It hardly matters whether you’re an all-state athlete or just starting to find interest in wrestling, you’ll have to be able to effectively utilize some incredibly common and prominent moves. Although wrestling can be exciting for its unique possibilities, you’ll have to be familiar with some simple and easy ways to take down opponents.
To win a match, a wrestler has to have a repertoire of moves that can be used to hold, take down, or pin your opponent. Luckily, some of the best moves in wrestling are also the most basic. Take CoachUp’s guide to those four moves with you and you’ll start seeing progress in no time!
A half nelson is typically done using just one arm, but can take place standing up or down on the mat. Slip your arm underneath your opponent’s armpit and wrap your hand around the back of his or her neck. Use your free hand to hold your opponent’s other wrist so the half nelson can’t be broken. This, effectively, will take away an entire arm for an opponent and will severely limit the range of his other. This wrestling move is excellent for when your opponent is on the ground and you’re going for a pin. However, just make sure you’re not using illegal moves that might cost you and your team some crucial points.
SINGLE LEG TAKEDOWN
The single leg takedown is a terrific move and any seriously aspiring wrestler needs it in their arsenal. Before you begin, be sure to check your opponent’s stance. You should be attacking the leg that is closest to you. Stay low so that you have a clear view of the leg. Drive out at your opponent’s leg, wrap your arms around it, and lock your hands together. This particular drive is called a shot, and if it’s done quickly in one, fluid motion, you’ll have a decent chance of getting a takedown.
After your shot and lock, drive your head up into your opponent’s chest and lift your hands. Stand up so that you are upright while holding your opponent’s knee. Your goal is to get your opponent standing on just one foot. You can then trip your opponent or get him off balance by raising the trapped leg up higher or attacking the supporting leg.
DOUBLE LEG TAKEDOWN
For the majority of new wrestlers, this is a move that many learn early on. The double leg takedown is similar to the single leg takedown, but has less intricate details and should, theoretically, be much easier for the newcomer. Instead of one leg, obviously, you grab two. Grab both legs, and lock your hands. You can then either drive forward with your shoulders or lift and slam your opponent. It will require a little bit of strength, given that you’re using your hands and body to, essentially, pick up an opponent, instead of just one leg.
However, it does hold certain advantages as her or she won’t be able to move her feet as well. The biggest key to staying on your feet is to keep your feet moving no matter what -- once you get flat-footed and stuck, it’s hard to recover. Here, that is the exact ideal that the double leg takedown is trying to achieve: stop your opponent’s legs and you’ve got a great shot of taking him down.
Put one of your hands behind your opponent’s neck. Move in the direction of your hand so that your opponent takes a step with his opposite leg. When your opponent takes this step, grab the ankle with your free hand. Pull the ankle up with one hand and push the head down with the other. This will put your opponent off balance. Then, drive forward to get the takedown and you'll find yourself in a good position for a pin as well.
(Related: Read about common defensive techniques here.)
Although these four moves don’t come close to embodying the entire catalog of wrestling moves, it’s a good place to start. Even if you’re an experienced wrestler going through a slump, this list will serve as a back-to-basics reminder that will put you back on the right path. For the most part, these moves should be intuitive and helpful, so make sure you add them to your expanding reserve of movements.
However, if you’re still struggling with the moves, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers to help you out. Our coaches know the fundamentals and techniques needed to win in the ring, and they’ll set you straight in no time. What are you waiting for?
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the mat.