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How To Win A Wrestling Match

Wrestling is a rewarding yet challenging sport that takes practice and determination. For three periods, wrestlers attempt to win using various takedowns, reversals, and escapes, all of which are worth a different amount of points. But how do you win a match overall?

How To Win A Wrestling Match

To win a wrestling match, you must outscore or pin your opponent. If you gain a 14-point lead, regardless of the round, you will be declared the victor. Otherwise, the person with the most points at the end of the third round is the winner. In the event of a draw, the bout goes into overtime.

As mentioned, there are a number of different ways to gain points in wrestling, meaning there are multiple ways to win a match. So, let’s take a closer look at wrestling bouts and some of the moves you can use to defeat your opponents. 

How Is A Wrestling Match Scored?

A wrestling match is scored based on takedowns, reversals, near falls, escapes, and penalty points. Escape moves, such as the Granby roll, are worth one point, whereas near falls, like the half-nelson, will get two or three points if done correctly. Takedowns and reversals are worth two points each.


Takedowns are the most common scoring method in a match and are worth two points each. This move is used to bring an opponent to the mat where they can be better controlled, which is vital for scoring points, pinning, and winning. 

To successfully complete a takedown:

  • Start in a neutral position. No points will be awarded if one player already has the upper hand.
  • Force the opponent to the ground against their will. This means that the opponent must not pull the person performing the move down in any way. 


Escapes happen when one wrestler can get out of a position or hold and return to a neutral stance. For example, you may see an escape happen after a takedown if the wrestler can get out of the hold. 

During an escape, the wrestler is not starting in a neutral position. Instead, they are finding a way to escape their opponent. 

Escapes are worth one point during a bout, but they’re not easy to get. To escape from an opponent, a wrestler needs to outwit them or hope for a momentary loss of focus or control. 


Reversals are similar to escapes, but they do not end in a neutral position. Instead, reversals end with the wrestler gaining the upper hand on their opponent.

In wrestling terms, a wrestler must come from underneath and take control over a situation.  Because these are more challenging, reversals are worth two points. 

Near Falls

Near falls happen during a wrestling match when a wrestler comes close to pinning their opponent. 

To achieve a near-fall score, a wrestler needs to get their opponent in a vulnerable position that does not count as a pin.

This usually involves something close to a pin where the opponent’s back is exposed but not against the mat. 

Points for near falls vary based on how long the hold lasts. For example:

  • If the opponent is held vulnerable for two seconds, the wrestler gets two points. 
  • If they hold their opponent for 5 seconds, then the wrestler is awarded three points at the high school level and four at the college level. 

So, near falls can be worth a lot of points when done effectively. 

Penalty Points

Penalty points are awarded to the opponent when the wrestler commits an infraction. Some reasons for penalty points include: 

  • Stalling
  • Unnecessary roughness
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct 

These infractions can award the opponent one or two points depending on the severity of the offense. Penalty points are the only way to score points without trying or actively doing something to earn them.

These points rely on the actions of your opponent solely. So, don’t count on these when trying to win your match. 

How Long Is A Wrestling Match?

A wrestling match is typically around seven minutes long and lasts over three periods, varying in time between one and three minutes. The time of each period varies based on the wrestling level. 

The length of a wrestling match varies based on the skill level of the wrestlers. For example:

  • Most high school bouts last for about six minutes. Each period should last for two minutes, but they can be stopped early, and the time doesn’t account for overtime.
  • College wrestling starts with a three-minute period followed by two periods both lasting two minutes. This means the average college wrestling match lasts for about seven minutes without overtime. 

Overtime typically doesn’t last long, with the first wrestler to score points being named the winner. 

So, it typically does not add much time to the overall length of a wrestling match unless there are no points scored by either wrestler, in which case there may be a second overtime period. 

Tips For Winning A Wrestling Match

Wrestling matches can be tough to win, especially when you’re just getting started. That said, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you win a wrestling match: 

  • Don’t be afraid to strike offensively first. Staying on the defensive can mean you have to get yourself out of sticky situations later on. 
  • Only use moves that you have practiced and mastered. Using new moves can lead to a loss or even injury if done incorrectly. 
  • If your opponent is stronger than you, you need to out-technique them during the match. This often means changing your strategy as the bout progresses.
  • Don’t let anything upset you during a match. Penalties, among other things, can affect your attitude, but they also lead to extra points for your opponent.
  • Don’t stop until the referee blows the whistle. There may be times when a penalty is not called, or a match is not stopped when it should be. Don’t allow your opponent to get the upper hand because you anticipated a whistle but didn’t get one. 

Winning a wrestling match is not an easy feat, but you can do so by outscoring and pinning your opponent. 

