Know Your Holds

Ron Farrar (Ace Sports Promotions)

The Boston Crab

The Boston Crab is a long established submission hold, much used in professional wrestling. Though banned in amateur wrestling it can be used without injury providing the opponent submits before any real pressure is applied. The animation comes from the film Below the Belt

The move originates when the user takes the opponent to the mat, often with a standing leg take-down. The user then grabs the legs of the downed opponent and goes for a spread of the legs. If the opponent struggles a crafty pro will often try a groin stomp to party subdue the struggle. The user then pivots round one leg so that both legs are still held but the user is now facing away from the downed opponent.

Taking the legs up one's own chest and holding them close to maintain a firm grip one stands over the prostrate body of the opponent and whilst lifting one begins to sit down over the middle of the downed person's back.

At this point it will often become apparent that the victim cannot break out and a submission at this point will prevent a lot of pain and possible damage. The pro wrestler will then continue to press down onto the lower centre of the opponent's back causing a terrific stress on the victim's lower back.

Editorial warning:

Readers trying this themselves for fun are advised to take Mr Farrar's warning seriously - do not apply pressure quickly and if your partner shows signs of distress or asks you to stop do so immediately. You would find explaining a broken back to the local hospital very difficult! Gentle slow stretching of the body's muscles is good for you - sprains and broken bones definitely aren't.

It has been suggested that people wrestling for fun should have an emergency stop word that can be used if the ordinary words "stop" or "submit" are intended to be ignored as part of the fun. Chose a word that wouldn't normally be used in the activity. A television programme about heterosexual scrimmaging suggested "green" but anything you like can be decided upon. It must always be acted upon and taken seriously. One injury could end the relationship, or at the very least the level of trust that must play a very important part of it.