There are so many really tough sports out there. Sport website Cover-Ground.com (which is run by Olympic level athletes, mostly from athletics, track and field) made a list of the hardest sports to train and compete in and wrestling and MMA were in the top 5 whilst BJJ was in ‘honorable mentions’.
They took into consideration mental, physical, and emotional stress.
The top 5 consisted of:
3) Mixed Martial Arts
Their ‘honorable mentions’ were:
Swimming, Hockey, Water Polo, Rowing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Triathlons.
It’s interesting to note that 3 out of the top 5 are contact sports and 2 (Wrestling and MMA) out of 5 are grappling or have a big part of grappling in them.
Their reason for wrestling being the hardest sport is mainly because:
It is one of the few sports where the training and the competitions are practically the same. They go to practice and wrestle their ass off, then go to a wrestling match and do the same. Just like fighting there are multiple aspects of the game that need to be worked on; AND Just like gymnastics it is a team sports where individuals must thrive for the team as a whole! (Meaning no one wants to be the one to blow it for the team.)
Wrestling requires a serious amount of time doing all types of crazy things…it’s not just on the mat at practice. They have to get in the sauna constantly to cut weight, ice bath from the neck down because their whole body is mashed up, and replenish fluids to the astonishing amount of sweat lost during wrestling.
Wrestlers along with MMA athletes are some of the toughest athletes. They do not feel pain and fight through everything that is humanly possible to fight through. You can say what you want about the rest of the list, but watch what it takes to be a good wrestler and you will agree that this sport is no joke.