Folkstyle Wrestling and Submission Grappling

If you compete in no-gi grappling (e.g., ADCC, NAGA, Grappling Industries, etc.), folkstyle wrestling can be an unparalleled resource for your skill development on the mat.

Why??? Despite the ruleset differences among all of our combat sports, folkstyle arguably resembles modern MMA grappling the most. If you’ve ever watched an NCAA wrestling match, for instance, you may note the heavy emphasis on riding, stand ups, and mat returns. You’ll also observe these skill sets in the best MMA fighters.

Not convinced? What do Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Cain Velasquez, Frankie Edgar, Henry Cejudo, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, Tyron Woodley, Dominick Cruz, T.J. Dillashaw, Kamaru Usman, Stipe Miocic, and Daniel Cormier all have in common? Yep, they were, or currently are, UFC champions. AND THEY WERE FOLKSTYLE WRESTLERS!!!

I’ve attached a clip with two of my coaching inspirations—Terry Steiner and John Smith—showcasing just a single technique applicable to submission grappling—the hip sit. Although taught in the context of escaping folkstyle’s leg riding, this can definitely be applied to clearing ‘hooks’ and protecting oneself from back strangles in BJJ. (You might notice Coach Smith’s exhortation of protecting your neck, lest your head be taken off!!!)

If you’re a grappler and have not jumped into the depths of folkstyle, know that the hip sit is just the tip of the iceberg. Switches, granbys, the quadpod, and the sit out/turn in, among others, are other escapes that, when chained together, will allow you to escape from bad positions on the mat.

In a snapshot, here’s our training ideology here at Horsetooth…grapplers should develop absolute proficiency with these types of escapes, along with folkstyle’s skills in neutral and riding, before diving headfirst into submissions. With out the ability to takedown, breakdown, and pin an opponent on the mat, submissions can lead to a false sense of security in your grappling acumen…

#focowrestling #focomartialarts #foconogi #focograppling #horsetoothgrappling

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