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About the Snake Pit Wigan


The Snake Pit Wigan is the historical and current “Home of Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling”. The head coach is Roy Wood. Roy was taught his wrestling craft over many years under the great Billy Riley who also then would watch and instruct him on the finer aspects of coaching when he entrusted his gym to him. Roy had a long career in professional wrestling as a wrestler and promoter, he went on to become arguably one of the most successful coaches in freestyle wrestling in the UK with wrestlers taught by him achieving national,international and commonwealth success. 

In 2012 he was asked to be Olympic coach for wrestler Maria Dunn from Guam achieving one of his lifelong goals to travel to the Olympics. In the 1990s Roy was invited to Japan after recommendation by Bob Robinson (Billy Joyce) widely regarded as one of best Catch as catch can wrestlers.he travelled to Japan a number of times over the years coaching many of the professional wrestlers in catch as catch can.Winner of many awards for his coaching and work with the young people in the Wigan area Roy has dedicated his time to passing on Catch as Catch Can wrestling as he was taught by the great Billy Riley.


Currently, the Snake Pit Wigan has a network of “Training Groups” around the world that teach Catch Wrestling in its original form. International Training Group locations include Riley’s Gym in Kyoto, Japan run by Osamu Matsunami; Crank Gym run by Adam Laporte in Alberta, Canada; Catch Wrestling Los Angeles run by Raul Ramirez in Los Angeles, California, USA; Gaijin Gym run by Jasse Junkkari in Spain.

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"The original meaning was associated with a local word for an animal such as a sheep with a misshapen jaw (usually overshot). I believe it was applied to the name of a tool as a reference to the shape. As far as the Wigan Grovit, I would suspect it was in reference to the appearance of someone who had it applied to them."

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