Only in recent times has it become an accepted fact that street fights can be won against other experienced fighters with the use of grappling skills. In all-out fights conducted in the ring, fine boxers and karate exponents have been bested by the wrestling and ju jitsu skills of grappling. Most martial artists agree that they have seldom seen a kick actually decide a fight. This is not to say that grappling arts are superior to other fighting arts in the street, although they are definitely stronger in the street than earlier thought, partly due to the fact that exponents of most martial arts know no offensive or defensive skills whatsoever in a grappling situation.. It probably does prove however, that in those fights which were won with grappling techniques, the winning fighter representing grappling techniques was superior on that day to others entered in that competition .

Since a knockout is actually difficult to achieve, the grappler closes in and takes his opponent to the ground or even drags his opponent with him as he falls to his back. At that point, immobilization, choking, arm bars, hitting, kicking, and other techniques cause a submission. Some fighters claim that more than 90% of the street fights involving only two people wind up clinching and grappling. Some will say that 90% of all fights where the fighters are untrained go to the ground. Sometimes one fighter is being handily beaten and grabs the other to avoid further punishment, or if one or both fighters are unskilled, the natural tendency is to grab, hold, and wrestle. Therefore, if your opponent falls or is thrown to the ground, you must feel confident to move in immediately. Of course you or your attacker might purposely take the fight to the ground.

At the very least, any fighter must know the basics of grappling. The grappler is the only fighter who can force you to fight in his way, because he will almost always force the fight go to grappling. The non-grappler must abandon his techniques and be reduced to the status of an unskilled fighter. The purist karateman or boxer cannot make good use of his skills while in a grappling situation with a grappler.

Winning a fight with grappling techniques may necessitate a fight that lasts for a long time . Grappling skills can deplete the opponent´s energy reserves, and wearing out the opponent becomes part of the preparation for “the kill.” The expert grappler fighter doesn´t over-exert himself while on the ground, and such fights can appear boring to onlookers since the fight can go without action for many minutes when using immobilization techniques. One of the principles of grappling techniques is to not force your opponent into a certain position so that you can execute a technique, but rather to wait for him to present an opportunity for your to apply some grappling technique in your arsenal while he is being immobilized. Of course you may gain an immediate win, but if you are involved in grappling you had better be in good condition, have plenty of patience as well as skill, and know grappling skills better than your opponent knows them.

In using grappling skills you will occasionally be quite vulnurable to the likes of eye jabs, biting, hair pulling, choking, elbow grinding, punching, etc., (Rules of the U.F.C., E.F.C., and W.C.C. prohibit biting and eye gouging, and groin protection is used) and you must also be sure that your opponent doesn´t have a nearby friend ready to assist him while you are on the ground.

Practice grappling with your partner until there is a submission.. You or your partner should submit by verbally giving up, or by patting anything with any arm or leg--pat your opponent, the floor, yourself, Otherwise if your mouth is covered you cannot submit regardless of your injury or pain.

Thanks to Antonio and Marco, both ranked blue belt, for helping with the below illustrations of Jukensa ground fighting techniques.

choking, using clothing

downed attacker during eye rake



elbow breaking arm bar

Next Page--The Heavy Bag" (Spanish & English)

E-mail: GM Allred

Last modified September 1,2003

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