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  1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    How Watch Grappling?

    Years ago I had a roommate who grew up in Africa and was a semi-pro soccer player. When the World Cup came around -- it was the one France won -- sometimes we'd be watching a game together and he would react to something I hadn't seen, at all. I don't mean that I would see some maneuver and not understand the importance or the difficulty, but that I didn't see anything.

    I am starting to feel this way when an MMA fight goes to the ground. Striking and takedowns seem easier to understand, and I don't know why that is, but sometimes I can't tell who is winning on the ground. I was rooting for Serra when he fought Hughes a while ago, but I was sure Hughes was winning because of the takedowns and what happened on the mat. But the next day, I noticed that many more knowledgable observers felt Serra had been robbed.

    I know the obvious solution is "go to a BJJ school," but that's not an option right now. Are there some fundamental things you look for in groundfighting that indicate who has the advantage? Like, "Watching Grappling For Morons"? I think the most disconcerting thing for a noob watching grappling is getting used to the fact that they guy on the bottom might be winning. It's easy to understand that if Fedor is on top of Minotauro punching him in the face repeatedly, then Fedor is winning. But clearly it's often more subtle than that.

  2. #2
    kwoww's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Watch more grappling?

    I guess just keep a close eye on who is in control. Where are who's hands? Which guy looks like he's working harder? How good of a grip does who have, and where?

    Go to a BJJ school.

  3. #3
    Kentucky Fried Chokin's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It pains me to says this, but...listen to Joe Rogan. Or better yet, if you're watching WEC, listen to Frank Mir. They usually explain what's going on and what each person is trying to do.

  4. #4
    kwoww's Avatar
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    Hmm, not a bad idea.

    Or watch the IFL and listen to Bas Rutten, and try really really hard not to think of his self-defense videos and instead focus on the fact that he's a beast and three quarters.

  5. #5
    Draven's Avatar
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    Dont listen to people that say they think Serra won. They´re very likely delusional BJJ nutriders or trolls.

  6. #6
    G-Off's Avatar
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    Going to a BJJ lesson or two helps. You'll also develop it naturally over time as you watch more and more.

    If you're watching an event on DVD, and someone gets swept or subbed, rewind a few seconds to watch the setup. How did it happen? Where were both fighters' hands/knees/hips/etc.? Eventually you'll start recognizing where wrist control is a setup for a triangle and when it's a setup for a kimura, those types of things.

  7. #7

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Pay attention to who's in control, try to see who is on top, who is the one defending and who's attacking.

  8. #8
    Phrost's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I hate to say it, but you'll never really understand what's going on until you train in it. There's so many subtle things that happen in a grappling contest that it requires first-hand knowledge to understand the nuances.

  9. #9
    Domite's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Striking seems easy to understand because everyone and their mother can see when one dude's hand or foot flies out and smashes the other dude in the face. In reality, however, there are depths to understanding, and the subtle aspects of striking can be quite difficult to decipher.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domite View Post
    Striking seems easy to understand because everyone and their mother can see when one dude's hand or foot flies out and smashes the other dude in the face. In reality, however, there are depths to understanding, and the subtle aspects of striking can be quite difficult to decipher.
    Yeah, I might have sounded like I thought striking was simple or obvious. As you say, the basic principles (foot-->head) are straightforward, but the footwork and the angles, combinations, etc., are complex.

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