Many times, when my sensei teaches me a technique, he takes reference from either wrestling or grappling. I always thought the two are different terms for the same art until the master told me that it's not the case and wrestling is different grappling. But, I still couldn't understand the difference between the two. Can someone help me understand it clearly.

2 Answers 2


Grappling is a more generic, umbrella term than wrestling. Striking from a Muay Thai clinch, for example, is part grappling but not wrestling.

Standard disclaimers apply, however, that people use words differently and in ways that disagree.


Quite frankly, there is no objective difference between the two, so it's more likely simply a distinction created by your teacher. Most likely, he's differentiating between Western techniques one might see in amateur Greco-Roman wrestling, and grappling techniques seen in something like Brazilian Jujitsu.

  • I disagree. Wresting is a kind of grappling, but not vice versa. For example, you would be wrong to call BJJ or Judo "wrestling".
    – LemmyX
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 21:18
  • What do you see as the distinction? Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 22:14
  • I don't. Asking the difference between wrestling and grappling is like asking the difference between music and country. It's not that they are different, but one is a subcategory of the other.
    – LemmyX
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 21:39
  • 1
    {nods} That's fair. I will keep my answer up as it is, but I do appreciate your input, which agrees with mattm's answer. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 21:44

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