What is Grappling?
Podcast by Tom
What is grappling? Grappling is a combat sport that involves using your body weight to utilize a range of maneuvers including throws, trips, sweeps, clinch fighting, and submissions to defeat your opponent in a fight. It can be a standalone sport in which competitions take place on the ground using different grappling techniques with the objective of putting your opponent into a submission hold, or it can be incorporated into other martial arts styles.
The different disciplines to name a few are stand-up grappling, submission grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, Jujutsu, Sambo, submission wrestling, and MMA. There are many different kinds of grappling but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most popular, and uses very effective grappling techniques for both men and women.
As a competitor, you will need to be extremely flexible and agile to try and do your best at this difficult sport. It is an intimidating combat sport that requires practice, skill, and strength. It can be exhausting but it can also be an exhilarating experience that is fun and addicting. With the right coach, the right training regimen, and the right mindset, grappling is an amazing sport.
In this blog, I explain what real grappling is, what it isn’t, and the different ways it can be used.
Related Reading: Does Judo Build Muscle?
Grappling In The World Of Martial Arts
Grappling techniques have been around for a long time, and were practiced by the ancient Greeks and Romans. This sport came to prominence during the 19th century in Europe and America. It has been a sport that was mostly used in Brazil, Japan, and parts of Asia. It is a sport that became known to help people develop not only their strength but also their endurance.
Before the sport was brought to “light” by the Gracie family, it was seriously underrated and overly underestimated. It was buried under a giant pile of flashy martial arts moves and fake experts that wowed old and young alike.
Even though this sport has been around for centuries and is one of the most devastating combat sports in the world, it remained unknown to most and was out-shined by the popular kids in the martial arts world. It is important to keep in mind that grappling is much more than a sport or hobby. It has helped in the creation of defense strategies in self-defense, law enforcement, and combat sports.
Grappling is the purest and most genuine form of fighting that exists today.
Why Is Grappling Important?
In war and combat (whether it is hand-to-hand combat or with weapons), most fights end up on the ground. This is true even if one or both combatants train primarily in combat arts that mostly focus on standing or striking. It is invaluable to be ready for any situation. Grappling prepares us for hand-to-hand combat on a personal level and it enhances our mastery of other martial arts, because they become completely helpless when movement and range is removed from their fighting equation.
Grappling is a strategic sport after all and your opponent, if a grappler, is going to try to put you in an uncomfortable position favorable to them.
So the next time you watch a WWE match, do not think that the wrestlers are in actual combat and that they’re show is the “same” as real grappling, it isn’t. They’re definitely in top physical condition and excellent athletes, and they have to be able to pull off the stunts they attempt. But this sport is nothing more than a grown man’s soap opera.
I’m not bashing the WWE, like I said, they have great athletes and some of them are real wrestlers but real wrestling has no place on stage.
In the real world, combat sports have found a new place in society and grappling is at the forefront along with others like Muay Thai, Judo, boxing, and MMA. Even though these and other fighting sports are as close as you can get to actual hand to hand combat, they all still have their own sports rules.
Real-life Combat In The Streets
Does fighting on the street, throwing punches, or shooting a gun prepare us for real-life combat? In one sense they do and in another they don’t. Here’s why.
Fighting in the streets is in itself dangerous because anything can happen, even death. Just because someone fought or fights in the streets, doesn’t mean they’re at a level to defend or attack a trained grappler or striker.
Do you think a normal fighter could beat an MMA fighter? I don’t think so. There’s always an exception, but we’re not talking about exceptions. Just read the headlines and you’ll see how average guys get wasted by a real encounter with a pro fighter.
Throwing punches is part of the game, the striking game and you should be working them. Can just knowing how to throw punches be enough in a fight? Of course not. Again, if you’re fighting a trained fighter, then they’ll know how to counter, not to mention the experience level they have on you.
