BJJ vs Wrestling (Thoughts)

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by MF Doomer, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. MF Doomer

    MF Doomer Green Belt

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    I'm rewatching Vera/Werdum and Rogan just made this comment:

    "Vera is an excellent wrester. Werdum is a great jiu jitsui man, but Vera has the advantage with wrestling, I believe..."

    I have long believed that "wrestling" in its pure sense, is overrated, and that because wrestlers are so bad on their backs, other than shooting, and getting take downs, wrestling doesn't seem to matter that much in terms of your ability to control a man. More often I feel that overall size, and JJ, really say a lot more.

    GSP is consistently credited with being the best "wrestler" because he controlled Koscheck, and others on the ground. Guys who are clearly better pure wrestlers. GSP actually seems to dominate with this size, and controlling guys who are on their backs, something a wrestler is not comfortable with. When GSP threw Hughes, he did it with a judo throw, not a wrestling shoot. Not to say GSP cannot shoot, because he can, but it's not his "wrestling", per se, that makes him better on the ground. It's his practice of JJ control.

    I felt that on the ground, due to his size and JJ, Werdum would control Vera, and he did. I was not surprised when Rampage controlled Henderson on the ground because of his size, and practice on the ground, not his wrestling. Was not surprised when Silva controlled Henderson on the ground because of his size, and JJ, not wrestling.

    This is not to say wrestlers cannot learn to dominate in MMA, but it seems they benefit with regard to weight cutting, shooting, and power. Not being on the ground itself. Right now there is no champion in the UFC who is a wrestler, and Urijah is the only one in Zuffa. Couture is obviously amazing, and somewhat of the exception since he is never dominated on the ground, but again, not saying wrestlers cannot be great, it's just not something I feel should be noted as a real advantage, per se.

    I could be crazy to think this way, but I always feel the bigger man who practices ground, assuming the guy isn't physically awkward, will more often control the ground, regardless of wrestling skills.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. IrishBeatDown****

    IrishBeatDown**** Banned Banned

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    i disagree with you on one point, that is that wrestling doesnt give you an upper hand in controling a man... the whole idea behind wrestling is body manipulation... wrestlers are VERY good at keeping their opponent on the ground and maintaining an advantagous top position... they know how to defend sweeps and they know how to get past legs...

    i don't think you can say one is more dangerous or important than the other... yes jiu jitsu specialists are very dangerous on their backs, but wrestlers are EQUALLY dangerous on top, they have the skills to pass guard very effectively and nothing is more frustrating than being smothered by a good wrestler who is raining down punches at every opportunity.

    basically i look at it like this:

    wrestlers have the following advantages over a jits competitor:

    power
    take downs
    take down defense
    ground control


    jits guys on the other hand have the following advantages:

    submission knowlege/experience/ technique
    mental edge on their backs
    defensive capabilities on the ground
     
  3. DaRuckus337

    DaRuckus337 Black Belt

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    My wrestling has always been a huge asset on the ground since I took up bjj. I know how to move while staying tight and heavy, know how to place my weight, know how to control my hips, how to control my opponent's hips, how to maintain power form awkward and off-balanced positions, and generally how to grapple. It's why I was able ti compete with purple belts within a year - not because my bjj was better but because my extensive 'other' grappling background allowed me to effectively close a gap in specific bjj skill. It's why I will always be confident in my ability to dictate the position (top or bottom) in a grappling match against almost any bjj player - even against guys with 20, 30, or 50 pounds on me. Only a couch jockey who has never grappled against a wrestler would think it isn't a big asset when taking up submission grappling and mma. In short, you're completely wrong.
     
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  4. MF Doomer

    MF Doomer Green Belt

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    i agree with that.

    but, my point is, regardless of how good a guys wrestling background seems to be, the bigger fighter, especially a JJ guy, seems to control the fight more often.

    I never think that because a guy is a great wrestler, other than avoiding take downs, and just holding someone down, he's going to be very effective.

    Maybe I'm crazy, I don't know.
     
