Lv 7
Kokoro asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

Sports Ground Fighting vs Real Ground fighting?

what separates or is the difference sports ground fighting from real ground fighting taught in traditional arts for instance karate, kung fu, japaneses jujutsu and so-forth


Jeff its not that simple, there is more to it then just the rules

21 Answers

  • ISDS
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    The takedowns I have learned from a traditional style involve leading a breakable part of the enemy's body to make first contact with the ground with his and my weight concentrated on that vulnerable part. For example, an arm drag while pushing the chin back and sweeping the leg... continue holding the chin while falling with the enemy and basically push the head through the fall to make first contact with the ground bracing as much of your weight as possible to the arm/hand holding the chin.

    In ground fighting, my traditional training has a lot more wrist locks, finger breaking, pressure points, gouging, joint to ground impacting (grabbing an arm then jackhammering the elbow into the ground if it's concrete or other hard surface), and one of the most distinguishing moves . . . abrasion techniques, for example... if on concrete, take a firm hold of a body part then start scraping it across the ground like you're shaving cheese on a cheese grater.

    I agree it's more to it than just "there are no rules", it's also a way of thinking and a perspective on the ground fight. The question that enters my mind immediately upon being taken to the ground is "How can I kill from this position? Failing that, what's the maximum damage I can do while transitioning into a position from which I can kill.

    These are the major trait differences in the ground fighting strategies that I've noticed between my previous training in BJJ and my current training in Kung Fu.


    @Shiro/Clowns: I don't view this as a comparison between styles, but in training methods and focus. I agree a single person can make the switch in their head, and in doing so the exact same style. BJJ for example, can be used in sport competition and then used in combat by the same person. However, the danger of citing one or two persons as examples is they could be statistical outliers well beyond the 2 standard deviations from the mean to conclude everybody is capable of making that switch. It can be done; but can it be done by everyone? When I compare BJJ and Kung Fu in my own life I should clarify it was the difference in training focus between the two teachers I'm comparing.

  • 9 years ago

    Sports ground fighting is for scoring points and winning matches, and TMAs tend to have far less usage of sport grappling then the less traditional MMA style martial arts. Its fun but its a sport.

    "Real" ground fighting is for survival and defense, there are no rules like there are in the ring. In a real grappling situation there can be eye gouges, groin shots, biting, fish hooking, and head butting. Somehow this transfers to people as grappling arts aren't not very effective on the street. They seem to forget that a grappler can also use these dirty tactics, but even more effectively since they know how to position themselves better. People should not discredit grappling by saying that in a real fight they would still play by the rules. A previous comment mentioned a nearby bottle being smashed against the head a the grappler assailant, many ground fighters would be just as likely to grab the bottle and smash it on the non-grapplers head.

    Sport ground fighting has rules but in a life or death situation, those rules go away pretty quickly and not just to the grapplers disadvantage.

    Source(s): BJJ Practitioner
  • Lex
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Well in real life, a lot of things that work standing up, work on the ground too. Eye gouges and groin hits work on the ground too. And naturally in a sport, those are illegal. Also small joint locks are helpful. If someone can't grab you with broken fingers, they probably can't hold you. I also theorize that BJJ was originally designed to break a joint quickly. You weren't suppose to roll around on the ground forever like they do in MMA. You were suppose to submit them, break their bones to disable them and walk away. The whole idea that you're going to sit on the ground like a wrestling match is only for sport.

  • 9 years ago

    In principal much the same concepts that separate self defense stand up fighting from sport fighting.

    If I do a Hip Throw as I would from a U block in Taekwando and you land on your back hard on the parking lot pavement and I put you in an arm bar and immediately break your arm would that count as an illegal move?

    If Suppose you throw a round punch and i do a high block with one arm and with my other hand grab your windpipe and crush it before turning to finish with a take down do I lose points?

    How many opponents am I allowed to kill before I'm bared from competition?

    While you are trying to submit me to death mind if I try to rip something off your body?

    Seriously I love sport Martial Arts. I also love self defense. The two are only cousins, not close brothers.

