already given back tenfold what was given to him and is our very own unsung hero.

    His voluntary commitments to freestyle coaching led to him producing numerous champions both nationally and internationally. It has also led to him receiving numerous awards, including Coach of the Year and Man of the Year, Wigan, for his endless service to helping others.

    His unquestionable skills led to Team Great Britain also selecting him to take the Commonwealth Junior freestyle team to India in 2010.

    Roy has achieved all that he has ever wanted to achieve in the freestyle world and Roy's next chapter is to revisit and re-ignite Catch Wrestling and set the record straight once and for all as to what Wigan Catch Wrestling is. Despite his accolades and abilities in the freestyle world, Roy's background is in fact Catch and it was bred into him during his younger years. It is in his blood! For Roy, there is no sport like Catch and even freestyle pales into comparison when it comes down to what is the toughest sport in the world.

    Make no mistake Coach Roy Wood is a tough but fair man. More importantly, he is here to revive Catch and remind us all how effective Catch truly is!


    Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling seminars will be delivered at the Snakepit club in Wigan.

    Please note that our seminars are extremely intensive and will include fitness, drilling and competitive catch techniques to give any fighter that all important competitive edge.

    If you have any injuries we would ask that you inform the coaches prior to the session.

    No photography or filming is permitted during any seminars except by our own media team. It is our express policy that delegates must not post techniques on the internet of through any other media channels. Failure to conform would mean the termination of your membership and risk legal action.

    Should you wish to attend these seminars we are confident that you will find them inspiring and motivating. You will see techniques never seen before and will have the chance to be part of history in putting Catch back on the map for this generation and future generations to come. All you need to do is click on the "Seminar Application" form below and someone will get back to you.

    We look forward to receiving your application and hopefully seeing you on one of our seminars.

    » Seminar Application


    Membership is agreed via seminar application forms that can be obtained via this site.

    Please note that this is not because we are trying to be exclusive or exclude anyone it is simply to ensure that we are right for you and that you are right for us. The more knowledge we can obtain in advance the better as this prevents disappointment from wither party.

    Please note that The Snake Pit is not for spectators! It is for those who speak through their ability on a mat and not by what they say. This does not mean to say that you must have any experience in Catch, just simply a fresh attitude and one willing to learn the sport in its entirety.

    We look forward to receiving your application and hopefully seeing you on one of our seminars.

    » Seminar Application

    This is a one chance in a lifetime for Roy Wood to pass on his knowledge and great care is being taken to ensure that only the correct people and clubs are involved in the revival of Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling.

    The Snake Pit seminars are not designed to provide your with certification or approval for a fee. It is something for those with a true passion for Catch and who care that Catch is preserved in its truest form. Accreditation and affiliation to the Snake Pit will only come from endless dedication and hours on the mat!

    We have already linked in with great clubs who have been "flying the flag" for many years trying to protect the legacy of this sport but we have no doubt that there are other clubs out there that we are unaware of.

    We have highlighted where our current affiliate clubs can be found in the UK. If you are not on this list and you know of a club who could join the revival then all you need to do is drop and email to and someone will be in touch.

    » Affiliates


    Anyone involved in sport will know that some of the best athletes out there started with someone who believed in them and gave them an opportunity to achieve.

    Do you know someone who would benefit from this or is this you? Have you got fire in your belly? The determination to do everything that it takes? Fall down seven times and get up eight? Willingness to beat all the odds stacked against you? Give 100% day in and day out?

    Do you ever think.... If only someone would give me a chance?

    Well this is YOUR CHANCE!!

    The Snake Pit is proud to announce it's scholarship programme which is means and merits based. Should you be accepted please be under no illusions... There will be strict terms and conditions we require from you to make you the athlete we expect you to become.

    However, this is our promise to you ...

    If you show commitment, we will give you time. If you show determination to win, we will show you how to get there. If you give us your time, we will give you facilities and resources. If you show us a willingness to learn, we will give you world class coaching. If you show a fire in your belly, we will show you how to set the world on fire!

    If you wish to receive an application form for the Scholarship Programme please contact us for details.


    Aspull Wrestling Club is based at the Snake Pit and is the freestyle wrestling element of the training offered at our facility.

    For many years, AWC has been held in high regard across the world and have had their club members and the team successfully compete in many countries including South Africa, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Ukraine to name but a few.

    AWC prides itself on its inclusive policies and has children as young as five years of age who can come and enjoy the sessions. It is the only club that welcomes many children with disabilities and shows that there is a place for everyone to join in sport.

    The standards of the club led to it being one of the first clubs to be awarded Clubmark, a kitemark status that represents the high level coaching, facilities, organisation and policies that govern the club and make it the outstanding club it is known to be.

    Numerous awards have been given for recognition of the club and it's members including Coach of The Year Awards going to three of the coaches at the club.

    » A.W.C.

    Coach Roy Wood

    Catch is back!

    It is funny how things have a way of coming full circle! Roy has always had Catch wrestling as his number one sport but was forced to adapt and change towards freestyle wrestling to save the club. Roy thought that to revive Catch from it’s home in Wigan would be impossible and so he has continued to coach freestyle wrestling.

    Roy’s daughter Andrea says “I have spent well over a decade encouraging my dad to coach Catch Wrestling again. I appreciate that his knowledge is unique. It is so important to preserve this fantastic sport both for it’s historical origins and the complex sequential techniques that make it the sport that it is.”

    FINALLY Roy has agreed to coach Catch-as-Catch Wrestling again. Roy appreciates that if the few remaining coaches from Riley¹s gym do not pass on their knowledge that the sport will die and will be lost in the pages of history.

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