Wrestling vs Jiu Jitsu | All of the Differences You Need to Know
Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu can seem like the same, as both sports require fighters to be on the ground at some point.
In this page, we'll go over the differences between Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu.
Difference Between Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu
The goals of Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu are different as the goal of wrestling is to pin the opponent on their back, while in Jiu-Jitsu the goal is to submit the opponent through a choke or a joint lock, regardless of position.
For a wrestler to achieve a pin, they must first gain top control and force any part of both shoulders (or shoulder blades) of their opponents to touch the mat for 2 consecutive seconds.
The BJJ practitioner can secure a submission from both top and bottom positions.
Unlike wrestling, they do not need to be in a certain position to win the match, as all they need to do is force their opponent to tap.
Wrestling Habits When Transitioning to MMA
During wrestling matches, wrestlers are more than happy to give up their back to their opponent, as it does not put them in immediate danger of being pinned.
However, when wrestlers transition into MMA, this is one of the habits that they must break as giving up their back can be the easiest way to lose a fight, as it exposes their neck.
In fact, one of the most common and easiest chokes to lock in is the rear naked choke, which is only available when they acquire a position on their opponent's back.
Additionally, wrestlers transitioning to MMA will need to learn to leave their chin tucked in during transitions, to prevent their neck from being exposed, and being vulnerable to easier submissions.
Jiu-Jitsu Habits When Transitioning to MMA
In Jiu Jitsu, there is a 'Gentlemen's agreement' where one person will willingly stay on their back, while the other will jump into that person's guard.
Due to this, the wrestling aspect of Jiu-Jitsu isn't often worked on, as fighters do not need to secure a takedown to take the fight to the ground.
This is exactly why fans will see many Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts in an MMA fight struggle to take their opponent to the ground, as the wrestling hasn't been worked on nearly as much as the submissions.
When BJJ purists transition into the world of MMA, they will need to learn and consistently work on their wrestling to improve their takedowns and takedown defense to have success in Mixed Martial Arts.