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3 Great Finishes From A Front Headlock

3 Great Finishes From A Front Headlock


Front headlocks are a great skill to have in wrestling. If you get good at them, you can score a lot of points and you can avoid being caught in messy scrambles that sometimes come when you shoot in on the legs.

There are a lot of different ways you can get in on a front headlock but the two most common ways are from a snap down or from defending a shot. Once you get in the front headlock position there are basically two types of front headlocks: open front headlocks or closed front headlocks. Here are three great finishes from a front headlock.

The first finish is a simple throw by and comes from blocking a shot. Watch how Bekzod lowers his shoulder to down block his opponent then uses a simple snap to end up in the front headlock position. This finish can be hit from an open or closed front headlock. 

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Key points to hitting this throw by are first, you need to keep a lot of pressure on your opponent’s head and neck. In addition to pressure, you have to keep your opponent moving. If you stop moving, it will allow them time to defend the front headlock. Watch how Bekzod chases the far leg to get his opponent circling. Also pay attention to how he continues to snap his opponent. 

If you are chasing the far leg, your opponent’s natural response will be to keep circling to try to face you. If they happen to not try to face you, then you will be able to just spin behind for the easy take down. Once you get your opponent circling, throw the head and arm by hard, almost like you are trying to stir a big pot. Watch how Bekzod throws the head and arm by and then attacks the hips. This move is all about circling and snaps, the more you focus on those two things, the easier the throw by will be. 

The next finish from the front headlock position is a roll through cradle. 

This finish starts with a closed front headlock. Watch how Taylor immediately reaches across, under the chin, to secure the far arm. Once the arm is secured, he pulls it tight and starts to bury his head in the hole. Be sure to keep the head and arm tight the whole time.

Next, step up with your outside leg and hunt for the far ankle and drive into your opponent. Once you have the far leg secured, you will step over and roll you and your opponent to your backs. Be sure to pay attention how Taylor takes his opponent over and how tight he keeps the head and arm. From here, pop your head out and continue the motion so you are belly down and lock the cradle up. 

From this position, you should have a near side cradle locked up. There are many finishes you could do from here to pin your opponent, Taylor shows a great step over the leg finish to a tripod. Be sure to practice this move a lot in practice before you go out and try it in a match because you are rolling to your back. Also, once you have the cradle locked up, be patient, your opponent isn’t going anywhere. Many people lose cradles because they try to rush the finish.

The last finish from a front headlock is a head and arm roll through from a variation of a closed front headlock. 

With this front headlock, instead of closing it up by grabbing your hand, watch how Ruth shoots the arm really deep under the chin and arm then locks on to his own elbow. The other hand should go across your opponent’s back. Be sure to keep a lot of pressure on the head and neck of your opponent. Ruth refers to this as sinking in to it. Then just run your feet to the outside to increase pressure and tuck you head under and roll. Then, step over and secure the pin. 

These are all great finishes from a front headlock position that work at the highest levels of competition. Be sure to not only drill these finishes, but also snap downs and front headlocks in general because they take a lot of practice to get the pressure and timing down.  

If you are interested in learning more wrestling technique from these three wrestlers, be sure to check out their in depth videos: “The Takedown Passport by Bekzod Abdurakhminov”, “Magic Mat Work by Hudson Taylor”, and “The Cradle Machine by Ed Ruth”.