Dominate The Front Headlock With Dan Vallimont
In almost all forms of martial arts as well as wrestling, the headlock is one of the most controlling positions. It is also one of those positions that people will do almost anything to get out of. In wrestling obviously you cannot go for choking submissions like you could in Jiu Jitsu, but the headlock still offers tons of opportunity for attacks.
Making your opponent feel as if they would do anything to get out of your headlock can also be played to your advantage, on top of the great control that it offers. This position can start to make them think irrationally as they are trying to do whatever they can to get out, in turn opening themselves up to be attacked in multiple different ways.
In this video, Dan Vallimont demonstrates a cross knee pick from the front headlock. Check it out below!
To start the move, Dan acquires a front headlock with his right arm, and uses his left arm to control his opponents same side arm. Dan states that in this position your opponent may be trying to pull down on your elbow that has the headlock, but this will actually help you as you begin reaching down for his knee. From here Dan first sinks the shoulder and elbow deep on the arm that has the headlock. He is going to be reaching for the opposite leg of his opponent, but for this move instead of reaching for the outside of the leg he is going to be reaching for the inside by the knee.
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As he sinks his elbow down and grabs behind the knee of his opponent, he is making sure to keep the grip he has on his opponents arm tight to keep him nice and low. Once he has tightly secured this position, he begins to drive into his opponent to off balance him, and then finishes the takedown with a baseball slide. The importance of the baseball slide is to stay low because if Dan were to get too high in this position his opponent could potentially roll him.
Once the takedown is complete and your opponent is likely on their back, you come to what Dan refers to as the pancake position. From here notice that Dan’s hand that was grabbing the knee slid through creating an underhook and is based on the mat to help finish the pin. If you can get to this position but your opponent is able to fight the pin, you will atleast get a few back points.
As Dan goes over in his instruction, there are a ton of attacks from the front headlock. One of the key points to this particular attack is if your opponent is pulling down on you arm. This can be a distinguishing factor that you can use to help you decide to go for this particular takedown. Likely your opponent thinks by pulling your elbow down he is going to be able to make space to get his head out. While this is possible, it also makes it easier for you to drop your shoulder and go for his knee.
One of the most important details to pay attention to in the move is both you and your opponents levels. You need to keep your opponent low and folded up to take away his power and make the takedown easier, while also staying low yourself so as not to get rolled over. Being successful in only controlling one of these levels can absolutely diminish the effectiveness of the move.
Something that sets Dan apart from other competitors is his versatility and attention to detail. If you take a look at this particular instructional, you will notice he has devoted the whole thing to attacks from front headlock. A 4 part instructional dedicated to attacks from one single position is extremely impressive. Some other techniques included in this instructional include an introduction to headlocks, getting to the headlock from a multitude of positions, nearside and roll-through cradle, elbow control, misdirection, a wide range of knee and ankles picks, and so much more.
Two-Time NCAA All American Dan Vallimont has had quite the career. In his college career he made 4 trips to the NCAA Championships, and reached the NCAA Finals with Penn State in 2010, and placed third in 2008. He finished his career with the Nittany Lions with an impressive record of 110-36. Dan was also a two-time New-Jersey state champion while in high school.
Since his collegiate career Dan has furthered his experience in coaching. Dan spent 6 years as a head and assistant coach at EIWA foe Hofstra, where he was responsible for all aspects of the team including recruiting, management, ect. Dan served as an interim assistant coach at Penn Wrestling during the 2017-18 season. Currently, Dan has been training and coaching at the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center.
There are a lot of good people to learn from in the world of wrestling. Nowadays with the internet it is easier to pick who to learn from based on what different people have to offer, and the wide range of availability. If you are looking for someone who particularly stands out, Dan is your guy. His wrestling career mixed with his experience of coaching and managing a team has given him insight into every aspect of the game.