Breaking the Glass--Wrestling Fundamentals with Adam Wheeler
Adam Wheeler has a story that reads like a Hollywood script, except that it's all 100% true. As a youth, he joined the wrestling team. He was overweight and could not even do a pushup.
As a junior varsity athlete, Adam Wheeler would only win 1 match. Like many youth he found himself influenced by the wrong types of activities. Thankfully his coach, John Eisel, took him under his wing and eventually during his senior year he would go 44-3.
After high school, Adam would join the Coast Guard and eventually begin wrestling for the Navy wrestling team. Things were not easy, but he persevered and ultimately rose in status until he had an opportunity to face world medalist Justin Ruiz at the Olympic Trial and defeat him.
At the 2008 Olympics, Adam Wheeler would fly under the radar being one of the least talked about prospects. It would be at these Olympics that he would earn the Bronze medal and be the last American to medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics.
Adam Wheeler would go on to a career in Law Enforcement that would find him eventually on the SWAT team. In 2015, during a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood location in which 3 people were killed and 9 were injured, Adam Wheeler would receive the Medal of Honor for his role in stopping the lone wolf active shooter.
In the video below, Adam Wheeler joins Bernardo Faria to discuss some wrestling fundamentals, namely the penetration step and the double leg takedown. Check it out!
Key Tip from Adam Wheeler--"Breaking the Glass"
In the video, Adam Wheeler starts by talking about different stances in wrestling and how he prefers to use a staggered stance. Once he's established that he prefers a staggered stance, he mentions two different types of steps--the lunge step and the penetration step.
For the double leg take down, Adam Wheeler switches his lead leg in the stance to the one that he is going to use to penetrate. He refers to this as cheating, but it's a good way to simplify the technique and ensure that you get there as quickly as possible.
Before he takes the penetration step, he offers the key tip of the video. He asks viewers to imagine that there is a pane of glass connecting the opponent's legs and that before the penetration knee hits the ground, it must break through the glass. Landing just short of the imaginary glass would make for a very ineffective take down and allow the opponent to easily sprawl and launch into their offensive game.
Once the glass is broken, Adam Wheeler suggests that the viewer imagine an upside down L and once the hips are secure with the grip, the trailing leg steps up and turns the corner finishing the bottom of the imaginary L.
The key to getting good at anything is to have a strong foundation in the fundamentals. This goes for wrestling, jiu jitsu, or any other activity. It's easy to get distracted by the latest fancy techniques or tricks, but at the end of the day, breaking the glass and having a solid penetration step help lead to having unstoppable double leg take downs and lead to victories.