Grappling is a Waste of time.

Grappling is a Waste of time.

Joined: June 1st, 2005, 5:34 am

April 14th, 2009, 6:45 am #1

I am curious if anyone honestly believes this?

I usually hear stand up martial artists say this, and when asked if they have tried grappling of any kind, they always say NO NEVER. Whan asked if they have worked with any highly skilled grapplers of any kind to test their defenses, they respond with a NO, or someone with very limited skills, or someone from class simply playing at taking them down.

When asked if they want to test their abilities versus a takedown situation, its either a complete denial to even try with some statement of deadly skills and not wanting to hurt another person, or they accept and in my experience so far they are completely inadequate at defending themselves, and there is a huge wake up call, or more denial...

I have no interest in trying to argue with anyone about the merits of grappling, I really do not care if anyone elses version of their art is inadequate, but I am really curious though if anyone here has this attitude, and actually has some form of experience, or training that has in fact proven to themselves that grappling is indeed a waste of time?

Any comments?

I guess what I am looking for is anyone that has any form of valid information as to why a Martial Artist should not spend, or waste, time training grappling as opposed to stand up abilities alone?
Last edited by LuckyKBoxer on April 14th, 2009, 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

April 14th, 2009, 8:56 am #2

Well I see things like this. I absolutely hate grappling. But that is personal. The thing is that over the years have noted poor stand up skill sets in people that grapple. I think that I see very very few people that can stand up fight any more and most people are pretty delusional in that they think they can. People can't punch off the back hand or control with the front. They can't move properly footwork wise.

Now what I see is that people are doing a LOT or grappling and disregarding their boxing/karate skills. So people get all crazy into grappling. And I think it may be because it gives them an avenue to neglect harder skill sets. Also we have to face the facts that grappling is pretty limited. I mean if you are in a one on one situation and you are down then it is important to have some knowledge of it. But when you are dealing with more than one opponent the grappling stuff falls apart.

Also on the "street" I think that your time is better invested into karate and boxing basics along with possibly your kenpo defenses. Because the fact is that your best street defense is to have stand up fighting skills and be in great shape. And the bottom line is that a skilled boxer in great shape probably will have the highest advantage in the street..

If I had to pick on methodology to have for street defense it would be stand up fighting mostly boxing and karate basics. Kenpo techniques are pretty impotent without karate/boxing basics. Grappling is fine but I just think that people put WAY WAY too much time into it relative to street defense.

So for me it would be stupid to say that grappling is "worthless". But I think it is a question of time invested. And when almost nobody now a days can box or do clean hard karate basics I have a hard time with people justifying all the grappling. And I mean not that it is here or there. But I think that most MMA players completely suck at punching and moving. I mean they really punch and move like crap. And i think that this grappling is destroying the art. Diversifying people too much and you really cannot be a jack of all trades.

So that is how I see it. Maybe learn like 10% or less grappling. If you want. Then enhance your boxing/karate basics. Yeah grappling is messing up the art big time. Bunch of brawlers now a days. Sucky karat. Sucky boxing skills. That's how I see it. But yeah I concede it has a place. It is just how much. e
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Joined: August 26th, 2008, 1:31 pm

April 14th, 2009, 1:34 pm #3

Great post
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Joined: June 15th, 2005, 3:34 am

April 14th, 2009, 2:55 pm #4

I am curious if anyone honestly believes this?

I usually hear stand up martial artists say this, and when asked if they have tried grappling of any kind, they always say NO NEVER. Whan asked if they have worked with any highly skilled grapplers of any kind to test their defenses, they respond with a NO, or someone with very limited skills, or someone from class simply playing at taking them down.

When asked if they want to test their abilities versus a takedown situation, its either a complete denial to even try with some statement of deadly skills and not wanting to hurt another person, or they accept and in my experience so far they are completely inadequate at defending themselves, and there is a huge wake up call, or more denial...

I have no interest in trying to argue with anyone about the merits of grappling, I really do not care if anyone elses version of their art is inadequate, but I am really curious though if anyone here has this attitude, and actually has some form of experience, or training that has in fact proven to themselves that grappling is indeed a waste of time?

Any comments?

I guess what I am looking for is anyone that has any form of valid information as to why a Martial Artist should not spend, or waste, time training grappling as opposed to stand up abilities alone?
I would just kick you in the groin on the way in, exploding your gonads, and ending the fight in the blink of an eye.

OK. Mebbe notsomuch. I agree with Davids assessment that many grapplers ignore their standup as much as many standup fighters ignore their ground game. I like to the gap in the middle..."ground & pound" has been a staple in kenpo for a spell; there's just been a disconnect in how to get to that space, and own that space, in terms of coordination and weapons deployment.

