Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Do Wrestlers Dominate MMA?

The obvious answer is, they control the position of the fight. Meaning whether the fight goes to the ground or stays standing. So they lead the dance. On top of that, they are big, masters of cutting weight. Also always hard workers who grind out fights.

Here is the other reason and the most important one. It's not that wrestling is the best style. Wrestling has the best system out of all the martial arts. All the other martial arts are martial arts trying to be a sport. Somehow caught in this no man's land. Whereas wrestling is a sport first, a legitimate one, and a martial art second. Meaning you get recruited into training early on. They have a farm system. Boxing is an Olympic sport just like wrestling, yet wrestlers will be better trained, better bread, and better athletes. Why?

Boxers don't get into a boxing club at a young age, then to an older club, small tournaments, then to a boxing program in junior high, high school, college, etc. They like BJJ or Judo, a parent signs their kid up to take lessons. Either at a private facility or with a private trainer. Which gets expensive, and becomes a huge commitment for the parent who has to keep driving them to class and pay for belts or tournaments, etc.

Wrestling is at school, it's almost every day, sometimes twice a day, its subsidized so the cost is minimal and a lot of times its free. So whether your parent wants to take you to practice or not, or you are poor or not, you can train. Even during the summer they have very cheap or free wrestling clinics.

So its a bigger pool of kids starting very young, who get weeded out to the best kids, to the best high schoolers, best college guys, then to MMA. Whereas with everyone else, its some guy who signed up to Muay Thai or BJJ when they were at the youngest 16 let's say and just trained, and no one said no to them. Unlike with wrestling, there is no rejection as long as you pay. In wrestling you may not even make the team, let alone varsity or get to wrestle in college. You never have to qualify to compete or be a member of your academy. Then you say you want to do MMA and they say okay.

Huge difference between a Judo Olympian, BJJ World Champ, to even a NCAA champion, let alone Olympic champion.

So it's not about the best style, or wrestling is the superior style. If BJJ had a farm system from little toddlers, to a middle school program, to a high school sport, college sport, Olympic sport, then it's a whole new ball game. But even in Brazil it's not like that.

It's not the style, it's the way wrestling runs its program that is so much better. Go to a wrestling tournament to see how on time they run and compare it to a BJJ tournament.


  1. Great post.

    I would say the average high school wrestler gets about 150hrs practice time per season; they wrestle between 40-50X per season.

    In the off-season, they get about 200 more hours at least of mat time and about the same matches.

    Before they leave high school, it's about 1400-1500 hours of practice time.

    So, a journeyman college wrestler, between high school and college, gets well over 3000 hours or wrestling before they're done.

    Therein is also some of the difference.

  2. yes. so nonwrestlers who do BJJ have no idea the difference in work load and work ethic.



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