greco-roman wrestling

Greco-Roman Wrestling vs BJJ 

What Is Greco-Roman Wrestling?

Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that has been around for centuries. It originated in France in the 19th century but has since spread globally. It is one of the oldest styles of wrestling and has been a part of the Olympic Games since its inception.

Greco-Roman wrestling mainly focuses on using only the upper body and not being allowed to use any leg attacks or holds. This makes it a unique wrestling style and requires wrestlers to be skilled at using their upper bodies. The aim is to throw your opponent to the ground and pin them while avoiding getting thrown or pinned yourself.

Greco-Roman wrestling is unique from other wrestling styles, such as freestyle wrestling which allows for upper and lower-body attacks. Instead, wrestlers focus mainly on mastering throws, lifts, or holds that will enable them to control their opponent’s upper body. These are typically done from standing positions, making this wrestling style an action-packed style that is exciting to watch.

Wrestlers competing in Greco-Roman wrestling are divided into weight classes, making it a level playing field for all competitors. There are ten weight classes, ranging from 55 kg to 130 kg, ensuring that wrestlers of all sizes can compete and excel in the sport.

To win a match, a wrestler must score technical superiority, which means hitting a certain point spread over their opponent. Technical superiority can be achieved by pinning your opponent or earning points for throwing, lifting, or holding them.

Greco-Roman wrestling has a rich history and has produced some of the most elite wrestlers in the world. It requires a high level of skill, strength, agility, and endurance. It has been an Olympic sport since the 19th century and continues to be one of the world’s most popular styles of wrestling today.

The History of Greco Roman Wrestling

The origins of Greco Roman wrestling can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who developed this form of wrestling as a way to prepare for combat and war. The Greeks believed that wrestling was an essential part of physical education, and they incorporated it into their Olympic Games as early as 708 BC.

It wrestling remained popular throughout the ancient world, with Roman soldiers using it as a training tool for battle. The sport continued to evolve over the centuries, with different regions and cultures developing their own unique styles of wrestling.

In the 19th century, Greco Roman wrestling was standardized and rules were established to create a consistent form of the sport. The French developed their own style of wrestling, known as French wrestling, which was similar to Greco Roman wrestling but did not limit the use of leg attacks.

The 20th century saw the emergence of international wrestling organizations, including the United World Wrestling (UWW), which oversees the rules and regulations of Greco Roman wrestling today. The sport has been part of the Olympic program since the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.

Through the decades, Greco Roman wrestling has produced many great champions, including Kamal Bey of Team USA and Randy Couture, who transitioned from wrestling to mixed martial arts. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Royce Gracie also relied heavily on his Greco Roman wrestling skills in the early days of his MMA career.

Today, Greco Roman wrestling continues to be a popular form of combat sport that requires strength, endurance, and strategy. It remains a staple in amateur wrestling programs worldwide and is enjoyed by fans of all ages. Whether you’re a casual spectator or a serious practitioner, the history of wrestling is a rich and fascinating one that has endured for centuries.

Greco Roman Wrestling Today

This wrestling style is contested in weight classes and involves only upper-body techniques. Unlike freestyle wrestling, where both upper and lower body techniques are allowed, Greco Roman wrestling is a more specialized style that demands different skills.

Today, Greco Roman wrestling remains a popular form of combat sports worldwide, and it is widely recognized as one of the most technical and demanding forms of wrestling. This wrestling style is mainly associated with classical wrestling and is practiced worldwide, from amateur to Olympic.

One notable difference between this style of wrestling and other forms of wrestling is that it requires a higher level of strength and technique. Compared to other wrestling styles, where athletes are allowed to attack the legs of their opponents, Greco Roman wrestlers are only allowed to use upper body techniques, making it more challenging and technical.

Another unique aspect of of this wrestling style is that it emphasizes throws and takedowns over ground fighting and submissions. This wrestling style is designed to showcase the athlete’s skills in throws and carries, with the goal of scoring points by throwing their opponent onto their back.

Overall, Greco Roman wrestling today is still a highly respected form of combat sport that demands strength, technique, and skill. It is widely practiced worldwide and remains a popular form of competition at both amateur and professional levels. Whether you are a martial arts fan or simply enjoy watching highly skilled athletes compete, Greco Roman wrestling is a sport worth exploring and appreciating for its unique and challenging features.

Greco Roman Wrestling vs BJJ – Similarities and Differences

Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are popular combat sports involving grappling and wrestling techniques. While both sports may share some similarities, there are also notable differences that set them apart. This article will explore the similarities and differences between Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Both Greco Roman wrestling and BJJ involve grappling and wrestling techniques. They require athletes to use their strength, technique, and strategy to gain an advantage over their opponent. Both sports also involve various positions, such as the standing, defensive, and ground positions. Athletes in both sports use their knowledge of leverage and balance to control and subdue their opponents.


One of the most notable differences between Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is their style of wrestling. Greco Roman wrestling is a style that prohibits any attacks on the opponent’s legs, whereas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu involves a lot of leg attacks and submissions. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, athletes aim to control and submit their opponents with joint locks and chokes, whereas, in Greco Roman wrestling, athletes are awarded points for throws and takedowns.

Another difference between the two sports is the level of physical contact involved. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu often consists of a lot of ground fighting and close contact, with athletes trying to manipulate and control their opponent’s body. Greco Roman wrestling, on the other hand, emphasizes throws and takedowns that require less physical contact.

The weight classes in both sports are also different. In Greco Roman wrestling, athletes compete in designated weight classes, whereas in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are no weight classes. Instead, athletes are divided into different levels based on skill and experience.

Wrapping Up

While both Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu involve grappling and wrestling techniques, notable differences distinguish the two sports. Greco Roman wrestling emphasizes throws and takedowns using the upper body, while Brazilian Jiu Jitsu consists of many leg attacks and submissions. Both sports require strength, technique, and strategy, but athletes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often engage in more physical contact than their Greco Roman counterparts. Athletes should choose a sport that suits their preferences, skills, and goals.