Submission wrestling (also known as submission fighting, submission grappling, sport grappling, or simply as no-gi) or combat wrestling, is a form of competition and a general term for martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission through the use of submission holds. The term “submission wrestling” usually refers only to the form of competition and training that does not use a gi, or “combat kimono”, of the sort often worn with belts that establish rank by color, though some may use the loose trousers of such a uniform, without the jacket.
The sport of submission wrestling brings together techniques from catch wrestling, folk wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Japanese jiu-jitsu, and sambo. Submission fighting as an element of a larger sport setting is very common in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, catch wrestling, and others. Submission wrestlers or grapplers usually wear shorts, skin-sticky clothing such as rash guards, speedos, and mixed short clothes so they do not rip off in combat. They are also known for using submission techniques normally banned in other arts or competitions such as heel hooks, toe holds, wrist locks.
Mixed martial arts schools and fighters may use the term submission wrestling to refer to their grappling methods while avoiding association with any one art. The label is sometimes also used to describe the tactic in mixed martial arts competition of relying primarily upon submission wrestling skills to defeat an opponent.
Catch wrestling: Also called “catch-as-catch-can”, the style of grappling (without the gi) originating in Northern England has experienced a resurgence during recent years.
Judo: A Japanese martial art focusing on high impact throws, pins, joint-locks, and chokes. It is also an Olympic sport, practiced wearing the judogi, but has been adapted to submission wrestling purposes.
Japanese jiu-jitsu or jujutsu: An ancient art of Japanese wrestling/grappling that places a heavy emphasis on joint-locks, chokes and throws. Uses a gi traditionally, but training without one is not uncommon.
Sambo: The Russian style of grappling that typically uses a jacket, but without gi pants. Sambo utilizes leglocks, but most styles do not permit chokes.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu: An increasingly popular style with great emphasis on ground grappling. It involves training with and without a gi.
Luta livre esportiva: A form of submission wrestling which derived from Catch wrestling, native to Brazil. Trained without the gi.
Malla-yuddha: One of the oldest practiced forms of submission/combat wrestling, originating in pre-partition India, malla-yuddha is divided into four parent techniques, each named after particular Hindu gods and legendary fighters: Hanumanti concentrates on technical and positional superiority, Jambuvanti uses locks and holds to force the opponent into submission, Jarasandhi concentrates on breaking the limbs and joints and applying tracheal chokes while Bhimaseni focuses on sheer strength .
Pankration: Originating from ancient Greece, it combines elements which today are found mainly in the punches of boxing (pygmachia) and in the kicking of many martial arts (laktisma) with moves from the also Greece-originating wrestling (pale) and joint locks, thus creating a broad fighting sport similar to today’s mixed martial arts.
10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu: An American hybrid of no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu founded by Eddie Bravo, influences from American folk wrestling and Jean Jacques Machado’s (a grappler with several missing digits) style of BJJ. More focus on no-gi half-guard and guard techniques that may be considered unorthodox in BJJ.
Shoot wrestling: A Japanese martial art (without the gi) based on freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Sambo, and catch wrestling, which later incorporated karate, Muay Thai, and judo. The two major sub-disciplines of shoot wrestling are shooto and shootfighting.
Shooto: A Japanese martial art consisting of catch wrestling, judo, jujutsu, sambo, and kickboxing.
Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW): A modern form of wrestling (and MMA system), without the gi, that borrows elements and techniques from catch wrestling, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, shoot wrestling, judo, and sambo. This style also has a system of striking. Developed by Erik Paulson.
Shootfighting: A Japanese martial art consisting of Muay Thai and catch wrestling.
Submission Arts Wrestling (SAW): A Japanese version of Catch Wrestling borrowing principles from Judo and Sambo. Originally created by founder and former Sambo World Champion Hidetaka Aso.
Hayastan freestyle fighting A submission grappling style developed by Gokor Chivichyan and Gene Lebell that blends elements of judo, sambo, catch wrestling, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
Shuai Jiao: A Chinese style of wrestling that incorporates throws and chin na (joint locks).