Is Boxing And Wrestling A Good Combination? [Tips and Advice]

If you’ve ever been intrigued by the world of combat sports, chances are you’ve come across the thrilling disciplines of boxing and wrestling. Each martial art holds its unique appeal, but have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined these two powerful forms of combat?

Well, wonder no more! In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of boxing and wrestling combined and shed light on whether this dynamic duo makes for a winning combination.

What is Wrestling and Boxing Combined Called?

When you fuse the art of boxing with the technique of wrestling you can come to the combat art of pankration. This ancient fighting style allows fighters to seamlessly transition between striking and grappling, providing a well-rounded approach to combat.

Pankration, the thrilling and unrestricted fusion of boxing and wrestling, served as the untamed and no-holds-barred centerpiece of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Is Wrestling Harder Than Boxing?

The age-old debate between wrestling and boxing enthusiasts often centers around which sport is more challenging.

Both require immense physical and mental prowess, making it difficult to declare an outright winner.

Wrestling demands exceptional strength, agility, and strategic thinking to outmaneuver opponents on the mat.

On the other hand, boxing necessitates lightning-fast reflexes, precise footwork, and the ability to read an opponent’s movements to deliver powerful punches. So, while the difficulty may vary from person to person, it’s safe to say that both sports are equally demanding in their own right.

Can You Do Boxing and Wrestling Together?

Absolutely! In fact, many fighters choose to cross-train in boxing and wrestling to enhance their overall skills and versatility.

The combination of these two disciplines can be incredibly effective, especially in mixed martial arts (MMA) where fighters face opponents with diverse skill sets.

By blending boxing’s punching techniques with wrestling’s takedowns and ground control, a fighter gains an edge over those who are skilled in only one of the arts.

What Sport Combines Boxing and Wrestling?

As previously mentioned, the sport that combines boxing and wrestling is called pankration. It’s a combat martial art that seamlessly integrates the stand-up striking of boxing with the close-range grappling of wrestling.

This fusion creates a dynamic style that allows practitioners to handle various combat situations with finesse and adaptability.

Another modern combat sport where you can find the boxing and wrestling combination is, of course, MMA.

One of the advantages of MMA is that today a lot of MMA gyms offer so to call “hybrid fitness programs” which can be ideal for those who are looking for an intensive training program in combination with martial arts (boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, etc.).

Which is Tougher: Boxing or Wrestling?

Asking whether boxing or wrestling is tougher is akin to comparing apples and oranges.

Both sports have their unique challenges and strengths. Wrestling requires intense physical strength and endurance, along with the mental fortitude to strategize and overpower opponents.

On the other hand, boxing demands exceptional hand-eye coordination, speed, and the ability to withstand powerful blows while delivering precise strikes. So, it’s not a matter of one being tougher than the other; rather, it’s about the individual’s preference and aptitude for each discipline.

Boxing and Wrestling Combo Reddit Advice

Reddit, the popular online platform for discussions and advice, is a treasure trove of information for combat sports enthusiasts.

When it comes to the boxing and wrestling combo, Reddit users often emphasize the importance of cross-training to round out your skill set. Users stress the significance of working with experienced coaches who understand the intricacies of both sports and can help you synergize your techniques effectively.

Here are some main points found on Reddit threads shared by martial arts practitioners:

Main Points
Combining boxing with wrestling is an effective self-defense option as wrestling helps defend takedowns and clinches.
Wrestling is preferred to ground fighting in street fights.
Wrestling and boxing are essential for MMA and offer unique skills. Training in boxing and wrestling provides excellent fundamentals and defense in one-on-one situations.
Boxing and wrestling offer essential fundamentals and skills for self-defense against punches, takedowns, and clinches.
Boxing and wrestling are the best skills for self-defense, especially when combined and mastered. Mastery of these skills can lead to success in other martial arts like Muay Thai and BJJ.
Boxing and wrestling are a great base for self-defense, and combining them helps in mastering other martial arts like BJJ and Muay Thai.
Emphasizes wrestling as the number one single skill for fighting, while BJJ has advantages in groundwork. Suggests finding an MMA gym that includes wrestling training for a well-rounded skill set.
Argues that BJJ schools also teach good wrestling, but finding an MMA gym with wrestling and BJJ can provide a balanced skill set.
Advocates for Judo as a versatile base to add to boxing, with a focus on standing techniques and avoiding going to the ground in self-defense situations.
Expands on the advantages of Judo takedowns for street fights, allowing the fighter to stay standing and defend against multiple opponents.
Suggests that no-gi Judo is a watered-down version of wrestling.

Boxing and Wrestling for Self Defense

One of the most appealing aspects of combining boxing and wrestling is the comprehensive self-defense capability it offers.

In real-life situations, you may encounter attackers with various combat styles, and having proficiency in both striking and grappling can be advantageous. Boxing equips you with the ability to deliver powerful punches, while wrestling enables you to control and neutralize threats through takedowns and holds.

This diverse skill set allows you to adapt your defense strategy to different scenarios, ensuring you are well-prepared to protect yourself and others if the need arises.

What are the Benefits of Training in Both Boxing and Wrestling?

Training in both boxing and wrestling brings forth an array of benefits that complement each other. Some key advantages include:

  1. Versatility: The combination of striking and grappling skills makes you a versatile fighter, able to adapt to different opponents and situations effectively.
  2. Physical Conditioning: Both boxing and wrestling workouts are intense and demanding, enhancing your overall physical fitness, strength, and endurance.
  3. Improved Reflexes: Boxing sharpens your reflexes, while wrestling enhances your reaction time, making you quicker on your feet and more aware of your surroundings.
  4. Confidence: Mastering two distinct martial arts can boost your self-confidence, knowing you possess the tools to handle a variety of combat scenarios.
  5. Strategic Thinking: Both boxing and wrestling require strategic planning and critical thinking, honing your mental acuity in high-pressure situations.

