4 Ways Submission Grapplers Can Apply Wrestling Concepts to Their Practice

The following are some things you need to know about submission grapplers:

1) They have been around since the beginning of time.

Some say they were invented by wrestlers during the old days of professional wrestling. Others claim it was invented in Japan. There are many different opinions on this matter, but one thing is certain; there is no denying their existence! These guys are not just any wrestlers either, these guys have been doing this for years and years!

2) Most of them are black belts or higher.

You might think that they would all be white belt, but that’s not true at all! Many of them don’t even have blue belts! That means they’ve been training for a long time and still continue to train hard every day. They’re definitely not going to let themselves get complacent with easy wins!

3) They tend to compete against each other in tournaments.

They may compete in local tournaments, regional or national level competitions. However, they do not always compete against each other. Sometimes they’ll travel to other states or countries to compete against each other!

4) They’re usually very competitive people and will take any opportunity to prove themselves.

They love competition and will go out of their way to win matches and tournaments! If you want your own promotion, then you better make sure that you give them something worth competing for!

5) Many of them have a strong dislike for other grappling styles.

For example, you might have a catch wrestler who has a strong dislike for the new breed of no-gi grappler. He may not even practice any other types of grappling! Don’t be fooled by this though, because they’re all very well-rounded and will definitely know about their weaknesses. They can and will absolutely learn other styles; they just want to prove that their style is the best one out there!

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6) Most of them do no-gi grappling.

Maybe it’s because they want to demonstrate their technical prowess, maybe it’s because they want to prove that judo and wrestling can be effective in no-gi, or maybe it’s just because they like no-gi! Either way, you better have a good amount of knowledge about gripping techniques and throws if you plan on competing against them. Don’t forget, they know all about your weaknesses too!

The article is not over yet. There is still much to learn about the grappling world!

I hope this information helps you in your quest. Good luck!


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4 Ways Submission Grapplers Can Apply Wrestling Concepts to Their Practice

A catch-wrestler is probably the most traditional of the no-gi grapplers. These are the guys that you see with long hair, mustache (or at least a beard), and wear a farmer’s belt to keep their pants up. Whenever I think of a “traditional” grappler I always think of a catch wrestler because they’ve been around for as long as I can remember. They’ve probably been around since the beginning of grappling!

They are masters at controlling their opponents and moving them where they want them to go. They tend to have a strong top game (and sometimes weak bottom game) with devastating leg locks. If you’re a bottom- player then you better try your best to prevent them from getting that leg or you’ll be in trouble.

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Despite being called a catch-wrestler, they tend to not use a lot of catching techniques. They may use a few here and there, but not to the extent that you’d see in collegiate or greco roman wrestling. When they shoot their legs they do it more for a deep inner thigh position rather than a double leg grab and they rarely if ever use the front headlock to control their opponent. If they do shoot for a headlock then it’s probably just to rest and get their wind back.

In the video below, you’ll see that this particular catch-wrestler uses more of a Darce choke than a guillotine:

F3: Darce Choke

He also tends to rest in side control when he shoots for a headlock. He’s getting his wind back and stalling for time by putting all his weight on the top of his opponent’s chest. This is a very traditional way of attacking while in the top position.

Other ways a catch-wrestler may stall is by crossfacing (putting their forearm or shin across the front of their opponent’s shoulder) and putting all his weight on his opponent.

As you can see, the catch-wrestler tends to be very traditional in their approach. They do what works and they don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Here are some more traditional wrestlers that you should familiarize yourself with:

T. Coleman (freestyler)

T. Neff (freestyler, also uses a lot of leg attacks from the double underhook position)

C. Hayes (freestyler)

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D. Ivey (freestyler)

R. Elguezabal (Greco Roman wrestler)

K. Massenburg (freestyler)

B. Struve (freestyler, uses a lot of ankle picks to get top position)

These are just the ones that come to mind immediately. Look up more and familiarize yourself with each one’s style.

As long as you don’t allow yourself to become predictable, you’ll be fine against all other types of wrestlers. The most important thing is for you to use your surroundings and tools around you (i.e. the legs of your training partner) to your advantage.

If you’re more of a catch-wrestler then don’t feel as if you need to use a lot of leg attacks and vice versa. I just used the catch-wrestler as an example because it’s the style that is least familiar to me so I can give you more detail on ways to beat it.

Also, make sure not to use too many leg attacks in any particular roll. You don’t want to give your training partner a reason to start using more leg attacks on you. Don’t be predictable!

Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” of what you should and shouldn’t do if someone is in a leg lock on you:

4 Ways Submission Grapplers Can Apply Wrestling Concepts to Their Practice - gym fit workout

DON’T try to submit them in the same way. They’re probably trying to apply pressure and force you to roll in a certain direction so that they can put you in an even worse position.

DON’T try to muscle out of it if you’re on the bottom. If you’re on top then it’s a bit different, but if you’re on the bottom then the way that you get out of most leglocks is by using hip movement along with your arms (along with some thrashing to make it look good of course).

DON’T just lay there and kick your legs in the air. This isn’t an elementary school play. You’ll lose credibility in a hurry if you overdo this.

DON’T just poke them in the eyes and go limp. You’ll lose all credibility in a hurry if you overdo this.

DO try to move into a more advantageous position (either higher or lower) using your arms and legs.

DO throw in some starfish moves (i.e. put your arms and legs out wide) as you make sounds of agony to add a bit of realism.

DO grunt in a manly way when you’re putting all your energy into a move.

DO yell and scream if they put you in a bad hold.

DO try to slap the headlock (if they have one on you).

DO yell out random moves from the top position (e.g. choke, arm-bar, cross-face).

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DO yell out “tap-out” if you have them in a bad position. This is usually used in competitive grappling, but it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of realism to your moves.

DO look at the ceiling and roll your eyes back to add a bit of realism when you’re in a really bad position (i.e. locked in an arm-bar or triangle choke).

DON’T kick or otherwise try to strike your opponent unless you’re in an advantageous position. For example, if you’re in their half guard then you can certainly try to punch them a couple of times.

DON’T tap, even if you’re in a terrible position. I’ve seen people do this and they jump up as if they’ve just won the lottery when they were actually still in a terrible position. This is the type of stuff that can turn people off of amateur wrestling.

DON’T grab their leg and squeeze unless you want to appear to not know what you’re doing.

DON’T forget to shake your opponent’s hand after the match.

To learn more about catch-as-catch-can, visit this Wikipedia link:


Now, my final words of advice to you are to relax and have fun out there!

Your friend,


Sources & references used in this article:

Wrestling with the spirit (ual): Grappling with theory, practice and pedagogy by DG Scott – International journal of children’s spirituality, 2006 – Taylor & Francis

Men who strike and men who submit: Hegemonic and marginalized masculinities in mixed martial arts by A Hirose, KK Pih – Men and masculinities, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com

Grappling with the literature in a grounded theory study by A McCallin – Contemporary Nurse, 2003 – Taylor & Francis

Producing pain: Techniques and technologies in no-holds-barred fighting by G Downey – Social Studies of Science, 2007 – journals.sagepub.com

Problem solving as a basis for reform in curriculum and instruction: The case of mathematics by …, K Fuson, P Human, H Murray, A Olivier… – Educational …, 1996 – journals.sagepub.com

A Historical Overview of Mixed Martial Arts in China. by W Acevedo, M Cheung – Journal of Asian martial arts, 2010 – search.ebscohost.com