Got a great rib crack last night from a guy half my size; slipped my hands while I was on my back, landing his knee like a spike on my chest. Friggin' brilliant. After the crunching noises stopped, and I gathered that the shortness of breath wasn't gonna stop, I mustered all my concentration, thought hard about my options without the ability to inhale, regarded momentarily the very nice shock effect his hit had on me (and the fact he could have pummeled me pretty freely at that moment) and tapped out. Crawled off the mat, lay in a ball for a spell to catch my breath, then gasped my way through a very short kenpo session. During which my student went to a wide kneel on that recessed rib, and sent me screaming like a little girl in a cheap horror movie.

I have what's considered a bad habit from a wrestling perspective when I grapple: From certain positions, I don't sink all my weight on the guy. I let up the pressure, and leave a few inches between us...cuz that's all the room I need to bring in hooking blows, elbows, knees, and even stomp kicks. Interesting thing happens in this gap: I can fit in a ton of kenpo strikes and strike combinations. I can do Five Swords from knee-up, Parting Wings from a half-mount; Glancing Salute off the penned up arm in an S-mount, etc.

And, using kenpo as the striking foundation instead of the MMA or Muay Thai foundations proposed by most camps, I can get better than half a dozen shots in with the time it takes da udder guy to pop off one. Often with greater power, to meaner targets, to greater effect.

The guys who preach a finger to the eye or some such failsafe, deadly defense against wrasslers fail to realize...I'm fixin to do the same thing to them, from a position where their arms are tied up or broken, and they can't block, check, or squint hard enough to keep me from burying my fingers in their head up to my wristwatch. Just before (or after) the elbows, knees, chops & leopards paws to throats, stomps to skulls & ribs and joints pinned to the floor, etc., land.

It's a fight, not a sanctioned match. Nobody said you have to play nice. Who does dirty fighting better then kenpo? Who does wrasslin better than the BJJ/MMA crowd? So...why be dumb about it, and make them mutually exclusive?...why not gather their complementary aspects under one roof?

Back to the cave,

D.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

April 14th, 2009, 3:07 pm #5

I am curious if anyone honestly believes this?

I usually hear stand up martial artists say this, and when asked if they have tried grappling of any kind, they always say NO NEVER. Whan asked if they have worked with any highly skilled grapplers of any kind to test their defenses, they respond with a NO, or someone with very limited skills, or someone from class simply playing at taking them down.

When asked if they want to test their abilities versus a takedown situation, its either a complete denial to even try with some statement of deadly skills and not wanting to hurt another person, or they accept and in my experience so far they are completely inadequate at defending themselves, and there is a huge wake up call, or more denial...

I have no interest in trying to argue with anyone about the merits of grappling, I really do not care if anyone elses version of their art is inadequate, but I am really curious though if anyone here has this attitude, and actually has some form of experience, or training that has in fact proven to themselves that grappling is indeed a waste of time?

Any comments?

I guess what I am looking for is anyone that has any form of valid information as to why a Martial Artist should not spend, or waste, time training grappling as opposed to stand up abilities alone?
Hello, David!

This is the same argument that has been played over and over, but it is a valid question and I applaud your take on this. If you are one of those people who are classified as strikers and completely disregard grappling, I feel you will be in trouble. On the flip side, if you are one of those people classified as a grappler and think striking is a waste, then you will also be in trouble.

I come from both so I have a valid view. I wrestled twelve years and dabbed a little into two different Jiu-Jitsu systems (not much, just a little) for my grappling; I boxed for two years (USABF certified amateur boxer), have done a lot of kickboxing training (Joe Lewis's methods primarily), and have studied American Kenpo for 19 years now.

I have always preferred to be a striker, but firmly believe that grappling skills assist you in great ways. I have been in several street situations and my striking skills have assisted me much better than the grappling in the street arena.

The way I know American Kenpo, it has grappling in it. Some people don't see that side, but I feel you are missing a chunk of our system if you don't understand the grappling perspective of our art. We have several leverage points that we control. Look at our techniques the way you should (3 points of view) and you will see a lot of grappling based off of our striking skills.

American Kenpo is a street system--hence the striking focal point. The ultimate realm of true American Kenpo is to prepare you for war; dominating the enemy's skeleton through proper mass distribution and anatomical alignment. We train for worst case scenario (empty hand vs. weapon, weapon vs. weapon, and multiple attack scenarios). That's reality.

So I firmly believe that being one dimensional in your thought process sets you up for a drastic downfall. But then again, what is your definition of grappling? Joint manipulations, clinch situations, and controlling leverage points by the use of the articulating center is all a part of dominating the enemy through a form of grappling.

