Lancashire Wrestling Guide

Lancashire wrestling is one of the oldest forms of wrestling, and it is still popular today. In this blog post, we will discuss the history and traditions of Lancashire wrestling, as well as how it is different from other forms of wrestling. We will also explore why this type of wrestling is so popular in Lancashire.

Table of Contents

lancashire wrestling

What Is Lancashire Wrestling?

Lancashire wrestling is a form of English folk wrestling that dates back to the medieval era. The sport is similar to other folk wrestling traditions, such as Cornish wrestling and Devonshire wrestling, but it has its own unique set of rules.

Lancashire wrestlers compete in matches of three rounds, with each round lasting up to five minutes. The goal of the game is to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the ground for a count of three.

Points are also awarded for takedowns, near-falls, and escapes. Lancashire wrestling is still practiced today, and there are even competitive tournaments held each year. The sport is a great way to stay in shape and have fun, while also paying tribute to England’s rich history.

So, why is Lancashire wrestling so popular in the county of Lancashire There are a few theories. One is that the sport was brought to the area by Scandinavian settlers in the early Middle Ages.

Another possibility is that Lancashire wrestlers developed their own style of wrestling to better suit the local terrain, which is often hilly and rugged. Whatever the case may be, Lancashire wrestling has been a part of the county’s heritage for centuries.

If you’re ever in Lancashire, be sure to check out a wrestling match, You might just find yourself getting caught up in the excitement.

Lancashire Wrestling History

Lancashire wrestling is a form of English folk wrestling that dates back to the 1600s. The grappling style was developed in Lancashire, a county in northwest England, and it quickly became popular among the local peasantry.

In time, the sport spread throughout England and eventually made its way to America, where it was known as Catch-as-catch-can wrestling.

Lancashire wrestling has undergone something of a revival in recent years, thanks in part to its inclusion in events like the Historical Medieval Battle of Bosworth and the popular TV show Game of Thrones. Today, the sport is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and it continues to grow in popularity.

Lancashire Wrestling Techniques 

The techniques are not only used in Lancashire but have also been adopted by other styles of wrestling such as Freestyle wrestling, Catch wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and even Greco-Roman Wrestling. These techniques include:

The handhold: This is the most important aspect of Lancashire wrestling. The handhold is used to control your opponent and ultimately throw them to the ground.

The headlock: A headlock can be used to take your opponent down or to control them on the ground.

The body lock: This technique is used to control your opponent’s body and limit their movement.

The leg trip: A leg trip can be used to take your opponent down or to off-balance them.

The Difference Between Lancashire Wrestling and Other Styles 

The main difference between Lancashire wrestling and other styles is the lack of clothing worn by the wrestlers. In other styles of wrestling, wrestlers wear jackets or singlets that cover their upper bodies.

In Lancashire wrestling, however, wrestlers compete shirtless or in shorts and a t-shirt. This allows for a greater range of motion and more opportunities for takedowns and throws.

Is Lancashire Wrestling Effective for Self-defense?

While Lancashire wrestling may not be as widely known as other forms of wrestling, it can be just as effective for self-defense. The throws and takedowns can be used to take an opponent to the ground, where they can be controlled or even incapacitated.

Additionally, the lack of striking means that there is less risk of serious injury to both parties. As a result, Lancashire wrestling can be an ideal form of self-defense for those looking for an effective but less violent option.

Nevertheless, if your main goal is improving your self-defense ability, so we would recommend a different martial art like Krav Maga, BJJ, Karate, Ninjutsu, etc.

Is Lancashire Wrestling Amateur Wrestling?

Lancashire wrestling is a form of amateur wrestling. The sport is not governed by any one organization, and there are no professional leagues or tournaments. Instead, Lancashire wrestling is typically practiced informally among friends or at local clubs.

While there are no professional leagues, there are some competitions that are open to amateurs. These competitions typically take place at fairs or festivals and often have cash prizes.

Is It Hard to Master?

Lancashire wrestling is not as widely known or practiced as other forms of wrestling, so it can be difficult to find a coach or training partner. Additionally, the lack of formal competitions can make it difficult to gauge your progress or compare yourself to other wrestlers.

That being said, Lancashire wrestling is not necessarily more difficult to master than other styles of wrestling. The techniques are relatively simple and can be learned with practice. The main challenge is finding someone to train with and a place to train.


Lancashire wrestling is a traditional form of amateur wrestling that has been around for centuries. The lack of clothing worn by the wrestlers and the emphasis on throws rather than strikes make this an ideal style for self-defense. While it can be difficult to find someone to train with, once you do, it is not necessarily more difficult to master than other styles of wrestling.