Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

When faced with the prospect of getting into a fight, do you know what fighting style to use? Now there are some people that do not really have any need to pose such a question. It is simply instinctive on their part and things tend to fall directly into all the right places: the correct stance, the first move, and how to wrap things up before it all gets out of hand. Although a punch or a kick may be the first thing that comes to mind for some folks, there are those that may favor a bit of grappling and wrestling. What this article seeks to find out is how effective wrestling is as a form of self-defense.

Everybody knows what wrestling is. On a primal level, we are all capable of grabbing someone and taking them down without having to attempt a single strike. As far as pop culture goes, most of us are at least familiar with things like professional wrestling and big names such as Hulk Hogan, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and John Cena. Those who favor the less flashy, less scripted, and far more reality-based concept of wrestling may think of the olympics or collegiate wrestling styles. Seeing all of those athletes do what they do makes it easy for people to automatically assume that wrestling can be an effective type of self-defense, but there is always more to something than what meets the eye.

As with all forms of martial arts, there are factors to take into consideration before selecting a specific discipline. Below are some of said factors that can help one decide to be for or against wrestling in the name of self-defense.

Your Size

When we talk about martial arts, there may be few forms out there that makes use of size in a way quite like wrestling does. Although being smaller comes with a natural speed advantage, being large also provides an edge in the form of gravity. Unlike the swift boxer, a wrestler can afford to focus less on speed and dedicate more time on perfecting the right techniques to manipulate opponents. Having long arms and bigger bodies can give wrestlers powerful levers for them to apply immense pressure with far less effort. Just think of the pressure points and join locks that can be used to incapacitate enemies; those big enough to do all these with ease should be able to find solace in the fact that wrestling is a solid enough choice for self-defense.

The Number of Opponents

Unlike in sanctioned wrestling matches, real life fights are dangerous simply because you can end up fighting more than a single person at a time. This puts wrestlers at a disadvantage because of how intricate certain moves can be to pull off, not to mention the fact that some of them even need the use of multiple limbs at the same time. Utilizing wrestling in a scenario where you fight multiple people can lead to disaster since you won’t be able to respond as appropriately as you ought to. After all, it can be tough to properly apply certain holds when there are others already trying to stab you or land their own blows on your body. As more people join in, the less your individual skill counts, which should be a good enough indicator as to whether or not wrestling is effective in your given scenario.

The Environment

Where you are and what your surroundings contain can also influence just how appropriate wrestling can be as a form of self-defense. Grappling is not something that can be done well in a place that is too small or has a lot of obstructions. Mobility is also something that is crucial in real fights, so if you can’t hold your own in that area due to certain things, then you may want to reconsider wrestling. On the other hand, if the environment is large and open, then you may be in luck. In that scenario, there will be less things that can be used against you, plus you are free to move in all the ways that wrestling requires. So in short, depending on where you are, the efficiency of wrestling as a self-defense method may be quite high or quite low.

Your Personal Skill Level

This should go without saying, but how skilled you are personally with your preferred fighting style or self-defense method is among the most important considerations to take. As a wrestler, if your skills are already at a high enough level, then you can hold your own in a fight for reasons that have less to do with the aforementioned natural advantages such as size, the environment, and all the rest. Skilled wrestlers are also going to be knowledgeable, so it becomes easier to come up with fighting tactics that are going to succeed. Alternatively, for those who aren’t as skilled or polish, you would run the risk of overestimating yourself or lacking the proper technique to do moves effectively. Keep your skill level in mind and you should be able to gauge the effectiveness of wrestling as a form of self-defense a lot better.

If you want to really train wrestling properly make sure you find a good club and trainer and invest in the right equipment such as the following:

What are the best wrestling shoes: 5 Best Wrestling Shoes for 2020 – Reviews

What is the best wrestling headgear: Best Wrestling Headgear – Reviews

With all of that said, anybody can see for themselves just how much thought it needs to choose a fighting style. As awesome as wrestling is, there are limits to how far it can take you in a street fight. Is it an effective method of self-defense? It certainly can be. Is it absolutely perfect? Far from it, truth be told. What many people prefer to do is to mix it up with other forms of combat or choose something else that is entirely different. Some may decide to go for more strike-based styles, like boxing, particularly those who don’t have the size or the patience for wrestling. Others even combine both to counter whatever weaknesses each individual style has. Whatever it is you decide on, the most important part is just to be able to adequately defend yourself should the worst happen.

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