what's grappling?
what's grappling?

Definition of grappling in a few words!

Grappling is a martial art. Essentially, it encompasses specialist combat sports on the ground. The FFL (French Combat Sports Federation) describes it as primarily the combination of strength and control. Technique is more important than strength. According to the FFL: "Grappling consists of grip and submission as well as strikes."

There are three types of grappling: 

  • No-Gi: without a kimono
  • Gi: with a kimono
  • Fight: with strikes

Sequence of a grappling match

As we mentioned earlier, grappling is a ground-based sport. Fighters have a wide variety of arm and leg moves. The idea is not only to protect yourself from submission techniques but also apply them. 

How long the matches last depends on the fighters' age and ability. Matches tend to last 90 seconds-2 mins for under 11s and minors whilst adult fights can reach 5-10 minutes with no breaks. 

1st stage of combat: stand-up grappling. 

This is the "combat" stage. This is when you have to use takedowns and throws to get your adversary on the ground. However, the fight can begin on the ground. In this case, one of the fighters decides to sit down to end this stage and begin ground grappling faster (very common in BJJ).

2nd stage of combat: ground grappling. 

During this stage, one of the fighters is on the ground under the other who is on top on their feet. (please see photo below) The idea is for the bottom grappler (also known as the guard player) to topple their opponent and move into the dominant position (also known as the guard passer). 

3rd stage of combat: the end

The fight may end for different reasons: 

  • One of the fighters withdraws following their opponent's submission technique
  • One of the fighters passes out
  • The referee ends the match if they feel one of the people is in danger
  • Time runs out: the winner is determined by a points system

What equipment do you need for grappling? 

What you wear depends on the style you're doing, some require a kimono and some require something figure-hugging. In terms of sports equipment, you need a combat mat for grappling. To find out more about combat mats, we recommend you read our article which combat mat is right for me?

If you would like further information or to discuss your plans with our team, please contact us and we'll be delighted to help.