Some people view grappling as going to the ground only. I disagree with that. Grappling has many phases just as striking does. In Kenpo, we try to avoid the ground, but if we go there we strike down, and strike up tearing flesh, ripping eye balls and such. If we go down our goal is to get back up quickly.

So I feel if people say grappling sucks, they have never been up against a good one.

Just my dos centivos

Michael Miller, CKF
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

April 14th, 2009, 3:28 pm #6

Well I see things like this. I absolutely hate grappling. But that is personal. The thing is that over the years have noted poor stand up skill sets in people that grapple. I think that I see very very few people that can stand up fight any more and most people are pretty delusional in that they think they can. People can't punch off the back hand or control with the front. They can't move properly footwork wise.

Now what I see is that people are doing a LOT or grappling and disregarding their boxing/karate skills. So people get all crazy into grappling. And I think it may be because it gives them an avenue to neglect harder skill sets. Also we have to face the facts that grappling is pretty limited. I mean if you are in a one on one situation and you are down then it is important to have some knowledge of it. But when you are dealing with more than one opponent the grappling stuff falls apart.

Also on the "street" I think that your time is better invested into karate and boxing basics along with possibly your kenpo defenses. Because the fact is that your best street defense is to have stand up fighting skills and be in great shape. And the bottom line is that a skilled boxer in great shape probably will have the highest advantage in the street..

If I had to pick on methodology to have for street defense it would be stand up fighting mostly boxing and karate basics. Kenpo techniques are pretty impotent without karate/boxing basics. Grappling is fine but I just think that people put WAY WAY too much time into it relative to street defense.

So for me it would be stupid to say that grappling is "worthless". But I think it is a question of time invested. And when almost nobody now a days can box or do clean hard karate basics I have a hard time with people justifying all the grappling. And I mean not that it is here or there. But I think that most MMA players completely suck at punching and moving. I mean they really punch and move like crap. And i think that this grappling is destroying the art. Diversifying people too much and you really cannot be a jack of all trades.

So that is how I see it. Maybe learn like 10% or less grappling. If you want. Then enhance your boxing/karate basics. Yeah grappling is messing up the art big time. Bunch of brawlers now a days. Sucky karat. Sucky boxing skills. That's how I see it. But yeah I concede it has a place. It is just how much. e
"The thing is that over the years have noted poor stand up skill sets in people that grapple."

I totally agree with you. I have witnessed that as the collective problem with "grappling only" people.

"I think that I see very very few people that can stand up fight any more and most people are pretty delusional in that they think they can."

From my experiences, I think you are absolutely correct. There are many people who think they can strike, but are in fantasyland. I see it in MMA all the time. I like MMA, but many are missing the technical striking game--especially the amateurs. Joe Lewis talked to me about this during a private lesson that I had with him in February. He told us (there was five of us for the lesson) that nobody in the UFC knows how to strike. This is coming from Joe Lewis, of course, and he has the credibility to say that. I wouldn't say nobody knows how to strike, but I agree that many people need better technical skills in the striking area.

"Now what I see is that people are doing a LOT or grappling and disregarding their boxing/karate skills."

That's because grappling is easier than striking and it is easier to learn. Not too mention it is a crutch. The only difference is that grappling can take a lot out of you because people tend to use more strength than the technique and leverage that should be used.

"So people get all crazy into grappling. And I think it may be because it gives them an avenue to neglect harder skill sets."

Exactly. Some people don't like getting hit in the face and get scared to stand toe to toe so they prefer to grapple.

"Also on the 'street' I think that your time is better invested into karate and boxing basics along with possibly your kenpo defenses."

I could go on and on about this, but I'll keep it short. For the street you have to have the right mindset, spirit and intent first. You must train your basics to be strong and you must know how to use your body to your advantage (body mechanics). You must strike with your whole being going through the target, not to the target. You must attack the attack.

"Because the fact is that your best street defense is to have stand up fighting skills and be in great shape."

I agree you need to have stand up reality fighting skills, but I disagree that you have to be in great shape. In MMA you have to be in great shape. In the boxing ring, kickboxing ring and so on you have to be in great shape. On the street, you don't. You just have to stop the attack which should only take 3-5 seconds.

"And the bottom line is that a skilled boxer in great shape probably will have the highest advantage in the street.."

I disagree. Why is it that Mike Tyson got into a street fight and broke his hand? Because he wasn't wearing wrist wraps and gloves. Boxing skills are great and the punches are good, but there are better methods for taking somebody out on the street while not hurting yourself in the process.

