Scouring the internet for answers, I stumbled upon this: http://judoinfo.com/weers0.htm, which I think may be of interest. Basically, it states that:
"The initial purpose of this study was to determine the effect of changing a player's Power Hand Placement on his throwing efforts. This evidence clearly indicates that throwing ability can be improved by the optimal placement of the Power Hand. This study has also shown that prior to changing Power Hand Placement the factors of the defender's Tempo, Physical Effort needed to execute the attack and the Direction of Travel must be taken into consideration."
This doesn't contain a hierarchy really, though maybe one could be built by ordering those grips that led to the most throws, but does argue for the existence of optimal variations of grip.
What do people think?
There's also a kind of inertia at work with ground grappling that isn't present in the clinch, especially not cloth grips. One cannot simply decide to go straight from full guard to mount, but switching grips is (almost) that simple.
The research materials used were photographs as well as video tape of international competition. Approximately 1000 photographs and nine hours of video tape were reviewed. Photographs covered an historic range from the 1967 All Japan Championships to the 1980 Olympic competition. Video tapes were of the 1984 European Championships, the 1989 All Japan Championships and the 1989 World Championships. I recorded data from examples where;
a) the Power Hand placement was clearly discernible,
b) the direction of the throw could be determined and
c) a score was produced.
When viewing the photographs a score, from the attack, had to be apparent in the photograph or the photo's caption indicated that a score was produced before the datum was recorded.
The decision to use only attacks that resulted in a score being recorded was based on the idea that; If the attack produced a score the Power Hand was probably in an effective position. The level of scores, being awarded, were not taken into account simply because they are not reliable indicators of the effectiveness of an attack. The subjective evaluation of attack effectiveness, i.e. the level of awarded score, is too often subordinate to patriotism, sycophancy and aesthetics. These are conditions that have no place in the Coaching scheme. Coaching of American Judo needs to get away from the concept of scores and scoring and focus on Tactical Design. Players should be trained to Control and Intimidate the opponent not to please spectators and officials.
The most recent material is 17 years old. Competitive judo probably doesn't even look like the same sport now. The methodology of pulling fairly random highlight type photos also seems kind of sketchy as it's not going to give you a very uniform or varied view.
Alll in all an interesting read but not very valuable in my opinion due to the datedness of the material studied and some questionable research meothodology.
Missing posts moved here: My favorite grips - No BS Martial Arts
I tend to disagree somewhat. If you watch Sonnons IOUF or Pedro's Grip like a world champion, you can see numerous strategies used, depending on what your trying to do. Eg: Nullifying a 'long distance' grip (wrists) by controlling/getting a close distance grip (belt, behind the back etc). A lot of this stuff is about shutting down his grip so you can get your preffered one.
YouTube - Grip Fighting Jimmy Pedro's Grip Like A World Champion
However, although there probably isn't a direct analogue to guard, mount etc, there are 'more neutral grips', like doube lapel or lapel / sleeve (which to be fair - like guard - some can specialize from). OTOH, letting some get a deep behind the belt grip is probably a little more in their favour than yours.
Depends on what your trying to do / which range your trying to dominate. If your in close but the other guy is trying to get lapel and sleeve...i think you're probably in a better position. If he has a korean grip (double sleeve), and your trying to reach for over the back...you're going to have a bad day unless you know how to get there etc.
/re-lurk for another 2 years/
Well, when taking a sleeve grip I prefer what I've heard called a "rag" or "pistol" grip, as opposed to thumb-inside grip. Normally, the thumb goes into the sleeve, and the other four fingers grip and roll the cuff back. In a rag grip, the index finger lifts the cuff and then the rest of the hand grips the slack and you pull out the index finger. I hope you can understand that description. The rag grip gives better control of the arm because there is no slack in the sleeve.
Two thoughts from class:
1) The high collar grip can force your opponent into breaking posture, and is good both offensively and defensively. I see it highly valued by many.
2) While still not a hierarchy, consider the loose gi on the back, just above the belt, off to one side. It can nullify the high collar grip, but is only valuable offensively, since it is not defensive.
In a way, I see the hierarchy of gi grips being more of a flow diagram. If he takes a high collar, I need to keep posture, break the grip, or duck under, or take the behind the back, or XYZ. If he takes the sleeve end, I need to QRS.
I think this is how Pedro's DVD is structured, no?
I think you could legitimately call it a hierarchy if you played in such a way that required a particular grip. For example, if you're an over the back specialist, then everything leads to that. So, you might have a 'a route' to get there a 'b route' etc. 'A route' would be preferred because it's quicker/less dangerous/whatever. So whatever is on the 'A Route' would be hierarchically higher valued then B route etc
So, From that perspective, if over the back = mount, then 2 on 1 might be the equivalent to side control, because it's on the A route (simple to get from 'side' to 'mount'), whereas sleeve and lapel might be guard. Of course, these positions would be reversed in score if you were a double lapel guy.
Yeah, ok, it's a pretty tortured analogy - but you can kinda see the logic.