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CJ Brucki and Using High Level Takedowns

CJ Brucki and Using High Level Takedowns

The setting is the NCAA Div.I Championship in 2018, taking place in Cleveland Ohio.  CJ Brucki from Central Michigan is currently the #16 seed at 174. Looking to make his trip short lived is Seldon Wright from Old Dominion.

From the early stages of the match CJ is the aggressor but Seldon is being defensive enough to keep the other man at bay. The first period ends with not much but a few close shot attempt’s but nothing comes to fruition.

The toss of the coin determines that the wrestler from Old Dominion gets his choice in the referee’s position. Seldon chooses to go to the down position eager to escape and get points on the board.

Once the whistle blows Seldon comes to life, quickly getting up but Brucki is holding tight with a wrist and waist. Sensing he was starting to lose position Seldon fly’s into a front roll nearly throwing CJ off.

CJ in a momentary loss of the situation locked his hands for a moment to try and hang on to the flying Seldon. Yet it wasn’t enough and Seldon had escaped earning his point for the escape. Then the referee signaled that he witnessed the infraction of “locked hands” and awarded a point to Seldon which adds a little salt to the wound of CJ having lost his advantage.

For our international readers who don’t understand why locking hands would be a penalty point allow me to explain. The wrestling style the USA uses for scholastic and collegiate level wrestling there is no locked hands around the waist. In Freestyle and Greco Roman that most international competition uses both allow the locking of hands for big throws.  Folkstyle believes this would cause more stalling for top position wrestlers and thus making it illegal.

Now CJ is down by two points early on the early stages of his last chance at a NCAA Title. He turns on the juice and we see some super technical wrestling. Particular attention should be made to his to how he finishes his single leg.

The sequence starts off with CJ shooting and going from a double transitioning to a single. Yet he is at the edge of the mat, not wanting to risk going back into a neutral position CJ pulls Seldon closer to the center of the mat then purposefully shelfs the shin on his thigh. Cj stands and hits a back trip.

Tied up at 2-2 this match is anyone’s to win or lose. Now back to the referees positions, and CJ does not want to risk another scramble hangs on with a cross ride and starts building time. CJ breaks down Seldon and gets a cross wrist grip, then hits a TILT AND SElDON IS ON HIS BACK!!! Seldon fights and gets back to his stomach but not before CJ gets 4 points for a near fall.

6-2 in Favor of CJ but the match is not over and it is the NCAA’s.  This time it is CJ’s turn on bottom and time is a tickin for Seldon to mount his comeback. CJ is up and out pretty quickly another point scored for CJ as he escaped.

7-2 Seldon is tired and CJ is looking for more action. This time CJ is in on a single again and shows his diversity of technique by pulling the high single up and between his legs. He transitions to an outside grip and attempts the Tree Top (essentially lifting one leg so high the wrestler falls down) but Seldon shows his flexibility. Not to be stopped CJ goes back to the well for the back trip and easily scores another two.

Check out CJ's latest instructional! Click Learn More!



9-2 and CJ moves on to the next round of the NCAA National Championship via Major Decision. CJ showed his situational awareness and ability to transition from one attack to the next. CJ has an incredible repertoire when it comes to the single and how to finish.

One of the newer defense’s to the low single is a technique called the “Shin whizzer” and for many wrestlers it will stifle the single and have them abandon the attack. CJ has a unique way to deal with this fancy defense and it goes a little something like this!


As you can see when CJ gets in on a low single his partner grips his own shin through the whizzer, essentially creating an extraordinarily strong structure which is hard to muscle through.  What CJ does is use his own leg to drag his partners leg out and away which ruins that frame they created and allows him to drive in and finish his take down.

CJ made that counter to the shin whizzer simple and it is obviously effective because he can continue his attack after. Yet what about a more common defense, like the Crackdown. Partner sits and has a body lock and is looking to flip or tilt you!

Say less CJ has a solution for that too! Flatten out and instead of going over the legs and hips which can present a different set of problems, he goes under and through the leg he was attacking.  There are some other details about flattening out and he explains how to transition and continue the attack.

Let’s have Cj show you instead:


CJ is a vault of knowledge when it comes to entries, variations and counters when it comes to attacking the single leg takedown. He has taken the time to create an instructional on how he treats the single, and it’s progressions to the takedown, including how to defeat things like the crackdown and shin whizzer.

High Level Takedown Progressions by CJ Brucki

It is available here!