Author Topic: Striking vs. Grappling Arts  (Read 9983 times)

Offline Trent Sera

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Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« on: May 04, 2008, 02:51:24 AM »
Anyone know the reason why there are so many more striking arts than grappling arts?  The difference is so great I am curious if anybody has some kind of historical theory or fact regarding this disparity between the two categories of martial arts.

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Offline Kenpo_85

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2008, 10:37:45 AM »
Interesting question that you bring up. Although I do not know the answer, I have a theory. I believe that the reason that there are more striking arts than grappling arts is due to the fact that martial arts began primarily as battle field arts, and on the battlefield the troops may be out numbered. Having a grappling art as your only weapon can be disasterous in a situation in which you are out numbered. If one is surrounded by 3 attackers and is well versed in a striking art, then all he has to do is deliver one quick, well placed strike to each opponent in order to neutralize them. Obviously if you are surrounded by those same 3 attackers and you attempt to twist one up and take them to the ground, then the other two will be all over you, and in ancient Asia one would probably get beheaded in the process. Remember that although Jujitsu is a very ancient art, it began primarily as a striking art (remember also that James Mitose taught 'Kenpo Jujitsu', but had next to no grappling to be found in his art). It wasn't until the outlaw of striking arts in Japan (such as Kenpo) that they began increasing the sport aspect of Jujitsu, all the while decreasing the lethality of it, and increasing its grappling prowess.
Another contributing factor, I believe, is how naturally striking comes to man kind. A person does not need to be taught to hit. People have been striking one another since the dawn of time, and this is the preferred method of fighting (watch untrained fighters on the street... this is what they primarily do). If striking is how one knows to fight because that's what is natural, and he is looking to develop a more efficient method of fighting, then he probably will build onto what comes naturally, rather than reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

Offline NYKaju

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 11:57:37 AM »
Anyone know the reason why there are so many more striking arts than grappling arts?  The difference is so great I am curious if anybody has some kind of historical theory or fact regarding this disparity between the two categories of martial arts.

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Is there though? I think it's more to do with a western filter that has kept many of the grappling arts in their respective countries of origin, wherein the flashy striking arts caught our fancy and they multiplied well overseas.

I don't know if there is more striking arts, but it is very much easier to simply make up new variations of striking arts as opposed to grappling arts. This is simply due to the fact that grappling moves have to be applied on a person, where striking arts are more commonly practiced solo and in the air. This keeps grappling arts much more grounded, as oppposed to striking arts where you have everyone and their brother coming up with their new style of Karate Kwon Do Jitsu Fu, which was developed on a mountaintop and is too dangerous to even practice within 20 feet of others.

Personally I feel there is only so many truly efficient ways to human body can effectively harm another human body. When you cut right down to bottom of it, there really are only a handful of different (fighting not MA) "styles" one can use in hand to hand combat, as opposed to the thousands of martial art styles.
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Offline Wado

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 12:08:59 PM »
I'm not really answering the question directly...

It is my understanding that there are no pure grappling or pure striking arts except in sport where the rules restrict the techniques allowed.  All combat arts outside of sport are mixed (although techniques still may be limited for other reasons).  The reason the combat arts are mixed is because it is more practical given no rules.  You are at a big disadvantage trading blows with a weapon/knife, for instance... and on the other hand, you are at a big disadvantage trying to over power multiple attackers.  Learning striking where you only trade blows is not good, and learning grappling where you only over power using your strength is not good  -- yes it can work, anything can be forced to work, but it is seldom as practical in the long run.

IME, martial arts are a progression.  First is the building of a foundation in whatever area is the best "fit" for the student.  That may be grappling or striking focused, but as training continues there is both the building on that foundation and the "broadening of horizons" with practice and experience.

For instance, Judoka often start off more wrestling but as their skill and experience builds, they learn the importance of agility, speed, and maintaining mobility... then it is no longer wrestling but it is Jiu-jitsu.  Karateka often start more with striking and kicking, but they too learn the importance of agility, speed, and maintaining mobility.  There become less and less differences between grappling and striking as training progresses.

So the original question of why more striking arts than grappling arts, I don't really believe that is true outside of sport.  All are mixed.

Also, I think more people actually have trained or become familiar with grappling than striking.  Many people start off at a younger age with some Judo or wrestling in their background.  If you also add in just wrestling with brothers or friends, you got an even much larger number.

« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 12:10:48 PM by Wado »
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Offline Patrick Campbell

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008, 01:39:48 PM »
The ancient arts were developed based on the needs of the warriors and the battles they fought. In Okinawa for example, they developed farm tools into weapons because they were readily available and the Japanese occupation prevented the paractice of martial arts and ownership of weapons. I am sure that you could trace the development of any system based on the direct needs of its practioners whether on the battlefield, the street, or the ring. Even our own KAJUKENBO was developed based on the needs of the founder's times. As we evolve, I am sure you can understand the addition of other training methods, tactics and techniques within given a instructor's system although it is still at its core and foundation "Original." Weapons to include handguns and shotguns, edged weapons, escrima, close-quarter combat, etc...

MMA systems are developed and perpetuated based on the needs of their warriors in their venues. In competitive cases, the Octogon or ring or the MA Tournament setting such as point fighting, continuous fighting, self-defense, etc.... It only makes sense that they develop the training methodology, tactics and techniques which support this venue. I am not big on any form of competitive venue as it goes against my grain but I am for it for those who desire to include as part of their participation in the training process for our art. It is an integral part.

I have taught many law enforcement and military personnel and I always develop my training programs based on their most immediate needs. Each group has different needs and survival requirements.The bottom line is that the system is developed based on the needs of its warriors. KAJUKENBO continues to evolve based on the needs of today's civilian, law-enforcement and military personnel.