It is essential to focus on the score and maintain a lead over your opponent during a bout, but don’t let that make you lose focus on your opponent’s actions. 

In rare cases, you may find yourself ahead by 14 points, which leads to an automatic win. But that’s not something to rely on. Instead, practice your moves and work on successfully controlling your opponent.

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Ear Guards(Headgear)
Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


What Is Wrestling Headgear and Why Is It Important?

You may have seen your favorite wrestlers or MMA fighters wearing headgear while training, but you might not know what it is. If you’re new to the sport of wrestling, it’s crucial for you to understand what headgear is and why it’s so vital. 

What Is Wrestling Headgear And Why Is It Important?

Wrestling headgear, also called a “ear guards,” protects your ears from injury during fighting or training. It prevents cauliflower ear, an ugly condition where fluid collects in the ear due to repeated trauma. It can also help prevent injuries that can occur when wrestlers fall on their heads. 

This article will discuss everything you need to know about wrestling headgear.

What Is Wrestling Headgear Made Of?

A standard wrestling headgear consists of an inner protective lining made of ballistic nylon, an outer vinyl covering, and straps to secure it in place. 

Some models may also feature air holes in the ear protectors, which allows wrestlers to hear instructions from their coach during practices and in matches.

Why Is Headgear Important In Wrestling?

Wrestling headgear is important because it acts as a shock absorber to protect your ears against damage caused to the skin and tissue when you get hit or fall.

The most common injury in wrestling is the cauliflower ear, which isn’t only an unsightly condition but also painful.

A cauliflower ear is formed when the skin on the ear gets damaged and becomes inflamed, causing it to harden in response to the trauma.

While this is most commonly caused by headlocks or other wrestling holds, it can also occur from repeated mat burns or blood blisters that break and open up.

Excessive cauliflower ear can be a real problem, not because it’s aesthetically unappealing but because it can affect the wrestler’s hearing ability, sometimes resulting in hearing loss.

Wrestling headgear helps prevent cauliflower ear since it acts as padding between your ear and the mat to reduce friction.

Many wrestlers like that headgear allows the skin on their ears to move freely while protecting it from mat burns and abrasions.

It also protects your hearing ability by absorbing the impact of any blows to your head, neck, or shoulders.

This can reduce the risk of concussions and help you fight harder and longer than you can without wearing one.

Wrestling headgear isn’t only worn during training but also when competing. Most tournaments will have a uniform policy, so check with your coach or tournament organizer beforehand.

How To Wear Wrestling Headgear

Wearing wrestling headgear is as easy as putting it on! Always start by attaching both straps to the back of your head.

After you have placed both ear guards over your ears, tighten the straps at the top and bottom of each side, so they fit comfortably but snugly.

A common mistake when wearing wrestling headgear is to fasten the straps too tightly.

If you leave the guard on for an extended period, the circulation in your head can be compromised, causing dizziness or even fainting.

Therefore, your headgear should fit properly. Never wear one that’s too large or loose. It should fit snugly without restricting blood flow.

Best Wrestling Headgear

The key to finding the best wrestling headgear for you is finding one that provides the most comfort and protection without restricting your movements.

For example, this Adidas Earguard (which you can view here on Amazon) has specially molded ear cups with adjustable straps and comes with a spacer strap and chin cup.

Finding a headgear that fits well can reduce injuries while improving your performance in matches and training sessions.

Wrestling headgears typically range from $25 to $70, with the cheaper ones usually made out of materials like vinyl or lycra.

The more expensive models might be made of neoprene and offer increased protection, but you should always check the quality of the outer lining before buying one that’s too expensive.

Wrestling headgear for kids is typically sized by age, while the ones made for adults are sized by head circumference.

The key here is to buy headgear that fits your individual needs regardless of what other people recommend.

Choosing The Right Size Wrestling Headgear

When buying your first headgear, you want to pick one that fits well without restricting your movements.

The general rule of thumb is to choose a size that’s slightly smaller than your actual measurement, so it doesn’t stretch out or move as much as you wrestle.

After wearing the headgear, make sure you adjust the straps before putting it back on. Once it’s on your head, try twisting side to side or up and down to see if the ear guards slip out of place before testing them in action.

The most important thing is finding one that works for you! It should provide enough protection without distracting you too much or causing you to feel claustrophobic.

The best way to find one that’s comfortable is to try it on before buying it! You can also ask friends or teammates about their preferred brands so you can get an opinion before making a purchase.

Wrestling Headgear Brands 

As with any product, the brand making your headgear matters a lot. In case you’re overwhelmed with the numerous options on the market, it’s always advisable to go with an established brand.

This is because they have had time to fine tune their methods to create the best product possible.

