View Full Version : Grappling/Chinese martial arts synthesis

Daniel Lee
14th October 2002, 06:46
Dear Mr. Cartmell,

I'm fascinated by your choice of styles with chinese martial arts and brazilian jiujitsu, and was wondering if I might be able to ask your opinion on some questions I have.

While not knowing which chinese arts you train in, the majority of systems seem to focus on striking and use traps/locks as set ups. This seems in direct contrast to commonly seen BJJ strategies of closing the gap, grapple and finish. How do the two arts relate to each other, and have you found you've had to change the set-ups for defeating an opponent somewhat to what might be found in the two seperate arts?

Thank you for your time.

With respects,

Daniel Lee

Tim Cartmell
14th October 2002, 19:49
In China I primarily practiced the so-called Internal styles (Xing Yi Quan, Ba Gua Zhang and Tai Ji Quan). All of these styles are based on the idea of 'sticking' to an opponent, that is, maintaining a controlling pressure from a superior angle. Striking, locking and throwing are ideally done with this type of sticking. We really didn't do any elaborate trapping or locking, the general strategy of the Chinese Internal styles is to enter-control-throw/take down.

Entries are usually set up with strikes and then closing in rapidly for a more forceful strike or takedown. The reason I was first attracted to BJJ was the similarities I saw in the concept of entering and taking the opponent down in a control position (the difference is although the Chinese styles have controls from the top when an opponent is thrown, they don't actually teach how to grapple on the ground). The BJJ groundfighting is also based on 'sticking' to and dominating an opponent from superior positions, so, at least for me, it blended together very well with what I had been taught before.

Charlie Kondek
15th October 2002, 14:42
Glad you brought this up, Daniel. Tim, are there any Chinese grappling styles similar to BJJ, or does all groundwork just kinda fall under an indigenous folkstyle wrestling?

Tim Cartmell
15th October 2002, 20:29
There are no styles of wrestling in China that involve much groundwork. Chinese wrestling (Shuai Jiao) is a stand up style that uses a jacket very much like a gi, but with short sleeves. Points are awarded for throws only, there is no groundfighting. Many of the throws are similar to Judo throws. There are a limited amount of groundfighting techniques in a few styles, but no where near the extent of BJJ or Judo.

Tim Cartmell
22nd October 2002, 21:33
(a) The actual on-guard position of the IMA is not exactly as you see in stance holding training. In general, the weight is held closer to 50/50 and is shifted forward and back a little as the situation demands. There are no fixed rules. In addition, the fighter is in constant motion.

(b) The goal of BJJ striking is to close to the clinch and take the opponent to the ground. There is not as much emphasis placed on striking combinations as in other, striking based styles.
In my own school, we use a combination of various arts when we strike (but the overall goal is to throw or knock the opponent down, this strategy is the same in the Chinese IMA as in the BJJ).

(c) Footwork is similar for all styles in actual fights (ie. shuffle steps, lunging/penetration steps...).

(d) Right, most IMA styles try to get outside the opponent or to the rear.

26th October 2002, 14:00
While I'm not sure Baji is/isn't an internal art,

As a Baji man I can answer this. Bajiquan is considered BOTH internal and external style.