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Crab Ride Drills for Keeping Your Opponent in the Pocket with Steven Keith

Crab Ride Drills for Keeping Your Opponent in the Pocket with Steven Keith


Just as it is important to drill takedowns and pinning techniques, it is equally as important to drill the fundamental techniques such as controlling your opponents hips. Watching high level wrestling often looks flashy and that is the point that every wrestler wants to get to. What you need not forget is that these high level guys don’t only drill the flashy attacks.

Wrestling is very much a sport of strategy. One of the fundamental strategies of wrestling is trying to maintain control of your opponent, more so than he has on you. Similar to Jiu Jitsu and other grappling sports, much power and control comes from the hips.

Understanding this and being aware of this in a match can make all of the difference. Hip control is important for both attacking and defending. Maintain control of the hips when your opponent is both attacking and defending, and you already have an advantage.

In this video, Steven Keith demonstrates a drill from crab ride that focuses on keeping your opponent in the pocket, check it out below!



Steven begins by explaining the purpose of this technique is to keep your partner in your pocket. He states that the pocket is considered to be the space between your knees and your hips. The primary goal of this technique is to keep your partners hips in your pocket.

There are many variations of technique for this strategy, but Steven states for this one he is going to be laying on his back and will have his partner directly on top of him. Steven states a potential defense for your partner from here would be him pushing off his knees, getting your knees up, and getting to the outside of your pocket.

Dominate from the top with Steve Keith! Click Learn More!



A good drill to prevent this is to put your partner in your pocket and pull him directly on top of you. The first thing this does is it makes it slightly more difficult for your partner to push off of your knees to create space and get out of the pocket. Crab walking from here assists in making it difficult for your partner because they have to constantly be moving to stay balanced. 

The first step in the drill is to have your partner push on your thighs and try to get out while you crab walk and work on keeping him on top of you and in your pocket. Something to notice from here is when your partner goes to push on your thigh, you are to drop your hands down as well. His goal is to get his knees to his chest so when you drop your hands down it allows you to push back on his knees and prevent him from doing that.

There should be no way for him to escape if you are doing this correctly. Steven states that as you progress with this technique, there should never be a time where he even touches your knees because you will have underhooks and an elbow to elbow tie on both of his arms, pulling them back and making them completely useless for him.

This is a great drill to practice back and forth with a partner. In doing so you get the feel of what the objective is from each position, and it will help you improve your technique on both the offensive and defensive side.

Steven Keith, a 2013 Harvard University graduate, was a four year varsity wrestler and senior captain for the Crimson. He qualified for the NCAA Division I Championship all four years of his collegiate career, and earned an All-American honors in 2012.

Following his college career, Steven has had extensive head and assisting coaching experiences at schools such as NYU, Stanford University, Brown University, Johnson and Wales University, as well as other wrestling clubs.

Steven focuses on the technicality of the crab ride throughout his whole instructional. Included is technique covering bull ride/hip pressure, figure four, back points, spider defense, catching the ankle, and so much more.

Steven has had the unique experience of coaching so many different high level athletes in many places around the county. He has learned the ins and outs of the sport, and has devoted his time to sharing his knowledge with you.


The Crab Ride Curriculum by Steven Keith

Take the next step into improving your technique form crab ride, check out his instructional here!