As a Green Beret, much of our training centered around close-quarter combat, weapons retention, edged weapons fighting and defenses as well as POW training where we learned to train within the confines of a 6X6 area in order to maintain strenth, etc.. as well as how to fight with hands and feet bound, etc... Lots of bone breaking and lethal techniques were learned and were validated in terms of their effectiveness by professional doctors as well  as our own ability to demonstrate a given combat skill. Beyond this I can not mention more but the program was extremely effective and it was developed based on the needs of the Special Operations Operative - a warrior who often works deep in enemy controlled territory and who runs the extreme risk of being captured or engaging in close quarter combat.

As far as more striking arts than grappling arts goes, any of them in their purest sense have limitations given the "battlefield" or venue. Striking the proper balance is subjective as the instructors and practioners know what it is they are training for. It is OK to train for tournaments but students and teachers must keep it in perspective and remember that the core reason for training is survival.  For me I am training for the street and survival. I train the way I fight and take this to heart in all that I do and teach.

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Offline Danjo

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 01:47:44 AM »
Cuz it's more manly to hit and kick someone than to hug them and roll around with them? ??? Just a guess.
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Offline NYKaju

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2008, 09:27:20 AM »
Cuz it's more manly to hit and kick someone than to hug them and roll around with them? ??? Just a guess.

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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 10:40:47 AM »
There is a great deal of striking then grappling arts...just start counting them..drive around and read school signs.  Remember back in the day the ground work that was around was wrestling, judo, small amounts of jujitsu (that didn't really have much ground work), pankration....The striking arts are in the thousands.  I believe it started that way because of war times, hit and run....lets face it grappling/wrestling has been around since the dawn of man....striking was probably more of grab a stick or stone and head the guy in the head.
  Today I think there are so many striking type arts because then the karate mill instructors can have the students train in the air as has been said and not get hurt and then continue to come to the school and pay.  Any Instructor that is truly proficient in both stand up and the ground knows, you can teach a student quickly to defend themselves on the ground but the stand up is an entirely different story.
  How many really fantastic stand up fighters do you see?  Not many, rarely actually.  The ground I think is more natural for students, you wrestle around as kids......and you don't usually get in trouble for it....punch a kid in the lips and you grounded.......
I don't think people spend enough time really working their hands with a teacher telling them the mistakes, and also not enough free grappling, actual hands on....
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Offline Kenpo_85

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 11:12:27 AM »
Any Instructor that is truly proficient in both stand up and the ground knows, you can teach a student quickly to defend themselves on the ground but the stand up is an entirely different story. How many really fantastic stand up fighters do you see?  Not many, rarely actually.

Interesting observation, and the UFC is an excellent example of this. Personally, I have yet to see anybody who I find very impressive on their feet in MMA in general. I've always assumed that this was because most of these guys have a wrestling/Jujistu/BJJ background and decided to train in the striking arts for a year or two just to do MMA, but you could be right... it very well could be that the ground is so much easier to learn.

Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2008, 11:26:55 AM »
If you look at new MMA guys, many times they can kick hard, wrestling decent, but not much for submission, since that is much harder to learn and just wing their punches, drop the hands, turned the head from punches, etc....the fear of a punch in the face is present...as they say they haven't made friends with the punch to the face...
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Offline NYKaju

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 12:06:42 PM »
Interesting observation, and the UFC is an excellent example of this. Personally, I have yet to see anybody who I find very impressive on their feet in MMA in general. I've always assumed that this was because most of these guys have a wrestling/Jujistu/BJJ background and decided to train in the striking arts for a year or two just to do MMA, but you could be right... it very well could be that the ground is so much easier to learn.

Ironic that there are so many more people focused on striking, but at the top levels of the sport grappling plays such a larger role.

But as for not a lot of striking talent in the UFC, no love for Anderson Silva, Thiago Alves, Chuck Liddell, Melvin Guillard, Mirko Filipovic, Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida or any of the other talented face punchers and head kickers?
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Offline Kenpo_85

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 12:36:34 PM »
To be honest, I don't watch a lot of UFC so I don't know all those people by name, but I have watched enough to not be too impressed by the stand up aspect of it. I know some of the guys you just mentioned, but just because they are successful strikers in the UFC does not necessarily mean that they are great strikers in general... it just means that they are better than most others. Chuck Liddell, for example, swings from the sides when he punches, and everybody always backs away just to be continuously hit by those strikes.

Chuck Liddell is a hard striker, there's no denying that. That can be attributed only to natural ability. The way to beat Chuck Liddell is to keep your hands up and not get hit by the 1st couple (I realize that this is easier said than done), and return fire by going at him with straight punches. I have been saying this for years, and everybody who I have seen beat him has done it exactly the way that I just described.

Not saying that these guys can't take care of themselves on the street, but merely that they are grapplers. If they were to get into the ring with TRUE world class fighters, under K1 rules, I do not believe that I have seen one UFC fighter that would stand a chance.

Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 01:23:26 PM »
There are some good strikers of course, GSP, Spencer Fischer, Stout, etc....there are some, but as a group not so much, there are much better wrestlers for sure...the conditioning is very high level these days in the UFC though.....
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Offline Kenpo_85

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 01:27:13 PM »
Yes, GSP is definitely one of the better strikers in the UFC.

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Striking vs. Grappling Arts
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2008, 01:49:36 PM »
Anyone know the reason why there are so many more striking arts than grappling arts?  The difference is so great I am curious if anybody has some kind of historical theory or fact regarding this disparity between the two categories of martial arts.

I would guess that the primary reason is that it is a lot harder to stylize a non-striking grappling art, and as Prof. Bono wrote earlier, you actually have to use it to practice it.   There are tons of air-striking art styles that hold up very well in the absence of an opponent.
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