Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grappler Vs. Grappler

When we fabricate our Jiu Jitsu style, sometimes we forget why we got into the class in the first place. To defend ourselves. We get so used to the winning thing, tapping thing, the ego thing that we create a style made to defeat other grapplers. It's like a predator that is really adept at killing other predators, not so much in dealing with killing prey.

For instance, with hand positioning and body positioning, a lot of guys will place themselves in a position where they are hard to submit, but not hard to hit. In real life how often are you going to be fending off a D'arce choke? Most like you will have to fend off strikes and gouges. But you have an awesome D'arce defense, a skill that is almost useless in self defense.

In MMA sometimes you will see where a superior grappler fights someone and once it hits the ground, the superior grappler will obviously win. A lot of times that doesn't happen though. A lot of factors goes into that, rules, stand up, time limits, but also style. That superior grappler is really good at not getting submitted and going for submissions. Not so good at not getting hit and going for submissions while getting hit. He will beat another fighter who is also a grappler, but may come up short against someone who likes to hit a lot. His style is adapted to fighting off grapplers, fighting off kimuras and ankle locks. Against some muscle-bound meat head, you will not be fighting off any kimuras or ankle locks.

I have seen techniques such as rubber guard fail in BJJ and submission grappling tournaments, yet work well in MMA. It's design was to fend off strikes, not so much defeat a grappler. Or maybe that was not the original intent but that's what it's better at. Whereas using wrist control and throwing up triangles may work well in submission grappling but not so well in MMA.

Not to say you shouldn't be able to do both. A complete style would be a style that works against everyone, not just for specific instances. A style that won't beat every grappler, or every striker, but beats 80% of most opponents. As opposed to a style that strictly beats grapplers, that only represents 20% of opponents. Or a style that only beats strikers, who also represent 20%.

Maybe in a submission grappling match lets say, Marcello Garcia taps Rickson Gracie. But in MMA, if they both fought the same 10 opponents, my conjecture is Rickson beats more opponents than Marcello does. So how do you define better grappler?


  1. I do not want to flame but.... This is a rediculous concept that i hear often outside of mma/sport schools. I mostly hear this from schools/students that study those obsolete asian arts, for example, karate, kung fu, tae kwon do (i know liota machida blahblah, exception not the rule). What makes people think that training against a live resistant opponent is somehow inferior to some "rex kwon do" wrist grab escape, high block, eye gouge deflection front punch, followed by a "High-Ya!"? Because the instructor tells some made up comparison story about how it works better? Or that sport training doesnt guard against every possible scenario? Fighting is dangerous....fighting is unpredictable and you can train for situations that are closest to the real thing, that is sport training, not some random street lethal self defense system developed by grandmaster sensei instructor named "whatever."

  2. I see what your saying but my post wasn't about TMA vs MMA/BJJ or compliant opponent vs a resisting opponent. It was about BJJ vs BJJ. Meaning a Roger Gracie or Rickson Gracie style of BJJ vs. a Marcello Garcia or a Pe De Pano style of Jiu Jitsu (which didn't do well in MMA). And which would be applicable to more situations. (If anything defending against punches while practicing a move would mean your partner is a more resisting opponent than a partner who just lets you flip them over without ever making you think about getting hit)

    I think you sort of clumped me in with the TMA radicals just because I mentioned the words "self defense" and "eye gouge." Eye gouging for instance would be almost impossible to do when someone mounts you. But nowadays a lot of people don't like to mount, they like to have cross side control which was considered an inferior position in the Rickson and Roger style of MMA.



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