The most established brands in the sport are Asics, Adidas, Cliff Keen, Brute, and Matman. You can find most of those brands here on Amazon or at your local sports store.

Most of these brands offer wrestling headgear for children and adults. 

If you’re having trouble finding the right size or style, you can also check out these brands’ websites. They often have sizing charts to help you find the perfect fit for your other wrestling equipment, too!

Final Thoughts

Wearing a good-fitting, comfortable wrestling headgear can protect you from cauliflower ear and other injuries.

It’s crucial that you choose a product that works for you in terms of comfort and protection. Plus, wearing it during tournaments will help avoid getting disqualified due to a uniform violation!

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Ear Guards(Headgear)
Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


Why Do Wrestlers Have Weird Ears?

If you’ve ever observed a wrestling match, you may have noticed that the wrestlers’ ears appear slightly deformed. The ears may look puffy, lumpy, or just generally misshapen.

It’s so common that it can become a surprise to see a wrestler with completely normal-looking ears, but why is it so common, and what causes this ear deformity?

Why Do Wrestlers Have Weird Ears?

Wrestlers have weird ears, or cauliflower ears, because of the physical trauma that causes pockets of blood to form, creating a lumpy appearance. They may be treated by draining the pockets and icing the ears.

The rest of this article will provide an in-depth look at what causes cauliflower ear, how to treat it, and how to avoid getting cauliflower ear in the first place.

What Causes Cauliflower Ear?

The main causes of cauliflower ear are blunt force trauma and any sort of friction against the ears. In wrestling, you’re constantly being slammed and pinned against the mat as well as put in headlocks. All of these can cause cauliflower ear making it one of the most common injuries in the sport. 

When blunt force trauma or friction is applied to the ear, separation of tissues occurs and creates spaces between the layers of skin and cartilage. These pockets then fill with blood that causes a puffy and lumpy appearance.

Think about if you’ve ever hit your head and ended up with a lump. Cauliflower ears are caused by the same process, but just in a different spot.

Once the blood has entered these pockets, it just sits there and causes redness and swelling, and it’s not going away easily. The only way to remove the blood is by lancing the ear and draining the blood out. 

Eventually, the blood will dry and harden, causing the disfigurement to become permanent. 

Side Effects of Cauliflower Ear

It is important to remember that cauliflower ear causes more than an unpleasant appearance. There are some major side effects of cauliflower ear, including:

  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty using headphones
  • Ringing ears
  • Headache

If not treated, severe cauliflower ear can also cause the outer edge of your ear to die. If the separation between skin and cartilage is severe enough, then the outer edges can lose their blood supply. 

This will initially cause the hardening of the cartilage and can eventually lead to it completely falling off. The outer ear dying can also lead to a severe infection that can become systemic if left untreated. 

Is There A Cure For Cauliflower Ear?

While there is not a cure for cauliflower ear, some options may allow you to return your ear to a semi-normal state, including icing the ear and draining the pocket of fluid. If the trauma is repeated frequently, then chances are your ears are going to be permanently disfigured. 

When you notice that you may be getting cauliflower ear after being injured, the first thing to do is apply ice to the area.

Ice reduces the swelling and minimizes the damage by constricting the capillaries in the skin of the ear. This helps reduce the amount of excess blood that will seep into the pocket between the layers of skin and cartilage.

It is not recommended that you take anti-inflammatory medications as most of them have some blood-thinning properties, which could make the cauliflower ear more severe.

Once the initial swelling process is complete, typically after a few days, then you may want to get your ear drained. If the swelling is extreme, then chances are it will not go back to normal on its own and may cause severe damage to the cartilage. 

Your ear’s cartilage receives oxygen from the blood supply in your ear’s skin. If the skin is separated from the cartilage for too long, it could prevent the cartilage from healing and cause it to harden and be permanently deformed. 

If you decide to get it drained, the best thing to do is go to a doctor and have them do it for you. 

Many wrestlers or people who get cauliflower ear often choose to do it themselves, but we recommend leaving the job to a professional if you’re nervous about it. 

The doctor will insert a hollow needle into your ear and draw most of the blood out with a syringe. This minimizes any additional trauma as you do not want to put more pressure on your still healing blood vessels.

Ways To Avoid Cauliflower Ear

The single most effective way to prevent cauliflower ear is by wearing appropriate headgear at all times. Although many wrestling competitions now require headgear, competition is not where the majority of injuries are going to occur. 

Most injuries occur in practice.

The majority of the time that an athlete spends on the mat is going to be during practice. That is why, if you’re going to try and prevent cauliflower ear, practice is the most critical time to do it. 