    I know to us old timers it is obvious. Yet I still get students that do not understand the difference. I tell them this is martial arts dirty little secret. The whole game is different when you are playing for keeps. Mind set is different, intent is different, follow through is different. When playing for keeps your opponent MUST stay down.


    Callsign.. Speaking from your experience you may have a point. I can only relate my experience. In my experience with the traditional practisioners I train with we try to train realistickly as we can without serrious injury. We use pads an headgear and I still go home with lumps, bruses and occasional sprains and strains. Yes this may not be your typical training. I believe at some point it has to aproace reality or the first full force punch will startle you so badly you will not be able to respond wwell. You need to be thrown and you need to throw someone at speed to get it right. Few instructors and even fewer students will live up to this standard. Don't fault the traditional art for not being taught as intended. Fault the instructor for faling the best intrest of the student.

    Yamersaka, I concur street rules of engagement are variable. Mindset must adapt to the changing situation. A fender bender in a parking lot can escalate to assault , someone being bumped in a club starts a fight and pulls a knife, are examples of situations escalating and need responses appropriate legally and morally to the task. The mind is the first line of defense. If you not ready for these types of engagements no amount of sport training , or martial arts training that did not include realistic training will have prepared you for the next possible several steps. Your example of a baseball pitcher is a good analogy. For some instances the pitcher is prepaired for others he is not.

    Source(s): Life
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  • 9 years ago

    It kinda sounds too simple but sport ground fighting has rules but there are no rules in real ground fighting as you call it. In Real Ground fighting you have hitting in the groin biting, clawing, eye gouging like the old gracie challenge videos

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Sport ground fighting will train for a pin or submission. Because there are rules most sport orientated arts will not teach to protect certain spots like eyes, etc and will be more bold in there willingness to go to the ground.

    "Real" groundfighting will be nasty. The ground itself will become a weapon, chances of biting, poking, gouging, stabbing, people stomping and his arm might snap and he could be so drunk he keeps going. Caution will most likely be used on going there and they will seek to protect vulnerable areas, it will not be prolonged and both will try to end it or get up. Once there its pretty hard to change to back on your feet or run, So its going to get nasty.

    Source(s): When I was a teen I bit a guy in the nuts when we went to the ground. Got my ribs and head kicked in his friends, but that guy was in a world of hurt.
  • Jim R
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Wow. what's a guy to say? These folks already spoke my mind. All I will add this: they are different worlds from the take-down to the broken back on the ground, they are way different. And I agree, at least for me the entire difference can be measured in terms of intent. And yes, I've been there both ways.

    Source(s): martial artist/bouncer
  • JimG
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Without bothering you with a list I'll sum it up rather quickly. The objectives. In sport fighting (ground, or otherwise) the objective is to win. In real fighting the objective is to simply survive.

  • 9 years ago

    The training I've seen in "traditional arts for instance karate, kung fu, japaneses [sic] jujutsu and so-forth" has been less "real" than the ground fighting I've trained in CSW, BJJ, MMA, Catch wrestling, and Judo classes. In the Japanese arts, it's pretty much amounted to one-step sparring (including grappling) from seiza, a position I'm not going to find myself in too much outside of the dojo. In all "traditional" arts, the opponent never really resisted, and we couldn't put the techniques through a realistic feedback loop. At least with the so-called "sport" systems, you have to fight to get a hold, pin, or striking opportunity; if your mechanics aren't good, it won't work.

