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Old 11-17-2006, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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True Grappler vs. Pure Grappler

I had this come up in a discussion a little while ago. I was trying to explain what I mean when I call myself a "true grappler." They didn't seem to understand what that means, because they thought it meant that I was a pure grappler. I just want to clarify the difference.

A pure grappler is someone who really only does grappling. They are really only effective on the ground and, usually, only effective in one position. Their style limits them to fighting on the ground, which is fine, but in MMA it really limits alot of your options and creates a sort of one dimensional approach.

Pure grappling can be done right, as seen with alot of the Gracies, and it can be done wrong, like with any single-minded approach to fighting.

True grappling is based on Bruce Lee's philosophy, which I was exposed to a little while ago and decided to employ in my martial arts. It is also similar to Peter Ralston's idea of Chang Hsin.

True grappling is for those of us who do not associate ourselves with any one school of thought in the way of grappling. We aren't really BJJ and we aren't really wrestling. We don't associate ourselves with any particular form or style, but, because most of us start out in a particular style, we end up using alot of other styles.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i guess i can call my self a true grappler then. so much of grappling is just in the momment. at least for me anyway
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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my grappling style=judo + bjj.

my own formula, very dangerous.
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I remember reading up on Gene LeBell and how he got started in "grappling" under Ed "Strangler" Lewis. According to Gene, when Ed asked him if he wanted to learn the way of the mat, he posed him with the question "Do you want to learn how to wrestle... or do you want to learn grappling?" Gene didn't know what he meant at the time, so when he asked why it mattered, Ed explained [as taken from www.genelebell.com] "that with grappling you could do just about anything to your opponent. You could hit the guy, do heel locks, ankle locks, armbars, back locks, neck locks, tweak the nose or choke him out." Being the anxious young lad that he was, Gene took up grappling under Lewis before enrolling into Judo.

Under this contention is how Gene trained in Judo, Wrestling and Boxing. Granted, seeing as how he was always around pro-wrestlers and boxers at that time I can see his influences. But, he shared many philophical views with Bruce Lee (even trained him in the grappling arts). So yeah, I can see how the term "True Grappler" comes into play.
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymackz
I'm not a pure grappler. I consider myself to be a true grappler, because I am not one dimensional. I tend to modify all the stuff I learn from BJJ class, and tend to work differently. I don't execute submissions properly, but whatever gets the job done, then that's the way I do em. I am currently learning Wrestling/BJJ...and sorta combine the moves, and just go with the flow. My school's BJJ instructors for NO-GI are not one dimensional. They have an open mind and my instructor makes new moves..and do trial and error. If he does not like it, he'll take it out and find someway to execute it properly. I think, guys who do BJJ as their base of style, and not incorporate other styles such as wrestling, or sambo or w/e....will be very limited, whileas those who do various styles and implement it into one will have more ways to figure their opponents out, since they'll always try to do the same thing over and over again. It's almost as if True grapplers are unpredictable. Sorry If i don't make sense.
Many BJJ schools do have this approach. It is open minded, and that is what makes BJJ the worlds most effective (and most famous) grappling system. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn't just modify the stuff you learn in class.

I taught myself catch wrestling watching Josh Barnett. (Who I consider the epitomy of true grappling)

Nice stuff on Gene, Ong.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
I had this come up in a discussion a little while ago. I was trying to explain what I mean when I call myself a "true grappler." They didn't seem to understand what that means, because they thought it meant that I was a pure grappler. I just want to clarify the difference.
Never heard either of these terms used before. After reading your discription I still don't exactly understand what your getting at here. So I have the following questions:
Quote:
A pure grappler is someone who really only does grappling. They are really only effective on the ground and, usually, only effective in one position. Their style limits them to fighting on the ground, which is fine, but in MMA it really limits alot of your options and creates a sort of one dimensional approach.
Okay, so what I'm getting from this is that your definition of a "Pure Grappler" is a one dimentional ground grappler. A guard fighter, a top fighter, etc. Is this what you meant? Anyway, my problem with this is that I consider the stand up portion of Judo to be grappling. A lot of Judoka would fit this discription, except their one dimentional grappling is in the clinching/gripping range.
Quote:
Pure grappling can be done right, as seen with alot of the Gracies, and it can be done wrong, like with any single-minded approach to fighting.
I think a more specific example would help me understand. You mean like Royce mostly fighting from the guard? Is this an example of "right" or "wrong". I mean, his strategy looked right in the early UFC's, but his recent match with Hughs it didn't look so great. I also want to point out that most of the Gracies have excellent top games in sport grappling compitition. Does the fact that they fight well from the top too make these Gracies "true" Grapplers?
Quote:
True grappling is based on Bruce Lee's philosophy, which I was exposed to a little while ago and decided to employ in my martial arts. It is also similar to Peter Ralston's idea of Chang Hsin.
Chang Hsin is an intresting concept. I had never heard of Peter Ralston before, and because of your post I looked him up. My question here is, can't someone who assosiates themselves with one style of grappling (like BJJ, Sambo, or Judo) also believe they are looking for the underlying truths in grappling? Don't these truths actually depend on the ultimate purpose of study. I mean, if you learn grappling to be a world class Judoka, turtling is important because you don't want to be pinned. Does the fact that you can be kneed in the head in MMA with the same strategy make it less true for the Judoka?
Quote:
True grappling is for those of us who do not associate ourselves with any one school of thought in the way of grappling. We aren't really BJJ and we aren't really wrestling. We don't associate ourselves with any particular form or style, but, because most of us start out in a particular style, we end up using alot of other styles.
Anyway, intresting observations about how you classify yourself as a grappler. True grappler, Pure grappler, it seems realitive to me. But, maybe I just don't understand what your getting at...
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Old 11-21-2006, 08:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sure, I can give you some examples:
Josh Barnett = True Grappler
Jeff Monson = Pure Grappler
Evan Tanner = True Grappler
Hidehiko Yoshida = Pure Grappler

I hope that helps, but maybe it doesn't.

Here's a more direct definition of the terms, because you don't seem to be the only one confused.

Pure Grappler- Someone who is primarily or entirely based on the ground. Their style is constructed so that they do their best work from one particular position. A good example of this might be a young Tito Ortiz, who did his best work with elbows from the top position. Like I said, the Gracies are a good example of Pure Grappling because they did almost all of their fighting on the ground. (with a few exceptions)

True Grappler- Someone whose fighting style is not exactly that of a single martial art or system. They can't be classified as BJJ or as Sambo or wrestling. A good example of this is Jeremy Horn, who has experience in grappling arts, but employs equal opportunity submissions. He relies on his own personal experience and ideas, not those of his teacher.

I hope that cleared it up a little bit.
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