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Cufaol
27th November 2007, 17:13
Hi everyone!

I didn't know where else to post this so my apologies in advance if I made a mistake.

On topic: We all know, after several years of Bjj/ufc and pride, that grappling is a great skillset in a one-on-one unarmed combat. I do not have the intention of rekindling the striking vs grappling argument/flamewar all over, I just want a clear answer on the following:

Howcome grappling is so great in 1-1 unarmed struggle? Is there any technical/physical explanation/theory as to why that is?

I have been thinking about this for weeks without being able to come up with half a decent explanation. help me...?:cry: :):D


Suggestions are welcome as always...;)

Cordially,

Christophe.

Hissho
27th November 2007, 17:26
Not only is grappling skill (clinch and ground) a must for total preparation in a serious one on one struggle, but you are better off with that skillset defending against multiples as well....if we are speaking combatively.

I would ask something of you that we can have a better discussion: search my posts and read those of several others that appear in those threads, particularly re: groundfighting, "real fights going to the ground," BJJ, and Combatives.

Slide on over to Budoseek and do the same: especially read Cliff Hargrave, Rory Miller, and Tony Urena's posts. All are LE and intimately acquainted with the nature of real violence: all train in grappling arts.

Many of your questions should, I hope, be answered. But still more may develop, so feel free to post them then.

One place to start is here:

http://www.ejmas.com/jnc/jncframe.htm

MikeWilliams
27th November 2007, 17:51
Do you mean "why is grappling great" in purely physiological terms?

In which case, you just need to look at the way other simians fight, e.g. chimps - who are equipped with four dextrous limbs and powerful teeth. It's natural for them to hold and control with their limbs so they can bring their teeth into play.

Percussive striking is fairly unnatural for simians, and I believe it's a function a) of us going bipedal, and b) developing tools. I have a theory that punching in particular started to be used after our species had started smashing each other with rocks or sticks.

On a more prosaic level, grappling allows you to control more of the fight environment by limiting your opponent's mobility and space to react.

Plus, it's fun.

Mark Murray
27th November 2007, 17:57
I think that for LE, grappling isn't just a matter of percentages. It's a reality for them. I think that training in grappling for them is needed because they have to use it to subdue.

For the rest of us, it's a matter of percentages. you can google/youtube and find plenty of vids that show fights where they go down to the ground and also where punches are thrown and only one person hits the ground.

So, we train for the possibilities, not for what we think might happen. Some of the possibilities are that we have to grapple. And now we come to why it is so great. In the current world, we have a legal system that frowns upon violence. And when violence is used, it must be the least minimum amount necessary. So, in a fight where two people are grappling, you must learn how to gain the advantage without resorting to killing. In that, we learn to subdue. And the BJJ arts (various others included), how to subdue is taught.

Perhaps years and years ago, when two people grappled, only one walked away. In that situation, grappling really wasn't like today. I'd imagine it was quicker and deadlier. you just couldn't waste that much time grappling when other people around you, in battle, could come up and kill you. You killed quickly, regained a weapon, and continued on.

And if you had a weapon ... well, then as today, there isn't much grappling going on. Someone is likely getting hurt badly.

IMO,
Mark

Hissho
27th November 2007, 18:06
I have a theory that punching in particular started to be used after our species had started smashing each other with rocks or sticks.



The only "natural" striking that it seems I've seen my own child do are open hand slaps.

I agree with you, Mike, especially pertaining to jujutsu. When seeing some of the old koryu striking it so often appears to be an awkward way to use your hands to strike. However, place a weapon into the hand, and its rarely so awkward. Sometimes the weird "fists" seem to be different grips for a weapon.

It also seems to be a reason why it takes little effort to "reverse engineer" sportive grappling to a combative, weapons based one. Its integrating the weapon skills with the grappling skills, and adapting out the purely sportive element that takes more consideration.

Mark-

Generally, I agree with you. I would underscore that grappling will often come into play when things are at their most serious - whether it be a civilian or LE officer being assaulted.

You would be very surprised how much grappling is involved when weapons are in play in real world altercations. Some 50% of police shootings are during or immediately after a physical fight. Assaults on police, as opposed to arrest and control, very typically follow very similar dynamics as assaults on citizens.

Sadly, many people even today do not walk away when grappling comes into play in the real world. Having weapons skills well integrated with grappling skills can very much make the difference in such an encounter.

Cufaol
27th November 2007, 19:34
Okay, rephrase:

Howcome grappling etc. works better than striking?

(I know it is great because it will mostly prevent serious casualties, but I'm talking effectiveness here. look at Pride for instance; grappling seems to be the mainstain of it, while striking has more a supporting role.)

K. Fredheim
27th November 2007, 22:17
I would say part of it is because staying on your feet is hard. As mentioned earlier, humans are bipedal, and not the most stable of creatures. If someone's pushing/pulling us, we tend to fall down. Even "anti-takedown" techniques such as the sprawl requires you to give up your standing position. This is all speculation on my part, though. Just the first thing that popped into my mind:)

TonyU
27th November 2007, 23:40
Kit,
thanks for the support. Anyway the question has been answered.
One thing that I would like to add, as Kit mentioned, in the case of LEO's it would have suicidal not to learn grappling but another answer as to why grapple? Because it's fun.

Trevor Johnson
28th November 2007, 02:57
I would say part of it is because staying on your feet is hard. As mentioned earlier, humans are bipedal, and not the most stable of creatures. If someone's pushing/pulling us, we tend to fall down. Even "anti-takedown" techniques such as the sprawl requires you to give up your standing position. This is all speculation on my part, though. Just the first thing that popped into my mind:)

Along that line, you're much more stable if you can grapple your opponent and use him as a third leg, if you don't naturally come equipped with one :D
Plus, humans are rounded, flexible, and tend to duck, which means that when you're close, its harder to get an accurate strike on them unless you're holding onto them, and if you're holding onto them, you can strike harder.

A lot of koryu grappling that I've seen involved knives, btw, and wasn't strictly "unarmed."

cxt
28th November 2007, 15:53
Cufaol

I think its mainly a question of perception--as trevor already pointed out above--back in the day all sorts of options were "on the table" when it came to fighting--including weapons in the clinch.

All arts were quite a bit more well-rounded than they are often taught today.

Look at english boxing, the fore-runner of the modern sport used to allow all sorts of kicking, holding, throwing, grappling---even weapons.
You wanted to "box" you had to know a LOT more than just punching.

So in my view its sort of situational--grappling is "great" if it fits the situation---not so much otherwise.

Just like all other methods.

