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js_africanus
12-18-2003, 01:08 PM
I've been cruising a couple of martial arts boards. I've noticed the frequent claim that sport oriented MAs don't train for real fights, therefore they are useless for self-defense.

I pondered this. I seem to recall from my youth that football players may be big & strong, but if you really wanted to get yourself beat up, the picking a fight with a wrestler was the best way to go.

So I'm asking for input on this. What is the Doper experience? Have you found, through experience or observation, that wrestlers are in fact unusually tough in fights? Or are they average? Or are they below average as the anti-sport martial artists seem to imply?

In eager anticipation,

js_not-the-figure-four-leglock!_africanus

PatriotX
12-18-2003, 01:32 PM
Many martial arts schools focus on techniques at the expense of conditioning and full contact practice. Wrestling, and boxing require a focus on these things.

In my experience, conditioning and experience make a great deal of difference.

You're pitting yourself against another man and there're any number of things that can happen and be done. Experience lets you have "plans" (or counters or whatever you want to call them) to different situations because you can see things in terms of patterns, (patterns of limb placement, patterns of weight distribution, etc). Conditioning let's you deal with the things that you didn't adequately deal with through experience. ;) Plus, it can take a lot of energy to fight. When you get tired, your reflexes and thinking go down hill more quickly than you think they have.

Full contact sport fighting, like boxing, wrestling, san shou, kick boxing etc require a great deal of energy, even if you're you'r just going for 3 X 180sec rounds

Enright3
12-18-2003, 02:50 PM
My experience is that most fights that I've seen IRL usually involve the two participants wrestling on the ground anyway. Two or three good punches get thrown, then it's straight to a wrestling match.

When I was in college at Oklahoma State, I lived across the hall from a wrestler. I probably outweighed him by at least 60 pounds. He would pick me up and toss me around like a rag doll.

IMHO, wrestlers are the most prepared fighters, stamina wise out there. Although I used to box in P.E. in high school, and three rounds would do most students in!

E3

jmizzou
12-18-2003, 03:46 PM
As both a wrestler and a martial artist, I can tell you that, while wrestling does confer some advantages, it's not the One Supreme Fighting Style. As many fights do end up with the participants rolling around on the ground, a wrestler's experience does grant an advantage. However, a wrestler's opponent doesn't usually punch, kick or choke him - the objectives in a wrestling match are much different than a fight's objectives. For example, many wrestling holds can be broken just by using your free arm to punch the guy.

Ludovic
12-18-2003, 03:56 PM
In addition, wrestling is less effective in a melee, since when you're wrestling, typically both parties are pretty much immobilized and therefore vulnerable, no matter who has the upper hand at any given time.

LiquidDiamonds
12-18-2003, 04:51 PM
I would have to say the wrestlers I have know could kick the crap out of men twice their size. My SO is a wrestler has been since he was 5 years old he is now 31, he rarely lost a match and coaches now.

From what I have seen him do in fights I can think of no other person I would least want to be in a physical confrontation with, he would have to cut 30 lbs. in season in order to make weight, barely eat, run 10 miles a day, lift weights and practice 5-6 hrs a day, I have always been involved in athletics and cannot think of another sport more demanding, one in which you are supposed to perform at your pinnacle after you have barely had food, water & are already physically exhausted. He is in the best shape of anyone I have ever known. The stamina, the ability to knock somone to the ground lightening fast & hold them there while hitting them with the other hand is what I have seen him & his friends do in fights, the other person didn't even have a chance.

ccwaterback
12-18-2003, 06:11 PM
I'm not sure if it helps one-on-one in a boxing ring. But I knew a bouncer that could put a guy in somewhat of a full-nelson and have him out of the bar in less than 10 seconds. It was amazing, this guy had that "sleeper hold" down pat. It wasn't always totally drunk guys he man-handled either, and many of the guys were much bigger than he was. I guess you could say he had the element of surprise on his side, but when he got ahold of someone there was never any question that he was heading out the door.

Wrestlers work out to maximize their strength, quickness, stamina and balance. I would say someone that has trained their body to the limit in these categories is one tough customer.

pravnik
12-18-2003, 06:56 PM
First, what type of wrestling are we talking about? Greco-Roman? Submission Grappling? I would contend that if a expert submission wrestler gets you to the ground and you don't have friends around, your best bet is to see if it isn't too late to make friends. It's just not true that sport oriented MA's are useless in real self defense. Boxers are a good example: nobody would seriously contend that Roy Jones couldn't defend himself in a street fight. Same with MMA or submission wrestling (or even Greco-Roman); in a ring you tap out of a choke hold and the opponent releases you, but on the street you pass out, get a joint dislocated, or get a bone shattered. Sport MA's will train like they fight.

And I concur with what Liquid Diamond said about Greco-Roman wrestlers: I sparred in submissions with a Russian guy who hadn't done much submission before but had wrestled Greco-Roman for ten years, and man, that guy was tough. It was like wrestling a bear.

js_africanus
12-18-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by pravnik
First, what type of wrestling are we talking about? Greco-Roman? Submission Grappling?
I was thinking of whatever they do in high-school. My reasoning is that we have a massive pool of American men who have trained in a non-combat martial art sport. If sport MA really were not good for fighting, then surely wrestlers wouldn't fare much better than the average bear.

Of course, my signal-to-noise ratio will be pretty bad since this is a completely unscientific poll and I'm not counting in factors like conditioning and training time or trainining intensity. E.g. a year of high-school wrestling might be equivalent to three years of casual MA training in terms of the time spent on the mat. Let's just call it a ultra-crude pilot study.

I appreciate all the input.

