HomeSportsWhat is Grappling Wrestling? Know everything about the Sport: Origin, Rules, Types
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What is Grappling Wrestling? Know everything about the Sport: Origin, Rules, Types

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There are more than 800+ types of sports that are played around the globe, and Grappling is one of them. Some of you might not have heard about this sport, we reckon many haven’t but don’t worry, we have got your back and we’ll clear all your queries about this sport and answer the only question, which is in your mind, what is grappling.

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Origin of grappling

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Wrestling, including grappling techniques, is mentioned in the Christian Bible, The Iliad, and the Indian Vedas. This method was utilized in ancient Greek wrestling in Pále, which was highlighted at the Olympic Games. Wrestlers fought by touching each other’s shoulders, hips, and backs to the ground to win points. During the Middle Ages, grappling spread over Japan, France, and England. Grappling evolved into a hybrid of freestyle wrestling, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu over time. Between 1467 and 1573, individuals employed unarmed fighting mixed with weaponry to establish classic Ju-Jitsu.

Classic Ju-Jitsu athletes who practiced armored grappling preferred daggers, sickles, chains, and swords. To disarm their opponents, these wrestlers used arm- and leg locks, as well as choking.

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What is Grappling?

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Image Source: World Grappling Committee

Grappling is a martial arts term that refers to maneuvers and methodologies that entail grabbing an opponent. In layman terms, grappling is integrated into the majority of combat sports and martial arts, including judo, ju-jitsu, sambo, and wrestling. Grapple is basically to get involved in hand-to-hand fighting, which is a component of wrestling. However, in Brazilian jiujitsu, the concept of grappling is also used to refer to ground combat, which is a prevalent fighting strategy. There are various distinctions between grappling and freestyle wrestling, as well as ground fighting arts like ju-jitsu.

Difference between Grappling and Wrestling

Grappling is a wee bit different from Wrestling. The existence of submissions and fighting approaches are the two major differences between grappling and freestyle wrestling when it comes to ground fighting. Submission holds, such as chokeholds or armbars, are not permitted in wrestling, as they are in grappling. Grappling means placing your opponent in a position that causes extreme pain or fear of injury, forcing them to offer up and exit the match. Wrestling matches are won by scoring more points than your opponent through maneuvers such as takedowns, reversals, survives, and near-falls, or by putting your opponent on his back and “pinning” by forcing both shoulder blades to get contacted by the floor.

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Grappling rules

Rules of Grappling | Grappling in India | Martial Arts | Western Wrestling | KreedOn
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  1. No unsportsmanlike behavior will be tolerated. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in disqualification or ejection. The referees will be treated with the utmost respect at all times. Their decisions are final and cannot be changed.
  2. Striking, biting, eye-gouging (including chin to the eye), head butting, small joint manipulation (finger or toe locks), hair pulling, grabbing the windpipe or ear pulling is strictly prohibited. 
  3. No slamming is permitted. Slamming will result in an automatic disqualification. Takedowns are not viewed knocks, but you must securely give the opponent down. 
  4. There will be no contagious skin diseases (such as ringworm, staph, and MRSA) or open wounds allowed. There will be no grease, oils, or moisturizers of any kind allowed on any part of the body or clothing.
  5. Competitors may proceed grappling everywhere on the matted area as long as they do not intrude with another match. When an opponent gets close to the edge of the mat, they will be restarted from the same location, except if the referee is unable to recreate the location for any purpose. If the referee is unable to duplicate the position, the contestants will be forced to start up from a standing position.

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6. In case a contender flees the ring while a request is locked in, and the rival is fleeing to avoid the submission, he or she will be disqualified.

7. Females will be barred from competing in men’s divisions. Men will not be allowed to compete in the women’s divisions. Teens (16 and up) may participate in the Men’s or Women’s groupings with the authorization of their family or instructor. Men over the age of 30 are eligible to participate in the 30+ divisions, but they can also compete in the Men’s divisions. Contenders will not be able to enter multiple age distinctions (teens must choose between juvenile and adult divisions, and men over 30 must choose between men’s and 30+ divisions).

8. In Juvenile (ages 4-17) matches, the ref has the authority to call a match if he or she believes a proposal will cause severe damage or injury, particularly in the beginner divisions.

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Types of grappling techniques 

Grappling in India | Martial Arts | Western Wrestling | KreedOn
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From a standing position, a takedown is used to force your opponent to the ground. This technique is all about throwing your opposing player off balance so that you can knock them to the floor or mat. A takedown is often referred to as a “shoot” when it is finished quickly. Here are some examples of common takedowns.