  5. MF Doomer

    MF Doomer Green Belt

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    i practice JJ, and never wrestled.

    my point is not that wrestlers cannot control, but rather, that JJ guys, who were never pure wrestlers, and other larger athletic fighters, seem to pick up the basics of ground control very quickly. other than stopping the shoot, and getting back to their feet, it seems once on the ground, the things a wrestler can do can be learned faster than any other aspect of the sport.

    try not to take this as offensive.
     
  6. IrishBeatDown****

    IrishBeatDown**** Banned Banned

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    that depends how big we are talking...and what defines big...are you talking height or muscle mass but within the same weight class? or are yout talking 155 vs 185 guy? i am 5'8 170 lbs and it doesnt matter if the guy is taller or shorter than me, if he is 170 lbs 9 times out of 10 i am in the dominant position becuause of my wrestling background... now, you put me in with a guy at 185-200 i'm going to start to have a lot of trouble... over 200 fuggetaboutit... he can just lay on me all day.
     
  7. DaRuckus337

    DaRuckus337 Black Belt

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    I don't take it as offensive, I take it as ignorant. Takedowns and takedown defense are huge parts of wrestling, and vital in mma. Dictating where a fight takes place is why wrestlers have always been so successful in mma. The no-gi ground control aspects from top, the domination of the turtle position, and the ability to stand up and escape are also a definite assets of wrestling, but indeed can be learned by an experienced bjj practitioner because they spend years and years training exclusively on the ground. Obviously, the solid bjj player will be able to learn the same ground skills the experienced wrestler has with regards to these things, given the hundreds of hours they spend practicing them.
     
  8. MF Doomer

    MF Doomer Green Belt

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    i guess that's my issue, and i agree with what you're saying. being able to avoid takedowns is tremendous, chuck a great case in point with a wrestling background.

    Recently it just seems that wrestlers are getting controlled by taller fighters who don't have the pedigree in wrestling, but are more often JJ guys. Maybe it's just a trend I'm seeing.

    Oddly, I think it's Jon Fitch's wrestling, and length that will ultimately help him defeat GSP, who I believe has overrated "wrestling", since what I'm saying is I don't consider what he does to be wrestling, per se.
     
  9. beeble

    beeble Green Belt

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    i agree with you completely, the only fights i have ever lost in a bjj tournament have come at the hands of better wrestlers.. wrestling does allow for more control that strictly bjj, thats why you get points for the takedown in competition.. i personally believe if you wrestle before bjj, you will accell a lot faster in your overall submission ground game, because you already have the ability to control your opponent as an instinct, giving all of your focus on defending or applying subs
     
  10. Systemanoob**

    Systemanoob** Banned Banned

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    Some myths to refute.

    GSP is actually the better pure wrestler than Koscheck. He was offered a spot to go to the Olympics, but said defending his title was more important to him. The coach of the Canadian Olympic team -- the team GSP trains with -- had this conversation with a reporter.

    Reporter: So GSP's a really good wrestler?
    Canadian Olympian: No, no, no. When I say GSP is a really good wrestler, I mean he is a REALLY good wrestler.

    Not an exact quote, but pretty close. I don't think Koscheck could make the Canadian Olympic team as it is even if he were Canadian. Plus, Koscheck couldn't defend simple shoots and was put on his back at will.

    Huh? What fight were you watching?

    Round 1 -- Henderson puts Rampage on his back and for about 4/5 of the round he stays there. Henderson controlled Rampage fairly easily on the ground. Hendo 10-9.

    Round 2 -- Henderson again another Greco-clinch and takedown. Rampage on his back the majority of the round, but somehow Hendo winds up on his back at the end of the round. Henderson controlled Rampage on the ground the majority of the round.

    Judge 1 -- Hendo 10-9 Judges 2 & 3 Rampage 10-9

    I assume judges 2 and 3 just looked to see who was on top at the end of the round.

    Round 3 -- Clearly Rampages, landed some punches got Hendo down through a combination of punches, cage mistakes from Hendo, and maybe a sweep. Hendo looked gassed on the ground and didn't even attempt to get up it seems. Rampage controlled Hendo the majority of the round.

    10-9 Rampage

    Round 4 -- Again basically the same thing as Round 3 except Rogan's biased commentating made me think Rampage was winning this fight 4 rounds to zero. Rampage controlled Hendo the majority of the round.

