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MMA Grappling and Ground Fighting in the Real World - How to Survive

Updated on September 4, 2016
How good are you in grappling?
How good are you in grappling? | Source

When watching MMA fights, it is so common to see competitors grappling on the mat. In fact, many great MMA fighters are comfortable fighting on the ground. In fact, some of my favorite MMA fighters are masters in mat work. Likewise, many bouts are won because of the proficiency of some fighters on grappling techniques. With this said, the popularity of ground fighting has taken on flight because of these excellent MMA fighters. In addition, many schools give focus on ground techniques that attracts many students.

In the real World

However, in the real world, lying on your back is one of the worst positions you’ll ever be! Add to this the difficulty of having your opponent press against you with all his weight and power. So why do so many MMA fighters get down on the mat? For one, MMA competitions are controlled and are regulated. There are rules, though at times you might find these competitions to be really violent that no rules exist. Believe me there are. Many martial arts that have been turned into sports like Judo, Tae Kwon Do and MMA have rules set to keep the players safe. It is for this reason that MMA fighters (among others), choose ground fighting with confidence. Furthermore, it is a tactical strategy especially if they know that their opponent is weak in such a position. Of course many will say never underestimate your opponent and I agree, but the fact remains, some are good at grappling while other are not. Lastly, many fighters choose to go to the mat simply because they know what to do. That makes all the difference in the world. wrestling a bigger person may seem futile but if you know what to do you can gain advantage quickly.

Why stand up quickly?

But when you are in a life or death situation, there are no rules to keep you safe. There’s no referee to stop the fight if you decide to tap out. No bells will ring to signal the end of the round. It’s just you and your will to survive. Here are three reasons why you need to stand up at once if you should ever fall.

First, you have more options when standing up. Of course the first and most logical move is to run away from the danger. You can also defend yourself better and move freely when you are standing up.

Second, you’ll never know if your attacker is alone. It is safe to assume that they have accomplices. If you are pinned down, another attacker can easily hurt you. More often than not, your assailant will have friends or back ups nearby. Being on the ground whether you’re on top or not, can be dangerous when you’re fighting more than one person.

Lastly, being on the ground (especially if your attacker is on full mount) your defensive options drastically diminishes. The situation becomes even dire if your attacker(s) have weapons.

These are just three reasons. Chances are you can think of other reasons to stand immediately. It is therefore important to practice Ukemi (proper falling and rolling techniques) then include drills so you can stand up at once.

So why study grappling?

Though it is recommended to get up quickly, it is still best to learn ground fighting techniques. This way, you can defend yourself properly, escape quickly and minimize injuries. With grappling drills, you can be familiar with the positions. You can keep your composure and presence of mind since you know how to deal with the situation. In an actual fight, there is a big chance that one or both of you will fall. Likewise, chances are you will be involved in a scuffle. Getting up quickly and protecting your self is undoubtedly important and is usually the best course of action. Of course you can pray that you won’t get in that situation. But if you do find yourself in this pickle, it’s to your advantage if you know what to do.

Avoiding situations where you get into a fight is important. But there are instances when you just can’t do anything but defend yourself. That includes anything from running away and screaming like crazy to mentally preparing and physically taking a defensive stance. But whenever you get the chance stand up quickly.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello NateB11,

      I'm glad we see eye to eye on the subject. Having a well rounded training is important.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      I totally agree with you that it is better to not end up on the ground in a real street situation; and I agree with your list of reasons why it is a disadvantage; I also agree that it's still good to have grappling skills just in case. Good piece, you articulated much of what I've thinking about this subject for a long time.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Wow that's awesome achievement primpo. Congratulations on the huge weight loss.

      One of my greatest fears is getting stabbed. That's why started learning escrima/kali/arnis when I was just 12 years old. Yup, that's a weird for for some so young.

      Mock fights and knife drills are really important. It helps increase muscle memory and improves reaction time. Real life situation training are important. This more for the presence of mind than memorizing the movements. Train with different partners as every person has a different way of attacking and defending. This will hone your skills and keep your mind clear when you are engaged. It's better to make mistakes here than in the real thing. :)

      Keep up the great work.

    • primpo profile image

      Primpo 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      My thoughts exactly.. that is why in addition to my ninjitsu training I am going to be attending a weekly class on mma training.. for the grappling drills and also cardio, because I have weight to drop and god forbid I'm ever in a situation where it ends up on the ground I need to be light on my feet. I am coming from 385 pounds. I lost 185 lbs but I have to drop 70 more. my arms are shaping up fairly well due to the sword training but I have alot of time to go on stomack and legs. although I can position myself in low stances without a problem. I've been taking osteo flex in order to subside some of the pain in my ankles and knees, I only started it five days ago but I notice a difference already. I do have to take 4 advil before class and I do take energy pill before class, so that I can keep up with everyone. We were doing mock knife fights the last class and sensei was really surprised because I was able to get him at least seven times, I don't know where it came from but I guess the thought of being gotten with a knife just really kicked in focus and intent, because I accidently got someones eye and my other brother's finger.. I didn't mean too, but sensei said to never be sorry , its just training. To tell you the truth I didn't think I had it in me and I'm looking forward to next time.. lol