Hard Knocks Fighting – Glossary
Abu Dhabis / ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship – Abu Dhabi Combat Club, is a submission only grappling championship event that takes place every year to every other year in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It attracts the highest level of competitors for all styles of grappling backgrounds.
Americana – A submission that is often performed from the mount, or side-control position. The technique is done by pinning and isolating an opponent’s arm at a 90 degree angle against the mat, and establishing a “figure four” wrist grip on the isolated wrist. To complete the submission, the attacker pulls the opponent’s wrist towards the top of their body while simultaneously raising their own forearm. The submission puts extreme pressure on the shoulder joint. This submission is also referred to as the “keylock”
Anaconda Choke – A choke that is essentially an inverted head-and-arm triangle. The choke is performed from a front grappling headlock position. The attacker slides his arm deep past the neck and under the opposite armpit of the opponent, and then grabs his own bicep; to complete the choke the attacker rolls to his side and squeezes his arms together. This choke applies pressure on the carotid arteries along the sides of the opponent’s neck.
Ankle Lock – Executed by isolating an opponent’s leg to specifically attack the ankle. The attacker hooks the opponent’s ankle in the crook of his arm, and then uses a gable grip to secure the foot in place. The attacker then leans to his side (side that the ankle is isolated) and applies pressure while sitting back. This motion adds downward pressure on the top of the foot and achilles tendon.
Armbar –A leverage submission that is applied by isolating and straightening an opponent’s arm, and applying pressure to the back of the elbow by the attacker lifting up his hips off the mat.
Arm Drag – A basic wrestling move where the the attacker, controls the opponent’s wrist and tricep to pull them into a back or side control position.
Arm Throw – The action of controlling your opponent’s arm, and using it against them as a lever to pull the rest of their body over the attacker’s centre of gravity, in order to execute a powerful takedown.
Arm-Triangle Choke – A submission hold whereby a person is choked with their own arm on one side and the attacker’s arm on the other side of the neck.
Ankle Pick – Associated to the single leg takedown, the attacker rapidly grabs the back of the opponent’s ankle and lifts it high off the mat, before driving through the opponent with their body.
Bantamweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be 135 lbs (61.2 kg).
Bodylock – Executed from a standing position, the attacker “bear hugs” their opponent, having their arms pinned by their sides; this sets up a variety of takedowns
Body Triangle – Controlling an opponent’s body by the attacker wrapping their legs around the midsection, and then locking their ankle behind their knee, and in some cases extending the non-locked leg under the opponent’s knee on the locked side for additional control.
Bout – Shares the same meaning as fight or contest.
Boxing – A style of combat that consists of only fighting with one’s fists. Ofter referred to as the “Sweet Science”.
Brabo Choke – Also referred to as the D’Arce Choke.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – A style of combat that consists of strictly grappling. Originally formed in Japan, and later adopted in Brazil and modified to what is currently known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
ButterflyGuard – A guard position where one hooks their feet inside of their opponent’s thighs, and uses this position to lift and/or control them. It’s best performed from a seated postured up position.
Catch Wrestling – With its origins coming from late 1800’s England, Catch Wrestling is a fusion of several grappling styles, including Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Cauliflower Ear – Occurs when the outside of the ear is aggressively hit or repeatedly hit, causing fluid to build up between the skin and cartilage. Common in MMA and grappling arts.
Choke – A grappling term used to express the action of restricting air and/or blood by applying pressure to an opponent’s neck.
Clinch – A grapple move where two standing opponent’s lock up and grab each other, usually around the back of the neck, overhook-underhook, or double-underhook, in order to apply pressure and control.
Cornerman – Consists of coaches, a cutman, and support for the fighter; immediate team and medical.
Cutman – Medically trained to mitigate fighters damage in-between rounds. Maintains cuts and swelling during the bout.
Counter-Punch – Used when a fighter dodges or defends any striking attack and immediately responds with an offensive punch of their own.
Cross – Also known as a straight, this power punch is thrown from the hand opposite of the lead hand as it “crosses” over the leading arm.
Crucifix – The attacker pins their opponent on their back and locks his opponent’s arm with his legs, while lying horizontally across the chest and controlling the other arm. The attacker is now in a “crucifix” position representing what looks like a cross, and is able to attack with submission or strikes.
Catchweight Bout – A fight that is organized between two opponents of different weight classes. The fighters decide on a “catchweight” somewhere in the middle of their two weights that they see fit, and then agree to officially fight at that weight.