Cufaol
28th November 2007, 16:03
Thanks a lot for your all the replies.I've discussed this with a lot of people and most say that you have to be wel rounded, though my sensei for instance (who knows the basics of how to 'roll') is a real "striking fan'. He has had a number of altercations in his time and he always managed to come out on top, even against grapplers.

thank a lot guys,

christophe

TonyU
28th November 2007, 19:12
Thanks a lot for your all the replies.I've discussed this with a lot of people and most say that you have to be wel rounded, though my sensei for instance (who knows the basics of how to 'roll') is a real "striking fan'. He has had a number of altercations in his time and he always managed to come out on top, even against grapplers.

thank a lot guys,

christophe

So have I. In the 11 years in law enforcement before I took up grappling my karate has done right by me. That's doesn't mean that one day that may have changed.
Remember, now matter how long you have been training, or how good you are there is always someone better or crazier than you. Bad situation if that person happens to be an enemy.

Cufaol
29th November 2007, 08:34
So have I. In the 11 years in law enforcement before I took up grappling my karate has done right by me.


This brings us to the next point: A lot of people who are involved in MMA tend to say that TMA don't 'work properly'. Yet, a lot of LEO's have used -and are still using- their karate/jujutsu/ninjutsu/... to great effect. Most people say nowadays it is all about the person, not the art. So maybe we need more people who dare to change/adapt the TMA to their own personal needs without losing its essence?

cheers,

Jeff Cook
29th November 2007, 10:14
Adapting TMA to your needs is a basic TMA concept; in other words, it is part of learning TMA - making the art your own.

A small semantical pet-peeve of mine: you don't "use" a martial art in a confrontation; a martial art is nothing but a method of training. You use your mind, body and weapons in a confrontation.

The MMAers who say that TMA don't "work properly" just don't know what the hell they are talking about.

Jeff Cook

TonyU
29th November 2007, 14:24
Along the same lines of Jeff, I don't know if so much adapting as it is understanding the principles and core of the art.

But I couldn't tell you because I'm still working on mine. :)

No1'sShowMonkey
29th November 2007, 14:31
Though the OP has indicated that he has recieved an answer, I'd like to offer a few thoughts.

In response to why grappling is so effective in 1v1 - technical and theoritical reasoning:

First, the theory. Human combative behavior tends towards two general types when engaged in interpersonal struggle. The first and foremost is armed conflict - fighting with weapons of some kind, improvised or fashioned. The second is grappling... often over the aforementioned weapons. These tendencies are easily observed in any historical period and can be seen in case studies of modern violence. See earlier comments about "real fights end on the ground".

The reason at hand, then, would be why the tendency towards weapons and grappling. The first is rather easily explained: the human body is at once incredibly frail and extremely hardy. However, once its operation is understood and tools are utilized, it can be taken apart like one would a toaster. Further, in desperation, lacking any information, training or the calm with which to use either, someone can use a weapon as force multiplier and defeat an otherwise dominant opponent.

That a weapon is used as a force multiplier to defeat a dominant opponent would imply that the weapon can and often is the decisive factor in an engagement. Weapons often add touch lethality and reach to attacks and as a direct result getting inside the guard of, under the reach of, and within the effective touch of a weapon places the otherwise overmatched combatant on slightly more even ground - their position goes untenable to one where they may yet survive.

Further, the attacks delivered in a grappling situation generally result in debilitating damage to an opponent - there is little other outcome for a neck crank besides breaking the neck. If the arm bar / neck crank / whatever does not "work", it is because it does not break the limb in question. The same level of decisive damage can not generally be assumed from unarmed combat... See earlier statements about grabbing the nearest object to smash / stab with.

In effect, grappling in an unarmed combative situation closely emulates that of armed combats. In the case of unarmed fighting the aggressor has the initiative (a stand in for reach, in a way) and the defender is at a massive disadvantage. This tactical insecurity can be mitigated by closing within the reach of your opponents strikes, where he is at advantage by way of initiative - ie starting the fight, choosing the time and place (hit first, hit hard, hit last), and allowing you a chance to weather the blows, asses the situation and begin fighting back.

Now in practice.

Generally speaking, even the most untrained individual can still tackle someone else when the blood is up. He may pay for it dearly, it may take a while... but if someone can get their grubby claws on you, they are likely to be able to drag you to the ground. Moreover they can likely still tackle you while completely hammered by psycho-chemical stress and lacking in training. The same is not necessarily true for striking. Your average untrained fighter will swing away wildly with enormous looping strikes in rapid succession or some similar form of strikes (if they don't just grab the nearest object and bash you over the head / ram it into your guts over and over and over). In this case the trained striker can dominate by way of throwing straighter, shorter and better placed strikes. The old addage about straight punches landing faster than looping punches is very true in this case. But, that said, the addage about a puncher's chance is definitely also true... And this leads into the last point.

Overall the driving force behind most people's interaction with another combatant is towards self preservation first and the defeat of the opponent second. While this is not always true and it is even often no the case - ie an opponent who has no regard for personal safety and is crazed to the point of only wanting to kill you (something along the lines of someone "crazier" than you, as another user noted). At the point where an opponent is that overwhelming the fight moves towards the above mentioned state wherein the defender seeks grapple (or goes fetal and loses) to gain a defensive posture.

With self preservation being a driving force behind a combatants decisions grappling comes to the fore in that when at a distance there is always the puncher's chance. With range, angle, speed, beat, meter and rhythm all coming into play there are a great many variables at play and failing in any of these categories can result in getting hit and that hit can result in losing. When grappling a great many of these variables are reduced in importance and are supplanted by things like raw physical strength, body awareness, dominant position etc. The last of those three is perhaps the most important for the combatant that chooses the make the move to the ground (or gets there first... er second?) often ends up on top, which is consequently an overtly dominant position. So essentially the first guy to decide that this is "for real" and takes the fight to the ground may earn himself a dominant position and possibly a stunned opponent at which point victory is nearly in his grasp... or his opponent's neck is... which is like tasting victory. Either case, it is decisive.

So, in summary, grappling is the exponent of human combative behavior that is most dominant in 1v1 fighting because it eschews the technical risks associated with stand up strike fighting and offers a sudden and decisive shift in the fight dynamic when an attacker siezes the all important initiative and takes his opponent down, often into a dominant position, and is well seated to Finish the Fight... Or wait for a buddy to come along and stomp / kick / cut / shoot / cuff the now at least partially suppliant foe.

Thats me analysis as to why grappling is so important to learn... But even still, reach dominates when it can be brought to bear in a decisive fashion - see: spears, rifles, Chuck Liddell, bows...

- Chris McGaw

"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
~Ernest Hemingway

ZachZinn
29th November 2007, 14:34
In general in a dedicated one on one match with no time limitations I think grappling normally wins out because it is possible to conserve energy outlast, and ultimately control someone who is trying to simply knock your block off.

That said, I don't buy the argument that this sort of grappling covers all the bases in a self defense sense.

And the argument that TMA's don't work is usually made by people with little to no experience in them, so I don't pay that sort of thing any mind.

