BJJ Globetrotters Brings Irish Collar and Elbow Grappling Back

Looking for the seriousness of a gi match on the top, but longing for the ventilation and freedom of springtime picnic on the bottom? The Irish have got just the thing for you.

Back in August, jiu-jitsu retreat masters BJJ Globetrotters treated attendees of their German destination seminar with a display of Irish Collar and Elbow grappling. At one time celebrated as the most popular sport in Ireland–and to be fair, soccer may not have actually replaced “fighting your friends in outerwear” as the country’s favorite athletic endeavor–Collar and Elbow is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Fighters square off, grab one of each on their opponent’s jacket, and work for the takedown. Pin your pal for three seconds and you get the win.

For the Globetrotters seminar seven black belts and five additional high belts took each other on in what is advertised as “the first Irish collar and elbow matches in 100 years.”

The results are entertaining, exhausting, and if you’re a filthy leg locker, frustrating…rarely do we see grapplers anymore voluntarily ignoring 50% of the human body.


If you’re not a wrestler and want to give this a try, don’t forget to bridge once you hit the ground:


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Kimberly Kaye
Kimberly Kaye is a purple belt under NOLA MMA's Professor Matthias Meister, Mestre Valencio Cocada, and Ray Lopez. When she's not being choked or kicked by large Louisianians, she's an integrative wellness coach working primarily with fighters and autoimmune disease patients. In her free time she rehabilitates of deaf bully breed dogs no one else wants. Kimberly coexists with the rare diseases CIPO and Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, and is an advocate for disabled individuals in the martial arts community and world at large.
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