The problems with grappling and ground-fighting

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Isaiah90, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    There's several problems with grappling and ground-fighting for self defense. The problem is you can't grapple and defend or strike at the same time. At least not with the techniques in many grappling arts. It's either because the rules protect you from striking or your opponent is trying to grapple anyway. Things change in a no rules environment.

    I sparred with my partner in a no rules sparring session. He knew he couldn't beat me in striking and kicking so he took me to the ground with primitive grappling skills via. takedown. He got in a top mount position as i struck him several times. Eventually, he pinned my arms and held me down. His face got too close to mine so i headbutted him in the nose. Luckily, it was no contact or he would've been knocked out or at least dazed to where i'd be able to escape. I gave up from exhaustion. Whether or not ground-fighting worked in this case is not the point. The fact that he took some blows before finally submitting shows it's not effective for self defense. Effective self defense is supposed to minimize damage taken and maximize damage done to your attacker.

    In another case, ground-fighting didn't work well. We took it to the ground. I grabbed a practice katana, drew it, and ran it through his stomach. He didn't see it coming because we were staring at each other face to face.

    It's why self defense instructors advise not to go to the ground.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    So your friend has very primitive grappling, he still won but it doesn't work? So what if he was a very good grappler? Maybe he'd get hit even less and win even easier. Also, how likely do you think you are to face a katana in everyday life? Probably less likely than a general fist fight I would think.

    You have a very limited view on what does and doesn't work.
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  3. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    What? Of course you can. Ground and Pound is one of the top ways of winning in few-rules competition. You grapple to top mount, then pummel your opponent until they either pass out or give up. This is incredibly effective because gravity assists with your strikes and the opponent can't use movement to evade or their hips to add power to blocks and counter-strikes. In essence, once you get to this position it's very difficult to defend against as the guy on the ground. You still have strikes in other positions during grappling, especially stand-up grappling.

    If you think that you can't do both at the same time, you are flat-out wrong, I'm afraid.

    Of course they do, but you still see grappling used very effectively in no-rules environments. A good fighter has a blend of both to call upon.

    From underneath this probably wouldn't have done much other than to annoy a committed opponent. If you'd headbutted me like that in a grapple (which you wouldn't be able to in the first place because if I'm in top mount and going for a pin, my face is definitely not going to be right in front of your head for an attack like that, it's going to be either be clear or have something between your head and my face), I'd have gone for the aforementioned ground and pound.

    I think you are hugely overrating the amount of power you can generate from the ground striking upwards when your hips have been neutralised.

    i.e. you lost. Against an opponent that didn't know enough grappling to either ground and pound or make you tap out from an armlock or choke, both really easy from top mount. How on earth does this help your case at all?

    It most certainly does not! If you train hard, then no matter how good you are there is still a very real chance that you will take blows before you finish a fight. What you learn is how to shut down effective striking, which can be done by either getting good at controlling distance and applying your own strikes or controlling distance and getting in to grappling range, which foils almost all normal striking.

    No, it's supposed to extricate you as the defender from a situation. The damage to your attacker is irrelevant.

    This sounds like pure fantasy. Again, if you're groundfighting with someone experienced, they can see what you are doing and will not give you room to draw a sword.

    "If you don't have to" is the bit you're missing there. Self defence pretty much goes as follows:
    • Don't get into a situation in the first place.
    • Get out of the situation without fighting.
    • If you can disengage without striking (i.e. after one or two blocks) do so.
    • If you can disengage after landing a couple of strikes, do so.
    • If you need to throw them to the ground to disengage, do so.
    • If it's safer to take them to the floor to win the fight thoroughly, do so.
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  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    The 80s called it wants it arguement back
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  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    The problem with grappling and ground fighting is that they can (and do) happen even if you don't want them to.
    You can have two fighters where neither one wants to be on the floor but once two bodies collide and get entangled then over they go because now neither is fully in control of their own weight and balance.
    Through the late 20th century we developed the notion that striking and grappling are somehow separate because multiple arts developed rulesets that prohibited one or the other.
    But actually when real violence goes down or rules become more permissive both "types" of fighting happen frequently and flow from one to the other.
    Older iterations of many arts show this basic fact because before the splintering and stylification of styles in the 20th century with differing agendas (often at the whim of a charismatic individual or forcing a style "brand") arts where more complete and diverse. Grappling styles had strikes, striking styles had grappling. They were shades of the same approach.
  6. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    I didn't have knowledge of how to counter a grappler at the time, but now i do. You're missing the point when it comes to the katana being used. The point is weapons can render someone's grappling useless in an attack.
  7. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Only if you're better with the knife than I am with my hands.
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  8. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    No contact sparring and you were still exhausted and gave up.

    Sounds like someone has been working on their excuses.......

    So no rules sparring, talking about bokken as a katana, and an over focus on the deadly street.

    You wouldn't happen to train in the bujinkan do you?
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  10. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Right, but the next best thing to sparring with no rules is sparring with few rules, gradually getting more and more restrictive until you get to arm wrestling or similar, which is totally detached from self defence.

    Ground and pound IS a show of grappling skill because it requires you to get an opponent on the ground and to hold a stable mount which restricts their movement, stops them from countering and gives you a base from which to strike. The fact that you care that this is sloppy is telling - I personally don't care at all if what I do is sloppy, I care about whether it's effective. Nevertheless, you are wrong - ground and pound requires decent grappling skills to work, and someone can be very good at this with barely any striking training because the circumstances are entirely in their favour here.

    Police regularly use grappling in a no rules environment. I'd also love to see a source for your "most grapplers... ended up hurt or killed". Please make sure it's an actual source rather than just someone's ill-founded opinion.