D’arce Choke – Also referred to as the Brabo choke, this submission is similar to the head and arm choke but from the north-south headlock position of an opponent facing belly down.
Decision – When a fight goes the distance without any stoppage, the bout is then adjudicated by a group of judges, who decide the outcome based on a scoring system used to determine a winner.
De La Riva Guard – A variation of the guard and one popularized by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Ricardo De La Riva. To utilize this guard, one leg is hooked behind a standing opponent’s legs from the outside, while the initiating fighter controls the ankle with a hand on the same side. The other hand holds the sleeve of the opponent.
Dirty Boxing – When two fighters throw strikes in clinch type scenarios. Short hooks, uppercuts, and elbows are thrown with devastating results.
Disqualification – When one fighter breaks the rules of the fight, they are then eliminated from said bout and receive a loss for their illegal actions.
Double Leg Takedown – A wrestling move that is executed by an attacker when they drop down to lower their centre of gravity, and split an opponent’s stance with a lead step. The attacker then drives through their opponent wrapping both arms behind their knees or hips, and throwing their centre of gravity off as they take them to the ground.
Duck Under – A wrestling move performed in a standing clinch, when an attacker changes levels and drops under an opponent’s arm to move to side or back control.
Ezekiel Choke – A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu choke where the attacker uses their forearm and wrist to apply pressure to their opponent’s trachea.
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Feint – When a fighter makes a fast movement or deceitful attack to confuse and trick an opponent into defending a specific body part. This technique leaves other parts of the body intentionally vulnerable to attack.
Featherweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be 145 lbs (66 kg).
Fight Camp – A term used to describe the preparation a fighter takes for a specific upcoming fight. A fight camp occurs before the bout takes place, and it is where training for a specific opponent takes place.
Fireman’s Carry – A wrestling move used to takedown an opponent from a clinch or tie-up position. The attacker drops levels and slides under the opponent, lifting them up onto their shoulders, like a fireman carrying someone out of a burning building.
Fish Hook / Fish Hooking – Placing one’s fingers inside of an opponent’s mouth and hooking their cheek like a fisherman hooking a fish. The move is illegal and prohibited
Folkstyle Wrestling – A wrestling system used in North America at the high-school and collegiate level of competition
Footwork – A term used to describe one’s ability to move, judge distance, control the octagon/ring and generally evade or attack an opponent.
Foul – Illegal action taken by a fighter during a bout, that leads to loss of points and potential disqualification.
Freestyle Wrestling – Included in the Olympics along with Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Front Kick – Also referred to as a teep in Muay Thai or a push kick. The technique is performed when the attacker lifts their knee up and extends their leg forward, connecting to the opponent with the ball of their foot. This technique can be used to knockout an opponent or to keep the distance between an attacker and defender.
Flyweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be 125 lbs (57 kg)
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Gable Grip – Named after former American Olympic wrestler, Dan Gable, The attacker clasps their hands together palms in, thumb on thumb.
Gi – The Japanese name for the traditional training attire worn by practitioners of many different Eastern martial arts like Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Taekwondo etc.
Gogoplata – A Jiu Jitsu submission technique executed by the attacker using their shin to apply pressure to their opponent’s throat across the trachea.
Gracie Family – The largest martial arts clan in the world that is known for creating and introducing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the world.
Grapevine – The concept of using one’s legs to intertwine with those of an opponent in order to maintain control while on the ground.
Grappling – Any and all combatant methods used to defeat or overcome an opponent without incorporating the use of strikes.
Greco-Roman Wrestling – An Olympic sport and type of amateur wrestling that focuses on throws and refuses the use of holds below the waistline.
Ground and Pound – Stratagem initially applied by grapplers to drive their challenger to the mat and deliver multiple blows via fist, elbow and forearm.
Guard – This term has different definitions for separate disciplines. In boxing it is used to describe a fighters defence by keeping their fists and forearms protecting exposed body parts. In the practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the term Guard refers to the general positions a fighter uses from the bottom to control their opponent.
Guillotine Choke – A widely used and favored technique of submission artists. It can be applied from both a standing position or the guard. A fighter faces the front of their opponent and hooks their arm completely around their horizontal neck. After engaging the front headlock, the attacker then squeezes while extending their core and postering up to fully perform the submission.
