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.

Page 3.

When one party gets a leg behind an opponent’s it is called haming, or catching the heel, according to the manner in which it is done. If the legs are intertwined with each other, or if the heel of the assailant is above the small of the defendant’s leg, it is usually termed haming; for no other reason that we can divine, except from the strength required in the ham, either for accelerating or defending the attack. Sometimes a ham is practiced at the time of taking hold, or when taken off the ground, by rapidly striking the heel behind the knee; as the sinews of the person lifting are then at full stretch, if the party lifted do it forcibly, and can throw the full weight of his body along with it, it is often effective. Haming, as well as catching the heel, is indiscriminately practiced, either as attacks of themselves, or as auxiliaries to other attacks.

To guard against a ham, the defendant should feel his feet firm upon the ground, slack his hold, and bear forward with his breast against the assailant’s. If he succeed in this, he should endeavour, if the ham be persevered in, to turn or twist his opponent over  by wheeling him off his breast to the opposite side, as he will have only one leg on the ground; but should he quit the ham, no time should be lost in closing the hands lower down upon his back, and becoming the assailant in turn. Catching the heel is often quite a different operation - it’s object generally is to force the foot forward by rapidly striking the heel, against the heel, or ancle of the defendant. Should it not prove immediately effective, yet if the defendant staggers, and ultimately falls by not being able to extricate himself from it, it is usually called hankering the heel. Catching the heel may be practised either on the outside, or inside, and if done with force and quickness, it is a very difficult move to guard against, and a wrestler known to be an expert in catching, or hankering, is generally as little fancied as an opponent, as one skilled in any other mode whatever.

Thomas Nicholson, of Threlkeld, who won at Carlisle for 3 successive years was a forcible illustrator of this mode. He was certainly uncommonly good at it, and though by no means wanting in other modes, yet he was more indebted to this method for victory than all the rest put together. There is another mode similar to these last mentioned, by which falls, particularly amongst new beginners, or novices are often decided. This may be termed twining over the knee, as it is effected by getting the knee outside and twining an opponent over it. It is not our intention to dwell much upon what is often indiscriminately termed hanching, henching, hipping, buttocking or cross buttocking, as they are all effected in nearly the same manner; and in fact, whatever then may be fancically (sic) called, the breast and side are often times, though not always, as much used as the hip, or what is the most general appellation the buttock.

A man skilled in this method of wrestling generally strives for a loose hold, and it is the left side which is mostly used for effecting the desired object. By stepping partly in and crossways with the left foot, twining the body in, and throwing the buttock underneath the belly; the defendant is by the assailant’s arms being kept tight around his neck, or shoulders, hoisted on, and thrown off, or over the side, or buttock; as the latter is by the act of stepping farthest in, it has acquired the name of buttocking; and when the leg or foot gets quite across the defendant’s body, of cross buttocking; though even then, it is evident  unless the effort was seconded by the arms and higher part of the body, the act of throwing the leg across would be fatal to the aggressor. Sometimes when the assailant perceives or feels his man staggered, or balanced upon his side, or buttock, he is so circumstanced as to be able to strike with one of his feet across the shins; when this is done the fall is often clean and effective.

At other times the situation admits of getting the leg or foot, behind both of the defendant’s; when this happens it is in some places called grandystepping.

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