Traditionally, grappling was always synonymous with the combative sport of wrestling. Back then, wrestlers were called grapplers and grapplers were called wrestlers. During traditional grappling competitions, two unarmed opponents engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle, and the goal was to throw your opponent to the ground and gain control over him. These competitions separated themselves from boxing arts by disallowing strikes.
Nowadays, most use the word “grappling” to describe techniques that use holds and leverage, such as clinches, escapes, pins and controlling skills, sweeps, submission holds, reversals, takedowns, throws and turnovers. However, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles considers grappling a wrestling style (aka submission grappling or submission wrestling).
Although many combative sports and martial arts use grappling techniques in conjunction with body strikes, combative arts like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and submission wrestling are pure grappling arts that do not allow striking.