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  • Double-Leg Takedown
  • Single-Leg Takedown
  • Outside Foot Sweep
  • Ankle Pick Single


Sprawling is a combative technique used to counter an opponent’s attempt at a takedown. When an opposing player attempts to “shoot” on you, a sprawl will maintain you upright. To perform a sprawl, extend your legs behind you, safely out of your opponent’s reach, and land your upper body on their back. If done correctly, your load will force them down, giving you control.


A throw is a tactic used to knock your opponent off balance and, in some cases, forcefully maneuver him or her through the air. The majority of these techniques entail rotating with your opponent on the ground while still standing. This differs from a takedown, which leaves both you and your enemy on the floor. Some examples of common throws are:

  • Shoulder and Back Throws
  • Hip Throws
  • Pick Ups
  • Sacrificial Throws

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Clinching is a method of preparing for or defending against a throw or takedown that mainly involves the upper body. A clinch is when you have a firm grip on your opponent’s arms or head while they have a firm grip on your arm or head. You’re both attempting to gain a more favorable hold while avoiding your opponent from having an advantage. Strikes and takedowns can be executed from this grappling position. The following are some examples of common clinch takedowns:

  • Forearm Slide to the Back
  • Angle and Inside Block Takedown

Submission holds 

Submission holds are positions in which you can entrap or strangle your opponent. When placed in a submission hold in sport grappling, the fighter is forced to acknowledge defeat. In some sports, you submit by tapping your enemy’s leg, body, or floor to end the match. This is known as “tapping out.” The following are some of the most prevalent submission holds:

  • Arm Bar
  • Guillotine Choke
  • Triangle Choke
  • Rear Naked Choked
  • Arm Triangle Choke


Escapes are manipulations that allow you to get out of a risky disadvantaged position. The full-mount (when your opponent is on top of you with their knees on either side of your chest), the clinch, or a chokehold are all dangerous positions. Among the most common escapes are:

  • Shrimping Away 
  • The Buck and Roll
  • Cross the Face

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Securing techniques 

Securing techniques involve ‘pins,’ which, depending on the martial art style, can result in instant victory. This method can also be used as a warm-up for a submission hold. These may include:

  • Full-Nelson
  • Half-Nelson
  • Full-Mount
  • Half-Mount


A reversal occurs when a grappler moves from beneath his or her opponent to acquire the top position. The best way to counter an enemy’s move to gain control is all about confiscating a chance to turn your opponent’s mistake into your victory.

Types of Grappling styles 

Grappling in India | Martial Arts | Western Wrestling | KreedOn
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There are basically 2 types of grappling i.e GI Grappling & NO GI Grappling. The game has features from several ancient fighting forms like Judo, Sumo, Sambo, etc. Let’s discuss each event in brief.


Judo players wear a heavy jacket named a GI, which is gripped to implement throws and promote floor submissions. Hip throws, arm throws, sweeps and sacrifice throws to make up the majority of the throws (player willingly goes to the ground to take down the opponent). Judo frowns on grabbing a player’s legs to accomplish a throw.


Sumo wrestlers rely heavily on knockdowns and throws. Victory is achieved by pushing the opposing player out of the ring’s circular path or dragging him to the ground. During the matches, almost no clothing is worn, and no leverages or chokes are permitted.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

This newer style of jiu-jitsu focuses on ground fighting. Judo gis is worn by fighters. Games start by standing, but a breakdown (usually a simpler, less flashy type than those seen in Judo) rapidly brings the match to the ground, where chokes and leverages are implemented.

Shuai Chiao

Shuai Chiao fighters wear a light jacket, much lighter than Judo fighters. As a result, because they don’t have enough cloth to pull as much as Judo players, they have to get closer to each other. Shuai Jiao doesn’t feature ground combat but rather concentrates primarily on powerful knocks and takedowns, often involving joint-locking.


Sambo is a mixed martial art that combines Judo, Greco-Roman, and Freestyle Wrestling with ethnocultural forms of Russian wrestling. Fighters wear a light jacket and rely on both throws and ground fighting. Chokes are not permitted on the ground, but the ability to leverage against most joints are (including the ankle and knee.)

Western Wrestling 

Western wrestlers dress-up uniforms that are difficult to grab to perform throws. As a result, western wrestling emphasizes either grabbing the legs to score a takedown or powerful body lifts that result in a throw. Wrestlers on the ground attempt to pin their opponents but are not permitted to use chokes or joint locks. The primary distinction between Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling is that Greco-Roman does not permit assaulting the rival’s legs or using one’s legs to implement a throw, whereas Freestyle does.

