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Grappling is an element of many martial arts, and consist of techniques for handling the opponent in very close quarters. This includes winning position (for example guard or mount), takedowns and various pins and joint lock or pain locks. Grappling may be engaged in either standing or on the ground, although many standing techniques are takedowns, and thus used for forcing the opponent to an unfavourable position on the ground.

Throws are considered grappling in some martial arts, whereas other arts consider them extensions of strikes or kicks.

Grappling is notably not a martial art, but a mode of fighting employed in many of them. Judo and wrestling have a very high content of grappling techniques, whereas boxing and muay thai contain practically no grappling.