Hissho
29th November 2007, 16:32
In general in a dedicated one on one match with no time limitations I think grappling normally wins out because it is possible to conserve energy outlast, and ultimately control someone who is trying to simply knock your block off.

That said, I don't buy the argument that this sort of grappling covers all the bases in a self defense sense.

And the argument that TMA's don't work is usually made by people with little to no experience in them, so I don't pay that sort of thing any mind.


Several people have mentioned the "unarmed, dedicated, one on one match" thing. This seems to be committing the same error that the MMA guys who state that TMA doesn't work are making.


And sorry, its true, a lot of TMAs, defensive tactics, and modern combative methods actually DON'T WORK against committed antagonistic violence - in other words a real fight, not a minor push and shove with a drunk in a bar or an overly aggressive transient, or a routine resisting arrest/control problem. Yes, you'd be better off with a sport fighter in many instances, if the TMA/defensive tactics/combatives guy doesn't train with realistic dynamics.

But it boils down to training method. Not whether it is traditional or not.

There are systems practicing the same techniques, based on the same principles, but that do not train in the same way. One man's jujutsu is not another man's jujutsu, for example, even within the same system or the same dojo at times.

MikeWilliams
29th November 2007, 17:06
grappling comes to the fore in that when at a distance there is always the puncher's chance. ... there are a great many variables at play and failing in any of these categories can result in getting hit and that hit can result in losing. When grappling a great many of these variables are reduced in importance and are supplanted by things like raw physical strength, body awareness, dominant position etc. The last of those three is perhaps the most important for the combatant that chooses the make the move to the ground ... often ends up on top, which is consequently an overtly dominant position. So essentially the first guy to decide that this is "for real" and takes the fight to the ground may earn himself a dominant position and possibly a stunned opponent at which point victory is nearly in his grasp...

So, in summary, grappling ... eschews the technical risks associated with stand up strike fighting and offers a sudden and decisive shift in the fight dynamic when an attacker siezes the all important initiative and takes his opponent down, often into a dominant position, and is well seated to Finish the Fight... Or wait for a buddy to come along and stomp / kick / cut / shoot / cuff the now at least partially suppliant foe.

That's an excellent answer to the original question.


But it boils down to training method. Not whether it is traditional or not.

There are systems practicing the same techniques, based on the same principles, but that do not train in the same way. One man's jujutsu is not another man's jujutsu, for example, even within the same system or the same dojo at times.

Yep. While "it might not be the art, but the person", there are better and worse training methods. If, like Jeff implied earlier, you view the MA as a training method then you can start to understand why the cliche of "TMA don't work" arose. (I'm not defending the cliche or the oversimplification, but like all cliches it's grounded in a small amount of truth.)

Hissho
29th November 2007, 17:07
I think I see another issue here, to expand on my first comment in the last post.

Reading Chris' post:

What is the general idea here on what kind of "self defense" encounter they are training for?

(I am assuming we are talking about self defense, not "hands up" fighting or mutual combat "dueling." Chris's post makes me think more the latter approach ("dueling" whether with or without conventional rules)is what people are considering.)

Who is the assailant?

How does the total event coalesce in your mind's eye?


BTW,Tony and Jeff, you are not allowed to answer this question!

No1'sShowMonkey
29th November 2007, 19:35
Mr. LeBlanc,

In response to your question I was responding to the OP which was asking about why grappling is the "best" 1v1 fighting method. Seeing as how he was asking about 1v1, I would consider such a stance to be far more towards a duel than actual "combat". Combat is, afterall, a social activity and everbody knows that One (opponent) Is the Loneliest Number.

The best jumping off point that I can think of for dealing with what scenario is being trained for and how a martial art's pedagogy can prepare a combatant for fighting is found in an article by Toby Threadgill, kaicho of Shindo Yoshin Ryu, titled Assumptions (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1783).

Given that any training that is being done assumes a great deal about both the practitioner and the intended methods of combat, I see most Gendai budo being based around a conventional "duel" or "hands-up" method of consensual combat. Though many gendai budo have techniques that are self defense oriented, it has been my experience that generally speaking the consensual form of combat is the most trained. That does not speak to all methods, schools, ryu or what have you.

As for non-consensual combat and how it all comes together in the minds eye I would say that certain parts of my post do pertain to combative behavior in general and is not limited to just consensual combative behavior. Non consensual combative behavior is very likely to be incredibly sudden and have the largest difference in applied force envelope - ie your attacker comes at you suddenly, with little warning and with the biggest weapons he has (his car, a pipe, a knife, a gun). In those situations a person is driven to react in several ways and first among them is self preservation. Survival supercedes When the human animal is confronted with sudden danger, as in a nonconsensual combative environment, we throw our hands up to push danger away and raise our shoulders slightly... the all mighty flinch reflex.

AFTER this reflex, a common reaction is to close with the attacker. Sight is almost completely useless when on the defensive in a close combat situation in most cases. Your hands are up in your face, your vision may be blurry from psychchemical stress (PCS here on out), you are likely back pedaling and/or being charged etc. In these situations touch is likely the only sense that is all that reliable and I find it very believable that our animal instinct is to get close, tackle the threat and engage as much of the one sense that we can trust as we can.

Long arms clearly change this paradigm a great deal... Weapons in general have such effects due to their massively increased lethality and range over unarmed fighting. Further, the psychological edge given to both the attacker and the defender is extremely high. Should the psychological edge push a defender into "crazy" mode rather than complete supplication, I think that we again see the defender going all out and attacking his assailant with brutal force, disregarding his personal safety and likely tackling them.

I am not sure if this is what you meant by in my minds eye?

- Chris McGaw

"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
~Ernest Hemingway

Hissho
29th November 2007, 22:09
Chris

Call me Kit!

Very thorough and we are on the same page. That is a good article by Toby, BTW. I went back to the "OP" and saw that I have been approaching it from a completely different angle than originally intended by the poster. Thanks for pointing that out!

I'll shut up now, and slink back to Combatives where I belong...:smilejapa

Jeff Cook
29th November 2007, 23:06
Great post Chris! In fact, everyone has contributed greatly to this thread. This is a great example of my favorite type of discussion. Except Kit won't let me play anymore....:D

Jeff Cook

TonyU
30th November 2007, 00:16
Chris

I'll shut up now, and slink back to Combatives where I belong...:smilejapa

Oh great. Won't let me play either, get a good discussion going then you're bowing out. Man, what a tease. :D

TonyU
30th November 2007, 02:15
You know Kit had the right idea. If it's ok with the E-budo staff I would like to invite some you guys over to BudoSeek to continue the discussion.
For two reasons, one, as Kit mentioned there a few more LEO's over there that can supply valuable inputs. Plus, we also get quite a few young practitioners that can learn from a thread such as this one.