Half Guard – A downed fighter uses their legs to trap their attacker’s leg. This is performed when a fighter’s full guard is unable to be utilized from the position they are in.
Hammer Fist – An attacker strikes their downed opponent with the bottom side of their balled fists, like swinging a hammer.
Haymaker – A term used to describe a savage punch thrown with immense potential.
Head and Arm Throw – A fighter grapples their opponent around the head with one arm and pivots their hip into their opponent throwing them over and onto their back.
Hexagon – The official six sided cage used for Hard Knocks Fighting Championship bouts.
Heavyweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be between 206 lbs (93.4 kg) and 265 lbs (129.2 kg).
Heel Hook – A submission that is widely regarded as the most crippling leglock. It has a high injury rate and its use is almost always banned, except at the advanced levels of competition. Applied by wrapping legs around the opponent’s targeted leg, isolating the foot to the armpit via forearm and twisting the body. Extreme pressure is placed on the knee joint and all of it’s crucial ligaments.
Hip Toss – Similar to a head and arm throw, the hip toss is used by the attacker digging underhooks into their opponent and twisting the midsection to throw the opponent over their hips.
Hook – Two sets of definitions exist for this term. In boxing it refers to the fighter’s lead hand throwing a curved strike aimed for their opponent’s chin. For grapplers, the word exists to define the technique of using the feet and legs to control their opponent’s position.
Ippon – Japanese terminology used to describe the highest score (one full point) in martial arts competition for Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, etc.
IBJJF – Abbreviation for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
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Jab – Fighters use their forward hand to throw straight and fast hitting punches called Jabs. Consistently used to open up defences and set up combinations of punches, as well as set the distance for a fighter.
Joint Lock – A grappling maneuver that isolates any of the bodies joints and applies severe pressure that causes fighters to either submit and/or sustain injury.
Judge – A non-aligned party chosen to determine the points and overall match conclusion after all rounds have been fought. There are usually three judges assigned by Athletic Commis
Judo – Originally manifested as a pedagogy in 1800’s Japan, it was later developed into a combat sport for the Olympic Games. Judo disciples rely on modern grappling techniques to overpower opponents to the ground and further pin them there.
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Karate – A Japanese martial art that utilizes striking focused techniques and emphasizes trying to end the fight in the least amount of moves possible.
Keylock – More commonly known as the top shoulder lock or Americana Lock, a fighter uses both arms to confine their opponent’s forearm and wrist to the ground while positioned in the side mount. The attacker then bends and twists the arm to fulfill the submission.
Kickboxing – A striking type martial art that uses hand and foot methods to defeat opponents. Variations of the combat sport allows practitioners to also use knees and elbows. This is understandable as the style is derived from Muay Thai, Karate and Boxing.
Kimura – The technique is very similar to the American Lock, however, except rotating the arm towards the opponent’s upper body, the attacker uses the “figure four” grip and rotates the arm towards their opponent’s hip.
Kneebar – A submission executed by isolating an opponent’s leg with the attacker’s body on the top side of the opponent’s knee. The attacker then controls the lower half of the leg in a variety of ways so that the limb is immobilized, and applies pressure with their hips on the top side of the opponent’s knee to incite a tap.
Knee Tap – A grappling technique used to drive an opponent to the mat by the attacker’s hand restricting the knee movement. The attacker then uses their weight as momentum to push the opponent in the same trajectory.
Knockout – The act of being struck down hard enough to disable a fighter’s ability to resume the match. This brings the competition to a halt and automatically delegates victory to the last man standing.
Kung Fu – A westernized term for Chinese martial arts.
Leglock – A joint-lock classification used to apply any submissions that target the ankle, hip, or knee joints.
Level Change – When the stance of a fighter is lowered to execute a takedown or feint an opponent.
Light Heavyweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be between 187 lbs (84.3 kg) and 205 lbs (92.9 kg).
Lightweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be between 147 lbs (66.2 kg) and 155 lbs (70.3 kg)
MMA – Abbreviation of Mixed Martial Arts.
Majority Draw – At the end of the fight, two out of three judges decide the match even.
Middleweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be between 172 lbs (77.5 kg) and 185 lbs (83.9 kg).
Mount – The attacking fighter straddles the midsection of their downed opponent allowing superior control positioning to attack with variety of moves.
Muay Thai – A combat sport based around kickboxing and striking. It is the national sport of Thailand. Practitioners use hand, foot, knee and elbow strikes to defeat their opponents. Sometimes referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”.
