T Nation

Starting Late; Boxing or Wrestling?


In your opinion, as a 21 year old, is it too late to start a sport like wrestling or boxing? And which would be more difficult to start late??


It is never too late to start anything. Don't plan on competing anytime soon, but it's always good to learn the stuff...hell, if you pick it up fast enough, you might be able to be damn good at it.

I'd say boxing, but I'm just partial to the sport in general.


No I dont believe its too late for you to start. Each sports have great conditioning. From my personal experience in wrestling in highschool it will get you in shape so fast will all the conditioning and same boxing from what i've heard from my friends. Just remember these two sports are combative sports. Sparring in each one of these involve 100% of your effort so you cant lag at all.


Too late? Dude, I stated Muay Thai when I was 28. Two years later, I think I can hold my own against most the the class with the exception of 3-4. You could do either. You could probably catch on in boxing faster, just my opinion.

Go to a couple classes of each, figure out which one you like better.


Wrestling would be harder to start late. All the best ones your age are college wrestlers who have been wrestlign since elementary school. Boxing a lot of people start older.


1). It's never too late -- I can't believe your thinking that at your age.
2). I believe they are about equal. I'd make my decision based on the quality of people you'd be working with.
3) Considered judo?


And which would be more difficult to start late??

to answer your question wrestling would be a bit difficult to start now because you have to already be in good shape and also can you can handle long periouds of mental and physical stress? dont take my word for it though try both them out. if you like striking more than grappling than do boxing or if you like grappling than do wrestling.


all you need is confidence, patience and self-discipline. you'll be successfull.


I'm going to add that with wrestling, you'll notice yourself getting a lot better much more quickly than you will boxing - basically, there's no way to train wrestling without wrestling, so you're nearly always going live or rolling, as opposed to boxing where you'll spend a lot of time doing mitt and bag work before you ever start sparring.

So, although you may be totally outclassed by your teammates at first, you'll quickly find that you can hold your own, especially if your classmates are helping you along.

One thing to consider is that you'll likely have more longevity in wrestling than boxing - there are far more guys in their 40s and 50s in my grappling class than I see even working the bags, much less sparring in boxing.

But, as mentioned before, take a look around, check out the local clubs/gyms, take a month or two of each before you decide. You might even decide you want to do both.

Re: starting late: I started MMA when I was older than you are and while I'll never be as good as guys my age who have been doing it since they were 10, I can certainly give them hell and it's only been 3 years or so....


Both are terrific and not too late to start. I started kickboxing when I was 23 and made my way to the rank of black belt. I still love kickboxing and love that my six year old son is now studying. A great workout and real life practical defense as well.

I also loved wrestling in high school and have been looking lately for some sort of a club that I could partake in wrestling again, even at the advanced age of 31 :wink: What I wish I had the time to devote to was Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu style submission wrestling. If wrestling is what you want then I would suggest finding a BJJ school in your area. You won't be dissapointed in either I'm sure.

Just remember to consider the school and the instructor for whatever discipline you choose.

Good luck!!


If you are actually gonna box and take punches, I'd grapple instead. But I'm partial as my major thing is BJJ. I do some boxing on the side but not like knock each other out boxing.
I would say look at boxing, BJJ, Muay thai, wrestling schools in the area. If you have a bjj star near you and some scrub showing boxing, then do bjj, if you find a great boxing coach and the bjj guy is a blue belt, then box....

Pick the school and the instructor over the style (but stick to those four basic ideas)
And 21 is not old...just get into either one, you'll be glad.


Martin Rooney answered a similar question on elitfts's Q & A.

Check that out for a more thorough answer.

By the way, I just started BJJ/submission grappling and muay thai about 3 months ago and I'm 22.


It all depends on what level you plan on achieving. When I was 2 months shy of my 17th birthday I signed up at a real Boxing club for a summer. My first workout the coach says "too bad your starting so late". They wanted you in there at like 8-10 yrs old. At the time they had 2 members on the National team so expectations were high.

If your ever in Toronto check it out. I've heard it's been renovated since the summer of 1982. To bad because it was dirty, smelly, damp, old and the roof leaked. It was just perfect!



A friend of mine just got into BJJ at 32.

Where I train there are guys who are in their 50s


"It's never too late, that's what they invented death for!" - some movie, I forget now which one.

Spartan300, I used to box in a gym with no heat, no air, no running water. Layers of sweats in the winter, shorts and wifebeaters in the summer. Bring your own water jug, piss out back in the alley. I loved that place.


This is very similar to my current gym. One thing's for sure, the people who are there definitely WANT to be there.


too late, no.
which one, that's a personal decision. Would you rather be hit or thrown? Personally I prefer thrown but that's me.


thanks for all the input everyone, greatly appreciated