Striking vs grappling

CNida

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Curious to hear some opinions, especially from those of you martial artists out there who have trained in both striking and grappling:

Which art is easier to learn as someone who has no martial arts experience whatsoever, the striking art or the grappling art?

And for those experienced in one or the other: is it easier to learn a grappling art coming from a striking art, or is it easier to pick up striking after learning grappling?

Just looking for opinions and maybe some light debate, not necessarily looking to hear which is more superior.


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Kung Fu Wang

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If you ask any Judo instructor, he will tell you that it will take at least 6 months to be able to use a single throw well. How long will it take you to learn how to punch at your opponent's head? It won't need 6 months and that's for sure. The reason is simple, all throwing art will require 2 or even 3 contact points (sleeve hold, lapel hold, body contact) to function. The striking art only need 1 contact point (fist meets face). So the striking art is easier to learn than the grappling art.

If you are good at to obtain 3 contact points, you are good at to obtain 1 contact point. The other way around may not be true. So I will say after you are good at grappling, it will be easier for you to pick up striking.

Another reason why you should train the grappling art before the striking art is, all grappling art will force you to develop and test your skill against your training partner. If you have faith in partner training for your grappling art, you will have faith in partner training for your striking art as well.

I trained my striking art before my grappling art. I did spend a lot of time in solo forms training. If I can live my life all over again, I won't spend that much time in my solo form training and that's for sure.
 
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geezer

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I really think it depends on your personal inclination. Some people seem born to one or the other. My older brother was a great wrestler. Striking never came naturally to him. My primary art is a striking art, but as a kid I was probably more apt at grappling. My son seemed that way too, but has ended up in TKD. It's all good, and in the long run it's best to have some knowledge of both.
 

TKDTony2179

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Curious to hear some opinions, especially from those of you martial artists out there who have trained in both striking and grappling:

Which art is easier to learn as someone who has no martial arts experience whatsoever, the striking art or the grappling art?

And for those experienced in one or the other: is it easier to learn a grappling art coming from a striking art, or is it easier to pick up striking after learning grappling?

Just looking for opinions and maybe some light debate, not necessarily looking to hear which is more superior.


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I started a very similar thread from which I got the idea from black belt mag.

I started with first and later learn just a lil bit bjj. Since I learned to focus and absorb all what the instructor was teaching it was easier to understand but hard to get anything because of the advance people in class. I did eventually catch a blue belt in two submission. Kumara and gullitine. But he had been out for a while.

I would say striking would be easier. Learn to make a fist and hit. Take less time to learn than a complex hold or lock. But proper body mechanics is needed. But still less time.
 

Kong Soo Do

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This is a great question. All things being equal, striking may be easier to learn from the perspective of sheer mechanics. That doesn't necessarily mean that a person would be proficient in striking however. As KFW above states, "fist meets face" is fairly straight-forward whereas grappling involves body mechanics, balance displacement, cavity pressing, misplacing the bone or tendon and understanding of anatomy etc. Again however, we cannot equate how 'easy' something is to learn with how 'simple' it is to learn. I started off with primarily striking. Over the years I gravitated to locks and throws and though I will still occasionally use a strike (mainly elbow or forearm these days) I will use a lock or throw in a far greater number of altercations (though an initial strike may often precede the lock or throw and to be clear it may be more of a strike to gain entry or position to the lock or throw rather than a proverbial knock-out strike).

Using karate kata as an example, and using the 'deeper meaning' methodology, the movements of a strike (and/or a block) are most often that of something far more than the strike i.e. a lock, throw, choke, cavity press etc. So one can teach both movements at the same time. This is our approach.
 

