wrestling vs bjj

Wrestling vs BJJ: Martial Arts 101

Are you interested in martial arts but need help deciding which discipline to pursue? You’re not alone if you’re torn between wrestling vs BJJ. Both sports offer unique techniques and strategies that can be effective in self-defense and competition.

While jiu jitsu focuses on submissions and ground fighting, wrestling emphasizes takedowns and controlling an opponent’s position. Each discipline has its own strengths and weaknesses, making the decision between the two a matter of personal preference and goals.

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between jiu jitsu vs wrestling, helping you make an informed decision about which martial art is the right fit for you. Whether you’re looking to improve your self-defense skills or compete in a grappling tournament, understanding the nuances of each discipline will guide you toward the right choice.

What Is Wrestling?

Wrestling is an ancient martial art that has been practiced for centuries. It involves grappling and wrestling techniques to gain control over an opponent. Wrestlers use takedowns, throws, locks, pins, sweeps, and other maneuvers to outmaneuver their opponents and gain the upper hand. Wrestling has been featured in a variety of sporting events across the world, from the Olympic Games to professional MMA.

What Is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that originated in Japan and has evolved over the years into a popular sport. It involves using leverage and technique to control an opponent with joint locks, chokes, and other submissions. Unlike wrestling, jiu jitsu focuses on ground fighting. Its techniques enable a smaller person to defend themselves against a larger opponent. Jiu jitsu has become popular in mixed martial arts, with practitioners competing in various competitions worldwide.

Jiu Jitsu vs Wrestling- The Differences

The Focus of the Discipline:

One of the key differences between jiu jitsu vs wrestling is their focus. Jiu jitsu emphasizes submissions and ground fighting, while wrestling focuses on takedowns and control. In jiu jitsu, practitioners use techniques such as joint locks, chokes, and other submissions to gain the upper hand, whereas wrestlers rely on throws, pins, sweeps, and other maneuvers.

A wrestler aims to take an opponent to the ground and hold them there, while a jiu jitsu practitioner aims to finish the fight with a submission.

The Rules:

Another important difference between the two martial arts is the rules. In wrestling, points are awarded for takedowns, reversals, and other offensive moves, whereas in jiu jitsu, points are not awarded for offensive moves; instead, the fight is won by submission. Also, while wrestling matches have a time limit, jiu jitsu matches continue until one competitor taps out or is rendered unconscious.

Clothing & Gear:

Finally, the equipment used in both disciplines is different. Wrestlers wear shorts and a singlet with protective headgear and boots, whereas jiu jitsu practitioners wear a Jiu Jitsu gi (a kimono-style uniform) with a belt that indicates rank. Wrestling does not require any special apparel, but wearing shoes and protective headgear is recommended.


Competition is also a key difference between jiu jitsu and wrestling. Wrestling tournaments have weight classes, while in jiu jitsu, competitors are divided by rank (belt color). Furthermore, wrestling rewards aggression and offense with points, but in jiu jitsu, the only way to win is to submit your opponent or be declared the winner by the referee. Additionally, wrestling matches typically have a time limit, whereas jiu jitsu matches can last until one competitor taps out or is rendered unconscious.

Training Style:

Regarding training, both wrestling vs jiu jitsu have their own distinctive styles. Jiu jitsu involves drilling techniques in a live setting (known as sparring), allowing practitioners to practice applying the techniques under real-world conditions. Wrestling involves more solo drills and physical conditioning exercises that help wrestlers improve their strength, speed, and agility.

Training Environment:

The type of training environment you prefer is another factor to consider when choosing between jiu jitsu vs wrestling. Jiu jitsu classes are often taught in a gym setting with mats, allowing practitioners to safely practice techniques against partners. Wrestling classes typically take place on a mat in a more traditional martial arts dojo. The atmosphere of each setting can significantly influence your overall experience.

Wrestling vs BJJ- The Similarities

Although there are many differences between jiu jitsu and wrestling, the two martial arts share several similarities. Both sports involve grappling and focus on controlling an opponent via joint locks, chokes, throws, pins, and other techniques. Both also require great strength and conditioning to compete at a high level.

The mental aspects of both jiu jitsu and wrestling are also similar. Both require competitors to stay focused and have a high level of mental toughness to succeed. Jiu jitsu practitioners must remain calm under pressure and anticipate their opponent’s movements, while wrestlers must think quickly and react efficiently. Furthermore, both sports require great strategy to outwit an opponent and gain the upper hand.

Which Martial Art Is Right for You?

No matter which martial art you choose, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from either jiu jitsu or wrestling. Both sports offer unique ways to improve physical and mental fitness while developing valuable self-defense skills. Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the differences between jiu jitsu vs wrestling so that you can make an informed decision about which discipline is right for you.

Granite Bay Jiu Jitsu is the perfect place to enhance physical and mental fitness! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced martial artist, Granite Bay Jiu-Jitsu has something for everyone. With its supportive and encouraging community, you can learn new techniques and practice old ones in a safe, fun environment. So what are you waiting for? Check out Granite Bay Jiu-Jitsu today and take your martial arts practice to the next level!