Tony Cecchine has been involved with American Catch As Catch Can Wrestling (Catch Wrestling) since 1977. The late, great Lou Thesz, considered by many as the greatest Catch Wrestler of all-time, dubbed Tony Cecchine a “hooker,” recognizing Tony’s submission and wrestling skills as the highest a Catch Wrestler could achieve. Tony has received praise from other luminaries such as Doug Blubaugh, Mark Schultz, and “Judo” Gene LeBell, to name a few — and
Tony began studying Catch Wrestling in his hometown of Cleveland when he was only 13 years old. Old-time strongman and wrestler Stanley Radwan spent five years teaching Tony the secrets of Catch Wrestling. Tony quickly learned the importance of conditioning and mastering the fundamentals of wrestling, body movement, leverage, and conditioning. In the years that followed, Tony learned the whole of Catch Wrestling’s brutally efficient arsenal: arm locks, chokes, neck cranks, leg locks, spine, hip, and muscle attacks, strikes, gouging, rips, and more. He didn’t learn from books or tapes; rather, he learned from a master and then was forced to put his training to the test on the streets of Cleveland and, later, Chicago.
For the nearly two decades that followed, Tony continued practicing his skills in real life situations, while teaching myriad stylists of different arts. He has had the opportunity to use his techniques while acting as bodyguard, bouncer, and escort. No other self-proclaimed Catch Wrestler approaches Tony in either real world experience or in understanding of both the intricacies of hooking and its place in an overall integrated fighting system built on wrestling and boxing fundamentals.
His knowledge of street fighting, tactical skills, and combatives has led to significant praise from martial arts circles. More, he has continued his study of Catch Wrestling over the intervening decades, developing new and unique approaches to addressing modern day threats and scenarios. Tony has successfully used and taught his techniques to members of the police, armed forces, and other civil organizations. Tony has also trained countless men from styles such as BJJ, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Sambo, and amateur wrestling. He himself is trained in amateur boxing and traditional martial arts and is an avid power lifter and coach. He is also an avid jazz musician and pool player.
Tony’s instructional DVDs have received rave reviews from some of the martial arts communities’ most well-respected members. He has trained both professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters and other professional athletes to go along with the regular Joes his training has transformed into elite fighters secure in their own abilities and thoroughly confident in their own skins. As one online reviewer said of Tony Cecchine and his art, “his philosophy is simple……submission, submission, submission.”
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