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Counter the Collar Tie with J’Den Cox

Counter the Collar Tie with J’Den Cox


Making contact is a critical first step in a wrestling match. How you make contact and what you do afterwards dictates the initial ebb and flow for the match’s pace. Ideally, you want to be the first one to make contact, but wrestling isn’t performed in an ideal world. There’s a nonzero chance that your opponent will reach out and attempt to tie up first. If they are like most wrestlers, it’s probably going to be with a collar tie. You now face the possibility of being on the defensive. 

You don’t have to settle for being controlled by your opponent’s collar tie. To solve this frustrating dilemma, three-time NCAA champion J’Den Cox explains how you can counter the collar tie in the video below. 


Counter 1: Pressure Off

The counter Cox presents in the video may seem simple at first, but there are a lot of working parts involved to make it effective. The opponent (Bernardo Faria) initiates the collar tie on the left side of Cox’s body. He responds by draping his left forearm into the crook of Faria’s elbow while his right hand grabs their tricep. From here, Cox simply leans forward and tries to bring his forehead to Faria’s chest. The resulting pressure of Faria’s bicep being crushed between his own arm and Cox’s forearm brings him down immediately to his knees. The move is akin to placing a wedge between a door and the doorframe. 

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Counter 2: Peel Off

While not directly stated in the video, having an additional counter to the collar tie in your pocket is never a bad thing. Rather than trying to pressure the hold off of your head, you can instead peel it off using a two-on-one hold. As soon as your opponent makes contact, you establish a baseball grip on their wrist, preferably close to the hand for extra leverage. Once you have your grip, you just turn your head away from the collar tie and peel the wrist off along with it. From there, you have multiple options for a follow-up. 

What To Do Next

Regardless of whether you pressure the collar tie off or peel it off, you now have a golden opportunity to use your opponent’s disrupted motion offensively. Cox demonstrates two options from the initial counter. First, he ducks under Faria to hit the nearside single leg, keeping his head on the inside and preparing himself to run the pipe. This makes sense from a strategic standpoint; if your opponent is giving you an opening by virtue of them losing control of a limb, why not attack on the same side with the space you’ve created? However, Cox’s second option is reserved for opponents who are too savvy for option one. As he goes for the nearside single, Faria steps his foot back to get extra space. What this does is place all of his weight on his opposite foot, which you can now attack by clearing the now-removed arm. What you’re left with is an outside sweep single that now has extra power given the amount of weight your opponent has placed on it. 

Collar ties can be a frustrating variable to contend with if you’re not quick enough to make first contact. Despite this, you can still use your opponent’s move against them by using J’Den Cox’s collar tie counters into the single leg. Do it enough times and your opponent will think twice about trying to tie up with you.  

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