Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What's The Difference Between Wrestling and BJJ?

What's The Difference Between Wrestling and BJJ?

What is the major differences between wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ)?

Sep 12, 2023 by FloGrappling
What's The Difference Between Wrestling and BJJ?

Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are both popular combat sports known for their intense physicality and technical prowess. While they share some similarities, such as grappling and takedowns, they have distinct rules, techniques, and philosophies. In this article, we will explore the key differences between wrestling and BJJ, helping you gain a better understanding of these two exciting martial arts.

Origins and History


Wrestling has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans.

It is deeply rooted in the Olympics and has a strong tradition in various cultures worldwide.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as the name suggests, originated in Brazil in the early 20th century.

It was developed from Judo and adapted by the Gracie family, who transformed it into a unique martial art.

Scoring and Objectives


In wrestling, the primary objective is to pin your opponent's shoulders to the mat for a certain period or accumulate points through takedowns, escapes, and reversals.

Pins and controlling positions play a significant role in scoring.


BJJ focuses on submission holds and positional control.

The main goal is to force your opponent to submit by applying joint locks or chokeholds, earning points for dominant positions along the way.

Attire and Uniforms


Wrestlers typically wear tight-fitting singlets, which cover most of their body.

The attire is designed to prevent an opponent from grabbing onto clothing.


BJJ practitioners wear a gi (kimono) or no-gi attire (rash guards and shorts).

The gi provides additional grips and allows for a wider range of techniques, while no-gi relies more on body control and speed.

Training Methods


Wrestling training emphasizes explosive strength, agility, and takedowns.

Wrestlers often engage in drills that replicate match scenarios and focus on maintaining a strong athletic base.


BJJ training centers on technical skills, leverage, and ground control.

Sparring, or rolling, is a fundamental part of BJJ training, allowing practitioners to apply techniques in real-time.

Duration of Matches


Matches are typically divided into three periods, each lasting two to three minutes, depending on the level of competition.

The goal is to accumulate points or secure a pin within the allotted time.


BJJ matches, or rolls, can vary in duration, often lasting several minutes to no time limit for advanced practitioners.

Victory is achieved by submission, points, or advantages, regardless of time.


Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are distinct martial arts, each with its own rich history, techniques, and objectives. While both involve grappling and ground combat, the emphasis and rules differ significantly. Whether you're drawn to the intensity of wrestling or the technical finesse of BJJ, both sports offer unique challenges and opportunities for personal growth, making them valuable additions to the world of martial arts.