You can check out some of the best wrestling headgear here on Amazon. They have headgear with varying levels of protection and for all different ages as well.

If the headgear is used appropriately, it is extremely effective in preventing cauliflower ear. However, if it is used incorrectly, it may actually increase the risk of developing this condition.

If the headgear is not tight enough or is too tight, it may move around, which can cause additional friction and put more pressure on the ears, resulting in a cauliflower ear.

Cauliflower ear is typically not a gradual process. It usually comes from one strong blow to the ear, which causes the separation of tissues. 

Although older wrestlers typically have worse ears, they have suffered through many incidents of cauliflower ear, which causes additional scar tissue to build up over time.

This is why it is essential to ensure that you always protect your ears every time you step on the mat because it only takes one blow.

Cauliflower ear is one of the most common injuries associated with wrestling that is caused by blunt force or friction trauma that separates the layers of skin and cartilage in the ear.

This creates pockets that fill with blood which creates the puffy appearance that is characteristic of this condition.

Treatment is possible with icing and draining any pockets of blood however, the best treatment is prevention.

Wearing appropriate headgear that is properly fitted will be the best thing you can do to prevent permanent disfigurement of your ears.

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Ear Guards(Headgear)
Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


Do MMA Fighters Lift Weights?

MMA fighters train year-round to be some of the best all-around athletes in the world. They use sprint training either outdoors or on a treadmill, and they work to become proficient in multiple martial arts like Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Judo.

They learn to be excellent wrestlers, boxers, and focus on training muscles to be as limber and explosive as possible.

Do MMA Fighters Lift Weights?

MMA fighters do lift weights in training. Unlike bodybuilders, the goal of weight-lifting for fighters is not aesthetics. MMA fighters lift weights to build explosive power and increase endurance in the octagon. MMA training weight routines use fewer reps and never lift too heavy or rep to failure. 

MMA training is about much more than bodybuilding. An MMA fighter must be a strong all-around athlete. This means that MMA training focuses on strength, agility, physical endurance, mental fortitude, and explosive muscular power.

Weight training routines that MMA fighters use are always compound movements that focus on increasing multiple attributes. MMA weight routines never focus on a single muscle.

Does Lifting Weights Help In a Fight?

Lifting weights undoubtedly helps in a fight. It is an exercise that builds muscle strength, endurance, and explosive power. This does not take the place of circuit training and martial arts training, but it serves to boost performance in every other area of training. Because the MMA fighter is not weight-lifting to bulk muscle, there is not a risk of becoming less agile. 

The key to lifting weights is to think of every lift with a holistic mindset. Think about the movements that you do in your MMA fights.

  • Punches such as the jab or overhand
  • Kicking 
  • Blocking 
  • Double collar tie
  • Grappling
  • Takedowns and trips
  • Holding
  • Passing
  • Ground striking

Your weight lifting routine will supplement and strengthen these movements. As you do your martial arts training and sparring, pay attention to areas where you see that you need more strength or endurance, then plan weight routines that address those areas.

How Often Do MMA Fighters Lift Weights?

The routine frequency is always determined by other aspects of the training routine. A fighter will spend multiple days a week in martial arts training and sparring. Additionally, much of training time is spent increasing speed and agility with circuit training.

However, every serious MMA fighter spends some time each week in weight training. 

Professional MMA fighters have trainers who help them to identify specific weaknesses and tailor workout routines to maximize their strength and agility.

They also create specific routines that include sufficient active recovery time, and proper nutrition. Amateur MMA fighters have to plan workouts, recovery, and nutrition strategies on their own. 

As you plan your own MMA training routine, be sure to focus on weight routines that will increase your explosive power and endurance when performing common maneuvers in the ring.

Many of these movements will become apparent during your martial arts training and sparring routines. Here are a few principles to keep in mind.

  • Do not focus on a single muscle group. Exercises must be compound, focusing on multiple groups to increase strength, coordination, and agility.
  • Do not focus on maximizing weight. This is not bodybuilding, it is endurance training. This will inevitably lead to cut and lean muscles, but overall muscular endurance and explosive strength is the goal. Adding too much weight will increase recovery time. 
  • Do not do single-rep max weight challenges. This type of activity will increase your recovery time without adding any MMA fighting benefits.
  • Do not do reps to failure. Your focus is to keep going and build the body to work as a coordinated machine. Working a single group to failure will decrease your overall workout effectiveness and do little to increase endurance in the octagon.
  • Do low numbers of reps in a wide variety of exercises for overall training.

Weight Lifting Exercises For MMA Fighters

For those starting out, the bar, a sandbag, or some lighter dumbbells should be used at first. Increase weight only as the exercises become easier. This will build muscle endurance and strength without causing massive increases in recovery time.

