Applying a grappling technique without any grip is practically impossible. Therefore, before to execute a grappling move, we need to establish a grip. However in the same time the grip serves for our opponent as a threat signal. So it is necessary to establish the grip in such fashion, so to avoid our opponent to read correctly our fighters intention.

Grips are established both with offensive and defensive purposes. If a fighter strives to establish grip first, this serves as a signal that this will be followed by an attack. If a fighter allows his opponent to establish his grip, and doesn’t goes for his own grip after, not showing any aggressive intentions, his opponent usually doesn’t expect attack. If a fighter is physically stronger than his opponent, he uses strength to climb to his grip. Another way to establish the desired grip is to establish different grip first, and after, in an appropriate moment, to move his grip to the desired one. Sometimes fake grips can be implemented – as a result, while the opponent fights to escape it, moves the grip to the desired one from our fighter.

Achieving certain grip, sometimes comes with the problem to get free from some opponents grip, otherwise he will detain execution of the technique. It is necessary to force him in such a position, so his own grip becomes uncomfortable to start an attack or defense and the opponent will be forced to change his grip himself. Option is to move his grip to other less comfortable for him spot or free from his grip using rapid push or pull, or punch off his hand, body, leg etc.

If it is necessary for us the opponent not to change his grip, if it is comfortable for the attacking fighter, so he have to create impression that we want to free ourselves from his grip, separating from our opponent the gripped body part or pull it (most often pulling hands down in stand-up grappling).

It happens so the opponent interfere our attack pushing away. Than useful tactic is by pulls to force him by pulling not to stretch but to bend his arms and by this to pull us towards him. It is also an option to close distance by shooting or slipping, supported by forcing his hands aside.

Practical drills for practicing these concepts:

Conditional Grip Sparring Drill 1: The coach gives a condition for the fighters to achieve certain grip. For example certain grip on the hands, hand and waist, body grip, grip on the legs. The fighter who first establishes the conditional grip is considered winner.
Conditional Grip Sparring Drill 2: The coach gives a condition to Fighter 1 to achieve certain grip; Fighter 2 has the condition only to defend it. Mid round or next round the coach changes the roles of the Fighters 1 and 2.

Conditional Grip Sparring Drill 3: The coach gives condition to the fighters implement only certain technique from certain grip.

Conditional Grip Sparring Drill 4: (Advanced) The coach gives condition to the fighters implement only certain technique from certain grip and permits another technique but from another grip, so for execution of the second technique the fighters has to make transition from first to the second grip and if not successful back to first grip and first technique.

For sample Grip Training for Combat Sports CLICK HERE.

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