Kampfringen is the art of combat grappling as practiced in Medieval Germany. It was a powerful and effective form of unarmed combat, combining joint-locks, leverage throws, pain compliance grips and striking techniques. It was useful in self-defense situations, in formal duels, and even on the battlefield should a weapon be lost or broken.
The Kampfringen style illustrated in Hans Talhoffer's fechtbuch is based on the teachings of Meister Ott, and represents a complete system of weaponless combat techniques. As with the Italian disciplines of Arte dell'abbracciare and Arte della Daga, it is possible to trace many common techniques and principles between Kampfringen and the German form of knife-fighting known as Dolchfechten.
Johann Georg Passchen's 17th century Ringbuch (grappling book) demonstrates a wide variety of striking techniques, including clawing attacks to the throat, punches, elbow strikes to the head and kicks to the knees.
In some ways Passchen's style of Ringen (unarmed combat) resembles modern Wing Chun. His fighters are shown in upright, natural stances and most of the action takes place at the punching and trapping ranges, whereas most of the earlier Ringbucher concentrate on grappling range.
The AEMMA has a translated version of Talhoffer's Fechtbuch, including Kampfringen techniques
Passchen's Ringbuch is fully illustrated and translated here
The HEMA Technical Analysis of Passchen's Ringen style starts here
Original scans of the 1459 Talhoffer Fechtbuch, including two sections on Kampfringen, courtesy of the Royal Library of Copenhagen via AEMMA
An untranslated version of Passchen's unarmed combat manual is available here.
Alliance Martial Arts' Medieval Close Combat page
The Vom Baumann Fechtbuch includes three sections on combat wrestling, including some very unusual Aikido/Jujitsu-like multiple opponent restraint techniques