Hissho
30th November 2007, 04:05
Now I'm confused - is the discussion grappling re: why is it great for self defense, or why is it great for 1v1 "matches?"

Or both??

George Kohler
30th November 2007, 04:21
Now I'm confused - is the discussion grappling re: why is it great for self defense, or why is it great for 1v1 "matches?"

Or both??

I usually associate the term "struggle" with self defense, but I guess it could be interpreted the other way too.

Cufaol
30th November 2007, 08:29
When I said 1 on 1 I meant a SD situation where you cannot count on your buddies to kick the other guys face to pulp while rolling around. Sorry i this caused confusion.
This is indeed, as jeff said, one of my favorite kinds of discussion too.

Chris' point about touch being the only reliable thing in a stress situation really made sense to me. However, another question arose:

When you look at the replies and posts made here i think it is safe to say that grappling/wrestling may be more of a natural skill to humans than striking. Why then do we insist on using fists and feet? When you think about it, a jodan mawashi geri isn't exactly a natural movement...isn't it?

Anyway,

thanks for the great replies so far. really, I think it's great that you guys want to share your thoughts/knowledge.

cheers,

MikeWilliams
30th November 2007, 10:32
When you look at the replies and posts made here i think it is safe to say that grappling/wrestling may be more of a natural skill to humans than striking. Why then do we insist on using fists and feet? When you think about it, a jodan mawashi geri isn't exactly a natural movement...isn't it?

Nope, kicking isn't very natural at all and I have never seen it used in street altercations except by people with some, or pretentions towards some, MA training. (EDIT: I'm not counting giving a downed opponent a good shoeing.)

As I said earlier, I believe punching originally developed from weapon use - bludgeoning someone with a rock isn't that different a movement from punching somebody, and what do you do if you drop your rock? We are first and foremost tool users, and millenia of cultural conditioning has taught us to use our hands to manipulate the world around us.

Then another reason for striking with fists being pre-eminent is sport: for generations our primary visual exposure to combat has been through boxing - it's to be expected that, in the absence of other training, that's what people will try and emulate.

Finally, as Chris pointed out - striking has the potential to be decisive at a distance, which is very often a tactical advantage once you move beyond the duelling environment.

As to kicking, its development seems to have come from the codification and intellectualisation of combat - once you sit down and formally start training in how to strike, you realise that legs are longer and more powerful than arms and therefore are potentially useful, albeit risky, tools.

A very good example of this codification is Muay Thai - the "art of 8 limbs": at some point, somebody has carefully thought about how best to exploit all the percussive parts of the body, at different ranges. Muay Thai is possibly one of the oldest kicking arts too (even older than TKD!:D ), and has had a sporting aspect from the outset - which I am sure contributed to the development and codification of the kicking techniques. Given the risks, kicking as an offense (rather than just as a distancing tool) makes most sense in a 1-1 duelling environment.

Mark Murray
30th November 2007, 12:50
When you look at the replies and posts made here i think it is safe to say that grappling/wrestling may be more of a natural skill to humans than striking. Why then do we insist on using fists and feet? When you think about it, a jodan mawashi geri isn't exactly a natural movement...isn't it?


I think striking is just as natural a skill as grappling/wrestling. But that isn't to say *good* striking skills are natural, just like *good* grappling skills may not be natural.

Stand up SD, for the most part, allows movement in all 3 planes, forward/back, left/right, and up/down. Landing a strike is sometimes very hard when your opponent is allowed free movement in all 3 planes.

Grappling/wrestling cuts down those movements by at least one plane, sometimes two. As mentioned before, legs are strong and mobile. If you can negate the legs, you've negated a good bit of defensiveness. Once the movement and legs are negated, striking is easier. But, if you can't strike, then grappling becomes less of an advantage. Ever see two average high school girls go at it? Lot of hair pulling and wailing of arms, but usually no serious damage done. Although they'll be on the ground for most of the time. Is that an average SD situation, no, probably not. But it illustrates that unless you've got striking skills, grappling might not be as effective as you think.

Personally, I don't think either is better. Both are tactics to be used in the overall strategy. If the other person is a better grappler, I don't want to get into that situation. If I'm a better grappler, then I want to use that advantage. I definitely don't want to play the other person's game because they're usually going to be better at it. I'm not a good boxer, so I really don't want to try to outbox a boxer. There's only so many blocks my face can make against his/her fist. Usually one is enough. :)

So, rather than go into a SD situation with just one tool (striking), why not learn some others (grappling, weapons, etc) just in case? Neither grappling, striking, weapons, or any of those arts are what matters in a 1v1 SD situation. It's the individual employing them that's important. I guess my answer to the original questions is that it isn't necessarily greater or better in an unarmed struggle. It all depends on the person.

Mark

cxt
30th November 2007, 14:40
IMO, it comes down to whatever assumptions people are makeing when the start using terms like "self-defense"--which depending on whom your speaking with could mean anything from methods to DE-escalte a fight to formal duels to fending off a date rapist to a blitz attack by a couple of hardend crimnals armed with weapons.....and a whole lot more that I'm not even mentioning.

This is where the discussion needs to start IMO--what exactly is being discussed???????

Makes a serious difference.

If people were being really logical they would look up the published crime data for wherever they happen to live and see what and how most crimes are commeted then construct their training around those things.

But whom actually does that????

IMO common sense---don't get drunk and stupid in public--don't hang out in bars/places where stuff goes down with some regularity, stay away from places and people that seem to "attract" trouble...etc is much better than pretty much any training method you embrace.

In my own life, when I got out of college and stopped drinking to excess in dodgy bars with dodgy people, then number of times I was even NEAR a serious altercation dropped precipitiously.

But using "commen sense" is seldom a "sexy" aspect of training. ;)

Hissho
30th November 2007, 15:19
OK, I wasn't coming at it from the wrong angle.

And, BTW, great posts Mark and CXT.

Trevor Johnson
30th November 2007, 17:46
But using "commen sense" is seldom a "sexy" aspect of training. ;)

Using common sense is prejudicial to individual freedoms, but does tie in well with the ultimate freedom, the freedom to take the consequences of your actions.

For example, if you tell someone who's going clubbing that their clothes are practically an invitation to trouble, you get the angry speech about them being able to wear what they like, go where they like, and you men are just pigs. And if trouble happens, well, they take the consequences.

Same thing with high heels. I've gotten in trouble when I pointed out that a person's sandals were too high-heeled and unstable and they risked injury by wearing them. The person later fell down a flight of stairs because of those sandals. Can't run away in 'em, either!

cxt
30th November 2007, 19:15
Trevor

All too true.

Trevor Johnson
30th November 2007, 19:52
Trevor

All too true.