Miltonyz
12-18-2003, 10:00 PM
It depends on the person just like any fighting style. Any fighting style at all will give you the advantage over an untrained oppenent. But some people are built to be fighters and others are not. I wrestled for 5 years and sucked at it. I didn't have the instinct, drive, or really the desire to be a good wrestler. I have had very little use for any of the skills in the real world as I avoid conflict like the plague. The couple of times I have used moves though it has suprised the hell out of oppenents. After five years of wrestling when you grapple with people things happen instinctually and they happen fast. I can single leg most people and have them on the ground running legs before they know it. And if I'm feeling mean I split them.
But I honestly believe if I came up against somebody with an equal amount of time invested in their fighting style I would lose.
Not because wrestling is flawed but because I am. I believe there is no superior fighting style, just superior fighters.




in a ring you tap out of a choke hold and the opponent releases you,

You got the wrong kind of wrestling buddy. I have never heard of anyone tapping out. Also there is no legal choke hold in wrestling. Also in my state moves simply for the purpose of causing pain were not allowed. You were allowed to cause pain if you are putting your oppenent in a pinning combination.

he would have to cut 30 lbs. in season in order to make weight, barely eat, run 10 miles a day, lift weights and practice 5-6 hrs a day

Things are a little easier and safer now. Now at the begining of the year you are given a body fat perscentage test. They then use that to figure out how much weight you can safely lose. Your governing body makes sure you never fall beneath you minimum weight. While some people still can cut 30 pounds, it means the natural 145 pounders don't starve their way to 119. Practice and conditioning are pretty much the same.

Epimetheus
12-18-2003, 10:10 PM
Yes, but how would a wrestler compare to an equally skilled practitioner of BJJ?

Probably as well as a pro-boxer would fare in a UFC cage. Not well.

pravnik
12-18-2003, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by Miltonyz
You got the wrong kind of wrestling buddy. I have never heard of anyone tapping out. Also there is no legal choke hold in wrestling. Also in my state moves simply for the purpose of causing pain were not allowed. You were allowed to cause pain if you are putting your oppenent in a pinning combination.

Oh, come on, give me some credit! I'm not talking about Freestyle or Greco-Roman when I talk about tapping out; I'm talking about submission wrestling and MMA. Reread my post:

Originally posted by me:
It's just not true that sport oriented MA's are useless in real self defense. Boxers are a good example: nobody would seriously contend that Roy Jones couldn't defend himself in a street fight. Same with MMA or submission wrestling (or even Greco-Roman); in a ring you tap out of a choke hold and the opponent releases you, but on the street you pass out, get a joint dislocated, or get a bone shattered.

Although I admittedly could have phrased it better, I'm not saying that Greco-Roman wrestlers use submission techniques or tap out. That would be silly indeed. I'm saying that Boxers, Greco-Roman wrestlers, Mixed Martial Arts fighters, and submission wrestling all can be used for self defense; as a specific example, the submission techniques of MMA and submission wrestling, like choke holds and joint locks, can be used to choke, dislocate joints, or break bones on the street. Sorry if unclear.

Susanann
12-18-2003, 11:53 PM
There was a for real down and dirty fight between a wresler and a football player once.

Dick The Brusier( a world champion wrestler), and Alex Karras (a big burly rough football player) in a nightclub(DAC) in Detroit.

Dick the Brusier won.

ftg
12-19-2003, 10:22 AM
I was taught in High School all sorts of illegal holds, for the purpose of knowing what was illegal. Needless to say, we "overpracticed" these holds for later reference. These holds could do all sorts of serious damage. Wrestlers can do a lot more than just pin guys. At that time there were also some submission holds allowed. One guy on the team was an expert at one. I saw several matches where he won by forcing the other guy to concede. Once in such a hold, they had no choice if time wasn't running out.

It is true that the non-wrestler can punch, gouge, etc. But so can the wrestler. The wrestler can also do more. Advantage: wrestler.

The biggest mistake a non-wrestler makes on the ground is rolling onto their backs. This is a major tactical error. (It is also why pinning the shoulders is the definition of winning. If the opponent is on his back, he's dead meat.)

But it's just not on the ground. I have seen wrestlers demolish guys while staying erect. Don't ever fight a wrestler if there is a wall, column, or some such around. You will get repeatedly knocked into it at full force.

Genghis Bob
12-19-2003, 10:36 AM
ftg, why is rolling to one's back an error? Wouldn't you then have access to your opponent's eyes, nose, throat and groin? If I was on my stomach, I would have fewer options, and he could easily choke me out, couldn't he?

Assuming my opponent was on top of me, that is.

Khadaji
12-19-2003, 10:41 AM
When asked if a boxer could beat a Judo black belt in a fight (or if X could beat Y) my Judo instructor, a man who has coached for the US Olympic team always said that in a fight, the person who got in the first good shot wins.

Dinsdale
12-19-2003, 12:09 PM
Wrestling is great for takedowns and immobilization. Just about as good as any MA gets in those areas. And every fighter should be able to sprawl.

Pretty weak in terms of submission/incapacitation, tho. Pinning an opponent's shoulders is of little strategic benefit in a fight. Need to know how to use your opponent's clothes, use and respond to the guard, etc.

The "rules" of any "sport" necessarily limits that sport's applicability to actual fighting. I would be hesitant to tie up with someone if I did not intend to choke them out, injure them, or cause them significant pain. No strong urge to drop in a gravel alley to cradle a mugger. What do you do then?

Bottomline, when facing off against a wrestler/grappler, don't let them tie you up/take you down. Of course, once they do take you down, you can always have your buddy come up and plant a steel-toe against his head.

