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Claw Your Way to Victory with J’Den Cox

Claw Your Way to Victory with J’Den Cox


You’ve tied up with your opponent. You’ve taken them down with a double, single, or any move of your choice. Once you’re on top, what do you do? Do you go for the easy pin? Do you go for a tilt right off the bat? Or do you look to break down their base and seize any opportunity to score? Learning how to control your opponent on top is a valuable skill that can’t be ignored in training. One of the most effective concepts on top is breaking your opponent’s base in order to chain together more moves, which can include anything from the cross chest near ankle breakdown to the spiral ride. 

If you’re looking for an effective breakdown from the top position, why not try the claw ride? To truly reveal the effectiveness of this move, three-time NCAA champion J’Den Cox explains how to perform the claw ride in the video below. 

Hand Placement

Cox has his partner, Bernardo Faria, down in referee’s position. The claw ride position is condensed into running the arm that’s positioned on their elbow under their arms and grabbing the far shoulder. Cox makes a point in the video to emphasize how his fingers are together rather than spread apart when grabbing the shoulder, including his thumb. This is done to centralize the grip rather than spreading it out too far with extended fingers. His other hand is positioned at Faria’s thigh, very similar to the spiral ride. Cox’s elbow is pressuring his hip, which will come in handy for the actual ride. 

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Finishing the Ride

As mentioned earlier, the claw ride is very similar to the spiral ride, with the key distinction being the hand placement being on the opposite side rather than the near side. Cox puts pressure on Faria by staying on his toes and walking towards his head. This tightens the claw grip and opens the hips with his hand placement on the thigh. Even though Faria’s hips are broken down, Cox is keeping the claw grip for a follow-up move. If you are wrestling, the move can be as simple as transitioning to a half-nelson or sitting out for a front headlock. If you’re submission grappling, this is a prime setup for the head-and-arm choke.  

Don’t neglect your wrestling ability from the top position. Train various hip breakdowns like J’Den Cox’s claw ride to make victory a sure thing. 

Float Like a Butterfly by J'Den Cox
Float Like A Butterfly By J'Den Cox gives you the tools to become a smoother more natural grappler. J'Den goes over the movement and traps that he uses to takedown the world's best wrestlers. In this 4-part instructional J'Den takes you on a tour of what it takes to FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY! Check it out NOW!