An excerpt from William Litt's journal 'Wrestliana' published in 1823, in which he describes the different wrestling throws in Cumberland and Westmorland style wrestling,and the difficulties in establishing rules for 'taking hold' prior to commencement of a bout.

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If he succeeds in this latter mode, he should be on the alert to secure such a hold, when his opponent attacks him, (which he cannot do without in some measure giving his body within the compass of his grasp) as will ensure him of victory. It is true a skilful wrestler will be very careful when he hazards an attack to keep his right arm well up, to prevent his opponent getting a low hold on him, but still if he does not succeed, one equally skilful will inevitably gain some advantage by it, such as catching his heel, - mending his hold – or attacking him in turn before he can recover his balance. If the defendant cannot prevent his opponent from lifting, he must endeavour, by shrinking his body, to give him the greatest weight upon his breast he possibly can and instantaneously try to fix his knees and feet so as to prevent the assailant from getting his knee between his thighs, and at the same time, so as to fully inform himself of every meditated movement the moment it is attempted. If he thus succeeds in checking the first assault, and be equal, or nearly so to the assailant, he ought to win the fall. As these observations will, with some trifling deviations, apply to lifting in general, we shall not have occasion to dwell much in future on that particular subject.

  The methods of assailing a man on either side are various. They may however be reduced to the four principal ones, namely: - striking with the knee, the leg, the foot and the leg and foot alternately.

The first is done by striking with great pith and force with either of the knees, though generally the left, against the outside of an opponent’s knee or thigh; and by the force of the stroke, and the correspondent movement of the arms, first force him from, and then turn him upon the ground. Slee, of Dacre, who won the prize at Penrith Races in the year 1813, was in our judgement; the best at this stroke of any man we ever saw practise it. Sometimes it is made use of after lifting, by throwing the knee outside an opponent’s thigh; a method we have in propria personæ often practiced with great success.

The second is generally termed in and out, owing to striking out with the leg, so that the knee of the assailant is outside his opponent’s and the foot inside the ancle (sic) or small of the leg, - thus placing a kind of lock upon knee and leg. This is a very common mode with many first rate, as well as inferior Wrestlers.

The third mode is usually called a chip, and is effected by trying to swing an opponent round, and strike the wrist of the foot against the outside of his leg or ancle, or as in the preceding mode, by doing so and turning him with the assistance of the arms; a method which Thomas Golightly (now no more) excelled in and in which we have seen Nicholson himself evince much dexterity. It in general requires more dexterity than any of the preceding modes.

The fourth is effected by striking an antagonist from the ground with the leg, either outside, or in and out, with the assistance of the arms; and instantly planting that foot upon the ground, strike with the other across his farther shin, before he reaches the ground. This stroke requires great quickness and activity, and is, when well executed, one of the surest and neatest methods of wrestling practised. The best and cleanest practisers of this mode we ever knew, or heard of, was William Ponsonby, of Endside near Egremont, who retired from the ring nearly 20 years ago. He displayed such uncommon dexterity in this stroke, that his feet might frequently have been heard at a considerable distance succeeding each other against his opponent’s legs like two distinct claps of the hand: - it is at the present time by no means unusual.

Although we have classed outside striking under four principal heads, yet it is to be observed that the occasions on which they are resorted to are extremely various; being often used as sufficient of themselves, sometimes as  precursors to other meditated attacks, and not unfrequently, subsequent to other movements. As a clear explanation of their nature, and the different modes of using them, are a sufficient means of information to enable any practisers of wrestling to judge what are the surest methods of guarding against them, it is unnecessary to detain our readers any longer on this particular subject.

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