And what about shooting? Do you know how to shoot a gun? Maybe from afar and at a paper target, but how about at someone two feet away? Do you see yourself in a street fight having the courage to shoot someone? I hope not, because you’re throwing your life away. There’s nothing wrong with being good at shooting, but do it down range.
Look, real combat is not to be taken lightly. You don’t need a gun to kill or maim someone. This is not a game, sport, or match. Real grappling techniques if used, means no rules and no ref to interrupt. There’s no crowd cheering. It’s devastating and potent, a hard pill to swallow for whoever ends up on the ground in the clutches of a grappler.
My Martial Arts Is Superior
Maybe you’re thinking your martial art is superior to everything else, or that your kick will send who’s trying you flying like in the matrix, or maybe you’ll just throw your chi in the form of a psychic blast and knock your enemy unconscious.
This isn’t for joking matters. There’s people who actually believe these things. I had someone try to convince me with a halfhearted magician’s smile and a hunger for Benjamins that his system was complete. The point is that there’s no complete system.
Either they focus on striking or grappling techniques, and if they implement both, then we’ve just crossed over into mixed martial arts.
If most fights end up on the ground and most of the martial arts being learned and practiced are kick and punch focused, what does that tell you? If these same practitioners or fighters are landing on the ground with a grappler and find nowhere to run, what does that reveal about their complete system?
Once you’re on the ground, there’s no roundhouse or front kick to throw, there’s no uppercut or dodging a blow. Ground fighting usually is where the fight ends if it gets down there and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re taking a huge risk in your chances of walking away unharmed. If you find yourself there or have been in a struggle, then your opponent has you in his grip.
It’s estimated that about 90% of combat fighting ends up on the ground and that less than 10% of these people are prepared for ground work. Seems kind of sad and strange, doesn’t it?
Combat Fighting in Real Life
There’s a difference between contests in combat sports and combat fighting in real life. Especially if 90% end up on the ground, there’s a lot of people that are going to be in serious trouble. Then again, how many people are actually going to fall into this category, since the majority practice striking styles?
I’d say to be safe better than to be sorry and take up grappling. You need to be familiar with striking as well as having a ground game. You have to know all of your ranges, whether distant or close-quarters, even those with limited movement.
Combat grappling isn’t for second guessers or those who’re weak in will and heart. One wrong move to an innocent looking leg pull and you’re down for the count. Sure there are times where high kicks and jumping knees were enough to win a fight, but how many more times is uncommon?
Combat Grappling Makes Fighters
This combat style is going to build your confidence, strengthen you mentally and physically, and make your heart and spirit stronger than before.
If you really want to test your mettle and try something new and exciting, this combat sport can help. You will be able to feel adrenaline pumping through your veins like the Fourth of July. You will be able to learn more effective and efficient ways to defend yourself.
Combat grappling techniques are not the regulated judo and wrestling styles you find in a dojo or gym. They are excellent to learn, no doubt. But we’re talking about no rules barred grappling, something completely different.
If you’re not able to find someone who can teach you real life grappling techniques, then take up the styles mentioned above, they’re by no means inferior, just regulated.
It”s also advised to see someone like the Gracie family or students who’ve been authorized to teach by them to learn BJJ if this option is available to you. They can offer you actual techniques and real control.
On the topic of grappling, I hope this blog has helped dispel some of the myths, misconceptions and mystery surrounding certain types of combat martial arts. If you are looking to get involved in any aspect of grappling, I hope you have found this post interesting, thought provoking and eye opening! Get grappling before someone else shows you what’s happening! It’s devastating, throws harder than other styles and is second to none.
What is another word for grappling? Another word for grappling is wrestling, which is most likely one of the oldest, if not oldest forms of combat in history.
Why Grappling is a contest for superiority? Grappling is a contest for superiority because most fights end up on the ground and this is where grapplers excel. They are trained to take control and outmaneuver their opponents into submission. This is a strategic combat sport and a test to the strength of wills.