Are There Any Famous Fighters Who Have Successfully Integrated Boxing and Wrestling Techniques?

Certainly! Throughout the history of combat sports, many prominent fighters have embraced the combination of boxing and wrestling in their arsenals. One notable example is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling and former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion.

Cejudo’s proficiency in wrestling enabled him to dictate the pace of fights, while his boxing skills made him a formidable striker in the octagon.

Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo; Google Images caption

What Are the Differences and Similarities Between the Striking and Grappling Aspects of These Two Martial Arts?

The striking and grappling aspects of boxing and wrestling have distinct differences and similarities:


  1. Range: Boxing focuses on striking from a distance using punches, while wrestling involves close-range grappling and takedowns.
  2. Ruleset: Each sport has its own set of rules and regulations, governing what is allowed and what isn’t during a match.
  3. Uniform: Boxers wear gloves to protect their hands, while wrestlers wear singlets for ease of movement and to prevent gripping.


  1. Footwork: Both sports emphasize footwork, as proper positioning and movement are crucial for success.
  2. Defense: Strikers and grapplers alike must have good defensive skills to avoid getting hit or taken down.
  3. Combination: In both boxing and wrestling, the ability to chain together techniques in quick succession can catch opponents off guard.

What Are the Challenges of Combining Boxing and Wrestling in Training and Competition?

While the fusion of boxing and wrestling can be advantageous, it does present some challenges:

  1. Technique Integration: Blending two distinct styles requires time and practice to seamlessly transition between striking and grappling.
  2. Conditioning: Cross-training in both boxing and wrestling can be physically demanding, necessitating careful conditioning to avoid overtraining.
  3. Adaptation: Fighters must adapt their strategies based on the ruleset and specific opponent they face, which can be mentally taxing.
  4. Specialization: Becoming proficient in both arts may take longer than focusing on just one, leading to potential trade-offs in expertise.

The Rise of MMA: Boxing and Wrestling in the Cage

The rise of MMA as a popular sport has further demonstrated the effectiveness of combining boxing and wrestling.

Prominent MMA organizations, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), have seen numerous fighters excel with a strong background in both arts. Fighters like Georges St-Pierre, a former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight Champion, have shown how the integration of boxing and wrestling can lead to a highly successful career.

His ability to seamlessly transition between these two facets of combat made him a dominant force in the MMA world.

Training Tips for the Boxing and Wrestling Combination

If you’re considering incorporating both boxing and wrestling into your martial arts training, here are some essential tips to help you along the way:

  1. Learn the Basics First: Before diving into the combination, ensure you have a solid foundation in both boxing and wrestling techniques. Understand the fundamentals, footwork, and defensive maneuvers in each art.
  2. Cross-Train Regularly: Allocate specific training sessions for boxing and wrestling separately. This will allow you to hone your skills in each discipline and avoid confusion when merging them.
  3. Focus on Transitions: Work on transitioning between striking and grappling seamlessly. Train with a partner or coach who can simulate different combat scenarios to help you adapt fluidly.
  4. Conditioning is Key: The combination of boxing and wrestling demands high levels of physical conditioning. Include strength training, cardio, and agility exercises in your routine to stay at your peak performance.
  5. Study Successful Fighters: Observe how successful fighters, like Henry Cejudo and Georges St-Pierre, have effectively integrated boxing and wrestling in their bouts. Analyze their techniques and strategies to gain insights into your own training.
  6. Seek Expert Coaching: Work with coaches who have experience in both boxing and wrestling. They can provide valuable guidance, correct your form, and help you develop a personalized training plan.
  7. Sparring and Rolling: Incorporate live sparring in boxing and rolling in wrestling to practice applying your skills in realistic scenarios. This will enhance your ability to adapt to different opponents and situations.
  8. Stay Patient and Persistent: Combining two martial arts is a journey that takes time and dedication. Embrace the learning process and be patient with yourself as you progress.

Understanding the Importance of Adaptation

As you embark on your journey to master the combination of boxing and wrestling, it’s crucial to understand the significance of adaptation. In any combat sport, opponents will have unique styles, strengths, and weaknesses.

The ability to adapt your strategy based on the specific circumstances of each fight is a hallmark of a skilled martial artist.

When combining boxing and wrestling, you’ll need to be versatile in your approach. Against an opponent with superior striking, you may need to rely more on your wrestling skills to take them down and control the fight on the ground.

On the other hand, if you face a proficient wrestler, your boxing expertise can help you keep them at bay and create opportunities for strikes.

Developing a well-rounded skill set allows you to be proactive rather than reactive in the cage or on the mat.

By staying adaptable, you can dictate the pace of the fight and capitalize on your opponent’s weaknesses.


The fusion of boxing and wrestling offers a compelling and effective combination of striking and grappling techniques.

While it requires dedication and time to master, the benefits of cross-training in both disciplines are undeniable. Versatility, self-defense capabilities, and a well-rounded skill set are just a few of the advantages that await those who embrace this dynamic duo.

Whether you’re an aspiring MMA fighter, a self-defense enthusiast, or a fitness enthusiast seeking a challenging workout, the world of boxing and wrestling combined holds tremendous potential.

By studying the techniques of legendary fighters, seeking expert coaching, and maintaining a focus on adaptation, you can pave the way for an exciting and successful journey in the realm of wrestling and boxing combination.

So, if you’re ready to step into the ring of this formidable martial arts fusion, remember to keep an open mind, train hard, and embrace the thrill of the combined power of boxing and wrestling.

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