    Round 5 -- Hendo's again, gets the takedown, trades with Rampage, controls him until the very last seconds where Rogan says Rampage took Hendo down when it was just a basic sweep and the fight ended with Rampage chasing after Hendo. Hendo controlled Ramage on the ground the majority of the round.

    Judges 10-9 Rampage

    10-9 Hendo I don't award points by ignoring what happened in everything but the last few seconds of the round.

    Silva fight

    Round 1 - Hendo gets takedown pretty much dominates the round as Silva is still on his back at the end of the round.

    10-9 Hendo

    Round 2 - Hendo gets caught, gives up his back and gets subbed.

    Where have you been? Wrestlers have dominated the UFC ever since they figured out jiu-jitsu. Probably started with Shamrock beating down Royce in the first UFC superfight.

    Then the list of UFC champions that are wrestlers go on forever.

    Ken Shamrock
    Dan Severn
    Don Frye
    Mark Coleman
    Kevin Randlemann
    Randy Couture
    Josh Barnett
    Tito Ortiz
    Matt Hughes
    GSP
    Sean Sherk

    Do I need to go on?
     
  11. DaRuckus337

    DaRuckus337 Black Belt

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    GSP is a great wrestler who has been wrestling essentially full-time (ie 4-5x per week) with Olympic-caliber wrestlers for nearly a decade (he says that he started wrestling and boxing as a teenager after his Karate teacher died and well before his first mma fight). He is in fact a very experienced and very skilled wrestler, and has been training wrestling for longer than he has been training bjj. I think your posts are filled with misinformation that have led to misguided conclusions.
     
  12. Jimmy Cerra

    Jimmy Cerra Amateur Fighter

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    I don't think he is completely wrong. It depends on the wrestler and the match-up. You're a good wrestler, but some guys just don't know how to translate that into grappling. I was rolling with a few d1 guys on Monday, but they were so stiff and weren't fluid at all. It really surprised me, because I thought at their level they needed to be more relaxed even in wrestling.

    Then there's the one tournament I was in. I used a bad strategy in my first no-gi match, but the guy who got 2nd in that bracket (which was actually pretty big - 4 rounds) I beat up a lot the week before at a practice session. He's a former d1 wrestler too. (He used to be far better than me when I started grappling, too.) Sometimes A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A. The match-up and strategy you use is very important.

    Wrestling can give a head start if the wrestler has a good attitude and also has very good wrestling. But it isn't a silver bullet. Just like jiu-jitsu.
     
  13. DaRuckus337

    DaRuckus337 Black Belt

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    ^ Oh I definitely agree with you, Frodo. The TS seems to think that wrestling is simply a matter of size and strength, and that the things it teaches can be learned far quicker and better in bjj. It is my opinion that 1) bjj will rarely if ever prepare a grappler to be more effective at takedowns and takedown defense, and 2) will only prepare an athlete to be as good at control from top, domination from turtle, escaping from bottom, and general scrambling IF the bjj player spends the same amount of time working on it as the wrestler has. These aren't really bold statements, and of course don't apply to everyone and every situation, but they are generally true. Wrestling provides a wealth of grappling experience, some of which you can easily get elsewhere, some of which you can't. But the skills you learn are very important in mma and sub grappling, as are the pace and mental toughness that wrestlers develop. Basically, I disagree with almost everything the TS said, and think he is extrapolating false examples and misunderstood principles into misguided and inaccurate conclusions.

    EDIT: As for my wrestling translating to bjj, I think the fact that I was never one of the super stocky, powerful 'lay down the hammer' type of wrestlers has been an advantage. I was always a little lankier (even these days when I'm a little bigger I'm only 5-9, 160), and relied more on a fluid and funky game to get my points and pins. Being more of a scrambler and body control guy definitely helps when learning the speed and skills needed to be a successful bjj player imo, because there are fewer bad habits with regards to pacing and positioning to unlearn. It seems to me that a lot of the more powerful wrestlers have a longer road to travel with regards to understanding 'relaxed control', not overcommitting to bad positions, and generally feeling positions out. Being too committed to imposing your will at all costs in bjj can be costly. Sometimes a more patient baiting and counterattacking game is vital, and the most powerful wrestlers sometimes have trouble with this basic difference in pacing of the two sports.
     
