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3 Basic Wrestling Techniques With Chael Sonnen

3 Basic Wrestling Techniques With Chael Sonnen


In the sport of wrestling, there are some fundamental moves that all wrestlers should know. The reason they are fundamental is because you see them being used over and over again in wrestling matches. Because you know that you will see these in most matches, every wrestler needs to know what to do in these positions. In this article, former DI wrestler and MMA legend Chael Sonnen breaks down the technique of three basic wrestling moves. 

The Underhook

One of the most basic tie ups in wrestling is an underhook. It doesn’t matter what level you are wrestling at, you will end up in an underhook situation at some point. It is a very good position to be in because when you have the underhook, it puts you inside your opponents first line of defense, which is their hands. An underhook also allows you to put pressure on and move your opponent. 

There are many different ways you can get to an underhook. In the video, Sonnen shows a couple really good ways, but in reality, there are as many as you could ever imagine. Once you get the underhook in, the position of your hand and elbow are very important because if they are not in the correct position, you will give your opponent a strong overhook that they can use against you. Be sure you hand is on their shoulder blade and your arm is not too deep in the underhook. 

From an underhook position, you can hit double legs, single legs, high crotches, inside trips, use it to set up a front headlock, knee and ankle picks, and so many more takedowns. That is why an underhook is such a basic yet very popular set up in wrestling. 

Far Side Cradle

In wrestling, there are two basic types of cradles, a near side cradle and a far side cradle. In this video, Sonnen breaks down a far side cradle which is a fundamental pinning move in wrestling that you can see used in the highest levels. 

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A far side cradle is hit when guys are wrestling on the mat. The basic premise of the cradle is for the top guy to lock the far leg and head of the bottom guy together. When it is locked up, the top guy can take them over to their back and get the pin. 

A couple key points to hitting a far side cradle are first, the head and knee of your opponent must be close. This can happen one of two ways. The first is if they step up with there outside leg, they might put themselves in the position, the second way is that you forcefully bring their head and outside knee together the way Sonnen shows in the video. 

The next key point is to lock the cradle up and then bring them to their back. Watch how Sonnen uses is leg to create power to pull his opponent over to their back. Once he has his opponent on their back, watch how he slides his hips back and puts the knee in the ribs and looks for the pin. 

A far side cradle is a great wrestling move that all wrestlers should know.  

Clearing The Legs

One position every wrestler will end up in at some point will be on the bottom and the top guy will put a leg in for a leg ride. It is very important to learn what to do in the situation because a top guy who is good at leg riding can put you is serious danger once the leg is in. 

In the video, when the leg goes in, Sonnen’s first move is to sit out to try to create separation between himself and his opponent. Then from here he shows a couple different options, but the main goal is to get the heel out of the groin area by pushing it off to the outside or scooping it up. Be sure to pay attention to the different variations Sonnen shows. Just remember, when someone puts the legs in, you need to immediately react and start to defend. The last thing you want is to be stuck on bottom while the top guy cranks away on you in a leg ride. 

If you would like to learn about the fundamentals of wrestling be sure to check out “Wrestling Fundamentals From The Bad Guy by Chael Sonnen” In this video series, Sonnen breaks down foundational wrestling techniques that all wrestlers should know.