Submission grappling 

Submission grappling is quite similar to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The athletes do not prepare or compete in a jacket or gi. Another remarkable distinction is that most submission grappling rulesets permit the use of most of the more threatening submission threats (such as certain leg-locks and neck-cranks) that are prohibited in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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Origin of Grappling in India 

Wrestling and grappling are sports with a lengthy and intricate history that dates back to prehistoric times. Folk wrestling encompasses a wide range of traditional genres. Grappling methods are a large category of unarmed combat techniques that have been formalized in numerous kinds of martial arts around the world. The grappling committee of India (under wrestling federation of India) has been reorganized as a national governing body for grappling sports in India by United World Wrestling-UWW. The Grappling Committee of India is formally registered with the government under the Society Act 2012/1860. National Championships for School Boys/Girls, Cadets, Juniors, Seniors, and Veterans have been held by the Grappling committee of India since 2005.

The journey of Dinesh Kapoor 

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Like wrestling, the life of Dinesh Kapoor, chairman of the Grappling Committee of India, who is trying to establish India’s rule in the world of sports, is full of struggle. Born in a very poor family and becoming India’s second referee and also achieving the title of International Referee, Dinesh Kapoor has witnessed a lot of struggle. Born in the Samalkha area village of Panipat district, Dinesh Kapoor’s father was living a life of extreme poverty, who reached Kharkhoda 35 years ago and started the work of confectionery for the upbringing of 6 children. 

While growing up between 3 brothers and 2 sisters, Dinesh Kapoor made education and sports his weapon to get out of the poverty, leaving the family and going to live with his uncle in Chandigarh. After he returned, he received primary education in a government school there. 

Returning to the Kharkhoda family and studying till 10th standard in Kharkhoda, Dinesh Kapoor passed class 12th from Government School in Model Town, Sonipat. After that, he completed a UG course from CRA College, both in education as well as in sports. Despite becoming a software engineer, he competed at the world level in the year 2014 and adopted Grappling, and completed his referee’s course.  He joined the state youth club and received international level referee recognition for grappling in the year 2017.

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Seeing the condition of Indian players in the world championship of grappling, Dinesh pledges to improve the system.

Grappling in India | Martial Arts | Western Wrestling | KreedOn
Dinesh Kapoor with Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (President Wrestling Federation of India and
Chairman, Grappling Committee of India)

Dinesh Kapoor played the role of referee in many international competitions. During his duty, he witnessed the poor performance of Indian players in the World Championship of Grappling. Therefore, instead of doing the work of referring, he started the exercise of improving the system. Under this campaign, he got the post of Chairman of the Grappling Committee of India. Since then, Dinesh Kapoor started selecting players based on their talent. At the same time, he also got the support of the Wrestling Federation of India to raise his voice against those who were selecting players wrongly in the system.

The grappling is gradually picking up international recognition, but the performance of Indian players has not improved yet. In such a situation, Dinesh Kapoor organized the first National Grappling Competition in the country in October 2021 (20 Oct – 22 Oct). This competition took place in New Delhi at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium. A total of 2192 athletes, 190 coaches, and 176 referees took part in this event. With great management and facilities for athletes, it was a highly successful tournament. The main objective of the event was to find better players. Apart from this, it was an exercise to take the game of Grappling to the people and make them aware through the medium of other sports.

Also, the 1st Indian Open Grappling wrestling championship concluded recently. The event was organized by the grappling wrestling committee of Maharashtra at the birthplace of veer Savarkar, Nashik, from 24 to 26 Dec 2021. The event invited athletes from all over India, with no registration fees. INR 2,50,000 was given to the winner.

Are there any prospects in the game of grappling? 

According to Dinesh Kapoor, there are enough prospects to be successful in the game of grappling. The country has a lot of potentials to achieve success in the game of grappling. To find new talents, a national grappling competition will be organized in Delhi. Players will be selected for international competitions based on their performance. There is also a call for the youth to make their life successful by establishing synergy between education and sports. 

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What is grappling wrestling?

Grappling wrestling, also known as submission wrestling, is a type of combat sport that involves various grappling techniques such as throws, takedowns, joint locks, and chokes, with the aim of submitting the opponent by forcing them to tap out or rendering them unconscious.

What are the benefits of grappling wrestling?

Grappling wrestling offers several benefits, including improved physical fitness, enhanced flexibility and agility, increased muscular strength, and improved mental focus and discipline.

What kind of training is involved in grappling wrestling?

Grappling wrestling requires a combination of strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and technical skill development. Training typically involves a mix of drilling specific techniques, sparring with partners, and strength and conditioning exercises.

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