Takedown fundamentals – leg attacks

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 in Practices, Technique

Wrestling from the neutral position is usually one of the first things we teach young wrestlers and for good reason. It’s the starting point for nearly all wrestling matches (formal or otherwise) and the better wrestler on his feet usually has a substantial advantage over his opponent in a match.

Our philosophy for wrestling in this position sounds simple – stance and motion, gain control positions and attack the legs – but execution on the mat is often difficult at first for young wrestlers. This has sometimes caused us to question our overall coaching philosophy. We believe in teaching a solid foundation of skills and techniques that our wrestlers can build on throughout their entire career. But, it can be difficult watching new wrestlers lose matches while struggling to execute a shot when their natural inclination is to stand up and grab and opponent by the head.

We have stayed true to our philosophy and the results are starting to show as our wrestlers are using more leg attacks and placing more consistently in tournaments. Here’s a breakdown of our approach to wrestling in the neutral position:

Stance: Every successful athletic motion starts with a good stance and it’s critically important in wrestling where speed essential and a proper stance is key to both offensive and defensive scoring.

Motion: Smart, tactical movement leads to offensive and defensive scoring opportunities. Proper circling, pushing/pulling, feints and level changes are all part of setting up an opponent and keeping him off balance to prevent his attack.

Control positions: Correct control positions (we work on wrists, inside position, elbow control and collar ties) enable wrestlers to move their opponents, create angles and clear their opponents heads and hands for leg attacks.

Leg attacks: Once they have a good stance, motion, and control positions, we want our wrestlers to attack with singles, doubles and leg snatches. Lowering levels, a good penetrating shot and simple finishes are all elements of a solid leg attack.