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Championship Level Wrestling Technique With Ed Ruth

Championship Level Wrestling Technique With Ed Ruth


Ed Ruth is one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of college. He was a three time NCAA champion from Penn State and has used his success in wrestling as a foundation to becoming a top MMA fighter. During his time at Penn State, Ruth was known for being great at finishing shots and turning his opponents. Here are a couple of the moves he used to on his way to winning his three NCAA titles.

Wrist Roll Tilt

The first move is a wrist roll tilt.To set this tilt up, you must first make sure you opponent is flat on the mat; it doesn’t matter what breakdown you use as long and you get your opponent flat on their belly. Once flat on the mat, the next step is to get wrist control on one side and drive to roll the wrist under and put it across the back like you would if you were 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, secure 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. Once you have the elbow secured on 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. Watch how Ruth blocks and puts pressure on the elbow and uses it as a pivot point to turn his opponent. 

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. 


Misdirection Double Leg

The next move is a double leg that Ruth sets up using misdirection, which is when you fake shooting to one side, get your opponent to react, then re-shoot to the other side. When doing a misdirection, you have to really sell the first shot. Often times wrestlers will try to do a misdirection to set up a shot, but their first shot is not believable so their second shot is not successful. It’s all about selling the first shot to get your opponent to react. This is done by actually lowering your level, reaching for a leg, and even looking in the direction of the fake helps to sell it. 

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A couple points about Ruth’s shot. First, you will notice he has inside ties which is the best position to hit this, but you can hit it from other positions as well. Secondly, he is taking outside step shots, not center steps. Lastly, when you watch the video, you will see how he is immediately going for the second shot. There is no hesitation. By the time his opponent realizes what is happening it is too late. This is a great shot that you can have a lot of success with if you get the timing down. 


Drop Cradle

One of the things Ruth was known for out on the mat was for hitting cradles. One nice variation that Ruth liked was a far side drop cradle. To set up this drop cradle, reach across and secure the far triceps while your opponent is on bottom. When you have it secured, keep pressure on your opponent and bait them to step up with their far leg. You must keep them bent at the waist in order to be successful with this cradle. 

When your opponent steps up with their far leg, keep the triceps tight and you will slide or “drip” off to the far side. When you do, 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 tucks his head. During the roll, lock the cradle up by grabbing your own wrist. Then from here, just work your way into a normal far side cradle finish. He also shows a cool variation that works if your opponent stands up to their feet. 


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Head and Arm

If you like to use front headlocks, this will be a great move to add to your offense. To setup the head and arm pin, you will need to get a variation of a 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. Also, make sure the arm that is across the back is touching the spine. 

When you have it locked up, start to put pressure on your opponent 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 roll your opponent to their back. Pay attention to Ruth’s footwork through out the roll and watch the way he hip heists to end up on top. Also note that he keeps the head and arm locked up throughout the entire move. 

Finishing Shots On The Mat

One thing that Ruth did incredibly well was finishing shots down on the mat. Inevitably, during a wrestling match, you will take a shot and your opponent will sprawl on you. When they do, you want to make sure that you are still able to score even though you are down on the mat in position that is not so good. In this video, Ruth goes over a couple of his favorite shot finishes from down on the mat. When you watch elite level wrestlers, one thing they all do very well is finish shots from this position. This is an area that all wrestlers need to spend time working on.

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.  

If you have been struggling to find takedowns that work for you, Ed Ruth has you covered. Ed uses a scientific approach to taking his opponent's to the mat. Use the same precision and tactics as Ed Ruth in Scientific Shots!