Submission Holds Discussions

Safety Tips (20)

BaldOregonWrestler (0) 11/04/2012 6:15 PM

Since I am new to submission (I wrestle or trade holds for fun): is a naked hand choke allowed? Thanks. Bob in Oregon.; or:

If you give a one-word answer, could you consider supplying a reason?


FighterGuyy (152 support) 11/04/2012 9:40 PM

(In reply to this)

I would advise against trying any choke holds without a qualified trainer to supervise. It is just irresponsible!


FighterGuyy (152 support) 3/09/2012 9:25 AM

The Safety Awareness board has come up with an interesting safety tip: be sober when you fight. I guess they mean don't drink alcohol, but it should include other drugs too.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 1/07/2012 9:16 PM

There's now a separate safety board. This is bigger than us :)


Sturdy (31) 1/03/2012 2:06 PM

Should this topic be restricted to the Submission section? These points are applicable to all types of fighting and I think you should feature this on the front page of the site (maybe a condensed list of bullet points with a link to this thread)


hardandy312 (44) 1/02/2012 12:30 PM

I cannot stress the importance of what Sile say's when fighting of any description. Fighting by its nature is dangerous but at the same time can be a turn on, BUT you must know your limits. You must also have a safety word that is agreed on in advance.

Even more important is that your opponent Knows your limits.

your rules should be made in advance, and stress your limits clearly and if at anytime during the fight that you feel you are out of your depth then you should use your safety word or tap out of any situation that you cannot handle the pain from and before any injuries occur.

If you are fighting full contact mma style fights or Nhb fights , these should be done only in a safe and sane enviroment and preferably in a well matted space or if outside on an area which is soft ground or soft sand.

you should always have a mobile phone with you when fighting outdoors and know your exact location to be able to get help quickly.A basic first aid kit should also be taken with you.

There are and always will be accidental injuries in fighting and wrestling, but these can be reduced by knowing your limits!!!!! and by using common sense.

After all wrestling and fighting in private is for fun and should not be about trying to injure your opponent or getting injured yourself.

No matter what kind of wrestling or fighting you have agreed to,YOU MUST warm up before first.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 1/02/2012 10:40 AM

In light of recent events, I think it's time to repeat Safety Tip #2: Know your limits!

Seriously, fighting is never safe... Use of common sense is required.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/27/2011 8:58 AM

Second that, trimming finger and toenails is important.

Why the toenails, do you ever hold a guy with your toes, you ask? (Maybe you do if you're a chimp :) Let's just say you don't want your toenails to break when you move your foot along the mat quickly for a sweep...


jpho227 (30) 9/22/2012 4:59 PM

(In reply to this)

yes, definitely - i have gotten 'n given toenail cuts from not trimming just kinda happens if they are long


Sturdy (31) 12/24/2011 7:42 PM

Safety Tip #8: Trim your fingernails and check that your opponent has his trimmed. A couple of times I've come out of a fight with angry red lines etched into my skull. You don't feel it at the time, but afterwards you look like you've been rasslin with Wolverine.

Nice if you want that Hard Man look when you're on the pull, but a bit embarrassing when you have to explain it at work!


Sturdy (31) 12/24/2011 7:38 PM

I wear soft contact lenses and I take them out if I am grappling someone who I know is very harcore. It's a real bitch when I'm being headlocked and I can feel one of the little buggers digging into my eye!

I've never worn jewellery or had anything pierced, imagine if you are in a real fight, how dangerous it could be? Really stupid.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/21/2011 11:50 PM

Safety tip #7: Remove rings, bracelets, piercings and contact lenses. I don't wear any of these personally, but usually remember to warn my opponent to take them off if I see them. Sometimes rings attach themselves to the finger so fast that they cannot be easily removed; in this case, be extra careful with that finger. The ring is a potential source injuries; in extreme cases can cause cuts to the opponent or break the finger!

If you have a piercing on your outside that you cannot removed, it might not be a good idea to wrestle at all.

Contact lenses are also a hazard, you can lose them easily, and in a worst case scenario, it blind you.

I'm not trying to scare anyone here; wrestling is supposed to be a fun sport, and if done properly, it's relatively safe too. You just have to take some precautions :)


FighterGuyy (152 support) 1/15/2011 1:03 PM

Safety tip #6: Never hold three fingers or less. The technical term they use for this is "small joint manipulation", and it's true for fingers and toes as well.

You can find yourself in a situation where your opponent is grabbing you by, say, the wrist, and you try to free yourself by grabbing the ring finger and pinkie and twisting. This is dangerous (and illegal on most tournaments) because the fingers break easily (well, easier than the larger bones); and your opponent may not have time or presence of mind to let go. Even if the finger doesn't actually break, ligaments can tear or joints can be damaged quickly.