Neck Crank –A submission move used to control an opponent by putting pressure on their neck.
No Contest – When the match is ended abruptly without a victor, or goes the distance but because of extenuating circumstances the match is not decided. Usually caused by a random occurrence that the referee will stop the fight.
North South Choke – A submission grapple of a downed opponent performed with their head facing opposite directions of their chest to chest position (north-south), the attacking fighter lays on top of their opponent and hooks their arm around the neck to apply pressure.
Octagon – Competitors ring used in the UFC. Noted for its eight sided cage – like fences; stop sign shaped.
Omoplata –A submission frequently applied from the guard position. When an attacking fighter has an opponent’s arm confined by their legs, they put force on the shoulder to obtain a tap out victory.
Overhand Right/Left – Strong strikes thrown from the power hand at an arched angle curving downwards.
Overhook – In the event of a clinch, the Overhook is used to control the opponent by hooking over their arm and enveloping the arm or upper body. Also known as a Whizzer, they are usually used to counter underhooks. Double overhooks is the use of both arms.
Over-Under Position – This regular position is when both fighters have an arm around each other’s midsection with the other over the opponent’s arm. Also a clinch that can set up attackers when they clamp their hands behind the back to perform a throw from the upper body.
Pankration – Meaning “all force”, was an old and dangerous sporting event very similar to modern day mixed martial arts. It’s design was developed for the Greek Olympics. It was a mixture of boxing and wrestling.
Peruvian Necktie – One of many modified front chokes that puts pressure on the neck. A standing attacker will shoot their lower body inwards before dropping down and putting their legs over their opponents back.
Philly Shell – A style of defence also known as the shoulder roll. A fighter’s face is pressed close to the shoulder of their lead arm as it hangs across the midsection. The other hand is held upright on the other side of the face and mainly used for parrying punches. It is known to be the most efficient style of defence to utilize counter punching.
Posture – A fighter’s skill in aligning their midsection horizontal to the ring mat. It is helpful for defending against submissions from an opponent’s guard.
Pull Guard – An attacker will use this technique in a clinch as an alternative takedown by pulling their opponent towards them as they fall backwards. During the transition from standing to ground, the attacker will wrap their legs around the midsection of their opponent. The attacker is then grounded and has their opponent in closed guard.
Pummel – When opponents move their clinched arms around the others midsection in a fight for control with underhooks.
Push Kick – A front kick that often aims for the midsection of an opponent. Impact is usually delivered by the ball of the foot shooting forward after raising the knee and foot high linear to it’s target.
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Rear Naked Choke – An often used submission applied from behind an opponent where the attacker will hook their arm around the neck and grasp their other arms’ bicep. This allows the attacker to apply more leverage to their choke hold.
Referee – An individual used to enforce the rules and regulations of the match. They are also responsible for the safety of each competitor and are formally chosen by the pertinent Athletic Commission
Round – Rounds are set time periods where competitors will usually fight for five minutes. Between each round the competitors receive a one minute period of rest. The regular amount of rounds fought are three, five-minute rounds. A total of five, five-minute rounds are fought during Championship matches.
Sambo – Practitioners of this Russian martial art use a blend of grappling and strikes. It is a modern combat sport mixing both wrestling and submission tactics.
Sanda – Commonly referred to as Sanshou, Sanda is a popular variation of Kickboxing exercised in China. Combatants use a series of strikes and throws on a lifted surface to ground their opponent.
Shrimping – A fighter feeling the pressure from his mounting opponent will tuck his knee to the chest and turn his weight in order to escape a mounted position and form a stronger half guard.
Side Control – A top position taken by a grappler that is horizontal to the opponent. This position used to control a bottom opponent.
Single Leg Takedown – Frequently used wrestling maneuver applied by grabbing an opponent’s leg with both arms and forcing them to the ground.
Sit-Out – A grappling technique most common in folkstyle wrestling, this move occurs when a fighter claims their opponent’s back in a sitting or standing position, only for the position to then be reversed when the fighter in the disadvantageous position reaches back between their foe’s legs to grab a knee and switch positions.
Southpaw – Fighters who use their right hand for jabs and lead with their right foot are commonly referred to as Southpaw fighters.
Sprawl – Fighters defending against leg takedowns will use this tactic by straightening their legs out behind them and dropping their weight through their hips. This places the fighter’s weight on top of their attacker, setting them off balance.
