Can I Enter A Wrestling Tournament

OK, I'm 20 years old and have been training BJJ for close to five years. I've been working on my takedowns as of late and would like to test myself in competition. I never wrestled in high school or college so I don't know what skill level to enter or what style (freestyle, folk, greco?) I should compete in. I don't even know where to find out about tournament locations, or if I have to join some kind of an association. I want to enter a division where I could be somewhat competitive, any info would be appreciated.

As far as which style to enter goes, seeing that your grappling background is BJJ and that you have learned your takedowns therein, instead of greco, which may be more suited for a Judoka, you're going to be best served by entering a Folkstyle or Freestyle tournament. Of the two styles, I think Freestyle would be the better style for you to enter and I will explain why:

1) This time of year, Folkstyle tournaments for adults (such as yourself) are few and far between, although there are plenty of Freestyle tournaments.

2) In Folkstyle, there is almost no limit on how much time is spent on the ground and as such, since BJJ's theory/goals/strategy on the ground as vastly different than Wrestling's, you would probably get "owned". But in Freestyle, your time on the ground is limited to roughly 15-30 seconds after any takedown or after your opponent places you in "par terre" (i.e. on the mat) if you are hit with passivity and if you find yourself on top, you won't really have an opponent who is doing much of anything except trying to prevent being turned, so your lack of experience in doing so won't be much of a hindrance since you'll soon be stood back up. If you find yourself on the bottom, all you have to do keep yourself from being turned....something that requires skill, though no too much "technique" (i.e. gross body movements intended to produce a particular result).

3) Since your primary goal is to test your takedown ability, Freestyle would be the better choice since you'll spend the greatest amount of time between the two arts on your feet.

Some suggestions about as to what to do in preparation for the tournament would be to try to wrestle in par terre with a half-decent wrestler who has done some Freestyle or Greco and ask them to turn you while you resist. Even only 5-6 sessions of a half hour a piece will be a great help to you. If this isn't possible, then watch a few Freestyle matches and analyze how opponents who are on bottom react to the movements of their opponents on top and the positions that they maintain in order to avoid being turned.

Also, remember that you must be very active in attempting and securing the takedown in Freestyle or your will constantly find yourself on the mat in the bottom position. It wouldn't hurt to also read the rules for Freestyle Wrestling a few times bfore entering the tournament.

Your best sources for finding tournaments that are run by reputable organizations and are, usually, on the "up and up", are the websites of the two major sanctioning bodies of Wrestling in the US: AAU and USA WRESTLING (which is in charge of America's Olympic program as well, though the AAU runs more tournaments per year than USA Wrestling).

The AAU website is and USA Wrestling's website is

I hope this helps. If you need any more tips, suggestions, or help regarding your question/situation, just ask.

I'm going to one next saturday in ohio, if ya wanna come along lmk. There's one tommorrow too but i cant make it. Both are folkstyle.

I agree. Free is the better choice. On your feet so much more.

freestyle IMo is best for peeps w good takedowns

Thanks for the replies!

where do you find out about wrestling tournaments in your area?

Do a search on aol/ie. There is one aug. 7th i may do in D.C.

USA wrestling has quite a few open tournaments around the united states that are considered Open including all of the regional tournaments. There will probably be a lot of good guys there though. Check out your state USA Wrestling organization they will have a list of tournaments with opens at them. Here is where you will run into more of the recreational type wrestlers doing it for fun. Also there are several folkstyle opens that have great competition as well as laid back ones IE the Owatana Open. I have heard you can have beer between your 2 2 minute rounds.

What is AOL/IE?

aol - america online

ie - internet explorer

*edited - I think that is what he's referring to..

Yep yep