So don't go for the fingers, or if you do, try to grab them all! In turn, if your opponent is holding you by the fingers, remind immediately that this is Not Cool. You are there to wrestle and compete, not for a trip to ER!


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/29/2010 11:00 PM

Safety tip #5: Mind your head! Specifically, be careful not to bang it against your opponent's. Seriously, accidents happen, especially beginners are wont to knee or punch the other guy in the head unintentionally. But the most dangerous and devastating, even more than the knee, is banging your heads together. So don't do it.

Sometimes when I'm practicing with a beginner and he is attempting a stunt that I'm not sure his balance is good enough for, I make it a point to keep a hand between his head and mine to avoid the worst of collisions.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/27/2010 11:52 AM

Very good point, Sturdy! I have been doing that for years now, ever since someone waited until the middle of the first round to tell me he had a cracked rib...

Safety Tip #4: Take it easy on the first round or two. Agree with your opponent to make the first part of your match light practice. This helps you warm up whichever parts you missed before the pre-match warmup. It also lets you get a feel for your opponent before you start really going at it. After these light rounds you can gradually get more competitive and apply more force.

Even with some of my regular opponents we usually do a warmup round.


Sturdy (31) 12/25/2010 1:28 AM

Safety Tip #3: Check for injuries or medical conditions

Always ask your opponent before you begin if he has any existing injuries or conditions that might be of concern, so you can avoid making the situation worse, and have an idea what to do if something goes wrong.

In my wrestling bag I permanently have a little First Aid manual so I'm never helpless if something unexpected happens.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/19/2010 9:49 PM

Of course, if you are training in a gym or with an instructor, it is your instructor's duty to advise you about safety. I meant this thread as a collection of tips for those who don't have the time or inclination for formal training.

Here comes Safety Tip #2: Know your limits! Once you have some experience, you will have a fairly good idea of how much pressure your body can withstand without damage. Until then, play it safe, and always tap before you start to hurt. Practice some holds with your partner, apply them slowly, and give the other guy enough time to tap out.


redlandguy (194 platinum) 1/14/2013 6:25 AM

(In reply to this)

If you are with someone who doesn't know HIS limits, and you sense he should tap.... LET GO.

I always apply submissions more slowly on newer guys. I've had beginners who were holding on too long, and when I realized that they weren't going to tap before they got hurt, I let go and said, "You were supposed to tap to that" in a simple matter of fact way.

They seemed to get the message and tapped out at a safer time for the rest of the match.

If a beginner kept on holding on too long after the warning, it's better to leave a match than hurt him.


donphoenix (13) 12/15/2010 3:09 AM

I would recommend that being interested in submission wrestling you should learn the different submission holds from a coach/instructor who can explain to you WHY any hold is a submission hold, that is, what damage to the body will occur and what would happen if you forced the hold too hard and too far. It is important that you know and understand the consequences of each submission hold so that you apply each one with caution and that, if you are in a submission hold, you know what damage may occur to your body if you refuse to submit to it. If there is a referee present officiating over your bout it is in the rules that he has the power to submit on behalf of a competitor but no one should rely on a referee to do what the competitor needs to do for himself.

Phoning around to find submission wrestling/grappling tuition in London I spoke to one gym who explained the need to have insurance as they said, one of their wrestlers had "popped" his shoulder the previous week. This should not happen in any gym that is well run. It would indicate that something is wrong: either the wrestler did not understand how shoulders are dislocated, or his opponent refused to submit perhaps because he did not understand the consequences of his refusing to submit, or the wrestler applying the hold had a gung-ho attitude to submission wrestling and did not care for the safety of his opponent. I was not there so I don't know what happened but all the eventualities I have mentioned are preventable.

Every time a shoulder is dislocated, for instance, the joint is irreparably damaged and weakened as a consequence with the result that it will dislocate more easily the next time. If it is dislocated too many times it may require surgical intervention to try to stabilise the joint.

If you just "copy" submission holds you will not understand the dangers of the holds. You should always learn them from a responsible coach/instructor who can fill you in with the background knowledge that you need to be fully aware of before rushing in where wise men would fear to tread.


FighterGuyy (152 support) 12/12/2010 12:31 AM

This topic is for collecting safety tips for guys who are new to submission wrestling. Submission wrestling is competitive by definition, and if proper care is not taken, can lead to injuries. Some (most) of these incidents can be avoided by following a few safety precautions.

To kick off this topic, here's Safety Tip #1: Always warm up before wrestling. (Maybe someone else can take it from here with some advice on how to warm up?)