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"Where's All The Ground Fighting" -- ARMA Director on why grappling sucks

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    "Where's All The Ground Fighting" -- ARMA Director on why grappling sucks

    http://www.thearma.org/essays/Wheres...dFighting.html

    So, I was just looking at the ARMA website, and I found an article where John Clements, ARMA Director, writes about how modern grappling such as seen in the UFC basically did not exist and would not have made sense in the context of medieval hand to hand combat. Besides for the interesting historical footnotes, and the reasonable point that in medieval times everyone had a knife, the essay is almost a tiresome rehash about why grappling doesn't work on t3h str33t either in the 1500s or today.

    He also adds a parenthetical that modern military hand to hand combat is worse for including grappling:
    "Curiously, incidents among US combat personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced some critical controversy over the predominance of teaching ground fighting skills within military combatives programs... Too much emphasis on going to the ground for submissions as athletic exercise. Go figure. I said the same thing years ago."
    At the end of the essay he has the following note:

    The whole article seems kind of pointless or silly, though. Yes, if I had a submachinegun, or a bigass sword, or a medieval Sykes-Fairbane-looking pointy dagger, and I wanted to kill my enemy, it would be a lot easier to trip or throw the guy and then stab or shoot him while he's on the ground, than it would be for me to jump into his guard, pass the guard, and gradually fight for the armbar.

    Do we really need an essay to convince us about that? I mean, really.

    The article seems like some kind of argument against hypothetical people who are claiming that Europeans from the 1500s had BJJ. But as far as I know nobody is claiming that? (If someone is claiming that they would be silly but I have never heard or read such a claim made.)

    On the whole I think it's a very strange article.
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

    #2
    I agree, it's a fairly redundant article. He may as well write one that being Gay, you should hide it because way back then it was illegal to be Gay (punishable by death).

    Better hope the King of England doesn't come knocking around!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ADM View Post
      Better hope the King of England doesn't come knocking around!
      Yeah, dude always hogs the biscuits. Claims it's "the right of kings" or something.

      Comment


        #4


        Anti-grapple?

        Comment


          #5
          In other news, turtles shouldn't pull guard.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Phrost View Post
            In other news, turtles shouldn't pull guard.
            Shall we awaken the "Is turtle guard really guard?" debate?:pancakebu

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
              http://www.thearma.org/essays/Wheres...dFighting.html


              The article seems like some kind of argument against hypothetical people who are claiming that Europeans from the 1500s had BJJ. But as far as I know nobody is claiming that? (If someone is claiming that they would be silly but I have never heard or read such a claim made.)

              On the whole I think it's a very strange article.
              John Clements, bless his little black and red heart, has been castigating hypothetical people in his books and essays for over ten years now. I'm sure that he will continue to do so as long as these hypothetical people continue to hypothetically say and do things that he doesn't like.
              Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

              Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Franco View Post


                Anti-grapple?
                Actually, if you could get him there, a knight would be more or less helpless off his back. Wrestling is the anti-knight.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Isn't the huge hole in his argument that folk wrestling styles, including submissions and pins, have been extant in nearly every culture going back to greek wrestling and pancration? Ground grappling was not a part of medieval battlefield combat =/= ground grappling did not exist or was not useful.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Also, IIRC, Talhoffer includes several finishes on the ground throughout his manual.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JudOWNED View Post
                      Isn't the huge hole in his argument that folk wrestling styles, including submissions and pins, have been extant in nearly every culture going back to greek wrestling and pancration? Ground grappling was not a part of medieval battlefield combat =/= ground grappling did not exist or was not useful.
                      We have well-illustrated instructional treatises on some styles of folk (recreational) wrestling from those periods, but they concentrate on throwing rather than on submissions/pins.

                      Combat wrestling (German kampfringen, etc.) did include some groundfighting, but the context was generally unterhalten - "holding down", pins or jointlocks designed to immobilize an armored enemy on the ground and expose them to a killing thrust with a sword or dagger. There are techniques for pinning an opponent and then cutting the leather straps securing their helmet to expose their face to your dagger, etc. At least one treatise also dealt with leverage-based escapes and reversals to unterhalten techniques, but there's nothing like the complex ground game of catch wrestling, BJJ etc.

                      We've been having a good discussion on the role of ground grappling in historical European MA on the WMA forum - ground-fighting ? - No BS MMA and Martial Arts .
                      Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

                      Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'll reserve, for the WMA forum, any comment on the degree to which medieval wrestling worked on the ground, but I want to point out 2 things:

                        First, it is entirely possible to grapple in plate armor. There are many historical sources that illustrate techniques for just that purpose. After all, it's easier to wedge your knife into the chinks of someone's armor after you've thrown him on his head & pinned him down then it is when he's on his feet & free to move.

                        Second, Clements claims that studying grappling/wrestling will not teach you swordsmanship, but studying swordsmanship with grappling will teach you all you need to know of grappling. In short: he's talking out his ass. Obviously techniques need to be modified when weapons are involved, but an experienced wrestler will quickly pick up wrestling at the sword & moreover the sport of wrestling was hugely popular in medieval Europe so it is extraordinarily likely that medieval warriors learned the fundamentals of sport grappling before they ever picked up a sword.

                        There is a German saying (roughly translated): All fighting comes from wrestling.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by G-Off View Post
                          Actually, if you could get him there, a knight would be more or less helpless off his back. Wrestling is the anti-knight.
                          This is True in the middle ages foot soldiers would often wrestle knights in order to pin them so they could insert their dagger's into the visor slit and armpits, due to those places lacking protection.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I am far from an expert on this topic, but My ironically named student David Knight translated and published the book: "POLEARMS OF PAULUS HECTOR MAIR". He teaches a kampfringen class out of my school on Saturdays.
                            http://www.meetup.com/gothamfightschool/

                            Having read the book and watched the class, there is certainly grappling. Obviously different goals when dealing with weapons. But wrestling has been around for ages and part of just about every training program known to man I suspect.

                            A quick google search on books on topic show many cover wrestling.
                            One of the best Bullshido investigations ever written: http://www.bullshido.org/David_Kujawski_Investigation

                            "disgruntled ex student who couldn't hack training with Dave and his material and opted out (could be called pussied out) of training to go to Sambo" - Mor Sao

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There is a German saying (roughly translated): All fighting comes from wrestling.
                              http://www.thearma.org/essays/Monte.htm

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