  • Bar clean and jerk. This exercise can be done with a bar with smaller weights or dumbbells. This exercise is primarily for improving explosive power from head to toe. This exercise requires the coordination of every muscle group and increases stability and explosive power in the octagon.
  • Deadlift. This can be done with a sandbag, bar with or without weights, dumbbells, or kettlebells. This exercise particularly strengthens the back of the body and increases stability and endurance.
  • Squats. Squats can be done in high repetitions with bodyweight, or fewer reps with added weight from a sandbag, dumbbells, medicine ball, or a bar with or without weights. Add weight as needed to keep the exercise difficult, and be careful to keep proper posture, knee, and hip alignment.
  • Standing Straight-Arm Dumbbell Press. This exercise is done alternately, just like punching. This is the best exercise to increase your punch strength in the ring. This move will simultaneously increase grip strength.
  • Bar Lunges. These are usually done with a bar and weights, but they can also be done with a heavy sandbag. This exercise builds endurance, strength, and agility in the legs and lower back. This is important for that explosive drive needed for grappling in the octagon. This exercise can also be done as walking lunges.

Grip Strength Exercises For MMA Fighters

So you have your opponent down, now you have to keep them there. Grappling can make or break a fight, and your grip strength can make or break your grappling. Here are four main exercises you need to do to increase your grip strength.

  • Hammer curl and reach. This exercise can be done with either kettlebells or dumbbells. It will increase both your handgrip strength and the muscle strength in your forearm, especially if you keep the weight out at 90 degrees during the reps instead of relaxing the forearm to your side. 
  • Suitcase carry. Grab a couple of heavy kettlebells, dumbbells, or sandbags, and walk around with them. Do not stop. This will specifically increase handgrip strength and lower forearm strength. 
  • Fatbar pull-ups. Add a tennis ball to each hand, grip the pull-up bar, and do your reps holding those tennis balls on the pull-up bar. 
  • Towel hang. Take a towel, throw it over your pull-up bar, grab an end in each hand and then hang. You can position and reposition your body however you want, but keep hanging. The longer you hang, the more grip strength you build. The thicker the towel is, the more grip strength you will build as you hang.

What Kinds of Exercises Do MMA Fighters Do?

MMA fighters do every kind of exercise necessary to become some of the best all-around athletes in the world. Every exercise is focused on training the body to become better coordinated, stronger, more agile, focused, and stable. 

The better fighter is a fighter who has focused on developing the entire mind and body into a well-coordinated machine that can take advantage of an opponent’s every weakness and oversight with precision, accuracy, and the endurance to finish.

With this in mind, MMA fighters typically divide training time up between multiple types of exercises. Ratios differ from person to person, and routines will change to fit the evolving needs and strengths of the fighter. These are some of the types of exercises that might be involved in a fighter’s training routine. 

  • Sprint running
  • Sprint bicycling
  • Weight lifting
  • Martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Judo
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Bodyweight lifting
  • Core training such as planks and push-ups
  • Plyometric exercises such as jump squats and burpees
  • Live sparring
  • Punching bag sparring


MMA fighters incorporate weight lifting into their workout and training routines. When it comes to getting the submission from your opponent, all training routines should be exploited to maximize your strength, agility, explosive power, and stability. 

Weight lifting in combination with moves that mimic movements you will be taking in the octagon will strengthen muscle groups in tandem so that your body is more powerful and stable.

This means that you will be able to both guard and attack with more force and accuracy. This training combined with plyometrics, martial arts training, and cardio training will make you a force to be reckoned with.

Interested in MMA? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training MMA, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Mouth Guard
Best MMA Gloves
Best Groin Protection
Best Rashguard
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


Boxing Vs Wrestling: What’s The Difference?

Boxing and wrestling are two of the most popular combat sports today. In this article I go over some of the things that make these sports similar, and other things that make them different.

What Is The Difference Between Boxing And Wrestling

Here are key differences between boxing and wrestling:

  • Boxers fight standing whereas wrestlers fight primarily on the ground.
  • Boxers fight in a ring whereas wrestlers fight on wrestling mats.
  • Boxers wear big heavy gloves, wrestlers wear no gloves.
  • Boxing involves punching, wrestling involves grappling.

Boxers Fight Standing Whereas Wrestlers Fight Primarily On The Ground

If you have watched a boxing match you have probably realized that the fighters never go to the ground. You can’t even hold your opponent in boxing.

In wrestling, however, the whole purpose of the sport is to grab, toss and pin your opponent to the ground.

Most of the scoring in wrestling happens on the ground with things such as takedowns and pins and so this is why most of the fighting takes place on the ground rather than standing up.