[/rant] :D

BTW, if you look at, say, chimpanzees, d'you thing they'd be able to use a straight punch? I think their hands are just wrong for it. They can slap, and I've seen them do so, but I don't think they punch. They have much stronger arms than we do, too, they're very weak-legged compared. For them, it's natural, grappling leading to teeth. Our teeth stink compared to theirs, and our fingers are shorter, leading to less effective grabs. However, we can punch.
Now, if you look at a gorilla, who may have a lousy stance but has upper body strength enough to do serious damage, they still don't do straight punches.

Now, for more about why grappling is natural, take other mammals like cats. One of the nastiest things a great cat can do is grab with forelimbs and teeth and kick your guts out with their rear legs. Dogs aren't really natural grapplers, because they only have teeth, but cats are nasty infighters.

On the other hand, grappling in a group situation is much more like taking on a pack of dogs. Someone gets some kind of grip that slows you down, you fight it off, but it gives everyone else time to swarm you. In that situation, strikes are what win, you can't take time to grapple or you get eaten. Examples of grappling and striking are all throughout the animal kingdom, and I think that a lot of those grappling reflexes were built in long before there ever was a genus Homo.

(For you science types out there, my lab has just published a paper showing, among other things, that fruit fly larvae can throw off wasps using an almost judo-like throw. The wasp sticks them with its ovipositor so it can lay eggs in them, and they roll, wrapping the ovipositor until the wasp is thrown onto its back. )

cxt
30th November 2007, 20:34
Trevor

Ok, "geek" hat firmly in place ;)---I used to watch a show called Animal Face Off (or something like that) where they computer modeled the physical strength, bitting power, methods of attack, percentages of specifc methods attacks, of several different animals---then mathmatically/computer model a series of fights/attacks between them using the stats they generated.

They actually did one of lepoard vs gorilla--which if memory serves, the gorilla almost always won--assueming a full grown male that is.
Weird things is that the tactics used by the gorilla often involved hitting and biting--the wholly vegen gorilla having a much more powerful bite BTW than the big cat, they often threw the cat into rocks/ground, pummlled it when it was down with this sort of strange sort of downward hammer fist blow and every now and then picked up a large tree branch for use as a weapon--hitting a stabbing with it.

If for some reason the cat failed to score a quick kill by ambush--which it seldom did vs a full grown male--it ends badly for the cat.

Honestly don't know just how accurate it was and to what degree---but it was fun to watch.

Trevor Johnson
30th November 2007, 22:26
Trevor

Ok, "geek" hat firmly in place ;)---I used to watch a show called Animal Face Off (or something like that)

Yeah, I can see that. I think it's something about the arm and shoulder joints, not just the fingers. Most primates shouldn't be able to throw punches. The hammer fist, however, yeah, I can see that working. And as for why the gorilla has a more powerful jaw, look at what they eat. Tough woody stuff. They have HUGE jaw muscles.

Oh, and another note on flies. They grapple, too. There's this professor named Kravitz who takes flies, puts them into resource-deprived situations, and can see them battling over resources, such as females and food. Interestingly, males and females fight differently, with males being more savage. The males have this move which is incredibly fast, where they rear up and smash down with both forelimbs. Usually an instant win if they can get it off. The REALLY interesting thing is that if you change the gender of certain neurons in the brain, males fight like females, and females fight like males. Completely hardwired fighting behavior, includes grappling, shoving, attempts to topple the other fly over (which rarely fully succeed, since they're hexapedal.)

So, my take on it? Fighting, especially grappling, is very old stuff. Some of it may, in fact, be hardwired in our brains. What a lot of our training does is to rewire those movement patterns so that we can fight more efficiently and better.

Oh, and Chris, if you have a geek hat on, don't mention face off. Geeks were originally circus performers, and would do things like biting chicken heads off. Better to be a nerd...:D

Woody
30th November 2007, 23:40
I've gotta say, I've seen many a "grappling" thread spin off into some odd conversations but grappling flys is a new one.:laugh:

Trevor Johnson
1st December 2007, 01:30
I've gotta say, I've seen many a "grappling" thread spin off into some odd conversations but grappling flys is a new one.:laugh:

Just thought I'd point out that "why we grapple" may have an older answer than we think it does...

cxt
1st December 2007, 03:18
Trevor

Hey, college and grad school were expensive--good work around a packed study regime was hard to come by and the tips were good---besides, it had perks---all the chicken beaks, feet and heads I could eat....say what you will...when the raimen noodles run out...... ;)

K. Cantwell
1st December 2007, 04:32
I'm a newcomer to this thread, but just wondering if the concept of strength vs. leverage has been discussed. (I think it's been hinted at but not fully brought out.)

Punching you in the jaw is a matter of raw force. If, however, I can leverage your center, I could be a midget and take you down to an advantageous position.

You see this all the time with weapons. I'm about 6'1" and people much smaller and (dare I say...) of a more svelte composition can break my balance by attacking my center. I would imagine the same is true of two unarmed enemies.

"The quickest way to a man's heart is through his center" seems to be axiomatic. If you hit him, he may laugh it off...if you can destroy his center (which certainly some strikes can do), then you have something to work with. He has to acknowledge an attack to his center.

I don't really do open-hand stuff, but I'm thinking the center is everything to us humans, and if you can disrupt it, you've got an advantage.

(Oh...and for the record, I made it through undergrad and grad school without the dreaded Rhamen affliction. I went to grad school in Spain, however, and had to endure countless bocadillos de chorizo. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner (if you can draw parallels). I understand from my wife, however, that these Rhamen noodles are something to behold. They apparently have the magical power to enhance short-term memory and can actually be used as legal tender on some campuses. I think I missed out.)

Kevin Cantwell

Trevor Johnson
1st December 2007, 06:05
"The quickest way to a man's heart is through his center" seems to be axiomatic. If you hit him, he may laugh it off...if you can destroy his center (which certainly some strikes can do), then you have something to work with. He has to acknowledge an attack to his center.

I don't really do open-hand stuff, but I'm thinking the center is everything to us humans, and if you can disrupt it, you've got an advantage.


Similar for open-hand stuff, or even more so. A lot of unarmed strikes or throws can be shed if you still have your center. Not that they won't hurt, but you can ride them, slide them off, etc. Plus your muscles can tense and and resist the force of a strike or shove, retract limbs, &c. It's kinda fun when someone tries something like o-goshi and you sink and ram your knees into the back of theirs.

As soon as you lose your center, you can't do any of that. Strikes are more effective, throws work, joints are more vulnerable, etc.

MikeWilliams
1st December 2007, 08:06
For example, if you tell someone who's going clubbing that their clothes are practically an invitation to trouble, you get the angry speech about them being able to wear what they like, go where they like, and you men are just pigs. And if trouble happens, well, they take the consequences.

Do you have a teenage daughter by any chance? ;)


Same thing with high heels. I've gotten in trouble when I pointed out that a person's sandals were too high-heeled and unstable and they risked injury by wearing them. ... Can't run away in 'em, either!