"Kenpo techniques are pretty impotent without karate/boxing basics."

If you do our techniques properly it is all about having a solid foundation using your body with your strikes and not allowing your limbs to be dis-associated from your core. So it's about having strong basics and proper body mechanics. All about physics. I feel boxing teaches you great body mechanics. It's no mystery, if you look at our system, that Mr. Parker was a boxer. Look at all our 3 count shots (right,left,right) in our techniques. Boxing is there. So I feel Kenpo techniques are a combination of boxing and strong basics.

"Grappling is fine but I just think that people put WAY WAY too much time into it relative to street defense."

I agree.

"But I think that most MMA players completely suck at punching and moving. I mean they really punch and move like crap."

Many of the UFC fighters classified as strikers can hit hard. I just think as technicians, 95% fail. Anybody can brawl and get a lucky punch in. That doesn't impress me. I am impressed by the technical fighter who has good foot work, body movement, head movement and great striking and covering skills.

Good dicussion.

Michael Miller, CKF
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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

April 14th, 2009, 5:36 pm #7

as far as if you need to be in great shape. It all depends who you are fighting. And obviously how many people there are.

many Jeet Kune Do guys are in great shape but have terrible basics. Just bad mechanics but they have made them effective because they have practiced them a lot and they are in great shape.
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Joined: February 13th, 2004, 1:04 am

April 14th, 2009, 5:53 pm #8

Well I see things like this. I absolutely hate grappling. But that is personal. The thing is that over the years have noted poor stand up skill sets in people that grapple. I think that I see very very few people that can stand up fight any more and most people are pretty delusional in that they think they can. People can't punch off the back hand or control with the front. They can't move properly footwork wise.

Now what I see is that people are doing a LOT or grappling and disregarding their boxing/karate skills. So people get all crazy into grappling. And I think it may be because it gives them an avenue to neglect harder skill sets. Also we have to face the facts that grappling is pretty limited. I mean if you are in a one on one situation and you are down then it is important to have some knowledge of it. But when you are dealing with more than one opponent the grappling stuff falls apart.

Also on the "street" I think that your time is better invested into karate and boxing basics along with possibly your kenpo defenses. Because the fact is that your best street defense is to have stand up fighting skills and be in great shape. And the bottom line is that a skilled boxer in great shape probably will have the highest advantage in the street..

If I had to pick on methodology to have for street defense it would be stand up fighting mostly boxing and karate basics. Kenpo techniques are pretty impotent without karate/boxing basics. Grappling is fine but I just think that people put WAY WAY too much time into it relative to street defense.

So for me it would be stupid to say that grappling is "worthless". But I think it is a question of time invested. And when almost nobody now a days can box or do clean hard karate basics I have a hard time with people justifying all the grappling. And I mean not that it is here or there. But I think that most MMA players completely suck at punching and moving. I mean they really punch and move like crap. And i think that this grappling is destroying the art. Diversifying people too much and you really cannot be a jack of all trades.