Boxers Fight In A Ring Whereas Wrestlers Fight On Wrestling Mats

When it comes to boxing, the fighting takes place in a square ring. Ropes are surrounding this square and there is no escape for either fighter once they enter into this area of combat.

Wrestling on the other hand does not have such an enclosure. As a result, wrestlers can escape from their opponent’s holds by simply stepping out of bounds.

This is why wrestling mats are circular and not square.

Boxers Wear Big Heavy Gloves, Wrestlers Wear No Gloves

Boxing gloves are big and heavy, meant to protect the fighter’s hands as they punch their opponent.

Wrestling does not use gloves because there is no need for them. Wrestlers rely on their grip and ability to hold onto their opponent to control them.

Boxing Involves Punching, Wrestling Involves Grappling

In boxing, punching is everything. To win a match you need to land more punches than your opponent does or at least land the most powerful punch of all, a knockout.

In wrestling, grappling is key. You can win a match by taking your opponent to the ground and pinning them there for a few seconds.

This is why boxing and wrestling are two very different sports.

Although there are several differences between the two sports, there are also many similarities as well. Let’s touch on those below.

What Are Similarities Between Boxing And Wrestling?

Here are some of the similarities between boxing and wrestling:

  • Both have timed rounds.
  • Both have similar training regimens.
  • Both have a point system for scoring.
  • Both involve 1v1 combat.
  • Both have ways to win a match instantly.
  • Both have weight classes.

Both Have Time Rounds

Both boxing and wrestling have timed rounds. In professional boxing, most fights will be between 10 and 12 rounds with each round lasting 3 minutes.

In wrestling on the other hand there are 3 rounds with the 1st round lasting 3 minutes and the last 2 rounds lasting 2 minutes each.

Both Have Similar Training Regimens

Although the fighting styles of both boxing and wrestling are very different, the training regimens are often very similar. This is because both sports require speed, agility, endurance, power, and stamina.

For this reason, both boxers and wrestlers will focus on things such as jumping rope and jogging to improve both their quickness and endurance.

Both Sports Have A Point System For Scoring

In both boxing and wrestling fighters score points throughout their matches. These scores are then added up at the end of the match and the fighter with the most points wins the match.

In professional boxing, a boxer will earn points each round from the judges depending on how well they fight (typically 10 points for the winner and 9 points for the loser of the round).

In wrestling, fighters earn points for things such as takedowns, reversals, and escapes. At the end of the match, the wrestler who scores the most points wins.

Both Involve One Versus One Combat

Although boxing and wrestling are two different sports, they both involve one fighter pitted against another.

Even though there are wrestling teams, these fighters are never in the same match at the same time. When you box or wrestle it is just you and the person in front of you.

Both Have Ways To Win A Match Instantly

In boxing, a knockout is the most obvious way to win a match. If you hit your opponent hard enough and they are unable to continue fighting, you win the match.

In wrestling, you can also win a match instantly by pinning your opponent.

This means that in both wrestling and boxing you always have a shot at winning no matter how behind you may be.

Both Have Weight Classes

In both boxing and wrestling, there are weight classes that fighters compete in. This is to make the fights more balanced and to protect the fighters as well.

Unlike other combat sports, weight is a major factor in both boxing and wrestling.

Which Is Better For Self Defense: Boxing Or Wrestling?

Wrestling is better than boxing when it comes to self-defense. This is because 73% of street fights end up on the ground according to studies. Although boxing is useful for self-defense, wrestling is better since most fights end up on the ground.

However, this is not to say that boxing is ineffective or that the skills you learn in boxing will be ineffective in a street fight.

A big part of self-defense is knowing how to take a punch or how to endure an attack from your opponent and boxing definitely teaches that.

But with 73% of street fights ending up on the ground, it’s a good idea to learn how to fight from a grounded position since most fights tend to go that way.

Which Is Easier To Learn: Boxing Or Wrestling?

Boxing is easier to learn than wrestling because it involves less technique. Wrestling involves several moves and a complex scoring system that fighters have to learn. Boxing moves are less complex and you can be an effective fighter by only knowing a few basic punches (jab, hook, cross).

I’m not saying that boxing is easy, it’s not, but it is easier to become proficient at boxing than it is at wrestling.

Which Is More Dangerous: Boxing Or Wrestling?

Wrestling is more dangerous than boxing. According to a study done by The Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine, when injuries in several combat sports were compared, “wrestling had the highest rate of injuries followed by boxing.”

In the study, strains, sprains, and dislocations were much more common in wrestling than they were in boxing or martial arts.

This is not to say that wrestling is dangerous, but when you compare the two combat sports then wrestling does tend to lead to more injuries than boxing does.

