The 3 Hs

Posted on Mar 23, 2010 in Technique

Watching the NCAA Nationals wrestling tournmant this weekend I was struck by the wrestlers showcasing our favorite strategy for defense from the neutral position – the 3 Hs. Over and over I watched the wrestlers on the mat demonstrate solid head position, effective use of their hands and fast, powerful hip motion to counter offensive attacks. And I heard the announcers repeat, “head and hands, hips” like a matra.

The 3 Hs are a simple but effective way to remind our youth wrestlers how to defend themselves on their feet. Like many techniques, it’s challenging at first to counter their natural tendencies and get them to feel comfortable in these positions. But, after watching the best wrestlers in the country use this approach,  I feel confident that our wrestlers will be very effective when they master it.

Here’s an overview of our approach:

Head: Wrestle close enough so your heads can touch and keep your forehead between your opponent and your legs.

Hands: Keep your hands up and on your opponent at all times. Use them from inside position, on his shoulders or on his head to stop his shot. Also use your hands to block his arms from grabbing your legs or to lock in a wizzer.

Hips: If your opponent clears your head and hands, use your hips to sprawl hard and drive him into the mat. Keep hip pressure on while you crossface or push down on the head and spin behind.