What Is A Grappler? (Martial Arts Styles Explained)

Grappling has become more and more popular in sports like MMA fighting where there tends to be more pins, wrestling and chokes that are more likely to lead to a submission from the opposition.

These types of fighters that dominate in this style have become the ones to watch because they are difficult to control in the ring.

What Is A Grappler?

In this piece we will be covering everything you need to know about grappling including, where it originated, who uses it and why it is a beneficial style for fighters in MMA. 

What Is Grappling?

Grappling is best known for self-defense techniques where you move into a protection mode and it is a good way to control your opponent.

It is also a great way to wrestle your opponents into uncomfortable positions where you can take advantage of the opportunities for submission.

A great part of the art of grappling is that you can immobilize a fighter that is more dominant standing rather than grappling.

You are also in a great position where you are able to neutralize strikes coming against you using your defense, then you make your move for the take down.

This also links to tactics when you are grappling on the floor.

Many fighters in UFC for example, use this technique to try and find positions on the floor where they are able to overcome their opponent with their core body strength wrestling and also looking for submissions through choke holds which would be a great way to win the fight. 

Due to grappling being mainly on the floor it means that the person grappling can dictate the play – especially against a fighter who is not dominant working on the floor.

Whether you are underneath your opponent or on top, you need to be getting yourself into a position which is good for striking the opponent while they have less defense on the floor.

The more you can damage your opponent, the weaker they will become throughout the fight. The main aim is to score points in matches and in MMA fights you can score points from takedowns and the amount of strikes you can make. 

Learning How To Grapple

Every sport is all about practice but some of it does involve having some level of talent and passion to succeed. Grappling is more of an art and takes a lot longer to perfect than other types of martial arts because of all the different aspects that it involves.

You also need to be very into your fitness to be the best at this because it involves a lot of full body strength and core strength. There are hundreds of different techniques you need to master and perfect on the mats before even trying them in a fight. 

Examples Of MMA Involving Grappling

  1. Brazilian jiu-jitsu 
  2. Wrestling 
  3. Judo 
  4. Shootfighting
  5. Sambo

Things You Need To Learn Grappling

  • GI: it is very important to buy yourself a GI to have because they are made for floor work and give you great movement and more freedom in your clothing. Normally, from some websites you can also buy a GI and get a free belt with it as well. If you are training a lot of the time you might need to buy a few GI’s to make sure you are prepared for your training sessions. 
  • Finger tape: You will need to purchase finger tape for when you are grappling.
  • Mouth guard: These are a very important part of your equipment because they are used to protect your teeth and mouth from injury. It will prevent you from losing any teeth and have a really low chance of that happening. In the majority of contact sports now, they will make you wear a mouthguard, so make sure you have one one you. 
  • Rash guard: This vest-like piece of clothing is important for your training to avoid burns from the mats. 

Why Is It An Effective Style?

It is all about controlling your opponent on the floor and putting them in uncomfortable situations that are difficult to get out from. This style also minimize your risk of injury because your main focus for the fight is defense.

Therefore, you will be able to defend yourself and find the right time to strike when your opponent is locked into a tight position, then you can continuously strike to weaken their position and go for submission. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Grappler Fighter?

In fighting games, grapplers are a type of character that specialize in grabbing the opponent. They are commonly used, with these being the best.

Heavy hitting and characterized by their devastating command grabs, grapplers are one of the most iconic character archetypes in the history of fighting games.

Are Grapplers Better Than Strikers?

Grappling arts have proven to be more effective in MMA fighting than striking. In the early days and before cross training, MMA fighters were experts in just a single fighting style. We saw many style vs. style matchups in which grapplers were dominating strikers.


Overall, if you are someone who is looking to take up this style and wanting to learn, you are definitely in for some difficult training and it will take a lot of time and practice to be able to perfect your skills and techniques.

Due to their being hundreds of different techniques inside of grappling you will need to start off basic and work your way up like in any sport of MMA. 

Hopefully this guide has given you a good understanding of what grappling is and what you will need for it.

This guide has also outlined the benefits of using grappling in more modern MMA fights like UFC and how it can give you an advantage over opponents who are mainly just strikers. You will definitely have the upper hand here.

Christopher Anderson
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