With that being said, things such as concussions, bruises, and cuts were more common in boxing than they were in wrestling.

It’s fair to say that both sports are physical and anytime you compete in a physical sport there is a greater chance of injury.

Just make sure that if you do train wrestling or boxing that you are taking proper precautions to protect yourself as this will lower your risk of injury.

Which Is More Fun: Boxing Or Wrestling?

Boxing tends to be more fun than wrestling for most people as both a viewer and a fighter. This is because boxing matches tend to go on for longer periods of time, and they are more exciting to watch. The excessive grappling that occurs in wrestling can sometimes make the sport less entertaining.

However, at the end of the day, it just depends on how you like to fight and train. If you prefer fighting on your feet then you will like boxing more. If you like grappling, then wrestling is the way to go.

Should You Learn Boxing Or Wrestling?

If you want to learn a martial art that is good for self-defense and will help you win in a fight then wrestling is the better option. If you are looking for a martial art that is safer, easier and more fun then boxing is the better option.

As you have seen throughout, both boxing and wrestling have their pros and cons, their similarities, and their differences.

At the end of the day, it’s best to choose a martial art that you will enjoy and that you feel will protect you if you ever have to use it.

However, I will say that if you are interested in competing in MMA competitions then wrestling is absolutely the way to go.

Many MMA fighters have backgrounds in wrestling and things that you learn in wrestling transfer very well over to MMA.

But again, do what feels right to you.

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Ear Guards(Headgear)
Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


Is Karate A Sport? Reasons For And Against It

According to, a sport is: “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. With this in mind, would karate be considered a sport?

Is Karate A Sport?

Karate can be both an art and a combat sport. For this reason, there are two main types of karate competitions: Kata (where fighters are judged by their form) and Kumite (where fighters spar against each other). Karate made its Olympic debut in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

In fact, the karate competitions that were held in the Olympics were both Kata and Kumite which only further illustrates how karate can be seen as an art and a sport.

But if you are not fighting an opponent, such as is the case with the Kata style of karate, can you still consider karate a sport?

Down below I will go over 7 reasons why karate IS considered a sport and 7 reasons why it is NOT considered a sport. Then read through to the bottom see my final thoughts.

7 Reasons Why Karate IS A Sport

  • Karate is an athletic activity.
  • Karate has competitions.
  • Karate is in the Olympics.
  • Karate requires some level of physical fitness.
  • Karate allows you to spar against other people.
  • Karate has rules.
  • Karate can be practiced and improved upon over time.

Karate Is An Athletic Activity

The first reason why karate is considered a sport is that it’s an athletic activity. This means that you are using physical skills to accomplish something, just like you would in any other sport.

This is seen in the karate competitions, training at your local dojo, and sparring against other people.

If you have ever trained karate then you know it can be physically demanding and breaking out in sweat is not at all uncommon.

Karate Has Competitions

The second reason why it’s considered a sport is because there are competitions involved. And these aren’t just any kind of competition- some of them are Olympic-level events!

There are several different karate styles that competitors can use to compete with including Kyokushin (full contact), Shobu Ippon Karate (point fighting), and Sport Karate International Federation (sparring).

The types of categories may vary by country but all three can be found at the Olympics under Section 19 – Martial Arts.

Karate Is In The Olympics

The third reason why karate is considered a sport is that it’s in the Olympics! This event made its debut in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and is being considered for future Olympic competitions.

Now of course several events in the Olympics would not be considered sports such as figure skating, but having karate in the Olympics supports the opinion of karate being a sport you can compete in.

And how fitting is it that Karate makes its debut in the Olympics in the same country where the martial art originated in the first place?

Karate Requires Some Level Of Physical Fitness

The fourth reason why it’s considered a sport is because you need to have some level of physical fitness to be successful. If you cannot properly do some of the fighting techniques then they won’t be effective in self-defense, competition, or even just demonstrating them at an event like Karate Day.

And while this physical training can vary depending on your instructor, there are some common exercises and moves that you will do regardless of where you train karate.

This is one major thing that karate has in common with most sports. The more physically fit you are, the better your chances of succeeding.

You Can Spar Against Other People

One of the staples of a combat sport is being able to spar against other people. Whether the combat sport is Muay Thai, boxing, or wrestling, sparring is quite common.

And just like those combat sports, karate allows fighters to spar as well. However, sparring in karate is slightly different compared to other combat sports and I’ll touch on that more below.

Karate Has Rules

The sixth reason why karate is considered a sport is that there are rules that must be followed. If you’re not familiar with the ruleset, then you can’t just go in and start fighting someone.

There are specific regulations put in place to ensure fairness and safety amongst all participants. This includes everything from what type of attire you wear, to how many points you need to win a match.