Wrestling does provide a good base for MA training. Greco-roman moreso IMO than what you are probably familiar with in HS and college matches.

Final observation - every one of the very many wrestlers I have trained with is a tough SOB. Boxers are incredibly tough as well. As far as the other MAs are concerned, just about the only style that I believe has as consistently tough practitioners is muay thai. Those fuckers are crazy.

ftg
12-19-2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by rimshotgdansk
ftg, why is rolling to one's back an error? Wouldn't you then have access to your opponent's eyes, nose, throat and groin? If I was on my stomach, I would have fewer options, and he could easily choke me out, couldn't he?

Assuming my opponent was on top of me, that is.

If you are lying on your back on the ground you are basically in the same status as a turtle. You pretty much can't do anything. To punch well, you need to draw your arm back, no can do, the ground is in the way. The guy on top of you also has access to your soft parts and can punch you and do another 1000 things you can't do.

Again, so many people, once they get on the ground, roll onto their back. This is flat out stupid. Even a non-wrestler can now hurt you big time.

If you are face down to the ground and the opponent tries to choke you there are 2 main cases:

1. You are lying flat. A wrestler in such a situation draws his arms up to his chest, hands near his head. It is hard to choke someone with their arms like this. But the chances of a wrestler being so prone is low... .

2. You are on all fours. The choker, when he puts an arm around your neck is in an ideal position for a roll. He is now on his back and you are on top. A good wrestler can do this to someone weighing 50% more in a blink of an eye. Note that a wrestler on top of someone in such a position hangs back behind the shoulders, pinning an opponents leg with his, to avoid such moves.

In either case, the opponent going for your neck means that he isn't trying to control other parts of your body, like one or both arms. That is a big mistake agains a wrestler. It only takes a half second of freedom and the tables are completely turned.

In this thread, and a recent similar one, many, many people have many naive, untrue statements about wrestlers.

Let's clear up 2 things:

1. "What good is pinning in a fight?" Wrestlers in fights don't pin the opponent. They hurt the opponent so much that they can't/won't fight anymore. In matches you pin, in fights you hurt. Standard wrestler training teaches you plenty ways to hurt. I never saw a fight by a wrestler that led to pinning. That's just plain stupid to even bring up the issue. (Mock fights sure, but not real fights.) In "friendly fights" I would just knock them on the ground, face down, and do the "chicken wing" on them. I can hold a guy in a "chicken wing" for hours.

2. "Well, I can do X but a wrestler can't." Maybe a wrestler can't legally do X in a match, but in a fight they sure can. The wrestler can do X and Y, you can only do X. Guess who has the advantage?

I have seen all sorts of bodily damage in legit wrestling matches (and in practices). Weirdly twisted backs, dislocated joints, a few broken bones, lots of bloody noses. If you aren't tough enough, you won't last long as a wrestler. I had 2 state finalists on my team near my weight. We practiced together a lot. They had no problem hurting me in practice. I learned how not to get hurt.

I have some respect for kickboxers and judo experts. None for boxers, joe karates and the like. But even for kickboxers and judo experts, if I get in close and start grappling, it's over. So they get at most one kick or throw. If they do get the first shot in, if it isn't perfect, my turn.

Dinsdale
12-19-2003, 02:39 PM
ftg - despite the (IMO) unnecessarily snarky tone of many of your comments, I'll respond simply to observe that any number of chokes and arm attacks, not to mention reversals, are available from the guard - i.e. while on the ground on your back. I guess I will have to take your word for it if you tell me that you rolled with a number of experienced BJJ guys, and they gave you no trouble when they had you in their guard.

Sure, wrestlers can hurt people. Especially in takedowns. Heck, dropping someone onto their head, shoulder, or back is going to inflict more damage than just about any punch or kick. Of course, most wrestlers I know didn't train rolling on pavement or gravel... Moreover, in competition, wrestlers are aware that moves judged likely to injure an opponent earn them a quick DQ. To some extent, how you train affects how you fight.

Unlike you, I have considerable respect for the boxers I have worked with, both in terms of the ability to mete out and withstand punishment, as well as their mobility. It seems - at best - incongruous that you would have "some" respect for kickboxers, but not boxers. You might benefit from seeking more boxers to train with.

I maintain that in terms of fighting effectiveness, a grappling art must be judged on (at least) 3 criteria: 1) the ability to achieve superior position; 2) the ability to maintain that superior position; and 3) the ability to finish/incapacitate your opponent.

IMO&E, wrestling EXCELS in the first 2, but is severely lacking in the 3d. For that reason, a wrestler desiring to effectively defend himself will supplement his style with finishing moves from other systems. Sambo, BJJ. (Note that in my 3-part system, BJJ is better than wrestling at #3, but worse in #1. So a BJJ guy would do well to learn from a wrestler.)

Your post does support one other aspect of my experience - a significant percentage of wrestlers do seem to be cocky bastards.

js_africanus
12-19-2003, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by ftg
If you are face down to the ground...
You're going to get an elbow to the brain stem and be four-wheelin' it like Christopher Reeves. Wrestlers are also very easy to choke, at least in my experience. But that's not why we're here, we're here to gather some evidence as to whether sport MAs are helpful in real scraps.

Dinsdale
12-19-2003, 03:00 PM
Another point - as long as we are talking about silly statements, the ability to do something against an unskilled opponent much larger than you is, IMO, largely irrelevant. If weight did not matter, I would guess that wrestling and boxing (not to mention NHB) wouldn't bother with weight classes.

