Proper Grappling Ettiquette

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This Thursday, I watched an episode of “Fraiser.” The main character, Dr. Fraiser Crane, kept getting preturbed because everywhere he went, he displayed politeness and civility while his fellow Seattle citizens did not return the favor. Frasier hit a boiling point when he and his brother, Niles, had a table they were waiting for in their favorite coffee shop, snatched away by another patron. Frasier argued briefly with the man before he blew his top and told him, “Sir, you need an etiquette lesson.”

He then hoisted the man from his chair and tossed him out of the cafe….

Anything physical reminds me of Jiu-jitsu and soon my thoughts drifted to what is or isn’t acceptable when grappling with another person in a Jiu-jitsu class or even a competition.

My main thoughts deal with what is the acceptable use of hands, forearms and elbows when you are on top and in someone else’s guard. Over the few years that I have been involved in grappling I have had people cover my nose with their hand, place their hands around my neck, place their forearms on my throat, push on my forehead, jaws and chin and many other techniques. For the most part I have always thought those were acceptable moves, but some of them are very questionable.

Personally, I don’t place my hands around people’s necks as if I am choking them. I don’t place my hands over their nose or eyes and I don’t place my forearms on their jaws. However, I do place an occasional forearm to the neck; use my hands to push on the forehead and jaw to control the head and probably do a few other moves which might be considered questionable. However, when I apply these sort of techniques it is always just to apply enough pressure to distract my opponent or to get them to let go of a certain hold.

I can remember a guy that I used to grapple with in my first academy who used these type of techniques as a tool to get people to tap out. It was a little irritating, but I figured that this was how bullies or people in the “real world” would try to manhandle you if they got the chance, so it’s better to learn how to defend it in class.

What are your thoughts…..?


3 thoughts on “Proper Grappling Ettiquette

    Steve said:
    December 8, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Heya. The Fightworks poll has brought out several great blogs. Glad I found this one.

    Regarding this particular topic, hands to the neck are bad form at my school. While rude, they’re also inviting an armbar. Forearms to the neck are pretty much every day occurrences, particularly if the guy on the bottom is giving the forearm. One way we’re taught to create space from the bottom is by widening our elbows out, forearm under our opponent’s chin and making the guy on top uncomfortable if he’s driving in. We’ll also push on the foreheads, but seldom to the jaw. We also try to avoid neck cranks.

    Other things that jump to mind with regards to grappling etiquette include cleaning the gi regularly and minding injuries.

    Take care.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    December 8, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks Steve…

    That guy that used to put the hands on the neck of people did get armbarred a lot. I guess that’s another reason why I really didn’t mind.

    You’re right about the gi part, but since I do no-gi I appreciate it when everyone makes sure they are clean before coming to practice. I’ve tapped out to funk before…

    slideyfoot said:
    December 9, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Yeah, I’d agree with Steve – one of the first things I try to do from under side control is jam my forearm into their neck, aiming to create space to shrimp out or come to my knees, as well as stopping them from pressing down.

    Neck cranks are frowned upon at my school, as far as I’m aware, along with leg locks for white belts.

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