BJJ vs. Catch Wrestling – Differences & Which is better


Catch wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are both fantastic martial arts- suitable for fighting and self-defense, as they teach effective fighting techniques. Nevertheless, the movements that each martial art teaches- are different. Because of that, you may get confused over which one to learn. So let’s look at their primary difference

While Catch wrestling utilizes causing pain to open room for submissions, BJJ doesn’t focus on pain but on grappling and submissions techniques. As a result, although both teach grappling techniques, they’re different in their approach to fighting. 

Because of that, while Catch wrestling may be suitable for one, others may prefer to study BJJ. As a result, knowing their differences, similarities, and purposes- is critical for choosing which one to learn. 

This article will demonstrate various metrics you can follow in choosing the most suitable martial art to learn. So if you’re struggling to pick between Catch wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this article is for you. 

Before we jump in, I also encourage you to read an article I wrote on the deadliest martial arts. If you’re unsure which one to learn, this post will significantly help. 

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

When martial arts had not existed, people wanted to know about self-defense. Using your body to disable an opponent- seemed far-fetched effectively. However, it all begins with a specific need. As a result, a solution rose to such a problem; martial arts. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the sport of martial art- Jiu-Jitsu. As a result, it doesn’t focus on self-defense or fighting but on the sport itself. BJJ teaches various ground grappling techniques that one can you to disable an opponent rather quickly- regardless of one’s size. 

Its origin is from Japan. Although that shouldn’t influence whether you learn it or not, knowing where it came from- is a fantastic piece of knowledge. 

Next, we’ll explain the second martial art we’ll discuss in the article; Catch wrestling. 

What is Catch Wrestling?

Catch wrestling is one of the most influential and effective fighting styles for self-defense because of the fighting techniques it teaches. You can use the movements you’ll learn in training to disable an opponent in less than a few seconds. As a result, learning it- is wise. 

Catch wrestling or catch is a martial art that first appeared in Britain. The fighting techniques it utilizes are submissions, pain-infliction to open room for submissions, and other grappling movements, such as pinning and ground. Moreover, it includes some BJJ techniques. 

The following section will compare the two martial arts- BJJ and Catch. If you’re struggling to pick one to learn, it may assist you in choosing the appropriate one. 

Which is better, BJJ or Catch wrestling?

When comparing two martial arts, we must look at a few metrics, such as self-defense, effectiveness, learning time, and even simplicity. As a result, coming up with a straightforward answer on which is better- is extremely challenging. The following paragraph will describe which is better, BJJ or Catch wrestling. 

Catch wrestling is better than BJJ because it teaches numerous effective fighting techniques. Although Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also does that, its sole focus is submission and ground grappling. On the other hand, catch utilizes pain-infliction with submissions to finish a fight quickly and safely. 

I’m more familiar with Jiu-Jitsu than wrestling. However, after researching the topic, I can confidently say that catch utilizes more techniques that can finish a fight effortlessly. As such, if a BJJ and a Catch wrestling trainees were to fight, assuming they’re equally skilled, the Catch wrestler would win. 

Frankly, that’s a rather bold statement. Although it may not be as accurate, saying that BJJ is better than catch is less likely. Before moving on to their differences and similarities, I’d like to clarify my statement further. 

Because Catch wrestling utilizes pain-infliction with submissions, the wrestler would have an advantage in the fight. On the other hand, the BJJ trainee never trained using strikes or pressure points to open opportunities for grappling. 

Because of that, the catch wrestler would have an easier time being on top, as he has more opportunities than the latter. As a result, I confidently say that Catch wrestling is better than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in many aspects, such as effectiveness. 

Differences between BJJ and Catch Wrestling

Catch wrestling and BJJ are different because they have distinguished approaches to fighting. Now, knowing these differences- will help you to choose which one you’d prefer to learn. As a result, staying consistent with your training- requires less effort since you’re complete with your choice. 

The two following sections will demonstrate two differences between the two martial arts. Moreover, they’ll explain how they may affect your decision. So let’s dive into the first one. 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The fighting techniques

The first difference is also the most critical one. If you’re unsure of this one, the odds of picking an unsuitable fighting style- are more significant than if you know this difference. If, for instance, you choose a martial art without knowing what it teaches, you’re in for a world of inconsistency. 

