One interesting question was sent to us in the Best Self Defense Mailbag recently which reads, “I know that this is an age old question, but which is more effective in self defense situations between ground fighting vs stand up fighting? They say that a ground fighter can easily beat a stand up striker. Is it true?”
With the popularity of mixed martial arts, this type of question has been thrown around a lot lately and has been a subject in popular debates.
When mixed martial arts was introduced in popular culture, grapplers who specialized in ground fighting instantly proved that their specialization is more effective than the ones who employed pure stand up fighting techniques. This was proven by MMA warriors like Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Don Frye, Oleg Taktarov, Tito Ortiz, Frank Shamrock and other grapplers during the early days of the sport. Also, statistically, most champions in the sport were ground fighters such as wrestlers, BJJ specialists or strikers who have cross trained in grappling.
But in the streets or during self defense, outside the realm of the sport wherein conditions are much different, the effectiveness of ground fighting vs stand up fighting may vary as we have pointed out before in our previous article about martial arts for street fight.
Some Examples of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ground Fighting vs Stand Up Fighting
In a one-on-one fight between someone who employs ground fighting vs stand up fighting, a trained grappler has higher chances to win. Individuals who have trained in arts like Jujitsu or wrestling are equipped with the skills to submit or injure their opponents on the ground even when they are on the lower position.
However, the person who brings the fight to the ground is definitely at a disadvantage when dealing with multiple opponents because he can easily be punched, stomped on or restrained by his remaining opponents. A fighter also compromises a lot his ability to flee in a physical conflict once he brings the fight down to the ground. Getting very close to an opponent wielding a knife or any sharp object can be very dangerous too.
So, to wrap things up, the effectiveness of ground fighting vs stand up fighting varies on certain circumstances. To be an effective street fighter or to successfully defend yourself during physical conflicts, it is strongly recommended that you focus on both striking and grappling so you will be at an advantage whether the fight is brought to the ground or you are standing up.