SENC-33

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Depends what you are looking to gain. If you want to exercise go for the grappling I suppose if you are looking to defend yourself learn to strike. I look at everything from a survivalist POV and I don't feel like grappling is a priority to learn in self defense. I concentrate on striking and escaping in my limited ground training which isn't really grappling. If you have a fascination with rolling on the ground (and some do) go for it. If you like to hit like I do absorbe yourself in the striking arts. MA training should be enjoyed
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Another thing that may be worthwhile to consider is the "legal issue". When you use your fist to break your opponent's nose, it will be difficult for you to prove in the court that you are not a violent person. When both you and your opponent fell down, the back of your opponent's head hit on the rock and passed out, you may prove in the court that it was just a pure accident. There was no violent intention involved.
 

msmitht

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Curious to hear some opinions, especially from those of you martial artists out there who have trained in both striking and grappling:

Which art is easier to learn as someone who has no martial arts experience whatsoever, the striking art or the grappling art?

And for those experienced in one or the other: is it easier to learn a grappling art coming from a striking art, or is it easier to pick up striking after learning grappling?

Just looking for opinions and maybe some light debate, not necessarily looking to hear which is more superior.


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Apples and oranges. Different ideas/strategies/ training methods/ goals. As someone who trains both I can say that they both take a long time to learn properly and there are no short cuts. Legally speaking if you train in any art seriously injure someone you will most likely be held liable. Doesn't matter if you punch them or arm bar them.
 

MJS

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This is going tio be a long thread.

LOL! I was thinking the same thing. Time for some :drinkbeerand :popcorn: pull up a chair, kick back, and watch the show! :D
 

MJS

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Both are going to require in-depth study to get really good. On face value, I'd say striking would probably be something you can pick up quicker, but as others have already said, it really depends. I started off in the striking arts, but when I was learning BJJ, given the fact that it was a totally different area, it still took a while to grasp things, at least for me. Of course, IMO, it you wanted to move things along a bit quicker, you could focus on specific things. For example...the stand up arts: eliminate the katas, the majority of the stances, and focus on the bare bones things, such as striking, blocking, kicking. Think more like boxing. They don't have a ton of punches, but the combos are endless. A boxer is good at what he does. Same thing with grappling. Rather than learning 10 different guard passes, pick a few escapes from each position, some subs., etc, drill the hell out of them, and chances are, you'll be pretty capable, should you land on the ground.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If your opponent punches at you, you give him a bear hug. He can't get out of it. You ask him, "Can we stop this?" He may feel that you are very strong and he may not have much chance to defeat you. He then says "yes!" You let go your bear hug. He walks away. You walk in another direction. Nobody gets hurt. Is that a better ending than "meet you fist on your opponent's face?" When your fist meets your opponent's face, there is no way to turn back.
 

MJS

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If your opponent punches at you, you give him a bear hug. He can't get out of it. You ask him, "Can we stop this?" He may feel that you are very strong and he may not have much chance to defeat you. He then says "yes!" You let go your bear hug. He walks away. You walk in another direction. Nobody gets hurt. Is that a better ending than "meet you fist on your opponent's face?" When your fist meets your opponent's face, there is no way to turn back.

Not sure if you're asking me, but I'll reply. :) Yes, that is a better ending. OTOH, the guy could turn around and make a 2nd attempt. Of course, at some point, the use of force will need to be escalated.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Not sure if you're asking me, but I'll reply. :) Yes, that is a better ending. OTOH, the guy could turn around and make a 2nd attempt. Of course, at some point, the use of force will need to be escalated.
The 2nd attempt could happen too. It's like to hit your opponent with the handle of your dagger before you stab that dagger into his chest. If your opponent can back up from your dagger handle striking, there will be no need to use your dagger blade.

In the striking art, there will be no "2nd attempt".

 
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MJS

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The 2nd attempt could happen too. It's like to hit your opponent with the handle of your dagger before you stab that dagger into his chest. If your opponent can back up from your dagger handle striking, there will be no need to use your dagger blade.

In the striking art, there will be no "2nd attempt".


