Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Perfect Grappler

I have often thought about what it would mean to become the "perfect grappler," which by this I mean someone who has skills on every level of grappling and can counter a striker's moves with nothing by grappling ability. This would most certainly be a difficult task, just as being nothing but a pure striker in a world of mixed fighters is daunting to say the least. The following is, of course, my opinion, but it's something I've put a fair amount of thought into. These are in no particular order.

1. Freestyle Wrestling- The benefit of Freestyle Wrestling to someone wishing to be the perfect grappler cannot be overlooked. The ability to control an opponent, changing levels, shooting for a takedown, and sprawling will be absolute must-have skills for both attacking and defending. You will learn to put your opponent on his back. 

Stuff like this. 
2. Greco-Roman Wrestling- This is a little different, because unlike Freestyle Wrestling, this does not allow grabbing below the belt, so legs are off limits. However, throwing and pinning are still the primary goals. This will teach the ability to throw an opponent from a tie-up, as well as build a fair amount of strength, because the Greco-Roman guys also toss people over their head from a body lock. 

Something really bad is about to happen.
3. Catch Wrestling- This is essentially just the previous two with submissions. Often called Submission Grappling. Pretty much, any submission you can grab, you grab it. This is useful because it combines strength and explosive movements with technical submissions, which will be useful in ending fights or injuring an opponent. 

"That's okay, man! I didn't need that shoulder!"
4. Judo- Judo is primarily about throws, but there is a smaller portion of it that is concerned with pins and submissions. I've heard an argument that good Judo is at least half standing and half ground grappling, but I'm sure that's up for debate. In any case, as far as technical throws are concerned, it's hard to beat Judo, especially if there are clothes involved. 

Nothing good will come of what is about to happen.
5. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu- Did you think I wouldn't throw BJJ in here? This is pretty much the modern-day go-to as far as grappling is concerned. BJJ is primarily ground fighting and has a ridiculous number of submissions and prides itself on smaller opponents being able to defeat much stronger and larger opponents with superior technique and, for the most part, it been able to deliver on all fronts. 

And here, children, is a Triangle.
6. Sambo- Leg locks. Oh, God, the leg locks. This is very similar to Judo, but there are less restrictions as to the types of holds and submissions allowed. Throwing, pinning, and leg locks galore. 

Told ya.
7. Shuai Jiao- This style (it's actually broken up into a few different versions) is about throwing your opponent to the ground through various means, such as tripping, arm-throws, waist-throws, or hip-throws.

I'd say that looks like a throw.
8. Japanese Jujitsu- There are a large number of Japanese Jujitsu styles, but in general, they rely on joint locks and throws to defeat opponents. There are a large number of wrist and arm locks, but there are other locks as well. A large benefit of Japanese Jujitsu will be in its experience with armed opponents and countering striking. Although a lot of Japanese Jujitsu was built to counter Karate-style striking or sweeping strikes, I feel that with "live" training, JJJ could be adapted to deal with strikes from boxing and Muay Thai. The other benefit is that it possesses a good deal of small-joint manipulation and pain-compliance techniques, which are useful for real-world application.

"All right, I said Uncle!"
9. Aikido- This is another off-shoot from Japanese Jujitsu. It's about re-directing energy and using the opponent's force against him. Although Aikido is not exactly "battle-tested" and is often criticized about being "too compliant," that doesn't mean that the principles are not useful and the art could not be effective if trained properly. I've actually thrown some people with Aikido techniques during BJJ practice. Sometimes it works just because people don't see it coming. 

Smiling old man that can probably kill you.
That's not scary at all...
10. Pencak Silat- This is something I'm not super familiar with, honestly. Apparently, there is a lot of Silat out there, with numerous variations in technique. However, what we're looking for here is the ground techniques of Silat. Silat is an Indonesian invention and combines striking and grappling arts into one. Focusing on the ground aspect alone, however, there are a large variety of locks, throws, and submissions utilizing most parts of the body and, because it's so very different from a lot of the grappling styles out there, I believe it would be useful to incorporate it into the perfect grappler. 

Not the face!

This list is not an exhaustive representation of grappling styles, but just my opinion of a combination that would produce someone that would not have to learn how to strike in order to compete in mixed competitions or defend himself in the real world. I would love to see someone who committed himself to the practice of all these arts, because I would love to see what he would become!


That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!








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