For my part, when I was competing I intentionally put on 25 pounds, because I just barely squeaked into the heavyweight class, and was sick and tired of giving up 125# to my opponents. There is no question that I was a far better fighter at 210# than at 185. If I had stuck with it, I would have liked to get up around 220.

It will not be "easy" for a wrestler to get an opponent 50% heavier than him off his back if that opponent has any knowledge of how to use his weight and keep himself out of trouble.

(Cue comment about Bruce Lee weighing 135# dripping wet ...)

pravnik
12-19-2003, 06:31 PM
Heh...just to defuse that one, Dinsdale I was looking at an old thread on my JKD instructor's forums yesterday asking who would win in a match between Muhammed Ali and Bruce Lee. My instructor very bluntly said "Ali would flatten him. No way 140 pound Bruce Lee could have taken Ali in his prime. It's just not possible." Kind of unexpected from a JKD instructor... :D

msmith537
12-19-2003, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by LiquidDiamonds
...he would have to cut 30 lbs. in season in order to make weight, barely eat, run 10 miles a day, lift weights and practice 5-6 hrs a day, I have always been involved in athletics and cannot think of another sport more demanding, one in which you are supposed to perform at your pinnacle after you have barely had food, water & are already physically exhausted. [/B]


Let's face it. 90% of winning a fight is having greater speed, strength and stamina than your opponent. There is no "magic" technique that will protect you from getting your ass kicked.

Wrestlers train a lot more intensely than most people to get in top physical shape. They certainly train a lot more intensely than the weekly Tai Kwan Do workout you would get at the local Tiger Schulman Karate Acadamy.

That doesn't make them invincible though. As a goof, we had the smallest wrestler (150 lbs or less) on my freshman hall wrestle one of the big (200+) football players/weight lifters. He showed extrordinary technique in moving the bigger opponent about as effectively as he would have moved a concrete piling.

I think by "sports" or "exhibition" oriented martial arts, people are refering to styles like Tai Kwan Do or that Braizilian stuff that looks like Zoolander break dance fighting, etc where two guys go at it with fancy kicks and stuff.

I would rather have 50 lbs, lightning speed, 2 friends and a baseball bat on any opponent over perfect fighting technique.

green_dragon
12-19-2003, 11:40 PM
Wrestling is, like any grappling art, a very useful skill and I would go so far as to say that anyone serious about self defence should be serious about grappling.

As a last resort.

ftg no respect for boxers? Then you just lost any credibility as far as I'm concerned. It is clear you have a blinkered view on the matter.

Anyone who says "X style is great, Y style is rubbish" is just betraying their lack of undertstanding

js_africanus
12-20-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by msmith537
I would rather have 50 lbs, lightning speed, 2 friends and a baseball bat on any opponent over perfect fighting technique.
Or one hell of a running head start.

SkeptiJess
12-21-2003, 10:54 AM
Purely anecdotal evidence from my 17 year old son, who is on his school wrestling team: The gouge at his school is that wrestler=badass. The best fighter at his school was the wrestling captain (at least until he graduated last year). This guy was small -- 105 pounds -- but routinely took on guys much, much larger and won. Thanks to Donny nobody at Nick's school wants to piss a wrestler off.

High school wrestlers do tend to have more stamina and endurance than high school football players, according to Nick. Nick's been to football practice and, of course, he goes to wrestling practice. Wrestling practice, according to Nick is hard -- the fitness training they do is much more strenuous than the stuff the football team does. And almost all of the wrestling guys lift weights as well. Nick is quite a bit stronger -- pound for pound -- than most anyone on the football team. Nick is only 5'7", 150 lbs. but regularly outlifts much larger football players at the YMCA. The otehr feature that would tend to make a wrestler a better hand-to-hand fighter than a football player (in Nick's opinion) is that a wrestler is used to hand-to-hand stuff, and used to pain. Football can hurt, of course, but because of falling, or being knocked down while running, or something. Wrestlers are used to having parts of their anatomy twisted or rubbed along the mat, or being thrown down hard.

Of course, all of this assumes hand-to-hand without weapons. A knife, or a gun or a baseball bat puts the altercation at a whole different level.

Glitch
12-21-2003, 11:20 AM
"sport oriented MAs don't train for real fights" - true statement

"therefore they are useless for self-defense." - not a true statement

In fact, some sport MAs train so hard and diligently for tournaments; which is very stressful, that they ultimately develop a keen awareness of the adrenal stress that the so-called combat focused arts never achieve.

However, the solution to self defense is not a technical one. It really doesn't matter what technique you use as long as it fulfills the following:

1) fast
2) overwhelming
3) effective
4) simple

Many wrestling techniques fulfills all of these requirements, so as a basic rule wrestling is an okay choice as a source of techniques to defend yourself with. Wrestling biggest drawback is that it is very one dimensional, it is like judo and other grappling arts and nothing but hold and throws. Make no mistake, throws hurt, especially on concrete. Which reminds me of another problem with some grappling arts, they're too used to throwing on mats and sometimes hurt themselves doing a throw/takedowns. Plus, the other problem with grappling in general is multiple opponents. I don't think wrestling is the best choice, but it is certainly workable.

The combat-oriented martial arts smugness is usually caused by uninformed BS.

ftg
12-21-2003, 06:01 PM
Again, wrestlers know a lot more than how to hold someone. They know how to kill. It isn't that hard. Thru practice and matches, you find out what hurts and why. Very useful knowledge.

Someone is going to have to explain to me why, after repeated and repeated postings, this "wrestlers only know how to grapple" non-sense persists.