Having a ruleset is a must for a sport or else utter chaos would ensue and karate definitely has a ruleset.

Karate Can Be Practiced And Improved Upon Over Time

The seventh and final reason why karate is considered a sport is that you can practice it and improve upon your skills over time just like any other sport.

This is common in most sports, but you can also become better at karate over time with practice and dedication to your craft.

And just like other sports, there are levels of belts or rankings within the art itself depending on what style you’re training in.

One of the best things about competition is moving up in rank and karate certainly has that with their belt system.

You have heard the reasons why karate should be considered a sport, but now let’s dive into why karate should not be considered a sport.

7 Reasons Why Karate Is Not A Sport

  • You can compete without ever fighting.
  • You are not allowed to “go all out”.
  • There are no teams in karate.
  • Karate is meant to be used as self-defense.
  • It does not have the same physical demands as other sports.
  • There is a major disparity in the weight classes
  • Karate is a martial art, not a sport.

You Can Compete Without Fighting

The first reason why karate is not a sport is because you can compete without ever fighting. This means that you could theoretically win a competition without ever throwing a punch, kicking or otherwise fighting another person. While you can use karate to protect yourself in a self-defense situation, this is not the same as competing against another person with rules and regulations.

You Are Not Allowed To “Go All Out”

The second reason why karate is not a sport is because you are not allowed to “go all out”. If you’ve ever watched a match in a combat sport and seen two people just going back and forth at each other with all their might, you’ll understand where this is coming from.

In karate, you are not allowed to do this. You have to abide by the rules and regulations set in place which includes not going all out.

Fighting an opponent in karate is more about scoring points and using the right techniques than it is about dominating your opponent.

With this in mind, what kind of sport tells their competitors to hold back and to not dominate their opponent. This is definitely a strike against karate being a sport.

There Are No Teams In Karate

The third reason why karate is not a sport is that there are no teams in karate. This means that you cannot join a team and compete against other teams.

Of course not all sports have teams, look at tennis for example, but some people may decide not to label something a sport unless there is a team aspect to it.

Karate Is Meant To Be Used In Self Defense

The fourth reason why karate is not a sport is that it is meant to be used in self-defense and not for sport. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to defend yourself, then karate is a great option.

However, what does self-defense have to do with competition or sports?

Many will argue that karate was created for fighting and self-defense and has morphed over time into what it is today: competitions and fighters being judged for what their technique looks like.

Does this lead to the question, “Should karate used as self-defense be viewed as a sport?”

It Does Not Have The Same Physical Demands As Other Sports

The fifth reason why karate is not a sport is that it does not have the same physical demands as other sports. This means that you’re not going to be as physically exhausted after a karate match as you would be after a wrestling or boxing match.

Like I mentioned, when you are fighting someone in some of these other combat sports you are literally trying to dominate and subdue your opponent.

In karate, this is not the case. You often hold back quite a bit. This is not to say you will not be tired after a match but it is just not the same exertion as other combat sports or sports in general.

There Is A Major Disparity In The Weight Classes

The WFK, which is the largest governing board for karate, recognizes 5 weight classes in karate competitions.

Compare this now to boxing which recognizes 17 weight classes when it comes to competitive boxing and you will see why completive karate can’t be taken as seriously as other combat sports.

If you have ever competed in, or trained in a certain combat sport then you know that a person’s weight can give them a major advantage or disadvantage.

And the fact that karate only has 5 weight classes leads one to wonder how competitive it can be with so much disparity in the weight classes.

Karate Is A Martial Art, Not A Sport

The seventh and final reason why karate is not a sport is that it is a martial art, not a sport. This means that there are a lot of other objectives in karate besides just fighting.

There are self-defense elements, there is the aspect of mastering your technique which is something that many people never get to, there are different levels of belts and rankings you can achieve through your training.

This means that karate is not just about fighting which some would argue disqualifies it from being a sport.

So in the end…

Is Karate A Sport Or A Martial Art?

Karate is both a sport and martial art. It is a sport because of its athletic nature and competitiveness and it is a martial art given its focus on fighting and self-defense.

However, with that being said, I believe that karate can be done as either a martial art or a sport.

If you only practice karate to learn the moves and to perfect your fighting style then I would view that type of training more as a martial art.

But if you are doing karate to compete and to spar against other fighters then I would say you are practicing karate more as a sport than a martial art.

Regardless of how you train karate, it can be a great martial art to learn basic fighting and self-defense techniques, especially for those just beginning in martial arts.

Interested in Karate? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Karate, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Mouth Guard
Best Chest Protector
Best Headgear
Best Karate Bags
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Karate, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.