Wow bloody cool reflections guys, I thank you all.
I share the view for which there must be a convergent evolution given how human body dynamics work.
Yet the details are those that characterise one art from another.
Like the debated position of the fist when punching (i.e. full corkscrew vs. vertical, with all its diagonal intermediate versions)
My journey in grappling has just started and I decided to pick up judo just because I felt it would homogenise better with my background in karate. But I understand it is mostly the training to make a difference, rather than the art (I bet it's kung fu vs. wushu in Chinese terms, right?).
I would say you are correct: the biggest differences in grappling styles are some degree of training difference and also rule-set that is being trained for. Even then there is plenty of variation within styles. For instance in Judo there is usually a variety of ways to perform each throw and endless ways to set up those throws. So "a hip throw is a hip throw" is a bit of a simplification. But the mechanic that makes a hip throw work (using the hip as a fulcrum to lever someone over) generally is shared.
Originally Posted by wadoyoshinryu
To steal some Matt Thorton terminology: Judo (and Sambo, and wrestling) is a delivery system. The grappling techniques that work are going to be in every system, the difference between the systems is how they deliver and frame the techniques for the individual learning.
Its at the point, for me, that I want to write a book about the world's grappling styles and all the stuff they have in common.
Yeah i find many wreslting styls to be similar. My friend who does judo played with me a bit (i started shuai jiao when i was a kid quit later cause stuff got busy) and it seemed pretty similar to shuai jiao except when we were on the ground I was like dafuq.