Just to give my All Time Favorite Example of a wrestler vs. an big idiot:

The wrestler immediately charges in and grabs the idiot high up just below the arm pits, with his head under one of the idiot's pits. This is the very first thing that happens in the fight. This is what a wrestler will do to most people. The idiot no longer has functioning arms. He can't punch, grab, etc. worth beans. (Try pulling your shoulders up to your ears and see how much movement you have in your arms.)

The wrestler now starts ramming the upper back and head of the idiot against a concrete pillar. He pulls the guy back from the pillar, runs him into the pillar again. The idiot has no way on earth to fight back. Plus he's too stupid to pass out. After several passes of this, it is clear that the wrestler is deliberately smacking the guy into the pillar relatively easily. He is prolonging his fun. If he wanted to, he could have cracked the idiot's back, brains and ribs. So the wrestler's friends pull him off.

If the wrestler had wanted to, he could have easily sent the guy into a coma. Remember, this was all standing up. He didn't even waste time taking him to the ground.

It is downright non-sensical to suggest that the wrestler couldn't seriously hurt the idiot. He obviously could hurt the idiot as much, or as little, as he wanted, with no response from the idiot to worry about.

The wrestler was unhurt. All such fights I ever saw or heard about thru highschool, the wrestler was unhurt. They were all that lopsided.


As to why I show respect to certain MAs and not others:

1. Kickboxing. A semi-strong kick to just about anywhere is going to be a Big Problem. Not like a punch. A punch has to be delivered right and to a good spot. You can tell from stance who's a kickboxer. Just charging in on the opening bell is a little risky.

2. Judo. Again, just charging in immediately plays to their strength. (And a good Judo expert won't do an obvious pose.) You can fight both, it just takes more than a second.

Watch a college wrestling match on TV sometime. Notice how not much happens for large periods of time and then whammo, everybody's in a different position. During the lulls, there is a lot going on. In particular, trying to force the other guy to move wrong. In that split second you do your thing.

But these are guys that are evenly matched. In a not-so-well balanced fight, the split seconds all happen right away at the beginning.

Too many people posting here are very naive that they will be able to do their move while the wrestler (or any MA expert) is magically just standing there! Nope. 1/5 of a second into your move he's already started his counter move. Then there is air where your opponent used to be. At the end of 1 second, he is now behind you and in control. Offer to buy him a drink.

As to snarkiness: geesh. What do you call the people posting "wrestlers only know how to grapple" nonsense here? Ultra-snarkiness?????

green_dragon
12-21-2003, 08:32 PM
ftg sorry to sound 'snarky' but if you're seriously advocating kicking over punching in a real life situation then you just lost all credibility with me.

I also wish to add, speaking for myself of course, that I have maintained throughout my posts here (and on other simliar threads) that I think grappling/wrestling is very effective. I object not so much to your enthusiasm on the subject but that this enthusiasm has blinkered you to the possibilites of other approaches, and that you condemn that which you clearly, from your tone, have no understanding of.

I'm expressing this not just because of the "fighting ignorance" (no pun intended!) philosophy of the board but because self defence is a serious and sometimes life and death situation and as such information on the subject should be taken very seriously.

As for "wrestlers know only how to grapple"...I am fully aware that wrestling covers a wide basis of moves. However I don't think any wrestler would deny that the emphasis is on grappling range techniques and indeed the situations you describe involve (admittedly standing) grapple techniques.

1/5 of a second in? There are no doubt wrestlers who can fight like this...as there are boxers who can punch faster than 1/5 of a second. My martial arts instructor has been recorded punching at 10 times a second. It is the individual who makes the art work, not the art making the individual work; if you understood the truth of this then you wouldn't be so quick to hold up wrestling as the 'perfect' style against various flawed styles. I'd offer a refutation of your very deterministic 'wrestlers kick ass' examples but frankly I think your tone speaks for itself on the matter.

Mythos45
12-22-2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by ftg The wrestler immediately charges in...

And immediately recieves a broken ocular bone for his trouble. Don't be so quick to discount boxers, they punch very hard and very fast.

Synthesis
12-22-2003, 08:34 AM
In my opinion, wrestlers...or strong wrestling skills are the determining factor in a no-rules fight. And I think its important to keep in mind with this discussion that we are talking about no rules (right?).

I've seen most of the Ultimate Fighting Championships and if you view the earlier ones (with very few rules), very, very rarely did the fight end on two feet. It almost always goes to the ground and the wrestlers have the advantage. However, attitude and raw (seriously intense) aggression can win the day regardless of trained discipline.

In short, using two cloned fighters (same attitude and personality), I think the wrestler would cream the other discipline.


Just my thoughts.

green_dragon
12-22-2003, 10:03 AM
"No rules" isn't actually no rules Synthesis, at least in things like the UFC - there's a few basic ones like no biting, no eye gouging, no groin shots and I believe no pressure points.

On the street, in the pub, in a nightclub, mention of 'rules' doesn't come into it, its about survival. Grappling some nutter who's gonna sink his teeth into anything he can find, knee you in the groin if he can, spit in your eye and then try and rip it out is an unpleasant prospect. Also, look down; thats a floor strewn with fag ends, broken glass or could be concrete if you're outside, caked with mouldy take out food, dogshite and discarded religious pamphlets.

