Ground fighting (in martial arts sometimes referred to as "ground work" or "ground game") is hand-to-hand combat which takes place while the combatants are on the ground, generally involving a degree of grappling.

The term is commonly used in martial arts and combat sports to designate the set of techniques employed by a combatant that is on the ground, as opposed to techniques employed in stand-up fighting.




Martial arts and combat sports that emphasize ground fighting include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo. It is also an important ingredient in sambo and most types of wrestling.

Similarly to clinch fighting, ground fighting implies that the combatants are at a very close range, usually involving one or both combatants grappling the opponent using various grappling holds. Depending on the positioning of the combatants, the proximity can allow for techniques such as chokeholds, joint locks, pressure point techniques, or various strikes.

Brutal moves such as fish-hooking, eye-gouging or biting, which are used solely to gain leverage through the pain caused, are not allowed in traditional martial arts competition or sparring (cf.: Kino mutai). Fish hooking is a move where an opponent tries to slip into a body opening or skin fold and tries to provoke his opponent by "hooking" their fingers or hand and pulling or tearing the flesh, like a fishhook with a fish.

A chokehold is a grappling technique that uses leverage such as figure-four holds or collar holds to strangle the opponent and force submission in martial arts such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Combat sambo and MMA. The pressure exercised on the blood vessels or upper airway causes the opponent to tap out. The triangle choke is a submission hold used in MMA whereby a competitor uses his legs to encircle his opponent's head and one of his arms. The legs are then squeezed together until they folrm a triangle, forcing the opponent's head down.
Ground Fighting


Mixed Martial Arts:
The Book of Knowledge


by BJ Penn, Glen Cordoz,
Erich Krauss
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