IMO, I'd say it'll depend on the situation. In some situations, I think that grappling may not be the best option, but that's just me. And as I've said before...I enjoy both, and I feel that both have their place.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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IMO, I'd say it'll depend on the situation. In some situations, I think that grappling may not be the best option, but that's just me. And as I've said before...I enjoy both, and I feel that both have their place.
I may have mentioned this before. Onetime a MA instructor asked me to punch him in front of his students. I knew he was going to use me as his demo dummy to impress his students. I'm not going to let that happen.

If I throw a

- slow, weak punch, and freeze my punch in the thin air, I will make myself a fool.
- fast, powerful, controlled punch, and stop my punch 1/2 inch in front of my opponent's face, my opponent may not appreciate my kindness. He may throw a punch and knock me out.
- punch with full speed, full force, and knock him down, I may over do it.
- fake punch and then kick his groin, I may not be honest.

What should I do? The "striking art" just doesn't give me many options to choose from.
 
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MJS

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I may have mentioned this before. Onetime a MA instructor asked me to punch him in front of his students. I knew he was going to use me as his demo dummy to impress his students. I'm not going to let that happen.

If I throw a

- slow, weak punch, and freeze my punch in the thin air, I will make myself a fool.
- fast, powerful, controlled punch, and stop my punch 1/2 inch in front of my opponent's face, my opponent may not appreciate my kindness. He may throw a punch and knock me out.
- punch with full speed, full force, and knock him down, I may over do it.
- fake punch and then kick his groin, I may not be honest.

What should I do? The "striking art" just doesn't give me much options to choose from.

I've got to log off and get some things done, but I'll say this: It would piss me off more than anything, when I'd tell someone to do an attack, and it was half ***! A 2 hand choke was a ****ing shoulder massage. A punch that in reality, I wouldn't even have to block, let alone move, as it would never have reached me in the first place. I'd love the look on the students face when I'd say, "No, go ahead, really squeeze my neck." or, "No, really, throw that punch and try to hit me!" I looked at it like this...in the beginning, the slow, compliant stuff is necessary. Why? Because in every art, that's the way things need to be taught. Gradually introduced with more resistance, aliveness, etc added in. But afterwards, wouldn't it be nice to see the tech really work? Hey, if I got hit, it was MY fault for not doing something right. :) And yes, many times, the student wouldn't 'punch right' (God, I HATE that phrase!) and whatever they did, messed me up a bit, but when all was said and done, I adapted, and adjusted, and made it work.

Please don't mistake this for me sounding like some Superman. LOL. I'm not and that's not the case at all. I went thru the same things that you mention, and eventually, I ran into some training partners, who led me down the right path. :) Of course, even when doing Kenpo, before I moved on to much greener pasture..THANK GOD!!!...I felt that given that there was a lot of violence in the techs, that some situations just didn't warrant breaking/hyper extending the guys arm, so, I'd always like to look for other options, when I'd work my techs. What else could I do? Those were the things that I'd look for. I was at a point in my training where I really didn't need or want another tech or kata...God knows there were morethan enough..lol. I wanted to look at things from a different perspective.

IMO, there are options in the striking arts, but sometimes, they're not as out in the open as other things.
 
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CNida

CNida

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Whether or not you consider him a legitimate martial artist, Jon Jones once said something which, coincidentally, inspired the thought for me to start this thread and see what everyone else thinks. Anyway, what he said went something along the lines of:

"Striking is the mastery over ones own body, whereas grappling is the mastery over someone else's..."

He then went on to say something about how he could stand in front of a mirror to work on striking technique, but not so with grappling.

I would assume thats because in order to work on grappling techniques, you need another body or something that simulates one.


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Rumy73

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Both are easy to do badly. Striking effectively, which to me means controlling my force, hitting where I want and not hurting myself, is not easy against a determined opponent. We are talking the holy trinity of timing, distance and hitting. Whereas blindly or half blindly striking does not take much. Grappling is the same. Being good at either takes a lot of work.
 

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