The Gotch Toe Hold Taught By Frank Gotch and Billy Robinson

“I don’t always use shinlocks but when I do I use the Gotch toe hold”

Here is a nice shin lock that you won’t probably learn at your local bjj class. The move was created and employed by the great Frank Gotch who broke many legs with this very hold. I guess he was like the Ronda Rousey of shinlocks back in his catch wrestling era cause he was taking legs off of men and with the video below its easy to see why.

Here is an excerpt from Frank Gotch’s book, “How to wrestle, instructions of Frank Gotch” on how the move came together with the help of another historic catch wrestler, Farmer Burns. Be sure to check out the video below of the legendary Billy Robinson teaching his students the hold and witness the pain that the move can cause.

Via Catch Wrestling Technique and History Page

The Toehold

as taught by Frank Gotch

Frank Gotch is considered by many wrestling historians to be the greatest Catch Wrestler to ever step into the ring.

George Robbins, of The Sporting Staff of The Chicago Daily news, once said “There are four requirements of a great wrestler who can keep a title for years without having his shoulders pinned to the padded canvas: Strength, endurance, speed and skill. Probably no man in the annals of wrestling has had these elements so mingled in him in the proper proportions as Frank Gotch.”

He was America’s greatest in the sport’s greatest era, and the Toe Hold was his best known hold.

Here he teaches the Toe hold and some variations in an excerpt from the 1923 book HOW TO WRESTLE, INSTRUCTIONS OF FRANK GOTCH

Gotch’s Famous Toe Hold

Gotch’s Famous Toe Hold (Above)

I have been often asked how and when I discovered the toe hold. That is a pretty hard question. Farmer Burns and I worked out the problem of the toe hold wrestling in Iowa. I think I used it first on Scott Miller. I pulled the foot over the leg and applied leverage. The other toe hold, and the one I employ the most, was worked out later.
There are several varieties of toe holds and locks, but the one I use the most and the one the writers call “the famous toe hold,” consists of getting the opponent’s foot in a vise in which the toes and ankle are the points of the attack. It is often confused with the toe hold over the leg, but the two grips are distinct.
It is important first of all to have one’s opponent in the proper position to begin the preliminary moves for the toe hold. When an opponent is on the mat, suppose the attacker is on the right side. The wrestler who is the “under dog” must be on his hands and knees for the attacker to make the shift that traps his opponent’s further foot.
The attacker from this position holds his opponent to the mat by grasping the right leg high up with both hands, working well to the side. With his right hand the attacker reaches inside the crotch from the front, grasping his opponent’s left ankle. With the left hand he grasps his opponent’s foot near the toes, almost simultaneously straddling the near leg of his opponent and pulling up on the imprisoned foot. The opponent’s right leg in this way is trapped and his left foot is “out of commission.” When the left leg has been imprisoned in this way for a few seconds, the muscles relax and the member becomes powerless. The attacker then pulls up and may apply the twist to the toe hold. His head may be used as an instrument of attack in forcing an opponent’s shoulders to the mat.
Since the left leg of the defensive wrestler has become ineffective by being imprisoned in this way, the ankle hold may be released and the toe hold easily retained. The free right hand of the attacker then may be used in forcing the shoulders of the defensive wrestler to the mat. Since the under wrestler has turned on his side, the half nelson may be affixed and the opponent pinned with the half nelson and the toe hold or the toe hold released and the crotch and nelson applied. The toe hold may be used alone.

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