5 Common Things Non-Grapplers Don’t Understand About Grappling

This topic is almost cliche to an extent but it is worth taking a look at the truisms we face as grapplers in a world full of non-grapplers. Let’s take a look at 5 things non-grapplers simply do not understand about us grapplers.

  1. Why we do it? This is simple. It goes beyond self-defense for many of us. It is a community of people who like to challenge themselves with a great form of exercise not only physically but emotionally. In order to get what grappling entails you have to do it. The why is often as hard to explain as swimming. You have to jump in the water to understand it a la Bruce Lee’s phrase.
  2. The ears. Having cauliflower ear is a dead give-a-way of a grappler but it can also entail many grappling arts. I always am asked if I do MMA. Some think it’s a deformity. Or why would we grapple if this can happen. Within the grappling community it can be seen as a badge of honor. Many outsiders understand it comes from grappling or boxing or wrestling in some manner but some still simply don’t understand it.
  3. We like violence or “fighting”. No, this is not generally true as those words are generally used. Grappling often makes a person less violent or less prone to be a fighter outside of grappling or within a professional setting. When you understand what can happen in a real-life situation from training in that realm you tend to respect it and often will steer away from it more than the person who is insecure and aggressive in a manner that demonstrates fear. You become more aware rather than more prone to violence.
  4. The addictive nature of it. Grapplers often want to grapple as much as possible. We want to get better and challenge ourselves. We may want to work on our skill-set or simply be within the community. We want more mat time. Most people don’t get paid for it or get fame out of it, it’s just something we do and love. Again, you have to experience it to get the vibe of it.
  5. It’s not “gay”. Yes, the word that ignorant people like to brand grapplers with. Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, but people who are very ignorant or immature will often say “oh you are rolling with other guys, blah blah, that makes you “gay””. Or something similar. Grappling is grappling. It doesn’t have any sexual preference to it. Men who roll with men or women are simply doing what they love which is grappling.

These are 5 examples of things that non grapplers often do not understand about grapplers until they have actually tried it our for themselves. If you have anything you would like to add feel free to comment below.


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