  14. mikey5time

    mikey5time Yellow Belt

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    Yeah, you're using a high level BJJ blackbelt as an example though.

    I wouldn't use him as an example of picking anything up 'quickly', because at that level he's been at it for many years.
     
  15. MF Doomer

    MF Doomer Green Belt

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    the poster does not think it's about size or strength only, and knows full well that george is a good wrestler.

    all the people the other poster mentioned USED TO dominate the UFC, other than GSP, who is more martial artist than pure wrestler. GSP is a superior athlete, as I mentioned in another response.

    Urijah is a great wrestler as well, and dominates with his athletic ability.

    Not going point for point on Dan and Silva, or Dan and Rampage. But, if you watch the fight, you'll hear commentary about how Rampage was controlling Dan. I think it may have been Randy.

    Anyway, when GSP dominates a bigger wrestler with his wrestling, like Fitch, I'll reconsider some assumptions.

    But I'm tired of hearing "this guy's wrestling is phenomenal" and then seeing a guy getting worked by someone who isn't known to be a wrestler.

    I guess I'm more picking my spots, since Evans can put you to sleep with his wrestling seemingly at will.

    In the end, especially regarding Vera/Werdum, because a guy is the better wrestler, I in know way think that's going to have any bearing on the fight, quite often.

    Of course, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, but I find wrestling to be the skill most easily learned with regard to MMA, and compared to the rest, and probably the least relevant.

    DON"T TAKE OFFENSE. I've worked out with wrestlers who train JJ. Then again, we're all pretty much D level within all regards.
     
  16. DaRuckus337

    DaRuckus337 Black Belt

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    Rampage was a college wrestler, and has 25 pounds on Henderson (while being 7 years younger). The wrestling in their match was pretty even, with each guy securing some takedowns/reversals. Werdum is a world champion bjj blackbelt and ADCC no-gi grappling champ. He has great judo and great no-gi takedowns to go along with submissions (and his 25 pound weight advantage), while Vera was hardly a world class wrestler in anyone's books. He was just a good Air Force wrestler who never got a chance to wrestle in college. GSP is a top-level wrestler with a decade of experience, so it should hardly be a surprise when he demonstrates excellent wrestling ability. Basically, I'm not following your analogies here. Good wrestlers are good wrestlers. Whoever has the better mma wrestling in mma matches usually controls the takedowns and often wins. It's not always the guy who the announcers hype as having better wrestling, but that is not wrestling's fault, that's the announcer's fault.
     
  17. Systemanoob**

    Systemanoob** Banned Banned

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    Are you referring to me as the other poster? Has the grappling forum banned my name from being spoken? Also GSP dominating because he's a superior athlete makes no sense at all. In wrestling you gain athleticism quite a bit; athleticsm is not just an ascribed status. Your really just running in circles.

    Rogan and who else in the booth are so biased I don't really take them seriously. If you're THIS influenced by what the commentators say, please watch all UFC fights on mute. Everytime Hendo tripped against the cage they said Rampage with the takedown. It reminded me of the Arlovski vs. O'brien fight where Rogan and Goldberg were debating whether Andrei knew how to do a guillotine.
     
  18. lildog

    lildog A Warrior's Heart

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    Being taller does give the guy a leverage advantage, and yes Fitch is 2 inches taller than GSP, but will it matter that much?

    Also, What does GSP do that isn't wrestling per se? He does double leg and knee pick take downs...a lot
     
  19. johnmunley

    johnmunley White Belt

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    i dont think rogan ment that wrestling is always better than jits i think he just ment veras wrestling is better than werdums jiu jitsu
     
  20. lildog

    lildog A Warrior's Heart

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    No one in the WW division is as fluid as GSP. He puts it all together, in a way no on has shown before. His "wrestling" ability is similar to Koscheck's IMO, but what GSP has that Koscheck doesn't is a combination of natural talent/agility/speed/i.e. athleticism...yeah the word Rogan uses so many times to describe black fighters.
     

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