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Snake Pit U.S.A.’s primary mission is to breathe new life into real Catch as Catch Can Wrestling and help lead the Catch Wrestling revolution for Martial Artists, and those pursuing recreational training and fitness alike. Our ever expanding, state of the art, online training database was developed to help teach, and spread authentic technical knowledge of Catch as Catch Can Wrestling while developing students, and official locations/certified Catch Wrestling schools throughout the United States and around the world.

At Snake Pit U.S.A. we use an easy to understand curriculum with guidelines that include both student & coach levels. This curriculum was developed to provide guidance and ensure technical proficiency, while promoting the growth of real Catch Wrestling to individuals of all skill levels.

Although bringing Catch as Catch Can Wresting to the masses is our primary mission and foundation at Snake Pit U.S.A., we will soon offer a broad range of other versatile programs. These programs include, but are not limited to; Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai and Nutrition and Conditioning. At Snake Pit U.S.A. we utilize only the most effective, time-tested training methods available to guarantee you the highest quality instruction and support you deserve for all your personal Martial Arts training and fitness needs.



Coach Potenza began training in the martial arts in 1981.In his 30+ years as a martial artist he has trained in many styles including: Catch as Catch Can Wrestling, Combat Submission Wrestling, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Judo, BJJ, Close Quarter Combat, Military Combatives, American Vadha Kempo Karate, Kung Fu, Kendo, Kenjutsu, Iaido, Iaijutsu, Kali, Escrima, & Aikido achieving Black Belt rank (or equivalent) in the majority of them. Some of his most notable ranks are:

Catch as Catch Can Wrestling (Scientific Wrestling) Assistant Coach: ONE OF ONLY SEVEN IN THE WORLD!  Under legendary Catch Wrestling Coach Billy Robinson.

CSW Representative Instructor: Combat Submission Wrestling with 16 years under Sensei Erik Paulson.

3rd Degree Black Belt in Kendo: Under Hanshi George Alexander, and the International Budokan Kendo Federation.

2nd Degree Black Belt in American Vadha Kempo Karate, & Certified Instructor: Under Master John Salvaggio, (the systems founder).

Fifth Degree Black Belt and recognized founder of Integrated Fighting Systems: Under the Combat Martial Arts Practitioners Association.

Member of USA Wrestling, “New Jersey State Wrestling Association”

Certified USA Wrestling Coach: Copper and Bronze levels certified

Certified U.S. Army MACP (Modern Army Combative Program) Level 2 Tactical Instructor: Under the U.S. Army’s 98th Div Combative Cadre, Fort Dix, NJ


  • World Karate Union Hall of Fame 2000- Instructor of the year: American Vadha Kempo Karate.
  • Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall Of Fame 2001- Excellence in teaching Martial Arts.
  • I.A.M.A. Hall of fame 2001- Instructor of The Year: Kendo – Iaijutsu
  • USA Hall of Fame – 2004 – instructor of the Year: Grappling
  • USA Hall of Fame – 2005 – Founder of the year – Integrated Fighting Systems.
  • Budo International Hall of Fame -2005- Instructor of the Year: Mixed Martial Arts
  • Action Hall of Honors 2009 – Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts
  • Newbreed Fighters Hall of Fame 2011


  • 2 TIME Vadha Kempo Karate Mixed Martial Arts elimination Tournament Champion:
  • 1st Place -Heavy Weight Brown Belt division
  • 1st Place – Heavy Weight Black Belt division.
  • Super Heavyweight Submission Grappling World Champion: “2002 USKBA Action Sport World Championship.”
  • Submission Fighting Heavyweight Champion:  “2003 Gathering of Warriors.”
  • Knife Fighting Champion: “2004 “Gathering of Warriors”.
  • Knife Fighting Champion :“2005 “Gathering of Warriors the Summit”
  • 1st Place Champion in 3 divisions:  “The Gathering of Warriors 2005 International Tournament” in Manila, Philippines:
    • Gold Medal – Long Sword
    • Gold Medal – Sword & Dagger
    • Gold Medal – Knife Fighting.
  • 1st Place Champion in 3 divisions “2006 Masters of the Blade:”
    • Gold medal – Long Sword
    • Gold Medal – Stick & Knife
    • Gold Medal – Knife Fighting
    • 1st Place – Division Champion

For over a decade John Potenza has been the Owner, Head Instructor & Fight Team Coach of the Modern Martial Arts Fight Clubs in NJ (Snake Pit U.S.A. headquarters). Producing countless champions & title holders in Submission Grappling, MMA, Muay Thai, Judo & Weapon based arts.

He was also the Head Coach for 98th Division Combative team – 2012 All Army Combative Tournament at Ft. Hood Texas & 2012 Division Tournament at Ft Dix NJ.



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Certified Catch as Catch Can Wrestler & Level 3 Coach: Under legendary Coach Billy Robinson (Scientific Wrestling)

Certified Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) Coach: Under Coach Erik Paulson (CSW Founder)

NI-DAN (2nd Degree Black Belt) in Shin-Gi-Tai Jujitsu: Under Coach John Saylor (former U.S. Olympic Training Center Head Coach and 3 time National Heavyweight Judo Champion)

IBJJF/USBJJF Certified Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Under Multiple-time World Champion, Professor Patrick Stano, under Professor Carlos Catania

Black Belt in Kodokan Judo: Under 3 x National Heavyweight Judo Champion, Coach John Saylor

3-Time Member, 2-Time Team Captain and former Assistant Coach of the United States Air Force “All Air Force Wrestling Team,” Under the expert tutelage of 2X U.S. Olympic Wrestling Coach, Floyd “Bad News” Winter

Certified USA Wrestling Coach: Copper and Bronze levels certified

Certified Fitness/Personal Trainer: International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach: American Sport Education Program (ASEP)

Certified Modern Army Combative Program (MACP) Instructor: Levels I and II

Instructor: Global Combatives LLC: Military and Law Enforcement hand to hand combat

Instructor: Modern Martial Arts Fight Club LLC: “New Jerseys Official Toe Hold Club”

Member of the “International Network of Wrestling Reaserchers” (INWR)

Member of USA Wrestling, “New Jersey State Wrestling Association”



  • Competitive Mixed Martial Artist: “Reality Fighting” and “Combat in the Cage”
  • Won or placed in USA Wrestling’s U.S. Open & Armed Forces Wrestling Championships, NAGA, Grapplers Quest, U.S. Grappling, Mission Submission and Good-fight (expert/advanced No-Gi divisions) including North American and World Championships.
  • U.S. World Grappling Team Heavyweight alternate, No-Gi and Gi divisions, 2013 FILA World Championship
  • Member & Captain of The United States Air Force “All Air Force Wrestling Team” (2013, 2014 & 2015)
  • Coached 2008 Delaware State Championship Submission Grappling team.
  • Combat Sports and self defense instructor to U.S. Army MACP Instructors (2008-2011)
  • Has taught Grappling/Combative techniques to over 500 U.S. Military and Coalition Force members in the United States, and Afghanistan
  • Completed Krav Maga Personnel Security Detail (PSD) Combative training, (Afghanistan 2005)
  • Coach Bane is a 3 x Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and 1 x Iraqi Freedom. He is a USAF Security Forces Senior Non Commissioned Officer with over 19 years of Active Duty Military service. While deployed he led counter intelligence operations including but not limited to counter IED missions, personnel security details, weapons cache seizures and convoys. Joel is one of very few U.S. Air Force Sharpshooters and is a highly skilled small arms weapons expert.

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