I'm not saying you won't come out on top, but at what cost? Keeping the guy at a distance and putting his porch lights out with a solid right hook is quicker and cleaner and achieves the same end result and I don't give a damn what the wrestling fanboys have to say, this works and my very simple reason for believing this is that the vast majority of bouncers, doormen etc employ this methodology to deal with violent customers, and they face situations like this with depressingly high frequency.

yojimbo
12-22-2003, 10:18 AM
I was in a wrestling club for 6 years. Got quite good at it. I've used it IRL in a few fights and always won. As some people have said fights generally turn into wrestling matches anyway so if you know how to throw, keep your balance and use your weight to your advantage you're on to a winner. Generally when I got them on the ground I just punched the head off them from a position were they couldn't do anything to me. A very effective ploy.

green_dragon
12-22-2003, 10:20 AM
In answer to the OPs specific question:

Many sport-oriented Martial Arts are laughably ineffective when it comes down to 'real' fighting. Sport Taekwondo for instance is very flashy but trains only kicks and light contact. In effect, you're learning how to score points by tapping the other guy. You learn to pull the power out of your techniques and unfortunately, muscle memory will take over in a fight and you'll end up not hurting anyone. And before someone chimes in saying "I/my friend/their roommate does sport Taekwondo and totally kicked this guys ass", there are exceptions to every rule and I'm talking about the vast majority here. The reason I know sport TKD is ineffective outside of a match is because I've competed at the national level using it, and have expored other martial arts techniques and self defence which are vastly more effective.

Wrestling is a very different kettle of fish; wrestling matches you hurt the other guy, you are working body strength against each other. Grappling is one of the best ways to get fit, it is very tiring and you develop a lot of stamina, flexibility and tolerance to pain. You learn effective techniques which, provided the teacher knows what he's talking about, translate well into a real world arena.

So in comparison to other sport martial arts, wrestling has to rate very highly. Remember though, that wrestling is not just a sport, like taekwondo is not just a sport. It just happens that a lot of the 'martial art' of wrestling translated into the sport, unlike taekwondo.

I myself practise techniques from Greco-Roman wrestling and Sambo (Russian), and also grappling techniques from Brazillian Jui Jitsu and Judo. However, I would never CHOOSE to grapple an attacker, and I think the primary weakness of most wrestlers is that they would choose to grapple, whereas a good boxer will hit first, hard and have a good chance of a KO. If this fails, grappling is essential and as nothing is guaranteed, grappling is indeed an essential skill.

wolfman
12-22-2003, 06:23 PM
1. You are lying flat. A wrestler in such a situation draws his arms up to his chest, hands near his head. It is hard to choke someone with their arms like this. But the chances of a wrestler being so prone is low... .

2. You are on all fours. The choker, when he puts an arm around your neck is in an ideal position for a roll. He is now on his back and you are on top. A good wrestler can do this to someone weighing 50% more in a blink of an eye. Note that a wrestler on top of someone in such a position hangs back behind the shoulders, pinning an opponents leg with his, to avoid such moves.

3 The guy sees you standing on all fours and starts pounding the crap out of you and your kidneys while you have absolutly nothing to defend yourself.
Very bad advice dude. All the martial guys I know say the first thing every wrestler has to learn is that face down is bad and helpless in a street fight, at least on the back you can at least fend them off with hands and feet.

Shodan
12-22-2003, 09:46 PM
However, I would never CHOOSE to grapple an attacker, and I think the primary weakness of most wrestlers is that they would choose to grapple, whereas a good boxer will hit first, hard and have a good chance of a KO. I think you are hugely under-estimating how hard it is to knock out someone with a punch from a bare fist.

It is not impossible, but it is nearly so.

Check the history of the old bare-knuckle boxing matches. They went on for hours. This is because
They learned that punching against a hard, rounded surface like a skull is far more likely to break the bones of the hand than to score a knockout.
It was a common tactic, particularly for a veteran against a novice, to try to sucker him into taking a big shot, and catching the blow on the top of the head, or the forehead. Crunch.
London Prize Ring rules allowed Greco-Roman wrestling trips and throws - but no leg picks, groundwork, or locks. Marquis of Queensbury rules were adopted to prevent wrestling, because it is too effective. Add the gloves (to protect the hands), and you push the fighters back into boxing and away from wrestling. John L. Sullivan, in training for his last bare-knuckle fight (against Jake Kilrain), chose as his training partner, not a boxer, but a Greco-Roman wrestling champion, William Muldoon.
Knockouts are quite rare in boxing. I read a study that said that only about 5% of all Golden Gloves participants ever either win or lose by knockout. It is quite difficult to knock a person out, especially if you have to do it fast enough to stop him from grabbing you.
The list of boxers who went against wrestlers and lost is a mile long. Ali, Roberto Duran, John L. Sullivan, Bob Fitzsimmons, Leon Spinks, Kingfish Levinsky - many of them legitimate punchers. But none of them could hit their wrestler opponent fast enough, hard enough, to stop the clinch.
Check the history of the UFC. I do not remember a single instance of someone who was able to stop a wrestler from shooting in by punching him.
The boxer's initial advantage ends, once the clinch is effected. At that point, it is wrestling, whether the other guy likes it or not, and the better grappler is going to have the advantage.
All other things equal, the grappler usually wins.

Regards,
Shodan

Dinsdale
12-23-2003, 09:28 AM
One more minor point - in my experience, pure boxers tended to have better footwork and head/body movement, making them more elusive targets than kickboxers. Boxers need only perfect the use of their wheels to get in and out, instead of as a weapon as well. YMMV, but I don't know of any art/style that has better footwork than western boxing, and I do know of many that have worse.

Also, as far as learning curve is concerned, IME at lower levels a good portion of kickboxers telegraph their kicks, and do not throw high low combinations well.

For that matter, many wrestlers I have encountered seem to over-rate their ability to shoot. Sure, I would have absolutely no chance against an NCAA wrestler who wanted to take me down, not to mention one of the grappling UFC combatants. Probably a top level high school wrestler in their prime as well.

