Articles Going to the Ground

Author: Jonathan Thomson
Date: 14 September 2007

Going to the ground has become the way to fight. It is not recommended to go to the ground for grappling in real life street fights; however statistics have more than 50% of all fights on the street ends up on the ground. Therefore we need to train for such situations even if it just to get out of the hold, submission or just to get away. You do not want to be on the ground with two or more attackers, with this is mind, the aim to get up and vend off any other attackers.

But in a competition situation, going to the ground is the way to go. All combative fights, street and competition, start in the standing position. Especially in competition and ultimate fighting championships (no-holed-barred) fights it moves from the long distance fighting (stand up fighting) to the clinch or standing grappling position. Then after this you would get the grappling (ground fighting) position.

There are many ways to get the opponent to the ground:

  1. Knock the person down with a punch or kick
  2. Throw the person with a Jujitsu or Judo throw
  3. Use a sweep or take-down to get the person on the ground

However, it is not always the person who throws that gets the upper hand on the ground. That is what makes ground fighting (grappling) so interesting. If you are on the bottom, holding the person in your guard or where the person have you in his or her mount, you could escape or even do a submission hold or lock from there.

Knocking the person down first will obviously have a huge impact on his or her way of thinking, and then storm in for a submission or grappling hold. Because the person is already down on the ground it makes the effort of you throwing or taking him or her to the ground easier. Throwing a person with a "full throw" looks impressive, but not always as effective as the other person would obviously resist your throw. Taking the person down with a take-down or sweep is most of the time more effective than a "full throw". All that is needed is to wrap your leg around your opponent (grape vine) and push your weight down.

The different clinches (standing grappling position) are as follows:

  • Straight from the front
  • From the side
  • From the back
  • Attacking the legs

Clinching from the front you have a wide variety of options to get the person to the ground. You could take the person down with a throw to the front (Ippon Seoi Nage or Uchi Mata), back (O Soto Gari or O Uchi Gari) or side sweep (Seoi Otoshi).

From the side you are mainly limited to take the person down only to the back with a sweep or throw namely Yoko Otoshi.

If you get the back then your options are once again to the back to make the take down more efficient. A good example of a throw here could be Tani Otoshi or Ura Nage.

In the fighting scene, if you really want to go to the ground then this is the main option most fighters go for. Attacking the legs is an effective way to get the opponent to the ground quickly and still have good control over him or her for the submission. An example of this would most probably be a Marote Gari (Ryo Ashi Dori), once again Tani Otoshi, or a Ko Uchi Gari (Ko Uchi Maki Komi).

Keeping all of the above statements in mind; you do not need to throw someone to get the advantage on the ground. If you have good grappling skills then being thrown could easily end up as a submission on your side.

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