Sprawl and Brawl – A style of fighter who prefers to stand and strike opposed to wrestling. They employ strong takedown defence in order to keep the fight standing, allowing them to utilize their strikes.
Stalemate – Occurs when two combatants are unable to overcome each other’s position. Stalemates are broke
Submission – Inflicting enough pressure on an opponent’s limb, body or neck through the use of holds and leverage to make them consciously surrender to the will of their challenger.
Superman Punch – A technical strike used in multiple martial disciplines. Using the momentum of a feinted kick, the attacker springs forward with a powerful cross. Most famously used by Georges St. Pierre.
Suplex – This maneuver is used by grappling their opponent from behind with a body lock and throwing them onto their back, shoulders, neck and head.
Sweep –Action made by grounded fighters defending under an opponent to readjust to a favourable position by sweeping their opponent from top position to bottom.
Switch hitter – A type of fighter that moves between both southpaw and orthodox stances in order to confuse and attack opponents.
Super Heavyweight – A weight division where contestants weight must land above 265 lbs (129.2 kg).
Tae Kwon Do – A martial art based on striking and consisting of opponents relying on numerous kicking variations. It was originally developed in Korea.
Takedown – Through the use of wrestling tactics, fighters score takedowns when they drive their opponent to the mat.
Tapout – A signal used when a competitor admits defeat vocally or physically by tapping on the mat or their opponent. When the signal is seen or heard by the referee he will stop the fight, and establish the other fighter as the winner.
Technical Knockout – Also known as “TKO”, this phrase is used to determine the reason of a fight ending. Usually a physician, referee determines if it is unsafe for a fighter to continue fighting, and will deem the opponent the winner. Cornermen can also call fight stoppage due to fighters being unable to protect themselves.
Teep – A front kick used in Muay Thai. Impact is usually delivered by the ball of the foot shooting forward after raising the knee and foot high linear to it’s target.
Thai Plum – A dominant type of Muay Thai clinch used to position a fighter for delivering efficient strikes.
Throw – When an attacker grabs an opponent and launches them through the air.
TKO – The abbreviation for Technical Knock Out.
Toe Hold – Submission technique used to isolate an opponent’s ankle by grabbing the top of the foot by the toes while utilizing a “figure four” grip behind the heel of the ankle, and applying pressure through the toes to incite a tap.
Triangle Choke – ften applied from the guard position, a fighter will wrap their legs around one arm and neck of their competitor and lock their foot behind the knee to create pressure. Once these are confined, the attacker will squeeze the opponent into submission.
Turtle –Defending against strikes and opponents “hooking in” by curling up on elbows and knees.
Two on One – When a fighter controls one of their opponent’s arm or wrist with both of their own hands, hence the term “two on one”
Twister – A submission where the attacker controls one arm and the opposite leg from the back position, and then grabs the opponent’s head from the same side as the arm they have control of and applies pressure creating a twisting motion that puts intense discomfort on the opponent’s spine and neck.
Underhook – Type of clinch hold used to control an opponent. Single or double underhooks are utilized when a fighter hooks their arm (or arms) under their opponent’s in order to gain control of the clinch.
Unified Rules – A global basis for accepted terms to be adhered to by practitioners of mixed martial arts. These rules and guidelines are administered by athletic commissions.
Uppercut – A strong strike targeting the chin of an opponent, usually thrown from the waist in an upward curve. An effective tactic against short fighters and opponents leaning forward.
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Weight-Classes – Multiple categories in which fighters of a specific weight may compete in. For example, fighters who weigh somewhere between 172 lbs (77.5 kg) and 185 lbs (83.9 kg) may only compete in the Middleweight class.
Welterweight – A weight division where contestants weight must be between 157 lbs ( 70.7 kg) and 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
Whizzer – In the event of a clinch, a fighter controls the opponent by hooking over their arm and enveloping the arm or upper body. Also known as an Overhook they are usually used to counter underhooks. Double overhooks is the use of both arms.
Wrestling – Combat sport based entirely around grappling your opponent. Techniques employed by practitioners of wrestling are locks, holds, slams, takedowns and throws.
X-Guard – An alternate form of an open guard. Applied to standing opponents by a grounded fighter. Used mainly to ensnare opponent’s legs. This allows for the fighter in the unfavorable position to attempt powerful reversals and possibly apply submissions.