Importance of Grip Fighting

In Judo, grip fighting is known as "Kumi Kata" and is of utmost importance

The saying “Control the grips, control the fight” has been around for quite some time. Understanding the basics of grip fighting systems is imperative in applying your throws and takedowns, as well as sweeps and submission attempts. You may be asking…grip fighting “system”? Yes! As with everything in grappling, or Jiu-Jitsu, even gripping can be broken down into systems.

Looking at grip fighting systems through the perspective of standing techniques, one needs to train multiple scenarios. Ask yourself, do you have gripping systems for Gi and NoGi? In Gi, do you have a system for both same side and opposite side gripping? When you break your opponent’s grip(s), say off of your collar or sleeve, do you know where to establish your grip.

When you’re training or competing in NoGi, do you understand the basic concepts of hand/arm fighting? How about head fighting? Or how about pummeling? Do you know how to grip break when your opponent has a collar-tie? How about when they have a powerful wrist grip on you? Where will you obtain your grip(s) once those are broken? Having some answers to all of these questions will definitely help improve your overall game.

Results from years of grip fighting

Grip fighting is super important in the stand-up game, but it really comes into play when on the ground as well. Looking at both Gi and NoGi, a couple of areas to drive home the concepts would be when you have Guard or you are inside your opponent’s Guard. Ask yourself, do I understand the importance of basic sleeve and arm control? How about hip control from both top and bottom? Yes, bottom too. Do you know foot placement and leg control concepts? Gripping systems do include grabbing on your opponent’s legs as well.

“Where can I get more info on these concepts Coach?!” Again, pay attention in class, drill and apply them during your rolls, and do your homework. Grip fighting is such an under trained area sometimes. Invest some time in it so you become better at developing your own systems.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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