Now you've gone too far!! :redhot: Do not be dissin' high heels, the single best bit of female apparel ever invented. You, sir, are a cad and a bounder who has no appreciation of the ladies' lower leg. :p (And while you make a good point about self-defense, you are ignoring the fact that the wearer can take her shoes off and use them as a weapon...)

It's starting to drift off topic, but this has been a great discussion, folks.

Trevor Johnson
1st December 2007, 08:49
Do you have a teenage daughter by any chance? ;)



Now you've gone too far!! :redhot: Do not be dissin' high heels, the single best bit of female apparel ever invented. You, sir, are a cad and a bounder who has no appreciation of the ladies' lower leg. :p (And while you make a good point about self-defense, you are ignoring the fact that the wearer can take her shoes off and use them as a weapon...)

It's starting to drift off topic, but this has been a great discussion, folks.

High heels are fine, just so long as used with discretion and <gasp> common sense! Getting bones in your toes removed so you can wear higher heels is a little overboard. As is wearing heels that severely impair your balance.

And, back on topic, one of the best ways to get someone off their center is grabbing them.

Trevor Johnson
1st December 2007, 08:58
Oh, question. We've kinda established that grappling and overhand smashes tend to be the more usual primate responses, say chimps and gorillas. What changes in us bipeds account for the differences in how we grapple and strike?

I'm thinking the changes in balance are a big part of it, but what else?

Cufaol
1st December 2007, 10:45
well, I'd say the fact that our legs are probably relatively stronger. Using our legs to choke out an opponent isn't something chimps will do, I guess.

And then there's the strange phenomenon of the Guard position. Try that against a monkey and he'll slap you silly. (pardon the pun)
Against humans however, guard works just fine.

And the fact that we walk up straight also facilitates the use of our legs for kicking I suppose...although someone else might have mentioned this already.

cxt
1st December 2007, 19:32
Trevor

As for what "changed" I'll posit the larger brain.

Chimps and apes etc operate largely on instinct--at least compared to humans.

There is all kinds of stuff in terms of techniques and tactics that are counter-intuitive in terms of fighting....a large part of formal training involves getting rid of "bad" instinctive reactions--or learning to control them...such as re-training the "flinch" response.

Also takes a while to learn how to get maximum power/effectiveness from a given technique---"instinct" alone often can't get there.
Probabaly took some pretty detailed thinking and experimenting to learn.

Its possible that being able to apply larger brainpower to fighting resulted in being able to develop approachs that pure instinct probbaly never would have come up with.

gcarson
1st December 2007, 19:44
I'd add the fact that our society actively promotes 'personal space' so a lot of people are becoming inclined to avoid close contact in day to day life...this would see to be a natural carry over into said person choice of study in s/d. Also we have fear as a process of logic, rather than a raw instinct, so while animals can react with pure unadulterated instinct, we feed both fear for ourselves being hurt, and fear of consequences into our combatives. While these things can be trained to a minimum they are never eliminated (nor should they be, we are human after all).

I fell down lots as a kid (and still do as a budoka...whether I like it or not lol) and the first response from adults was 'are you ok' and 'get up and dust off'. I think sub-consciously we are taught that the ground is not our friend from an early age. Combined with experiences of a bigger guy (say a bully) tossing us around, those factors create an aversion to grappling, whether standing judo-style or on the ground.

While some of us go beyond that grow the love our buddy the dirtmat, some maintain that fear. Westerners always sit in chairs....but western kids plop their butt on the floor first opportunity they get. I think cultural influences play a factor there, plus the fact that martial arts that focus on the center (other than greco-roman wrestling) have only been in the occident openly for about 150 years plays a big part.

/ end wandering tangent

Nii
2nd December 2007, 05:24
The fact that martial arts that focus on the center (other than greco-roman wrestling) have only been in the occident openly for about 150 years plays a big part.

Wait, what? Are you sure about this? I'm not very well versed in western arts but since when were they ever not about the center?

Trevor Johnson
3rd December 2007, 02:03
Wait, what? Are you sure about this? I'm not very well versed in western arts but since when were they ever not about the center?

Actually, if you look at western martial arts in the middle ages, they were fairly similar to the koryu bugei. They had kata, focused on the center line, etc, even if they were working with Zweihanders, bastard swords, and halberds as opposed to katana and naginata.

Nii
3rd December 2007, 21:59
^That's what I meant. I don't know of many martial arts that DON'T focus on the centre. I'm tempted to say many Chinese arts, but I don't know enough about them to be sure.

ZachZinn
3rd December 2007, 22:26
^That's what I meant. I don't know of many martial arts that DON'T focus on the centre. I'm tempted to say many Chinese arts, but I don't know enough about them to be sure.

Are you kidding? Yeah...Chinese MA focus a whole lot on the center, and at least according to most CMA people that's where Japanese arts got the whole concept, I don't subscribe wholeheartedly to that argument but it has a grain of truth, and the concept of martial arts using the Dan Tien is pretty big in CMA.

Trevor Johnson
3rd December 2007, 22:30
Are you kidding? Yeah...Chinese MA focus a whole lot on the center, and at least according to most CMA people that's where Japanese arts got the whole concept, I don't subscribe wholeheartedly to that argument but it has a grain of truth, and the concept of martial arts using the Dan Tien is pretty big in CMA.

Hold on. Can anyone give an example of a martial art that DOESN'T involve the center in some way? Otherwise we're trying to prove a negative.

ZachZinn
3rd December 2007, 23:04
Hold on. Can anyone give an example of a martial art that DOESN'T involve the center in some way? Otherwise we're trying to prove a negative.

You could argue that on the surface maybe western boxing doesn't, but I suspect that that would be disputed by some as well. Moving from the center is inherently important in any martial art i'd expect.

Sapporo Ichiban
4th December 2007, 16:00
This is more of a question but I never liked grappling simply because I'm short & light. Even back in the day when I lifted weights until the cows came home I was never much more than 215 lbs. I was considerably stronger than the average guy but I certainly didn't weigh more than an average guy. For those that do judo, mma grappling, etc. wouldn't weight be more influential in grappling situations than striking ones?

Also, a lot of times, isn't the grappling/tussling done (whether by kids, drunk guys, LEO) to avoid significant injury? I mean, they're mad, but they're not really 'blood' mad. Otherwise, wouldn't everyone just be racing for eyeballs, ears, testicles, etc. instead of trying to get an arm bar or wrestling pin? I've heard that animals (and, who knows, maybe flies too! :) ) grapple/tussle because they trying not to hurt each other. Supposedly, when animals fight among their own they're usually trying to show who's boss . . . i.e. I could give you a beat-down if I wanted so get lost. More sport fighting than trying to kill or maim.

