Historic American Folkstyle (HAF)

When referring to previous incarnations of the American folkstyle of wrestling, as descended from Lancashire Catch as Catch Can and Irish Collar-and-Elbow, publications on this site will, as a rule, use the term “Historic American Folkstyle.”

This bears explanation as, for much of the style’s history, American folkstyle wrestling was known as “Catch as Catch Can” or simply “Catch Wrestling.”

The term “Historic American Folkstyle” is used for multiple reasons. Primarily this term is used to distinguish wrestling as it was practiced in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century America from other styles also known as “Catch Wrestling” or by similar names.

Many of these descendant and related styles continue to exist in the modern day, and have undergone changes over that period. The material presented on this website, that which pertains to Historic American Folkstyle, is emphatically not meant to be any commentary upon nor reference to the quality or authenticity of modern Catch Wrestling traditions, and the language used on this website is reflective of this.

Modern American Folkstyle (MAF)

American Folkstyle wrestling as it is practiced today and in recent history. Unless otherwise stated, the term will refer to American Folkstyle as widely practiced during and after the year 1970.

Par Terre

The French term “Par Terre,” used in Greco-Roman wrestling and roughly meaning “on the ground,” will be used on this site to refer to ground or “mat” wrestling, as distinct from wrestling on the feet.

This term is used because there are various surfaces upon which wrestling takes place, such as soft earth, elevated platforms, and organized wrestling mats. The term “Par Terre” may be used in reference to any of these surfaces and is thus used on this site.