I have republished How to Wrestle & Wrestling Catch-as-Catch-Can Style by
Frederick R. Toombs and E. Hitchcock, Jr.
The eBook download, as always, is free.
(Warning! 160 Mb file)
In the late 19th and early 20th Century, Spalding’s Athletic Library
published massive numbers of sports related book covering a wide range
of topics; from Bowling to Golf, from Cricket to Ice Hockey. Their wide
ranging topics, predictably, included martial sports such as Archery,
Fencing, Boxing, and, yes Wrestling.
This installment to the expansive “Red Cover” series reviews wrestling
and combines two separate books on the subject into one.
The first, “How to Wrestle” by Frederic Toombs, presents a general
overview of the subject and includes monographs on the rewards of
wrestling, training, and advice for beginners before launching into
general instruction on various forms of wrestling, and techniques
inclusive thereof. The book closes with rules 6 forms of wrestling.
Following Toombs work is E. Hitchcock’s “Wrestling Catch-as-Catch-Can
Style.” Hitchcock claims that his book is not intended to be either
inclusive of all styles nor a “Complete Guide to Wrestling,” hence the
specificity of the name. Further, Hitchcock states that
Catch-as-Catch-Can is the “most universal,” practical, and “natural” of
all forms of wrestling. True or not Catch was certainly the most
popular style of the time.
It appears that Spalding’s reprinted an earlier version of the
Hitchock’s manual from 1892, though, in absence of an original it is
uncertain if Spalding’s added or altered text or substituted
photographs. However, from the difference in the quality of the photos
between Toombs’ and Hitchcock’s it is a reasonable speculation that the
photos are from the original edition.
Most disappointingly, at some point in its history, someone literally
ripped out a full 16 pages, 8 leafs, of the from the second book,
"Wrestling Catch as Catch Can Style." Blank pages have been inserted at
Altogether, this double-manual is a fascinating and valuable piece of
Combat Sports history.
Peace favor your sword,