There's been more emphasis on ground fighting in martial arts since Royce made BJJ supreme for the first few years of MMA, taking any comers of any weight with as few rules as state commissioners would allow.

But not everyone likes ground fighting. I was advised to avoid it for the same reason I avoid chin na—if you don't specialize, you're at a huge disadvantage in those particular domains.

  • How effective is throwing hard into the ground?

How easy or difficult is it to apply dislocations or breaks in conjunction?

  • 1
    Do you mean to ask about how feasible throwing is in self-defense, specifically with arm breaks as follow-up? What level of proficiency are we talking about here? How hard is the ground? Are you asking solely about physical impact/effects or also psychological ones? Oct 2, 2021 at 22:52
  • @PhilipKlöcking you can discuss different surfaces—my default is always hard concrete or stone. Assume advanced level, but feel free to comment on beginner and intermediate. Arm breaks as a followup where you maintain your grip. Physical impact primarily, but I like more gentle throws also because they give the opponent a chance to think and potentially reconsider.
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 3, 2021 at 3:07
  • @PhilipKlöcking I realized I should have included dislocations, which can be considered more gentle than breaking.
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 3, 2021 at 4:56
  • What is the context? You don't care what happens to the other person? What is your intended relation between ground fighting and throwing into the ground?
    – mattm
    Oct 3, 2021 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


Consider that even when you train throws with mats and intend safety, you can still end up with concussions and dislocated shoulders. In sport judo, standing arm locks are now banned due to injuries. Now switch mats with concrete, and instead of aiming to put the other person on their back, aim for their head and shoulder. Even if you miss these targets, they are still on the ground, and you hopefully have trained to remain standing.

In a sport context, you try to immobilize your partner to apply a joint lock for safety. If you are fighting with serious intent, there is no reason you need to immobilize them, just apply force with mechanical advantage on the joint. You also don't need to wait until they are on the ground; you can throw with an arm lock or fall so your weight applies force and breaks the joint.


Throw into armlock is still groundfighting, just as using a palm strike or a kick instead of a jab is still striking.

  • My understanding of ground fighting is "going to the ground" to submit there. But many martial artists have street fighting experience, and don't recommend this for most real world situations. I think we need to be able to make a distinction. Bagua is full of throws, and even though the core techniques can work in wrestling, ground-fighting as I was defining it is not emphasized.
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 25, 2021 at 20:00

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