    Your entire example was about sparring, a form of fighting. Not street attacks. Even in street attacks, there are going to be situations where grappling is not just optimal but essential. As a striker, it's very difficult to deal well with someone that jumps you from behind and takes you to the floor before you have an opportunity to get into a stance and control distance, just as a simple example. You might also do something like slip and fall over - that sort of thing happens. If you can't grapple and find yourself needing to grapple, you are in trouble.

    Also, the single best way to counter grappling is to train in grappling and practice the counters against people that know what they're doing.

    Yes, hearing someone say "yeah, I was sparring this guy and we were fighting on the floor and I managed to get a sword, draw it and win" doesn't compute in my head. If you were sparring on the ground but you had room to move away, grab a sheathed sword, draw it and stab someone, you weren't dealing with a grappler, you were dealing with a guy that doesn't know what he's doing on the ground. That's nowhere near as impressive.

    Believe it or not, I've sparred with weapons a lot, both in symmetric and non-symmetric positions. I've sparred against someone armed with a knife while I'm on the floor, standing, armed, unarmed, etc. I can conclusively state that grappling is an essential requirement for good weapons training. This goes back hundreds of years to including things like longsword fencing - grappling was certainly included in training for swordfights.

    So you've now moved away from "grappling doesn't work and will get you killed" to "grappling won't work if I'm armed and can get access to my weapon". If you have to arm yourself to defeat a grappler, you're basically admitting that grappling actually does work and you need an equaliser to come away the victor. Again, this is very different to your first claim, which was that it wouldn't work and would get you killed.

    Just for comparison, if I have a sword and you don't, your striking won't work to save you. Neither will grappling. Unless you have a weapon of your own, that is not a happy situation to be in. Weapons are designed to make it easier to hurt or defeat someone. This is somewhat irrelevant if you're talking about a scenario where an unarmed person needs to defend themselves against an assailant - yes, it's important to be aware that a weapon may come into the equation, but if you spend the whole time avoiding essential techniques because there might be a knife, for example, then you will probably find yourself being beaten up by an unarmed attacker as a consequence.

    In most situations getting into a fight is a terrible idea, and I can't help but think that you completely glossed over everything else I said here about avopiding fights, avoiding striking and avoiding throwing IF YOU CAN. If you have to fight, though, then for some people and against some attackers, going to the ground might be essential, so I definitely don't teach "never go to the ground".
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Mitch likes this.
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If only we had more details on the original event......

    Oh wait we do......

  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I was wrong, he's a wing chun guy who watches master Wong dvds,

    Everything Self Defense: My way to Jeet Kune Do
  14. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Come on man, he put a video up on the internet. You don't need to rip him apart for it.

    @Isaiah90 It's pretty evident you've never sparred with anyone who really knows what they're doing. You can't extrapolate a whole theory based on one sparring session with one person who is not a grappler in the first place. To form a real opinion I recommend finding the best MMA gym available to you and start training/forming your opinion there. See how hard it is to hold someone down and how easily it can be done to you in return.
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  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I'm ripping on him for publishing dross like self defence Vs pirates..... (Step one threat awareness, know where they arrrrgh!), it's all done so he can make money off his ebook scam.

    If it's in the public domain, and especially as it's done for profit, a factual evaluation and parody is completely fair game!
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  16. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    I can write an article explaining why MMA doesn't work for street self defense. In fact, i already did several times. For this post, i'd like to share several cases of MMA fighters sparring other martial artists in no rules settings.

    I sparred no contact with my bud who was an MMA fighter. He trained in Muay Thai, wrestling, BJJ, etc. It was no rules. I landed a side kick to his balls then hook punched him in the temple. He saw the kick coming and was surprised, but didn't know the right technique to block it. He moved his rear leg back to try to block it with his front leg, but still got hit. He would've been knocked out or down if i went full contact. Boxing punches generate around 1,000 pounds of force.

    My friend is a Wing Chun instructor. He was teaching a seminar on Wing Chun and had one MMA fighter who said "i'd like to see him try that against an MMA fighter." My friend challenged him to spar. MMA fighter went for a takedown. My friend kicked him in the knee and the guy buckled over. My friend quickly grabbed by the neck and figuratively snapped it.

    They sparred again. This time, my friend let him do a takedown successfully. As the MMA fighter was going for a top mount position, my friend showed him a knife. He said "you see this? What are you going to do when i start cutting you with this on the ground?" MMA fighter said he hated knives.

    Another time, my other friend met an MMA fighter who boasted he could resist a bite. My friend trained in Muay Thai and other arts, but modified them to suit a no rules environment. He said "let's test it out" and the MMA fighter agreed. MMA fighter put him in an armbar. My friend gently bit him in the leg and the MMA fighter jolted, letting go of his arm.

    The point of all this? When i see MMA fighters talk about MMA working in self defense, they usually indulge in egotistical fantasies lol. "If he tries biting me, i'm snapping his neck" they say as if they can resist illegal blows. They don't want admit that honestly, most people can't resist attacks to the most vulnerable parts of the body. That's what makes them so effective for self defense. They also claim they can easily fight dirty without rules. Well unless you actually train that way, it's just talk. Actions speak louder than words.
  17. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Provide sparring videos. I'd love to watch some of this in action if any of it is true.
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  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I am beginning to believe that my standard response to your posts should simply be.....:rolleyes:
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  19. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Lol. What a throwback to the 90's.
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  20. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    At 4.45 you say you pinned your buddy to the bed and broke his arm...... Etc etc

    Are these self defence lessons being run by you, in your bedroom?
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