The question Why is wrestling often not seen as a martial art? has led to some discussion in comment which should have been moved here instead.

Is this a bad question?


3 Answers 3


If I recall... just last year we had a small amount of discussion about what historical questions fit our site...

"How did this martial art get positioned into this social role?" is basically what was being asked, and seems legit in that line of questions. Historical and tradition questions don't have problems that need to be solved... they're informational. Could the question be phrased better? Probably!

That said, I think if it's not a totally ridiculous question ("How do I learn anime swordfighting?") it makes sense to have our first comments either be clarifications or narrowing of the question, but "I vote to close" often gets used first which then often turns into a back-and-forth.

Yes, we need to keep the questions high quality. A little bit of patience for new people, before going "yeah, that's not gonna fit here" also contributes to the perceived quality of the site for new people. We may want to be combative in the ring or dojo, maybe less so in the comments. :D


Why, at least in the United States, is wrestling not generally considered a martial art?

This is not a great objective question because it is basically asking about why people think a certain way, but I think this question is basically like Are western martial arts on topic? and Are questions of Boxing and Wrestling considered on-topic?. The fact that these questions need to be asked I think is sufficient evidence that some people do not think of these as martial arts.

I should start by saying wrestling absolutely IS a martial art.

I do not find this a controversial statement. With the exception of WWE pro wrestling (which is not actually wrestling), I think basically any style of wrestling is a martial art: freestyle, folk, Greco-Roman, BJJ (not sure if I would categorize this as wrestling exactly, but grappling and martial art definitely), sumo. I don't know anything about glima, but at a glance it also looks like a martial art. By having a wrestling tag, I think we basically agree that generic wrestling is a martial art. This statement is the asker's way of framing their question; the answerer does not have to argue that wrestling is a martial art.

Is it because it's done in schools?

As far as I know, there is one type of wrestling done in US secondary schools, and a similar but slightly different type in universities. This indicates what types of wrestling the question is asking about.

It's arguably the single most important martial art in MMA and self defense.

I don't find this very controversial either. MMA is usually analyzed in terms of striking and grappling. Wrestling is a form of grappling, and therefore it could be argued that wrestling is the most important martial art to MMA. It doesn't have to be the most important, just arguable. It is arguable in a way that archery is definitely not.

Is it just taking a while for the term to catch up with society?

Honestly, I ignored this.


Why this is an off topic question.


I should start by saying wrestling absolutely IS a martial art.

This statement is controversial and confontational while offering no justification whatsoever.

We do not know what type of wrestling this refers to. Is it asking about WWE, Sumo, Glima, BJJ, or Greco-Roman? We do not know. The fault is ours in part: the wrestling tag has no description whatsoever.

We do not know what the definition of martial art here is. We tried as a community to define it here but does OP know that?

How can this be improved?

Define the terms better, or to be honest, just drop it as it offers opinions and nothing really constructive.

Why, at least in the United States, is wrestling not generally considered a martial art?

Now, at its core this is a good question. It might be heavily opinion based but if "wrestling" has been defined, then it is. However, it lacks any evidence that this is the case: who says it is not? Where do they say so?

How can this be improved?

A few links or references showing why wrestling is not considered a martial art in the US would go a long way.

It's arguably the single most important martial art in MMA and self defense.

Glima is the single most important martial art in MMA?. Or are we talking about BJJ now?

Whether or not MMA and self defence mix is another question.

Yet again, this is a statement of belief without any evidence whatsoever.

How can this be improved?

Arguing something in a question is a sure way to get it closed as a rant. Just drop it. It matters not.

Is it because it's done in schools?

Again, there is no evidence of this statement. This is a loaded question. It points to the answer that the OP wants to see: this is no longer a genuine question but reads as a rant, especially taken with the last sentence:

Is it just taking a while for the term to catch up with society?

How can this be improved?

Get ride of these loaded questions. They serve no purpose whatsoever.


While the be nice guidelines state that:

Be welcoming, be patient, and assume good intentions. Don't expect new users to know all the rules — they don't. And be patient while they learn. If you're here for help, make it as easy as possible for others to help you. Everyone here is volunteering, and no one responds well to demands for help.

There is a duty on users to respect the rules. The help centre clearly defines what is on topic and what is not. This question breaks two of them:

  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

In addition, it is unclear and possibly opinion based.

Why am I an asshole?…

I genuinely want MA to be successful.

The only way we can do this is to have high quality content that attracts more high quality questions and answers: quality matters much more than quantity.

Thus, when I see a post which I think does not fit within the community agreed context, I vote to put it on hold so that either the OP can make it better, or it gets closed. I will downvote questions and answers based on SE rules for this site and my experience of being a stack user for a while -- I have around 60kish fake internet points on various stack.

As a side note, I read questions and answers and I barely remember who said what before. Within ten minutes, I can upvote an answer and downvote a question without realising they are by the same person. Dyslexia is great for that! I can barely remember who said what in the past.

However, I do expect users to have read the rules. At least once. Does that make me an asshole? Possibly.

As a side note on volume, we are not going to get closed. That's not the stack way.

Sometimes, I voice my opinion on meta (see this), and based on those decisions, I ask for guidelines (see this) which I will enforce, whether or not I agree with them. In the linked cases, I do not agree with the guidelines, but that's what the community wants so those are the rules that I will apply. ← I am that kind of asshole too…

However, and this is really important: I expect all users of the site (regardless of fake internet points) to call me on all of my arguments. Just because I have lots of fake internet points does not mean I am always right. If I cannot defend it, it has no place in the market place of ideas: open meta discussions, join chat, edit questions/answers…

But please, with a cherry on top, do not revert to ad hominem attacks or other logical fallacies.


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