Techniques

“William Johnston, the clever Collar and Elbow wrestler, once demonstrated to [bare-knuckle boxing champion] John L. Sullivan what a wonderful game he is the master of. He hip-locked, back-heeled, and twisted the ‘big fellow’ onto the floor in Patsy Sheppard’s old Abbey in Boston so often one day five years ago that the haughty champion was glad to acknowledge that there were some tricks he had never heard of.”

The Evening World (New York), Dec 20th 1887

“In [Collar and Elbow], while strength of grip must be developed in hand and wrist, there is no choking or strangle holds; the art is confined to the feet, which are kept dextrously sparring and feinting for an opening to use the various hooks, trips and locks peculiar to the sport.”

Leinster Leader (Kildare), Mar 16th 1907

“The collar-and-elbow wrestle between two skilled contestants is really, so to speak, a fist fight with the feet.”

The Northern Pacific Farmer (Minnesota), Jan 27th 1881

Collar and Elbow is a fixed-hold style of wrestling, meaning that you are required to maintain a specific grip throughout the entire bout, in this case the eponymous collar-and-elbow grips on your opponent’s jacket. This, accordingly, influences the techniques and strategies of the style. Since, in Collar and Elbow, wrestlers cannot make use of many of the typical upper body takedown techniques common to other grappling styles (e.g. double legs, duck-unders, arm drags, and so on), they develop immense proficiency with using their legs to off-balance, trip, and throw their opponent instead. Historical observers frequently marvelled at the ability of skilled practitioners of Collar and Elbow to use lightning-fast footwork to send larger opponents crashing to the ground.

Some of the following techniques were listed in a 1900 dictionary of sporting terms published by the Irish Department of Education (An Roinn Oideachais). Others have been reconstructed based on descriptions in historical accounts of bouts. 

You might also be interested to read about the three most effective techniques in historical Collar and Elbow bouts.

The Hooks

Irish nameEnglish nameVideo
Cor SálaOutside Hook / Outside Back HeelYouTube
Cros-Chor SálaCross Hook / Cross Back HeelYouTube
Cor Sála IstighInside Hook / Inside Back HeelComing soon

The Crooks

Irish nameEnglish nameVideo
Glas CoiseCrookComing soon
Glas Coise ar Aghaidh Front CrookComing soon
Glas Coise ar gCúl Back CrookComing soon

The Trips and Twists

Irish nameEnglish nameVideo
Cor Coise TripComing soon
Cros-Chor Coise Cross TripComing soon
Cor Coise GreamaitheachSticking TripYouTube
Cor IoscaideTwist Backwards Over the KneeComing soon

The Big Guns

Irish nameEnglish nameVideo
Cor CromáinHip Throw / Hip LockComing soon
Corrán ar Aghaidh Front SickleComing soon
Corrán ar gCúlBack SickleComing soon
Cor Gabhail Fork ThrowComing soon
TreascairOverthrowComing soon