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Ankle Ride With Bo Nickal

Ankle Ride With Bo Nickal

Oh how we are all so tired of hearing our coaches yell,  “Know your first move!!” However, this is a very important tip, especially when in the referee's position starting a round. Whether on top or on bottom, you need to know what your first plan of attack is. The thing that sets apart good wrestlers from great wrestlers in this situation, though, is knowing (or at least anticipating) your opponent's next move. When on top, you know the bottom man is going to be trying to get an escape point, if not a reversal. If you can anticipate how they’re going to do so and successfully shut it down, you will be in business. 

In order to be able to successfully defend and shut down your opponent’s moves before they even begin, you’re eventually going to need to expand your knowledge of top moves. Of course the old reliables will always work. There’s the good old elbow chop, spiral ride, far knee-far ankle, and all of the other moves that we’ve all been drilling since our introduction to the sport. To give yourself a better chance of keeping your opponent down while in the top position, knowing a vast array of moves will keep the bottom man guessing and unable to escape. 

A prime example of how knowing different moves than everyone’s stereotypical and predictable go-tos when on top can be seen in Bo Nickal’s instructional video package, Systematic Cradles and Pinning Combinations. One of the many moves that the four time NCAA D-1 All American breaks down is the pressure forward into an ankle ride.

This move won’t be one that makes its way into many highlight reels, but it is a great gateway into many pinning moves. Whether you have trouble keeping your bottom man on the mat or you’re looking for a tool to help you pin your competition easily, this is a great move for you. You need to check this out!


So as you can see by watching this video, implementing this technique into your arsenal of weapons in the top position can help tremendously. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to go for a pin, collect riding time, or anything in between.

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Learning this helpful tip from Bo Nickal can lead you to win great accolades just as he has so many times in the past. Bo didn’t win the Schalles Award, US Open, U23 World Championship, and many more accomplishments by doing what everyone else already knows and repeats. He found new ways to pin people, winning him the Dan Hodge Trophy for the most dominant collegiate pinner. Hone in on Bo’s technique in his pressure forward to ankle ride video and start getting the pins under your belt as Bo has been doing for so long. However, he couldn’t do it by being sloppy and neither can you, so let’s look at his technique. 

The first thing that Bo points out that is a must to his forward pressure to an ankle ride is getting the bottom man’s weight out onto his hands. This is what the forward pressure accomplishes. This can be done in several ways, but the one that Bo shows in his video is one of the most effective. He takes his front hand that was on his opponent’s elbow and goes to the armpit on the same side. His other hand that was around his opponent’s waist dropped down in front of the bottom man’s leg on the same side as if for a pry. This is so effective because it is consistent with another one of Bo’s earlier points of keeping your hands and elbows in tight. Also, the bottom man will have a hard time escaping since his leg is blocked. With the bottom man’s first move successfully anticipated and blocked, you can move on to the rest of Bo’s points. 

To follow through and get your anchors in, you’re going to have to place your knee in front of your opponent’s. This is going to happen on the near side where your hand is in their armpit. When you post your further most forward knee in front of theirs on the same side, that forces their leg back and that ankle up. That slim time frame in which their ankle is up is one of the most important when working this move. When that happens, you must stick your back leg into the gap between the mat and their ankle. With their ankle trapped in the inside of your knee, you’re almost done. 

Their ankle trapped, you must move your body forward, keeping the forward pressure going. Bo says to take your belly button to the middle of their back. This brings their ankle up, and you hold all the leverage. From here, the ride can turn into whatever you want. You’re in an optimal scoring position for back points, you’re able to collect riding time, and you are keeping your opponent down while controlling the match. 

With his numerous amounts of awards, his experience, and his extensive knowledge of wrestling, everyone has something that they can learn from Bo Nickal. This ankle ride is just one example of the many pieces of knowledge that Bo offers in his instructional, Systematic Cradles and Pinning Combinations.


This package is a must buy for all levels. These unique bits of wisdom will help elevate anyone’s pinning game, and who else better to teach that than the Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Check it out!