3 Turns With Ed Ruth
Getting good at turning guys is a must if you want to be successful in wrestling. Not only is it very important to turn guys to look for a pin, but it is also very important to turn guys to earn near fall points; in a close match, those extra points can make a huge difference. In wrestling, it is common for people to put more focus on takedowns and escaping from the bottom and not put as much attention to learning how to turn guys. Hopefully these three turns will help you to score more points and earn more pins in this upcoming wrestling season.
Wrist Roll Tilt
The first turn is a wrist roll tilt. First thing you have to do is make sure you opponent is flat on the mat. So choose whatever breakdown you want from starting position and get them flat on the mat. Once flat on the mat, get wrist control on one side and drive to roll the wrist under and put it across the back like you are setting up a hammer lock. Watch how Ruth uses his whole body to create pressure to roll the wrist out.
After you have the wrist rolled out, place the hand on their low back but remember to not let the elbow bend past ninety degrees or the referee will stop the match for potentially dangerous. From here, watch how Ruth blocks and puts pressure on the elbow and uses it at pivot point to turn his opponent.
Once you have the elbow secured off the back and are blocking it with your knee, use your other hand to either hook in their armpit or you can reach across their neck almost like you have a claw ride. From here you will lift up then roll to your side for the turn.
When you have turned your opponent, be sure to keep everything very tight, especially the arm that is across the back. Also, pay attention to what Ruth is doing with his legs to control his opponent. This tilt, just like all tilts, rely on your ability to keep your opponent control long enough to get your five count and you must keep yourself out of danger as well.
Cradles are highly effective at pinning guys in wrestling. You see guys using cradles in the NCAA championships every year. One nice variation to a standard far side cradle is a drop cradle. To set up this drop cradle, reach across and secure the far triceps while your opponent is in referee’s position. After you have it secured, keep pressure on your opponent, but bait them to step up with their far leg. You need to keep them bent at the waist, if they straighten up, you won’t be able to hit the cradle.
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Once they step up with the far leg, keeping the triceps tight, you will slide or “drip” off to the far side and shoot your other arm under the leg and roll. When you roll, try to roll forward, not to the side and definitely not back. Watch how Ruth rolls and he tucks his head. During the roll, hunt to lock the cradle up onto your own wrist. Then from here, just work your way into a normal far side cradle finish. This cradle can also be done from the feet.
Head and Arm
The head and arm pin comes from a front headlock position, but instead of a normal closed front headlock, watch how Ruth reaches all the way under the chin and arm and locks on to his elbow. He basically has an arm figure four with his opponent’s head and arm trapped inside. Make sure the arm that is across the back is touching the spine.
When the head and arm are locked up, start to put pressure on by “sinking” off to the side you are eventually going to roll. Then, use your feet to start to circle to the same side and then roll your opponent to their back and look for the pin. Pay attention to Ruth’s footwork through out the roll and his hip heist he uses to end up on top. Also note that he keeps the head and arm locked up the entire time.
There are so many different turns you can use, but these ones have been proven to work even at the highest levels of competition. All three of these turns are fairly technical. Be sure you drill them for a while before you go out and try them in a match. You always want to feel confident hitting a move in a match especially if it involves rolling across your back.
If you would like to learn more wrestling technique from Ed Ruth, be sure to check out his in depth video series titled “The Cradle Machine by Ed Ruth”. In this series, he breaks down the techniques of may different types of cradles and tilts he used on his way to becoming a three time national champion for Penn State.