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It is our philosophy that if something can go wrong while defending one's self or family during an altercation or self protection situation then it probably will. Today's martial artist needs not only to be familiar with all possible environments and levels of defense but also comfortable within them. With the exception of Muay Thai, all of the EDGE's martial arts programs include some elements of ground fighting or ground defense arts such as Russian Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Combat Submission Wrestling and Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling (Catch Wrestling).

Below is a brief description of the different styles of ground fighting concepts and systems incorporated in our training.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Team Ground Control

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is primarily a ground-fighting art. Most techniques involve both fighters on the mat. There is a heavy emphasis on positional strategy, which is about which fighter is on top, and where each person's legs are. Positions are stable situations from which a large variety of techniques are available to both fighters. Mr. Raciti is fortunate to be a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under World Champion Sean Alvarez.

The primary positions include:

Guard: The person applying the guard is on the bottom with his back on the ground; his legs are wrapped around his opponent's hips (who is said to be "in the guard").

Side control: Chest-on-chest but without the legs being entangled.

Mount: On top of his opponent (who "is mounted"), sitting on his chest, with one leg on either side of his torso.

Back mount: Behind his opponent, with his feet hooked around his opponent's hips and upper thighs.

Specific techniques taught are designed either to improve one's position (for example, to "pass the guard", by going from being "in the guard" to getting around the opponent's legs, resulting in side control); or else as a finishing submissions. Most submissions are either chokes (cutting off the blood supply to the brain) or arm locks (hyperextending the elbow, or twisting the shoulder).

Catch Wrestling

The EDGE's Senior Instructor, Richard Raciti, is a Level 1 student of catch wrestling under legendary Catch Wrestling Coach Tony Cecchine.

In the late 19th century, carnivals routinely traveled the American countryside. These were the days before television or radio, days when the carnivals were a primary source of American entertainment. As part of their attraction, many carnivals had what were dubbed "athletic shows" where prize fighters and wrestlers would take on all-comers for cash wagers. The athletic shows were not only a source of entertainment, but also a way for the locals to interact with the performers, test their skill, and perhaps win some money in the process.

In their earliest stages, athletic show wrestling competition rules were offshoots of traditional wrestling rules, with each person trying only to pin the other. but as time went on, locals became more ruthless, and it wasn't uncommon to hear stories of a local trying to gouge out a wrestler's eyes during a challenge match. in addition, disputes often arose as to whether a person was actually pinned (not surprising considering there was money on the line), and whether the referees were calling the matches fairly. The traveling wrestlers developed concession holds, or "hooks," both to protect themselves from injury and to eliminate any doubt as to the victor.The wrestlers would stretch and crank their opponents, making them shout a loud concession of "uncle."

As time passed the men became even more skillful at hooking. the rules of the challenge matches were often tipped to favor the local challengers--akin to giving a handicap, or odds. Depending on the carnival or match, the wrestler could lose a match by being hooked, pinned, or even simply thrown or taken down. Thus, in order to survive, hookers became extremely proficient at controlling and hooking their opponents and defending against all methods of attack.

Under the most narrow of rules, wrestlers would lose matches if they failed to defeat their opponents within a certain time. Now, not only were these men becoming masters of wrestling, control, and hooks, they were also developing the skill to execute their technique extremely quickly and efficiently.

Men such as Martin "Farmer" Burns, Frank Gotch, John Pesek, Ed "Strangler" Lewis , Ray Steele, and many others all "made their bones" as carnival wrestlers. This was a piece of americana that we shouldn't forget.

This is the story of catch-as-catch-can wrestling, or catch wrestling from an offshoot of traditional wrestling burgeoned an art of well-developed submission technique, executed quickly and efficiently, against any and all challengers.


Sambo wrestling is a composite style of jacket wrestling originally developed in Russia to serve as a common form of sport wrestling for the fifteen different republics of the former Soviet Union, each of which had one or more of its own distinct styles of folk wrestling, with widely varying rules. It was also used as a form of hand-to-hand combat preparation and training by Soviet military for use in unarmed combat. Sambo today is practiced in two flavors: Sport Sambo, the third style of international wrestling and a globally popular form of submission grappling; and Combat Sambo, a method of self-defense training.

The term SAMBO is an acronym for the Russian phrase "SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya" or in English language, "Self-defense Without Weapons." Until the official adoption of the term "SAMBO" the sport had also been referred to as SAM, and then later SAMOZ. The correct, official Internationally recognized English transliterated spelling is SAMBO.

Combat Submission Wrestling

Edge Senior Instructor Richard Raciti is a student of "CSW" under two-time World Shoot Fighting Champion Erik Paulson. For the last twenty-two years, Erik Paulson has studied the art of grappling. Having gained worldwide fame competing in many pay-per-view, no-holds-barred tournaments, he is now undefeated in Japan where he is the World Light-Heavyweight Shootwrestling Champion

Furthermore, Mr. Paulson has spent the last decade training under such noted instructors as the Machado Brothers, Rickson Gracie, Larry Hartsell, Yorinaga Nakamura, Gene Lebell and the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto.

Erik's system blends Judo, Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman Wrestling with techniques and submissions from Shootwrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo and Catchascatchcan. Erik is famous for his unbelievable repertoire of submission holds and is recognized as a virtual encyclopedia of leg locks.

In addition to his skill as a fighter, Erik's reputation as an outstanding grappling instructor make him extremely in-demand for both National and International seminars.

The EDGE Ultimate Martial Arts- NJ
7 Midland Avenue
Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
(201) 703-1222

The EDGE Ultimate Martial Arts- PA
Monroe Plaza Rt 209
Brodheadsville, PA 18322

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