While BJJ focuses solely on ground grappling techniques to cause submissions, Catch wrestling utilizes pain-infliction, pinning, grappling, and submissions to disable the opponent. As a result, each teaches different fighting techniques and approaches. 

Honestly, it’ll be best if you follow this metric to determine which one to learn. For example, if you desire to study the art of ground grappling, BJJ is most suitable. Additionally, you’d stay consistent with training because you’re more eager to learn ground grappling than wrestling.

On the other hand, if you wish to study ground grappling and choose Catch wrestling, you may find it unsuitable for your desires. As a result, you’ll most likely quit before noticing any concrete progression or benefits. 

However, if you desire to learn many types of grappling with some strikes and using pressure points, Catch wrestling is for you. As a result, it’ll be best if you stick to it exclusively. 

The origin

This difference is not as detrimental as the previous one, which was the fighting techniques. Instead, it’ll be best if you’re familiar with it. Most likely, it won’t influence your decision. Because of that, I’m less worried about this one, Yet, knowing it may help.

The origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is in Japan. As a result, the approach it’ll take to beat an opponent will resemble the culture. On the other hand, Catch wrestling originates from Britain, which means it’ll be different than BJJ. 

For your information, knowing some background- is always helpful and compelling. 

Similarities between BJJ and Catch Wrestling

Now that we’re familiar with the differences between Catch and BJJ, we can move to the next part of this article, which is their similarities. Regardless of your thoughts, knowing how they’re alike may change your decision regarding which one to learn. In fact, at times, more than the differences.

Because of that, completely understanding both- is critical for the decision-making process. So if you’re interested in making the wisest choice possible while being familiar with their pros and cons, read the following paragraphs. 

Following this, we’ll move to the next part, discussing the 3-similarities between Jiu-Jitsu and Catch wrestling. 

Both are suitable for self-defense.

Many people may have the goal of learning to use their bodies as means of self-defense. Now, what better way can they go about reaching such a goal than martial arts. At their core, people made them teach others realistic approaches to beating an opponent. 

Both Catch wrestling and BJJ are fantastic martial arts- suitable for self-defense because they teach effective fighting techniques. Moreover, they use realistic and practical approaches to disable attackers. As a result, they’re effective for such a purpose. 

The following video shows a cop using BJJ to disable the hostile he’s facing. If you’re interested in seeing ground grappling in action, I encourage you to watch it. 

If you watched the video, you’d see how the cop used his weight and momentum to pin the opponent. Thus the unfriendly couldn’t move an inch even if he wanted to (which he did). As a result, they were able to arrest him safely. 

For your information, one of the leading causes of cops using deadly force is the fact that they’re untrained in martial arts. As a result, they’re incapable of their bodies as means of self-defense. So instead, they have to use tasers or firearms, which are likely to cause permanent damage. 

Results showed that officers with additional experience (also those who trained once a week) performed better under high anxiety than officers with no additional experience. 


BJJ and Catch Wrestling provide numerous benefits

It’s common sense that training in any sport- provides countless mental and physical benefits. In fact, it’s a leading and a valid goal for people that do martial arts. Knowing this similarity- may assist you in staying consistent in any fighting style you choose to study. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Catch wrestling provide numerous mental and physical benefits, such as endurance, confidence, self-esteem, lower stress and aggression levels, and better physical shape. These are all desirable traits in today’s society. Thus training in either is more valuable than you may think. 

A study of active-duty service members who participated in a 5 month BJJ program found that the participants had “meaningful improvements in their PTSD symptoms” as well as improvements to depression and anxiety. Another study explored levels of aggression in BJJ athletes. 


In the above study, you can see how BJJ improved the well-being of individuals with PTSD. However, such improvements are sporadic and thus more valuable. Therefore, let’s examine another study showing the story’s other side.

Training in martial arts has been shown to alter experiences of control and vulnerability, self-esteem, self-concept, fitness, confidence, and relaxation. As a result, some researchers characterize martial arts practice as a form of self-help. 


Now you understand what I meant when I claimed mental benefits. As a result, doing Catch wrestling or BJJ will provide some of the effects of the studies on martial arts training. 

Their purpose

All martial arts serve the same purpose: to teach others how to fight appropriately. As a result, many martial artists have invested their lifetimes in constructing effective techniques and approaches to self-defense and fighting. Well, it’s the case with the two martial arts we’re discussing. 

