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Ankle Pick From The Underhook With Dan Vallimont

Ankle Pick From The Underhook With Dan Vallimont

The ankle pick is one of the most effective takedowns a wrestler can have in their arsenal. Men Like Cael Sanderson made careers out of the ankle pick from the scholastic to international level. 

What makes it so versatile is that with the exception to Greco Roman the ankle pick will score in every other form of wrestling/grappling. In Folkstyle it is worth a solid two points all day. In Freestyle it will also score two points but because you have control of an ankle following up with a leg lace attack is pretty straight forward. 

Much like painting, ankle picks technique is all roughly the same, but the approach to how one obtains the final product is what varies. It is up to the Artist (wrestler) to decide how to get the paint (or person) on the canvas. 

Most all ankle picks will come off some sort of collar tie, level change, shoot for ankle and drive. This would account for most scenarios when attempting the takedown. This is still a very effective method of obtaining the takedown hence why it is so popular, but there are other approaches that might leave a wrestler better off. 

Dan Vallimont, former Penn State Nittany Lions Captain and two time All American just had a great showing at the US Nationals. Going two and two Dan did not get the spot he was looking for at the US Olympic trials, but at 34 he showed the world he is still a fierce competitor.

What gives Dan the edge over his competition is his encyclopedic knowledge of positions and transitions.  The underhook is no exception to this. Below Dan shows how he uses the underhook to set up a sneaky ankle pick. Get out your pen and paper, what Dan gives is both Scholastic and Didactic knowledge of the position. The “How’s and Why’s” of what is going on in the position. Check it out.


Dan’s coverage of the actual takedown is quite miniscule in nature, what he is really pushing is the set up off the underhook. 

Get more Underhook Attacks HERE! Click Learn More!



Choosing to go with a hand over the neck to control head position opposed to head in ear position, Dan begins to circle to the side of the tie up. This is the rule for all tie ups Dan explains as new wrestlers will often circle the wrong way. Which is both wasting time and not scoring. 

Once Dan has started to circle with that posture controlled he has to commit to the shot. To do this Dan will ultimately switch his stance so that his trail leg is now his lead leg. Keep in mind the leg that should be in front now should be the same as the arm that is on the back of your opponents neck. 

Simultaneously Dan changes levels. This should bring the opponents head down, killing their posture for just a moment. At this point Dan should be in good shooting posture ready to pick the ankle. 

As Dan shoots for the far side ankle he is also driving with the underhook. This will push his partners weight over the ankle that is being “Picked” and effectively off balancing them. At this point the takedown finishes as one would expect. 

As mentioned before in Freestyle this would be the time to throw in a leg lace and start turning for the win. 

This position has plenty of options if the Ankle pick doesn't work out or you don't get the reaction you are looking for. Dan Vallimont has put together an instructional on the Underhook and the positions used to attack from it. 

Section one covers all the different types of underhooks, how to achieve them and troubleshoot them. Section two Deals with the left side underhook and the various throws, takedowns and finished one can obtain from there. 

Knowing things don't always go your way, Dan highlights how to deal with the off side in his case the right side underhook. This brings everything full circle. What is great is Dan does not just repeat the same moves on the left as he did the right, he has a completely different set of attacks on that side. INCLUDING A HEAD SNAP ANKLE PICK! 

So now you can pull off the ankle pick on both sides, and attack effectively from both sides of the underhook. “The Underhook Formula” is an excellent instructional and takes you from step one to done on each move demonstrated. If you are a coach who is trying to get an effective underhook system for your team, this is the thing for you. 

The Underhook Formula by Dan Vallimont
If you are an athlete and are tired of getting out wrestled when you have a dominant position, this is the tool that is going to fix that gaping hole in your game.Check it out here!