    But to the original question, sport vs... let's call it "non sport" since I've seen guys get knocked out, choked unconscious, and have their limbs broken and dislocated in sport situations; seems like "real" damage to me. Sport fighting technique is obviously limited by the rule set, which varies from sport to sport. So you have no leg locks in Judo and have a set time limit to how long you can be on the ground, and no chokes or, I think, a closed guard in Sambo, and no leg locks or neck cranks at various levels of BJJ, or no headbutts or certain strikes in modern MMA. Non sport rules aren't limited by technique. The biggest difference-maker, though, is objective. In sports, under most ground fighting contexts, you WANT to engage on the ground (though not always; note the abilities of MMA fighters like Chuck Liddell and Mirko Filipovic to stay or get back to their feet) where in the non-sport context, you're usually trying to disengage and escape (though again, not always; I've had to hold people down in decidedly non-sport situations so they wouldn't hurt themselves or others). The change in objectives and the openness of the arsenal means that the two will rarely look alike. However, someone who is skilled in sport ground fighting will have an advantage over someone who isn't. I know what it's like, for instance, to try to get to a safety position while defending strikes thanks to my "sport" MMA training. A friend of mine actually used ground-and-pound defense that he'd trained just a few weeks prior to getting jumped; if it hadn't been for that training, he would probably have been the victim of a beat-down. I also know what it's like to sweep or reverse a bigger, stronger guy who's trying to hold you down thanks to my "sport" submission wrestling and BJJ training. If it works against a resisting opponent, it works, period, no matter what the venue is. You just get to spice things up as new variables are introduced. The same motion I've been using for years to set up an arm bar from guard suddenly creates the correct angle for me to knee and hammer fist the guy in the head until I can escape, reverse, or submit (snap). Without the ingrained hip movement, it wouldn't be possible.

  • 9 years ago

    Really not quite as much as many people seem to think

    Not to long a go I saw a vid of a BJJ guy beating a person who was threatening him in a street park fight and there was a vid around for a while of a skater kid who took BJJ and disarmed a thug that was waving a gun in his face saying he was going to shoot him. Then the BJJ guy tore the thug a new one. This vid has been posted and taken off of youtube many times. Brandon Vera, a UFC fighter and his grappling coach, Loyd Irvin, disarmed home invaders of their pistols.

    I think there are still to many people trying to segregate martial artist. It is disheartening... to say the least

    @Ymarsaker's Failed baseball analogy. My dad had a 100 mph fastball at 18-19 years of age. He played ball with two people who went on to be pro and started over both of them. he ended up not becoming a pro because he didn't understand the importance of going to college to become a pro. In my dads late thirties with out playing as a pitcher competitively for near twenty years he could hit a curve at close to any distance with out even so much as warming up (distance is gauged by either playing on the street or in the back yard but he always new how to throw it to curve no matter how far apart we were). the distance was regardless to someone who has thrown his whole life. It was and is instinct.

    Also if you can accidentally hurt someone with a arm bar in training you are doing the right movement to hurt someone. That means the person is doing it right. That is just the same as saying that if I accidentally hit someone hard while light sparring and break there noes I still don't know how to make a fist.

    ISDS, I am not a numbers cruncher and I don't want to be. I know this though. I have done research for Y!A on self defense for years now. I have come across TMA's and "sport" martial artist alike that have defended themselves and failed to so, leading to severe injuries or deaths. Your statement to Shiro and I is quite a bold one. You said "can everyone do it". Are you being serious here??? Nothing ever is going to be 100% successful for everyone. Saying that anything is going to be practical for everyone is borderline fraudulent. I know that I have read way more stories of these "sport" martial artist defending themselves than I have Traditionalists. It is more odd that when I have given up these as facts they are dismissed as still the slightest of possibilities where as there is not an ounce of counter proof. Who really is being closed minded there?

    Edit: No, it is still a failed analogy because you said it would be a pretty difficult thing to do. I proved that point wrong. About accuracy: My dad has always played softball and could hit people in the chest from the outfield and knock them on their butt.

    Sparring accident: I didn't say a novice. I was talking about a two fully trained people that have been doing it for years. I have seen accidents in sparring between people that have been doing this stuff for years, but I guess by your logic that would mean they still can't make a fist.

    Your just not getting it. I have presented proof that these things work for those who use it, and the most you can do is give me strawmen on why it shouldn't work... while it is working.

    Pugpaws has every right to train who he wants to train. I don't have to agree or disagree with it (and I neither agree or disagree). You how ever just keep coming back with the same stuff saying a lot of stuff that doesn't even pertain to the conversation at hand. either tell me why these sport people were able to do what they did or just stop. You haven't added anything of value to this conversation in quite a while. Just big words telling me why I am wrong while I am reading the actual news report telling me FACTS

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