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Grappling hold

A grappling hold, commonly referred to simply as a hold that in Japanese is referred to as katame-waza (固め技 "grappling technique"), is any specific grappling, wrestling, judo, or other martial art grip that is applied to an opponent. Grappling holds are used principally to control the opponent and to advance in points or positioning. The holds may be categorized by their function, such as clinching, pinning, or submission, while others can be classified by their anatomical effect: chokehold, headlock, joint-lock, or compression lock. Multiple categories may be appropriate for some of these holds.

Clinch hold

Main article: Clinch fighting

A clinch hold (also known as a clinching hold) is a grappling hold that is used in clinch fighting with the purpose of controlling the opponent. In wrestling it is referred to as the tie-up. The use of a clinch hold results in the clinch. Clinch holds can be used to close in on the opponent, as a precursor to a takedown or throw, or to prevent the opponent from moving away or striking effectively. Typical clinch holds include:

Two soldiers in a "Crude North-South" position

Pinning hold

See also: Pin (amateur wrestling)

A pinning hold (also known as a hold down and in Japanese as osaekomi-waza, 抑え込み技, "pinning technique") is a general grappling hold used in ground fighting that is aimed to subdue by exerting superior control over an opponent and pinning the opponent to the ground. Pinning holds where both of the opponent's shoulders touch the ground are considered winning conditions in several combat sports.

An effective pinning hold is a winning condition in many styles of wrestling, and is known as simply a "pin". Pinning holds maintained for 20 seconds are also a winning condition in Judo. Pinning holds are also used in submission wrestling and mixed martial arts, even though the pinning hold itself is not a winning condition. The holds can be used to rest while the opponent tries to escape, to control the opponent while striking, a tactic known as ground and pound, or to control an opponent from striking by pinning them to the ground, also known as lay and pray.

Submission hold

An armbar submission hold.

In combat sports a submission hold (colloquially referred to as a "submission") is a grappling hold that is applied with the purpose of forcing an opponent to submit out of either extreme pain or fear of injury. Submission holds are used primarily in ground fighting and can be separated into constrictions (chokeholds, compression locks, suffocation locks) and manipulations (joint locks, leverages, pain compliance holds). When used, these techniques may cause dislocation, torn ligaments, bone fractures, unconsciousness, or even death.

Common combat sports featuring submission holds are:

List of grappling holds

The same hold may be called by different names in different arts or countries. Some of the more common names for grappling holds in contemporary English include:

Joint locks

Further information: Joint lock

Joint lock: Any stabilization of one or more joints at their normal extreme range of motion


Further information: Armlock

Armlock: A general term for joint locks at the elbow or shoulder


Further information: Leglock

Leglock: A general term for joint locks at the hip, knee, or ankle

Chokeholds and strangles

Main article: Chokehold

Clinch holds

Further information: Clinch holds

Compression locks

Further information: Compression lock

Pain compliance

Further information: Pain compliance

Bas-relief of a headlock at the Bayon temple (12th/13th century). A Khmer soldier puts a Cham soldier in a headlock.

Pinning hold

Further information: Pinning hold

Other grappling holds

See also


  1. ^ "VIDEO - This Fighter Just Pulled Off a Boston Crab Submission in MMA -". 30 September 2017.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique by Renzo Gracie and Royler Gracie (2001). ISBN 1-931229-08-2
  • Championship Wrestling, Revised Edition. (Annapolis MD: United States Naval Institute, 1950).
  • No Holds Barred Fighting: The Ultimate Guide to Submission Wrestling by Mark Hatmaker with Doug Werner. ISBN 1-884654-17-7
  • Small-Circle Jujitsu by Wally Jay. (Burbank CA: Ohara Publications, 1989).