Boxing or Wrestling for Self-Defense? Which is Better?

Boxing vs. wrestling for self-defense is an age-old debate. Is it better to dominate on the ground than striking fast and hard? Well, there is no simple answer to this question because it depends on various factors.

The experience level of a fighter in a particular fighting style is a critical aspect. But the opposing individual and the combating environment also play their roles. Certain situations come in everyone’s life where you can’t talk out of it.

Maybe it’s your fault, or the other one is wrong, or maybe you’re in the wrong place at an equally wrong time! It makes total sense to prepare yourself for such situations and learn self-defense. Wrestling and boxing are the two primary options here.

However, both these styles differ significantly in gear and the ultimate victory road. In wrestling, you use different types of holds and locks to power down your opponents. On the other hand, boxing emphasizes on knocking out the opposition.

So the matter is all about choosing to knock them out or make them submit. With proper rules and a third party refereeing a matchup, wrestling is a better choice. But with various factors at play, boxing style becomes a better weapon of choice than the other.

Boxing or Wrestling? Factors to consider.


Size of the fighter

People who are smaller in size are better in strikes as compared to grapples. Due to their light bodyweight, they are faster, and they can often dance out of the reach of their enemies. They consume less energy by evading and dodging.

They can use their conserved energy into their footwork and look for the right place to deliver a knockout blow. If you have small hands and long arms, then boxing is the right style for you. With long arms, you don’t need to be very close to your opponent and you can avoid the blows. And with small hands, the area of impact will be smaller, and the strikes will have more force in them.

Boxers are well known for causing concussions, and sometimes their blows are lethal. Whereas large people have the advantage of gravity that they can use in grapples. Wrestling emphasizes on technique more than speed for manipulating the enemy. Using various pressure points and joint locks are more suitable for larger people.

Also Read: Best Wrestling Headgear

Combat environment

Fighting in the ring is significantly different from doing that on the streets. Tapping out won’t end the fight, and on the streets, there are no rules. And of course, your enemy might have a weapon too. In such a scenario knocking them out with a powerful blow would be a better option than grappling them.

As there are no rules on the streets; therefore, the environment is very dynamic. If a second person jumps in to defend the beaten-down, the situation becomes uneven pretty quickly. So individual fighting skills don’t count much with such a volatile environment! With multiple opponents, wrestling won’t work here.

Experience and training

Big opponents are frightening, and there is a reason for that. They have long arms, and you can’t get close to them. Heavier opponents can suck the life out of you. But size is not the only factor.

If you want to be a good fighter in any style, you need proper training and experience and for that, you will be needing the best equipment for boxing. It will allow you to stay in proper shape, no matter whether you get the chance to use your skills or not.

Final Thoughts

Both these fighting styles have some techniques that are very difficult to tackle. There are various strategies, and you can use them for a victory. They both have their weaknesses as well.

With just a single training session, you can’t call yourself good at it. And if you can practice closer to the reality you will develop better skills. Without proper training, your body won’t react at an optimal level. So it all depends upon what you choose to practice more.