Grappling vs. Wrestling

Difference Between Grappling and Wrestling

    The two major differences between grappling, when it refers to ground fighting, and freestyle wrestling, is the presence of submissions and the strategy of fighting. There are no submission holds -- like choke holds or arm bars -- allowed in wrestling like there are in grappling. Grappling allows you to put your opponent in a hold that causes extreme pain or a fear of injury and thus forces them to submit out of the match. To win the match in wrestling, you must score more points than your opponent using maneuvers such as takedowns, reversals, escapes, and near-falls, or put your opponent on his back and "pin" him by forcing both shoulder blades to touch the mat.

    Grappling techniques differ between the martial arts and freestyle wrestling. In wrestling, the top position is ideal for controlling and eventually pinning an opponent. When a wrestler pins his opponent, the match is immediately over. Wrestlers try to avoid being on their back, as it puts them in a position that makes them susceptible to being pinned. However, in some martial arts, being underneath your opponent and lying on your back can be an advantage. You can hold an opponent with your legs and perform submission holds while not being in a susceptible position yourself. Being on top or on your hands and knees makes you susceptible to a number of submission holds and moves that are not allowed in wrestling.

About the Author

Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.