But wrestlers of that calibre are as few and far between as top notch practitioners of any other art. Far more wrestlers telegraph their intentions and shoot slowly enough to be met with a series of uppercuts, be directed into your knee or away from you, or effectively sprawled upon.

I'm surprised no one yet has mentioned shooto/shoot wrestling/shootfighting. Possibly because IME there are so few qualified practitioners/instructors around. But IMO shootfighting may do about as good a job as any single "style" in combining grappling and striking.

green_dragon
12-23-2003, 10:07 AM
Shodan in what context are you talking? In a controlled sporting environment like the one you describe I have no doubt, and have asserted, that the grappler stands a good chance of winning. The source from which I draw the idea that the boxer usually stands a good chance of a KO is from what I know of door-work; in specific the experience of Geoff Thompson for example. I think the main factor that increases the boxer's chances is surprise; from a self defence point of view, if you strike pre-emptively, you stand a much greater chance of KOing the other guy.

When asked how he won over 300 fights working on the doors Geoff said 'I always hit first, and I always hit hard'. He's not alone either; these kind of tactics, in the UK at least are the foundations of most self defence organisations; check out the Self Defence Federation, the British Combat Association and geoffthompson.com.

They all advocate grappling as an essential back up system as well.

Shodan
12-23-2003, 12:27 PM
Shodan in what context are you talking? In general terms, and as an average over all instances of HtH combat.

In the scenario you are describing (a sucker punch), I would still prefer to make some kind of grappling my first move. I am reasonably certain I could shoot in and clinch as a surprise attack at least as effectively as a punching attack. Probably more so, since I stand less chance of breaking my hand on his head. Plus, close in, it is much harder for him to hit me back.

I have done a little work as a bouncer (nothing heavy), and it was considered a very bad idea to hit someone first. Legal problems, as always. Better to jump in, get an armlock and/or start him spinning, and walk the drunk out the door. Leaving no marks is the best defense when the police show up, and it is much easier to act innocent when the drunk is shouting and yelling and I am standing there innocently, and no one has shed a drop of blood.

IOW, I would advocate grappling first and striking as a back-up rather than vice versa. You hit to destroy his posture or to distract from the throw, joint-lock, or choke. Or as the last part of a ground-and-pound.

And punch much less than you use other strikes, especially to the head. "Hard target, soft weapon. Soft target, hard weapon." Thus, your left hook should go to the groin, not the face. The face is for things like elbows, palm strikes, and head butting.

Regards,
Shodan

PatriotX
12-23-2003, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Shodan

Check the history of the UFC. I do not remember a single instance of someone who was able to stop a wrestler from shooting in by punching him.

Didn't some kenpo guy KO a huge sumo guy but brake his hand doing so?

The weight difference was fairly large. But he got knocked-the-fuck-out. The guy who won that fight couldn't continue because he broke his hand with that punch.

mmmiiikkkeee
12-23-2003, 06:44 PM
Of course a high school wrestler will beat most other kids at school - his athletic training significantly overlaps what is useful in fighting, whereas none of the other sports do. IOW, you've got a trained conditioned guy going up against an untrained guy. Pretty simple. A kid with 3 years of boxing would also beat most untrained classmates too.

Pissing matches or drunken fights are seldom if ever fought between two equally trained and motivated fighters with both being ready to go; there's almost always lop-sidedness going in which can distort how good someone really is... was he and his style great or was the other guy just an over-confident drunk who chose the wrong moment to look to the side at the waitress?

Once you start comparing wrestling to other trained people in different things, it still comes out pretty good - though the wrestlers will usually need to throw in a few things to finish a fight that they may or may not have been shown along the way; ground & pounding with headbutts isn't in the normal high school curriculum.

If you know what you're doing, being on your back with someone on top isn't very dangerous against most guys if it's just 1 on 1 in a controled environment... then again going to the ground on top or bottom are both equally risky in a real-life scenario.............. but from a technical point of view I've fast-forwarded through hours of boring no-action footage of even mediocre fighters getting put on their back, tying the head and hands of the guy on top up, and just laying there. You can't do much to a guy who just wants to tie you up from the bottom. Untrained guys on their backs?, well yeah - it can be over pretty fast.

Again if you know your stuff there are several things you can finish the guy on top with. Here are a few pictures from fights where just that happened:

Triangle choke (coming up in a few seconds) (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=4050)
Another Triangle (sunk in this time) (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=49)
Armbar (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=29)

Note that the first two pics are of mulitple title-holding wrestlers getting caught; one of them an olympian. Finding good action pics is hard, but there are lots of things you can do from your back. It's not a place you ever want to go, but it's far from hopeless.

Giving your back to a submissions guy is pretty risky, unless you are going to escape and/or get back up real fast. Here are some pics of what can happen when you "turtle up":


Rear naked choke (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=3735)
Knees to the head (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=3817)
Punches to the side of the head (yeah they hurt) (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=1402)

Notice it's the same guy getting kneed and punched in two different fights; he lost twice from knees to the head while turtled - and he too is a former olympic-level wrestler.

I don't mean to pick on wrestlers here, and checking MMA records of fighters who started as wrestlers shows they usually do a bit better than most others; however they are not heads and shoulders above any other style. The OP was asking about wrestlers, and there have been some questionable things written here about their capabilities (and those of punchers), so here are some more pics from NHB events of wrestlers going against strikers and loosing:

Not a KO loss but (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=172) the wrestler couldn’t get this kickboxer down or keep him there even though he had over 20 minutes. Looks like he didn't like those fists and feet coming at him.
The same wrestler (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=202) in overtime again after his opponent keep getting away. This was a KO, and a particularly hard one at that.

