Jacket vs. Non-Jacket.... What do you think?

Hey all,

A little post for discussion purposes. I’m a BJJ brown belt (been at it for 13 yrs I think), whose dipped his toes in the waters of both wrestling and judo. As a person who appreciates and likes all things “grappling” I got to wondering about the wrestling styles prevalent in the world, both past and present. I suppose I randomly divide them into the categories of: jacket vs. non-jacket based.

Definitions (my own of course):

jacket: any wrestling/grappling system predicated on the use of clothing, where that use is a fundamental application of that art (either top or just pants, or both).

Non-jacket: any grappling/wrestling system predicated on the use of natural bodily holds, where the use of clothing doesn’t determine the application of technique to that art (may be clothed, but the clothing doesn’t overtly determine the application of techniques common in it’s repertoire).

So, I was wondering, what is more prevalent around the world, jacket or non-jacket systems? This is the list I came up with so far:


Judo (Japan, International)
Sambo (Russia, International)
Bjj (Brazil, USA, International)
Collar-and-Elbow (Ireland ?)
Cornish Wrestling (England)
Gouren (France)
Shuai Chiao (China)
Bokh (Mongolian Wrestling - Mongolia)
Turkish Wrestling (Turkey)


No-Gi BJJ / Submission Grappling (Brazil, USA, International)
Freestyle Wrestling (International)
Greco-Roman (International)
Folkstyle Wrestling (USA)
Sumo (debateable ) (Japan)
Luta Livre (Brazil)
Catch-as-Catch-Can (Britain, USA)
Indian Systems, notably Kalaripayattu (India)
Hubud (Filipino)

What do you guys think? Which, in your opinion is the more prevalent incarnation of a wrestling system, clothing-based or not? And, more importantly, why?

Interested in the discussion…..


You omitted a unique sub category... Belt wrestling. Only belt is held. So it's neither jacket nor not jacket style. Popular in Russia. They do hold international events too. As per your question... You're asking for opinions but it's facts that matter. I don't think such statistics exist but I'd like to find out people's preference if such statistics existed. Phone Post 3.0