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Sprawl-and-Brawl is a stand-up fighting tactic that consists of effective stand-up striking, while avoiding ground fighting, typically by using sprawls to defend against takedowns.

A sprawl-and-brawler is usually a boxer, kickboxer, Thai boxer or full contact karate fighter who has trained in wrestling to avoid takedowns to keep the fight standing. Often, these fighters will study submission wrestling to avoid being forced into submission, should they find themselves on the ground. This style can be deceptively different from traditional kickboxing styles, since sprawl-and-brawlers must adapt their techniques to incorporate takedown and ground fighting defense. Chuck Liddell and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović are examples of sprawl-and-brawl fighters.

Clinch fighting and dirty boxing are tactics consisting of using a clinch hold to prevent the opponent from moving away into more distant striking range, while also attempting takedowns and striking the opponent using knees, stomps, elbows, and punches. The clinch is often utilized by wrestlers that have added in components of the striking game (typically boxing), and Muay Thai fighters.

Wrestlers may use clinch fighting as a way to neutralize the superior striking skills of a stand-up fighter or to prevent takedowns by a superior ground fighter. The clinch of a Muay Thai fighter is often used to improve the accuracy of knees and elbows by physically controlling the position of the opponent. Randy Couture Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva are examples of effective clinch fighters.


Kickboxing is often practiced for general fitness, or as a full-contact sport. In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10-oz. boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, kick-boots, and optional protective helmet (usually for those under 16). The female boxers will wear a tank top and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. In European kickboxing, where kicks to the thigh are allowed using special low-kick rules, use of boxing shorts instead of long trousers is possible.

In addition, amateur rules often allow less experienced competitors to use light or semi-contact rules, where the intention is to score points by executing successful strikes past the opponent's guard, and use of force is regulated. The equipment for semi-contact is similar to full-contact matches, usually with addition of head gear. Competitors usually dress in a t-shirt for semi-contact matches, to separate them from the bare-chested full-contact participants.

Kickboxing is often confused with Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing. The two sports are similar, however, in Thai Boxing, kicks below the belt are allowed, as are strikes with knees and elbows.

There are many arts labelled kickboxing including Japanese, American, Indian, Burmese kickboxing, as well as French savate. The term kickboxing is disputed and has become more associated with the Japanese and American variants. Many of the other styles do not consider themselves to be 'kickboxing', although the public often uses the term generically to refer to all these martial arts. The term kickboxing was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s. The term was later used by the American variant. When used by the practitioners of those two styles, it usually refers to those styles specifically.


Ground-and-pound is a ground fighting tactic consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a top, or dominant position, and then striking the opponent, primarily with the fists. Ground-and-pound is also used as a precursor to attempting submission holds.

This style is used by wrestlers or other fighters well-versed in submission defense and skilled at takedowns. They take the fight to the ground, maintain a grappling position, and strike until their opponent submits or is knocked out. Although not a traditional style of striking (it was first demonstrated as an effective technique by UFC and Pride grand prix champion, Mark Coleman), the effectiveness and reliability of ground-and-pound has made it a popular tactic. Today, strikes on the ground are an essential part of a fighter's training. Fedor Emelianenko, Kevin Randleman Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, and Tito Ortiz are examples of effective ground-and-pound fighters.

Apart from being a general martial arts term, submission grappling is also a reference to the ground fighting tactic consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw and then applying a submission hold, forcing the opponent to submit. While grapplers will often work to attain dominant position, some may be more comfortable fighting from other positions. If a grappler finds themselves unable to force a takedown, they may resort to pulling guard, whereby they physically pull their opponent into a dominant position on the ground.


Submissions are an essential part of many disciplines, most notably catch wrestling, judo, Sambo, pankration, Army Combatives, MCMAP and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Josh Barnett, BJ Penn, the brothers Antônio Rodrigo and Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Shinya Aoki and Fedor Emelianenko are examples of submission grapplers. The arm bar, where one fighter uses a part of their body as a fulcrum point for the other fighter's elbow to hyper-extend the joint, is a very common and effective submission.


The Abu Dhabi Combat Club and FILA Grappling World Wrestling Games are examples of submission grappling tournaments.



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