So that is how I see it. Maybe learn like 10% or less grappling. If you want. Then enhance your boxing/karate basics. Yeah grappling is messing up the art big time. Bunch of brawlers now a days. Sucky karat. Sucky boxing skills. That's how I see it. But yeah I concede it has a place. It is just how much. e
All Martial Arts systems, Styles and studies have it's place in it's need of place both as a "Sport" as well as on the real "Battle" field.
In speaking to Bill "Superfoot" Wallace just this past Easter weekend as we were filming his recent DVD project with Century Martial Arts we discussed how most magazines today are less educational but more about MMA and advertising campaigns for mail in Diplomas for Home Study courses to be a Black belt.
Years ago we all looked forward to the multi- articles that featured Judo, Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do and many other topics of interest but not a particular study of interest.
Grappling is not new, it is just over publicized to meet the demand of today's trend and interest.
Years back many of the "Old School" way of training we all incorporated Judo/Jui-Jitsu(SP) and other means to be well rounded not just a particular style or system...we mixed it up to feel complete.
Grappling is a choice we all have in our Martial Path and how far we want to take it. If want to tie yourself up on the street with someone...go for it, but you better watch your back because street violence is no longer one on one...fact!
You want to test your Grappling skills call Gene LeBell or even someone like Bart Vale who even though maybe up on their age restrictions, I can assure you the results maybe un-pleasant.
The stage of MMA or Mixed Martial arts is not new....if you would allow me to point this out just review the 1973 movie with Bruce Lee "Enter the Dragon" the first fight sequence with Samo Hung who both wore MMA shorts, gloves and went from stand up fighting to a Tap-out ending.
The entire movie was a scene of progressive thinking. From short sleeve uniforms to yellow in color. This was un-heard of back in those days. Either Black or white was the normal uniform color.
Bruce Lee furnished us with a all style movie which included a Sport arena to a deadly ending of Bob Wall having his ass handed to him
after disgracing the Lee's family as he broke the of code conduct as a Martial human...great plot over all.
Then we have a non-racial barrier break in things from Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly all being included as important fiqures in the movie in itself, very clever!
Doesn't hurt to see BKF legends Stev(Muhammad)Sander/Donnie Williams being seen as well. Makes this movie a historical point in time as a movie one will always appreciate....or you will "Miss all the Heavenly Glory"....
No art or style is "The Art" or the Ultimate bottom line. You only have 2 hands and 2 feet and you must hone your own skills to make it work. Let it be for sport or for combative training.
The fact is you don't learn anything that is to save your back side by Video/DVD, books, internet or by mail. You train with those who have had "Real-Deal" experience and we all know where to find those that we feel are capable of sharing the wisdom from.
It never surprises me how every 5-7 years we have a new invention of Martial arts coming into our country and the American people buy into it. We have Krav Maga, Systema, and many other titles with the most being titled MMA as a initial art.
If you review on page 74 of April 2009 Black belt magazine the picture to me looks like "Calming the Storm" but I could be talking out loud, and the guy with the knife might want to retract his arm and take the limb with it....whoops Action= reaction.
Then we go to page 94 same monthly article and we see a topic called...."How to take a Punch" by Systema leader Vladimir Vasilev. I see the page as "How not to deliver a Punch" as a clear picture is seen where anatomically the point of contact of his weapon to his victim shows a poor alignment of a weapon to it's target over view. Mr.Parker would of called this "Target Specific" or fitting. We have it listed under our system as 8 considerations of combat.
I'm not knocking anyone's art or personal ways of learning or teaching but we are not new to the MMA mix of things. If you really want to unravel the initials MMA, it might read "minimal"-martial-arts training but can whoop your butt because I am mean,huge, and have a fulltime sponsor that allows me to train..train..train and can be seen on a Reality Show instead of having to work besides find the time to learn my individual art of choice.
All systems are good and some are better depends on what your in search for. When SGM Ed Parker created the IKC in 1964 it was the platform of bring one bring all.
Then we saw the beginning of Chuck Norris,Joe Lewis, Steve LaBounty, Tom Kelly, Mike Stone, Eric Lee, Tadashi Yami****a, Bruce Lee, Fumio Demura, Steve(Muhammad)Sanders, Jay T.Will, Glenn Keeney,Dan Ivan,Skipper Mullins and many other great pioneers of martial arts.
Enjoy the time of "Now" instead of who may be right or wrong, in your Martial Path. Because it is not about trend, yesterday or tomorrow....it is about Now! How you train and what your in search for in making you happy is your investemnt. Just make it work and enjoy the benefits from standing up or if you choose lying down.
As Ed Parker was quoted as saying and we all heard it before.."it's not who is Right, but who is Left that counts" in a real fight. So choose your weapons wisely and for the most part realize those who study the Martial Arts with Honor and Dignity would never come to battle against each other....they would ban together as a Team!
TCB...Enjoy the Path



TCB....Sean Kelley
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

April 14th, 2009, 6:21 pm #9

as far as if you need to be in great shape. It all depends who you are fighting. And obviously how many people there are.

many Jeet Kune Do guys are in great shape but have terrible basics. Just bad mechanics but they have made them effective because they have practiced them a lot and they are in great shape.
I say that the better shape you are in, the better in any situation; but, in the real deal street, it shouldn't last long. Get it done hard and fast.

Good discussion, though!
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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

April 14th, 2009, 7:37 pm #10

as you say it is good to be in great shape. I have just learned over the years that it means more that many think. However let me say this. I have always been a stickler for perfect form. And I have to admit that I am in terrible shape right now. And I am getting older. I have often maintained that because of my form and execution that when I was older I would be better in a fight than my friends who's form was not as good when they are older. If that makes sense. I mean you can hide a lot if you are in top shape. So there are guys that can beat me now but they would not beat me if we were the same age and in the same shape. Also while people younger and in better shape could beat me now if we were both exhausted that is when I would beat them. I mean because of my form.

Now I have always been a genetic defect. I would have been better off not having kids I think so my bad genetics would not be carried on. By bad genetics I mean that I am slow and not a very strong guy for my size power wise. So I have had to make up for that with very good mechanics and form. But still these younger guys are faster and better reactions. So being in shape and age means a lot. But if I can get them tired so we are more equal I can rip them up.
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