Types Of Grappling Martial Arts

Types Of Grappling Martial Arts

When it comes to martial arts, they fall into two major categories depending on where most of the fighting takes place: stand-up or ground fighting. To make this distinction easier, the method of combat determines a martial art’s classification. In MMA, different fighting styles from these two categories are on display. But the question is which grappling martial art is the most famous?

In the world of martial arts, there is an array of grappling disciplines founded on the concepts of leverage and control. Though they may lack punches and kicks, grappling martial arts are still popular means of self-defense and competition.

This article will take a look at some of the most notable grappling martial arts.

1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has proven to be one of the most effective forms of grappling in MMA. Though sharing many similarities with other grappling styles, there is nothing like pulling off a submission finish, the hallmark of BJJ practitioners.

BJJ has many types of submissions, sweeps, and reversals. Another factor that makes BJJ different from other grappling martial arts is that it is possible to win while fighting on your back. A guard is a standard BJJ position that challenges the traditional way you think about fighting. Usually, the one on the bottom loses the fight. However, in BJJ, it is possible to pull off submissions and self-defense tactics from the bottom as well as the top.

2. What Exactly Is Grappling?

Grappling refers to a method of close quarters combat where you seize, hold, or grab an opponent with a firm grip.

In martial arts, grappling refers to the practice of gaining control over an opponent’s movements to get a competitive edge, either by forcing the opponent into an awkward position or striking while holding them. To effectively use grappling as a form of self-defense, you need to do more than just hold onto your adversary.

Techniques like throws, takedowns, etc. are often used in grappling matches. It is possible for a smaller fighter with capable grappling skills to defeat an opponent with a larger build.

3. Judo


Photo credit: @femexkarate

Judo fighters wear a thick jacket known as a gi. Fighters grab onto the collar and sleeves to execute throws and pull off submissions. Judo involves using throws and sweeps However, you are not allowed to grab an opponent's legs to execute a throw.

On the floor, judo fighters try to strike at the opponent with their backs against the floor or by crushing the opponent by employing leverage.

4. Wrestling


Wrestling dates all the way back to the Olympics of Ancient Greece. However, it is possible that wrestling is even older than that. It is not clear where wrestling originated, though there are plenty of theories.

Wrestling has become a part of American and Eastern European culture. Most top wrestlers come from the U.S., Russia, or Bulgaria. Because of its diverse roots, there are many styles of wrestling, each one being unique to the culture it originates from.

Wrestling focuses on throwing your opponents down and pinning them. Takedowns require both lower and upper body movements and can be very violent and brutal at times. Most wrestlers wear shorts or minimal clothing, making it more difficult to find places to grab onto.

5. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a combination of karate, judo, wrestling, boxing, and Aikido. It was invented for select personnel of the Israeli Army as a form of military hand-to-hand.

In Krav Maga, it is essential that you must not be pinned to the floor for more than five seconds.

Krav Maga also teaches a variety of techniques that allows you to immobilize your opponent or escape from hold when on the ground.

Techniques specific to Krav Maga are the bridge, hip or shoulder throw, and single or double leg takedowns.

6. Sambo

Sambo is a grappling martial art frequently used by Russian fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and Khabib Nurmagomedov. While not one of the more popular grappling styles in the modern world of MMA, it is one of the most efficient.

Sambo has a long list of takedowns. This diversity makes it difficult to counter Sambo practitioners as many of the takedowns aren't typically used in other grappling martial arts. Sambo is also a comprehensive grappling art due to incorporating sweeps, submissions, and strikes.

This versatility gives Sambo practitioners an edge when facing fighters who specialize in other disciplines. A sambo is also an effective form of self-defense.

7. FAQs

7.1. Is Grappling Most Effective For Self-Defense And Force?

Many efficient grappling techniques from BJJ, judo, Muay Thai, and Krav Maga have real-life applications since they can help you subdue an assailant if you suddenly find yourself being mugged or assaulted.

7.2. What Grappling Style Do You Need to Learn To Prepare For MMA?

To become a professional MMA athlete, you'll need to establish a strong foundation by starting with one grappling martial art. Some of the most popular grappling arts to train for MMA are grappling patterns like BJJ, wrestling, judo, and Sambo.

Each grappling martial art has its own list of techniques, strategies, and philosophies. These differences not only make them unique but give each martial art its own strength and weaknesses.

Every martial art you learn will enhance your performance as a fighter, giving you a broader skill set.

It is recommended that anyone who wants to compete in MMA should practice at least two grappling martial arts. Choose the grappling martial arts that play to your skills while also leaving you room to improve in areas you are struggling with.

8. Last Words

After you've grasped an understanding of grappling martial arts and their techniques, you should be ready to pick the one that best compliments your personality. It is possible to master multiple martial arts and expand your knowledge of techniques to create a unique fighting style.

Photo credit: , @ronengelman , @insidethegames

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