Last, if you're lucky enough to have avoided ramen to this late date, count your blessings and move on. It's like heroin . . . once you start there is no going back. Not to mention that one innocent-looking little package has enough salt and fat for an entire day. No wonder it tastes so good . . .

gcarson
4th December 2007, 23:43
Forgive my over-generalization about 'center'. I will direct all comments about medieval martial arts to the library, where you will find ZERO lineages that exist today. Lots of study groups, researchers etc, but absolutely zero definitive 'this-is-how-they-did-it' schools of European arts, outside of sport-style fencing. Simply because when the gun/cannon became prevalent, all the other warring techniques were left behind as ineffective. Secondly, grappling in full plate armor (and even some chain style suits) was limited and avoided (based on research) simply because the plates could do serious harm to you if the joints were turned the wrong way or locked in place when you were knocked down.

My comment about 150years was in regards to the introduction of eastern martial arts to the Occident (Europe/NA). This re-ignited interest (again, outside of boxing/greco) in unarmed practices.

My main point was that culture here (in NA particularly) is having a profound impact on imported M/A.....and with that I will digress.

Nii
5th December 2007, 02:52
You could argue that on the surface maybe western boxing doesn't, but I suspect that that would be disputed by some as well.

Disputed by me =). Boxing definitely requires control of your centre. Sure, you might be moving that centre around everywhere, but you never let the opponent take advantage of it. Actually I think I'm misinterpreting your definition of centre... Anyway I also think it is probably one of the most practical hand arts out there, if a little limited.


This is more of a question but I never liked grappling simply because I'm short & light.

To my understanding, grappling is recommended to smaller people. Because for striking, you could never match someone bigger than you blow for blow, but for grappling you can use leverage to your advantage. I know this first hand, when sparring with someone 20 kg lighter than me, ended the match (easily) with my defeat by grappling me.

Cufaol
5th December 2007, 10:04
Disputed by me =). Boxing definitely requires control of your centre. Sure, you might be moving that centre around everywhere, but you never let the opponent take advantage of it. Actually I think I'm misinterpreting your definition of centre... Anyway I also think it is probably one of the most practical hand arts out there, if a little limited.



To my understanding, grappling is recommended to smaller people. Because for striking, you could never match someone bigger than you blow for blow, but for grappling you can use leverage to your advantage. I know this first hand, when sparring with someone 20 kg lighter than me, ended the match (easily) with my defeat by grappling me.
Why is it impossible to beat someone bigger/larger with striking? I beg to differ. 1 well placed hit is all it takes. I'm not saying it is easy, but looking at k-1 for instance, it is not impossible to beat larger opponents with striking techniques. And when it can be done in a competition environment, it certainly can be done in a 'real-life' altercation.

cheers,

Christophe

cxt
5th December 2007, 12:54
Nii

I don't that I would suggest that smaller people look into grappling as it provides an advantage.

In my expereince (ok were going all the way back to high school here) but the guys I used to wrestle with used to match outside their weight class in practice all the time-and the lightweigths got beat by the middle weights all the time, and the middle weights got beat by the heavyweights just as easily.

All other things being roughly equal--that is exactly why they have seperate weight classes in competitve wrestling.

In really close quaters their mass/size/weight made beating them a VERY difficult proposition---you had to be MUCH better than your opponent to stand a chance.

Not saying its any different in boxing/strikeing arts---in fact I'm saying that no matter what art you study mass counts and counts seriously.
Grappling is no different--IMO.

TonyU
5th December 2007, 14:19
Nii

I don't that I would suggest that smaller people look into grappling as it provides an advantage.

In my expereince (ok were going all the way back to high school here) but the guys I used to wrestle with used to match outside their weight class in practice all the time-and the lightweigths got beat by the middle weights all the time, and the middle weights got beat by the heavyweights just as easily.

All other things being roughly equal--that is exactly why they have seperate weight classes in competitve wrestling.

In really close quaters their mass/size/weight made beating them a VERY difficult proposition---you had to be MUCH better than your opponent to stand a chance.

Not saying its any different in boxing/strikeing arts---in fact I'm saying that no matter what art you study mass counts and counts seriously.
Grappling is no different--IMO.
That's exactly right Mr. Thomas. Skill can overcome brawn mostof the time. The average joe (or jane) cna hve get have some serious skill that can overcome most attackers. People like myself (LEO's) are more likely to encounter skilled opponents, because we deal with them on a daily basis.
What's my point? Do not compare the difficulties you had training or competing. That's what you want. They are training just as hard as you. You want good hard training in the dojo or school that will challenge physically and mentally so if you get into a self defense situation you'll be better prepared.

Case in point, when I tested for my blue, imo, I was the weakest blue belt in the school (still am I think). Anyway, shortly thereafter I put a ground defense course for my SWAT team. I rolled with all them and I was shocked (yes, I had my doubts as well) how easy I was able to manipulate all of them.
I grappled with all our equipment on and without.

Btw, for those that think that MMA guys can't bite, scratch or eye gouge. If you have the dominant position you can easily do those things, if you don't, and don't know what you're doing you can easily lose a limb or go nappy time.

MikeWilliams
6th December 2007, 09:51
in fact I'm saying that no matter what art you study mass counts and counts seriously.

That's true, all other things being equal.

I'm a fairly sucky BJJ blue belt, but I would hang up my belt if I couldn't give any raw noob a run for their money in a pure grappling encounter no matter how big and strong they were. (Obviously everybody has off days, so if one of you is a 300lb powerlifter and hapens to visit me and squashes me into Australia, I'm having an off day. OK? :laugh: )

The size and weight thing applies to all unarmed arts, but more so standing up IMO (whether grappling or striking). That's why newaza skills are so often advocated for smaller people - on the ground you minimise the number of varibles that come into play and are able to negate (to a certain extent) your opponent's strength/size advantage.

To Richard (Sapporo Ichiban) - 215lbs is light? You must be American! :D (I'm 5'10" and about 185lbs, I compete at 174lbs, and I'm one of the larger guys at my judo club)

Nii
6th December 2007, 10:03
Mike Williams has made my exact point, but clearer. All things being equal, a heavier guy will defeat the lighter guy. But on the ground the advantage is still there, but to a lesser extent, since leverage does not rely on strength as much as hard standup strikes.

If you were fighting a larger opponent than you who is less skilled, in a stand up fight his strength would come in handy in negating your higher level of skill. We can fight standup instinctively, but not on the ground. The opponents strength advantage doesn't apply on the ground as much, since they will rely on strength rather than leverage. Note this is a scenario where the opponent is less skilled, but larger.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and on the topic of animals fighting... I know we are using gorillas as an example since we are similar to primates, but I'd like to say that kangaroos here in Australia can pack a MEAN kick. I mean those buggers spend their time travelling by jumping around 1 metre high constantly or so =P

Cufaol
6th December 2007, 10:14
Just for the record: You guys are assuming all of that if all other variables are equal. Fact is they never are, nor will they ever be, equal. Mass only counts big time if you know how to use it.