Sorry Mark, but you take a good picture :D. (This guy actually did very well in NHB, but he definately had his weaknesses and off nights)

Another big wrestler (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=5249) having a tough time dealing with punches.
Just over a month ago (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=14957) Wrestler about to be KOd by a striker's nasty knees.
One-punch KO (http://sherdog.com/fightfinder/sherdogsfightpics.cfm?matchId=251)
This last one isn't of a wrestler losing, just a shot of what a good punch can do. This fight lasted 30 seconds total, about 2 seconds of that was the set up and punch that finished it.

Now those pictures don't really prove anything on a large scale, and I don't mean them to. I just provide them so that I have more than words for people to assess my opinion on. They are almost all of very popular fighters at the tops of their games, and you can check their records and find more info on them too. Just to finish, almost anyone who has trained in one of the many practical fighting arts will kick the ass of an untrained guy. If you only happen to see a wrester doing it in your lifetime, then that style will appear pretty good. If you live in China and the local college tough guys are Kung-Fu men, then that style will appear pretty good too. Trained people in most anything shouldn't be messed with; one style will kick your ass in 20 seconds, another in 10 seconds. You'll still loose against either one of you don't know what you're doing.

green_dragon
12-23-2003, 11:18 PM
Shodan, whatever works for you mate; you're obviously experienced and knowledgeable. The only thing I don't really like about your posts is the business of breaking your hand on the guys head - the 'sucker punch' if you train it hard enough, should hopefully impact on a relatively soft surface such as the side of the jaw, which moves under impact. I'm also aware of the problems with punching, most notably knuckle damage. Palm heels, hammerfists etc make an excellent substitute. Hitting the head isn't the only option of course, a decent powered gut punch will knock the wind out of someone long enough to follow up and has the advantage of coming in under their line of sight.

Grappling in the terms you describe it, certainly works well one on one. What if you have multiple opponents though? One of the main points I like about striking in general is that it has the potential to quickly neutralise an opponent with a great deal fewer variables than if you get into a grapple with them.

The only thing that bothers me about this discussion is that there are some people who are repeatedly advocating this style or that style, when the only really important factors are the practitioner, the nature of the training and the teacher; to a greater or lesser extent, a good martial artist who trains hard under realistic conditions with a good teacher should be very capable no matter what style they happen to be doing. And, IMO, the only way to get really good is to have decent ability in all ranges; kicking, punching, knees and elbows, stand up grappling, throws and takedowns, and groundwork. You never know what conditions you'll be fighting under (you could have a broken arm for example?) and perhaps more importantly, you'll never know who you'll be fighting - someone with good knowedge of a range you've neglected has the potential to surprise you.

If you accept this as being sensible, then it follows that any discussion of 'is this style better than that style?' is nonsensical, as no one style places equal emphasis on all the ranges.

js_africanus
12-24-2003, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by mmmiiikkkeee
Trained people in most anything shouldn't be messed with; one style will kick your ass in 20 seconds, another in 10 seconds.
I would say that nobody should really be messed with. A friend in Jr. High was told by his dad that if he ever got into a fight, then he should tuck his chin into his neck and blindly throw upper-cuts with both hands alternating until the fight is over. The kid ended up getting into a fight with two other guys and did exactly that, knocking them both out in the process. A lucky punch or a finger in the eye--none of it seems worth the risk to me.

I definately have great respect for the wrestler. If anybody here lives near a university, you definately want to watch some wrestling meets. I really don't know squat about the sport, but I do know that you'll see some amazing stuff out there. When I say that they're easy to choke, that's only because I've trained for it and they haven't. A sambo guy will tell you that leg & ankle locks are easy to get on judo guys for the same reason. If I had to fight and I could choose my ally, any randomly chosen former highschool wrestler would rank highly on my list.

But well reasoned arguments aside, this is a crude & anecdotal empirical test of the theory that sport fighting and real fighting don't mix using a large pool of potential data points: the school wrestler. So if anybody coming along has more data, that wrestlers win or lose, school yard fights, etc., please share. I appreciate it.

Breezy
12-24-2003, 12:54 PM
My husband placed high at state for wrestling in high school (I was a cheerleader for the wrestlers;)).

Anyway, he's only been in one fight and it ended quickly. My husband has such quick reflexes and strength, that the other guy couldn't get a punch in before being "taken down" to the floor. haha

green_dragon
12-24-2003, 09:21 PM
Shodan,was cruiding great debates and noticed you advocating an 'ultimate martial art' is this correct?

Shodan
12-25-2003, 11:39 AM
green dragon -

I advocate Kano jujitsu, or old-style judo, as the "ultimate martial art" because it concentrates on the things that you and I agree are vital -
...to a greater or lesser extent, a good martial artist who trains hard under realistic conditions with a good teacher should be very capable no matter what style they happen to be doing. And, IMO, the only way to get really good is to have decent ability in all ranges; kicking, punching, knees and elbows, stand up grappling, throws and takedowns, and groundwork.

Combat judo includes all these components, and incorporates them into a relatively safe form of "full contact" training. Gracie makes this point in one of his books - all out training with relatively safe techniques makes a stronger fighter than no-contact sparring, and the reduced rate of injury and general wear-and-tear makes the training more accessible than full contact kickboxing.

Regards,
Shodan

green_dragon
12-25-2003, 04:08 PM
Shodan, I did a quick google on Kano JuJitsu but there was no decent information, could you possibly direct me to a decent web page on the subject? After all, if there is an 'ultimate martial art' out there I'd rather like to be doing it ;)

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