Martial Arts Magazine 
Brian Cimins
by TMAN Freelance Writer Ben Smith

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Our first article of 1999 discusses a martial art that is becoming more popular each year. Grappling has been around for quite a while but its time as a serious method of self-defense is gaining wide acceptance. Brian Cimins, student of Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Hapkido, and Sambo has trained for the past 10 years in various Martial arts, but in the past 4 years has concentrated strictly on grappling. He believes that "The art of grappling can take the violence out of fighting. Any martial artist who is into cultivating the art and making themselves more of complete martial artists should definitely consider adding grappling to their arsenal". Brian is also President of the Grapplers Company Inc. with its Grappler's Quest bouts beginning this year.


1. Do you feel UFC bouts had anything to do with the proliferation of ground fighting schools that are sprouting up around the country?

Yes. The shocking point was made in the UFC that grapplers and jiu jitsu Practitioners could be very effective in a "real" fight. Approximately 1 out of every 2 martial arts schools (excluding Tae Kwon Do) have implemented some sort of ground fighting program into their curriculum. The person walking into a martial arts school today wants to know how to become a complete fighter and a complete person. A tough combination, but nevertheless martial arts instructors must continue to adapt as their market changes. Always ask for grappling or ground fighting credentials. Ask the instructor who trained them in grappling.

2.Is grappling a good method for street self-defense and is it true that 90% of all street fights end up on the ground?

Personally, I believe grappling is fantastic for MOST fighting situations, but it is not the end all be all. For example, if I was approached by multiple attackers, a single leg takedown, to a side mount, to an arm bar isn't an option. The multiple attacker is dangerous to any ground fighting situation. I like to categorize various fighting situations into 3 general categories: Multiple attackers (more than 1), One on One, and Against Weapons. Striking and Joint manipulation are two excellent tools for multiple attackers, as well as some standing submission. A one on one fighting situation allows the person to use grappling more freely and incorporate striking and joint locking as well. Weapons are a different story. My advice is always offer anything the attacker wants until you feel threatened or they want to take you with them. Then I say, fight for you life using any and all techniques that come into mind. General Tip: Learn as much as you can about all areas of fighting, concentrating on the basics of each to have a better understanding of all fighting situations.

3. At what age can one start in the grappling arts? Is it right for children?

I believe that grappling can be taught to all ages. I do think that what should be taught be limited. Takedowns and ground positions should be taught at all ages. Submissions should not be taught until about age 10-12. I never taught chokes to kids under age 12, because I do not believe in it. I also believe that when teaching joint locks to youngsters that extreme caution should be used to what particular ones should be taught.

 4. What is a normal workout routine look like to an average grappler?

Grapplers need to work hard on first their endurance, then their technique. If you cannot last in a fight how will you ever be able to do an arm bar from the guard. Secondly, technique is truly important. Constantly drill and drill your basic techniques. Work on holding positions, escaping positions, and some submission finishing holds. Only concentrate on two to three finishing holds from each position. Become excellent at them first, then build on them by adding more techniques to your arsenal. An excellent book for submission fighters and grapplers is available at: This book has hundreds on techniques and drills that you can use to better your technique and overall skill level. Joints and other sensitive areas (knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, hips, etc.) are other areas that really need to be strengthened. Constant strength training is an excellent addition to become a better grappler. Less fat and more muscle will allow a competitor compete in a lower weight class and be stronger, faster, and quicker than the rest of the pack. Good luck to all competitors at The Grapplers Quest Submission Tournament and all other regional grappling events around the world. Hard works yields success, and remember success is learning, not necessarily winning. We all win when we learn.

5. We hear a lot about cross training in martial arts. Many people are looking for more than traditional (one art) lessons. What do you feel about cross training?

Cross training has proved to be an excellent tool to create a more complete martial artist. Here is an example of cross training at its best: The recent no-holds-barred competition events have shown tremendous success by "grapplers." These "grapplers" are cross-trained in several various martial arts. For example, Maurice Smith, famous for his devastating kicking and punching from Kickboxing has recently started training with the Lion's Den fighters. In return, for teaching him submission, Maurice is bettering the Lion's Den stand up fighting. My point is we can all learn from one another. The attitude that states,"My art is better than yours," is one of the past. I hope that we can all venture along together and better each other. Another example is Real American Wrestling's Randy Coutore (TEAM RAW). He is cross trained in wrestling, jiu jitsu, and boxing. Always check the validity of your potential "grappling instructor." Many martial arts instructors have jumped on the grappling bandwagon. Always question a potential martial arts instructor, ask to see their blackbelt certificates, who they trained with, who they are certified by, etc.

6. Tell us about your Grapplers Company.

The Grapplers Company Inc. was founded in 1997 by myself. The Grapplers Company is dedicated to organizing and promoting high quality non-striking grappling and jiu-jitsu tournaments. Tournaments will be properly organized by a professional martial arts staff. Tournaments will be unbiased against any style or system.

7. You have tournaments coming up this year. Tell us what they entail?

The Grapplers Quest Tournaments will be impartially judged and refereed. All rules will be made clear and concise to all competitors, judges, referees, and spectators. Safety is of primary concern of The Grapplers Quest Company. Proper wrestling mats or rings and additional safety precautions will be installed to provide maximum safety for all competitors and spectators. The Grapplers Quest Company is also dedicated to promoting good sportsmanship in the martial spirit of honor, integrity and respect. Finally, The Grapplers Quest is committed to providing an equal opportunity for all genders, ages, races, and creeds to compete in an unbiased tournament environment.

8. When is the next tournament?

The next tournament planned for The Grapplers Company, Inc. is The Grapplers Quest for the Best, scheduled for April 24th, 1999 at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. The tournament will have six weight divisions for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced divisions. An Expert Open Division is also available with The Grapplers Quest Championship Belt on the line. Great prizes for competitors and spectators, sponsored in part by Coca Cola USA and PowerAde. The Grapplers Quest Tournament has been developed to bring together some of the best grapplers in the United States and Canada from various skill levels to answer the ultimate question of competition.

9. Tell us more about the competition such as what types of martial artists will be there and what is the price of tickets etc.?

Competitors from various martial arts styles including Brazilian and Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Russian Sambo, Greco, Roman Wrestling, Jeet Kune Do, and from the many other grappling and ground fighting arts are being assembled to create the single most prestigious open grappling tournament in North America. Tickets: $15 Fighter registration: $45 (until April 1st, 1999) We are also pleased to announce a merger with will now be offering FREE WEB BASED E-MAIL for Martial Artists. For more information you can visit our web site at: or Call The Grapplers Hotline at: 973-831-4121

10. Thanks Brian and Good luck with Grapplers Quest and the tournaments.

Good luck to all competitors. Remember...we are all winners when we learn.