And if you're fighting while standing up against a large, unskilled opponent, chances are you get to beat the pulp out of him. If you are skilled that is, ofcourse. I have seen my sensei throw/knock around guys who were much stronger/bigger than him at a regular basis (on the mat, during practice and not on the street ofcourse)...Problem is that the bigger your opponent is, the greater your skill has to be. imho ofcourse.:)

Sapporo Ichiban
6th December 2007, 12:29
Hi Mike:

Yeah, I'm about 190 lbs now (and, unfortunately, a nice chunk of that isn't muscle anymore so if I lost some blubber I'd be around 175 lbs) but there are a lot of corn-fed guys over here who grow pretty big.


To All:

Thanks for the info. It's weird but, in my personal experience, I always had much better results striking against larger folk than grappling. Of course, all my experience/efforts were focused on striking so maybe I was just losing at what I didn't know? Or it could be I was worried my opponent had 'Yellow Fever' and I really didn't want to be in a clinch! :) Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

cxt
6th December 2007, 15:19
Folks

The question then becomes:

"Is your level of skill enough to overcome the differences in mass, aggession, etc.????"

Less a question of personal approach and more a question of individual skill.

CEB
6th December 2007, 18:45
Size always matters.

Cufaol
6th December 2007, 22:08
Size always matters.

Yes it does. But I'm inclined to say it is a factor which is no more important than any other factor. Speed/height/weight/muscle/age/agression/experience/opportunity/luck

They are all factors of equal importance imho.

Nii
7th December 2007, 03:10
The importance of each factor differs on whether you are fighting standup or on the ground.

cxt
7th December 2007, 13:42
Nii

I respecfully disagree--I can't see why "speed, height,weight,muscle, age,aggression,experince,opportunity, luck"

Would be much different on the ground or standing up.

Maybe "height" since that, to an extent, is factor in how long you limbs might be, and that could have an effect on the ground.

MikeWilliams
7th December 2007, 15:14
Of course grappling on the ground doesn't eliminate these factors altogether, but it does mitigate them... evens out the playing field a little.

Surprisingly, in pure grappling encounters, limb length doesn't seem to be a deciding factor at all, in my experience. (Although obviously it might affect your chosen tactics.)

Weight is much more of a factor, especially when in the heavier person is in top position, and especially when you're fighting under rules (like in judo) which limit the time you have to escape. But the heavier person still needs some skill, experience and balance to avoid being reversed by the smaller, lighter person. With bad technique, the heavier person's weight will work against them (E.g. the classic, and fatal, rookie mistake of keeping hips up when in side mount).

Strength and weight (and limb length) become vastly more important on the ground once you add striking to the mix.

MarkF
12th December 2007, 07:42
Speaking of Grappling, there is a judo player by the name of Manny Yarbrough. He is 6'11' tall, and weighs in at around 750 lb. He rarely, if ever, wins a judo tournament so he took up Sumo,

Now he wins more often, but apparently is not good enough to play Sumo professionally so he is an amateur.

He said that he originally got into Sumo to help his judo skills but it did't do that. He does win occasionally.

In judo, he is frquently thrown for a loss, so how does that play out according to the general stats stated here>

Mark

Josh Reyer
12th December 2007, 08:42
Now he wins more often, but apparently is not good enough to play Sumo professionally so he is an amateur.

That has less to do with Yarborough's skill and more to do with the fact that he didn't get into sumo until it was too late to join a sumo stable. Japan Sumo Association regulations are that applicants must be 15-23 years old, barring mitigating circumstances, and the mitigating circumstances rule was in place in 1984, when Yarborough's eligibility ran out.

As an amateur, he was pretty successful, winning the World Championship once, and being the runner up three times. With that kind of record, I think he could have at least spent some time in the JSA's salaried second division. But I think Konishiki pretty much indicated the heaviest you could be and still succeed at the highest ranks.

Incidently, of perhaps more interest than his amateur sumo career, Yarborough competed in three MMA events. He was defeated in the UFC by 200-lbs Keith Hackney via TKO 1994, he won a Shooto match by a smother submission in 1998, and he lost in PRIDE via submission by 183 lbs Daiju Takase, also in 1998.

No1'sShowMonkey
16th December 2007, 17:53
I just thought I'd weigh in after rereading the thread again.

As far as the debate about speed, power, age, weight etc. goes:

Though there is simply no substitute for being in shape, young and reckless the choice of engagement can go a long ways to determine who wins. In fact, likely the only advantage your average older combatant would have versus a younger, more eager combatant would be experience that would guide the older's choice of when, where and in our discussion's case how the combat will take place.

As I said in one of my earlier posts:

With range, angle, speed, beat, meter and rhythm all coming into play there are a great many variables at play and failing in any of these categories can result in getting hit and that hit can result in losing. When grappling a great many of these variables are reduced in importance and are supplanted by things like raw physical strength, body awareness, dominant position etc.

Essentially my point is that the traditional variables of combative situations apply. Speed, height, weight, muscle, age, aggression, experince, opportunity and luck all play into the combat; though fighting from the ground prioritizes these a bit differently than standing. Sometimes just a shift in priority is all that it takes.

When on the ground the speed that youth often provides can be smothered, aggression can peter itself out and turn to fatigue all while providing opportunity for the more patient fighter. While this is the case standing, on the ground the pace is much different and far less punishing - it is more difficult for a 'lucky' overhand right to end things while on the ground than standing.

There are times and places when a reorganizing of the engagement is called for on the basis of self preservation. We have all seen the UFC/WEC/whatever fight where someone gets knocked in the face and goes for a takedown to 'cover' their stun. Boxers move to the clinch. By making the choice to move a fight into a different range (and assuming you can pull it off) you can choose the time and place of a different kind of engagement, one that better suites your body, current mental/physical state etc.

So, in closing, as much as there are certain traits that never go away in a fight it is their order of importance that shifts. Combining a shift in initiative with a change in the order of importance of the various factors of combat is quite literally a definition of a way to victory. This is the kind of abstract idea that can apply to UFC, a back alley, or the MEU fighting in Iraq. Meet the enemy on your terms, specifically those terms where you know that you are at advantage.

As far as I can tell, in combative situations there is very little in the way of 'equality'. There are no free lunches. One of the only ways that regularly comes up to survive a sudden and devestating strike (providing you are still on your feet/concious) is to close to grapple, choose a different time and place for a different kind of fight, fight for a takedown and gather your wits. The very fact that this can and does work would suggest to me that the various attributes mentioned above are certainly not equal, applied equally throughout a fight or the final arbiters of victory.

- Chris McGaw

"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
~Ernest Hemingway