Does wrestling teach or promote aggressive or violent behavior?

Aggressiveness, Yes. Violence, No. Wrestling is often referred to as the toughest sport, and in many ways it is, but it is certainly not violent, nor does it lead to unruly or destructive behavior.

One of the factors that makes wrestling so different from most other sports is that wrestling involves head-to-head competition. Each wrestler’s efforts work in direct opposite from each other as in a tug-of-war contest. Success in wrestling requires the ability to attack, as well as the ability to stop your opponent’s attack. The same factors apply with boxing and martial arts, but an attack in wrestling is non-violent. Wrestling does not permit opponents to strike one another, and imposes strict penalties or disqualification for violent behavior. In essence, wrestling is unique in the fact that it can be very aggressive without being violent. The objective is not to destroy or harm one’s opponent, but to out-maneuver them and to gain control.

The intensity with which wrestlers compete increases with age and experience. Kids wrestling, especially the younger age groups, in not nearly as intense as high school or college wrestling. It’s common for new wrestlers to feel somewhat intimidated at first, not knowing how they compare with other wrestlers, but that is soon overcome. Wrestling, perhaps more than any other sport, is a great for building confidence while retaining a healthy dose of humility. The long-term result is that it develops the champion from within, and leads to greater success both on and off the mat, and does not turn kids into bullies or thugs.

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