BJJ and Catch wrestling serve the same purpose: to teach others how to fight accordingly. As a result, they teach their trainees effective offensive and defensive movements to quickly cause or avoid massive damage. For instance, you can use grappling to disable an opponent in seconds. 

Image by sellanja from Pixabay

That doesn’t mean that your pursuit should be to learn self-defense. Other reasons and goals may seem more appropriate or desirable to you, and that’s valid. However, learning to fight is the natural consequence of training consistently and religiously. 

To clarify, while one trainee wants to learn self-defense or fight, the other may do martial arts to improve one’s mental health. Both reasons are valid and will allow you to stay consistent in the long term, which is the most challenging part. 

Now, you have finished with the similarities. Let’s define whether a catch wrestler or a BJJ trainee would win in an all-in fight. 

Catch Wrestling vs. BJJ

As I’ve previously mentioned, comparing two martial arts- is challenging because there isn’t a single metric you can follow. For instance, boxing is less dynamic than MMA; However, it’s simpler to learn. Thus it wins and losses in numerous arguments. So, let’s compare Catch with Jiu-Jitsu.

A Catch wrestler would beat a BJJ trainee because he would have a more extensive set of skills. As a result, he would find more opportunities to disable the latter. For instance, Unlike BJJ, Catch teaches pain-infliction- which is highly effective. 

Still, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most effective martial arts one can learn. In fact, you can disable an attacker in less than 5 seconds with the ground grappling techniques you’ll learn. Because of that, I’m not suggesting that it’s not. Instead, the opposite is true.

Both martial arts are incredible, and BJJ may be more suitable for you. However, for another, Catch wrestling is more convincing. Because of that, learning it- is wiser than the first. 

Which is better for self-defense, BJJ or Catch wrestling?

The purpose of martial arts is to teach others how to fight. As a result, by doing either, you’ll learn ways to disable an opponent quickly and effectively. However, which one is better?

Catch wrestling is more effective for self-defense than BJJ because it includes various other fighting techniques. As a result, a wrestling trainee would become capable of disabling the opponent more manageably than a Jiu-Jitsu trainee. 

Nevertheless, both martial arts are fantastic and highly suitable for self-defense. 

Which is harder to learn, Catch Wrestling or BJJ?

Thus far, I’ve prasied Catch wrestling more than its peer, Jiu-Jitsu. Because of that, you may be more inclined to learn it than the latter. So now, I’ll explain why you may want to consider BJJ rather than the first.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ is easier to learn than Catch wrestling because it teaches fewer techniques, such as pain-infliction and pressure points. As a result, one can learn the basics faster if one were to train in Jiu-Jitsu rather than the latter.

So, what are the consequences of this claim?

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Essentially, if a BJJ trainee can learn the basics faster than a Catch wrestler, the first would be able to progress more quickly. As a result, learning the martial art- will take less time. 

Because of that, if a Catch wrestler and a BJJ trainee were to face each other while spending similar time training in their martial art, the odds are in favor of the Jiu-Jitsu student. 

Yet, that claim is somewhat generalizing the reality. As a result, it’s not individualistic and doesn’t predict the future. Instead, it explains why BJJ trainees may find it easier learning the basics compared to Catch wrestlers. 

Is there striking in Catch Wrestling?

First, I want to point out that wrestling doesn’t include striking. However, since it’s various, it may involve some of it. So next, we’ll examine whether Catch wrestling has striking. 

Some Catch wrestling schools do involve striking in their skill set because they want to create a more dynamic fighting style. But, this is highly dependent on the school one attends. For instance, while one Catch wrestler may never strike in training, the other trainee will. 

Final words

Learning any martial art- is a wise choice, as you’ll gain countless mental and physical benefits. For instance, your confidence, self-esteem, and mental clarity will improve, while your aggression and stress will lower. 

Such benefits are highly desirable in today’s world. As a result, you could drastically improve your well-being by staying consistent with any martial art. 

Catch wrestling and BJJ are suitable for self-defense since they teach practical techniques. However, they’re different in their approaches to fighting. For instance, while the first uses pain infliction, the latter utilizes ground grappling exclusively.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you’d also enjoy reading about the 5-best grappling dummies for your money- and how to fill them. But, of course, buying one- will allow you to progress faster and at home. Additionally, they’re best for people unwilling to spend monthly payments on martial arts. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

Recent Posts