Dominate Your Opponent With Front Headlocks
Developing a good offense is vital if you want to succeed in wrestling. Some of the first takedowns a wrestler usually learns are different types of shots like a single leg or a double leg and these are great options to get takedowns. Another great way to score takedowns is with front headlocks.
Front headlocks have some advantages over shots when it comes to scoring points. First of all, it is easier to stay out of messy scramble situations when you get a front headlock locked up when compared to shooting a shot. Also, there are many different options from a front headlock position to put your opponent right to their back. Lastly, when you have a guy in a front headlock, it really wears them out because the have to carry your weight on their arms.
Let’s look at some great finishes from a front headlock.
The first finish is a simple throw by. and comes from blocking a shot. This finish can be hit from an open or closed front headlock.
When you hit a throw by, you need to keep a lot of pressure on your opponent’s head and neck. In addition to pressure, you need to keep your opponent moving. If you stop moving, it will allow them time to defend the front headlock. You will chase the far leg, which should be the only leg you can see and your opponent’s natural response will be to keep circling to try to face you. If they happen to not try to face you, then you will be able to just spin behind for the easy take down.
Once you get your opponent circling, throw the head and arm by hard, almost like you are trying to stir a big pot; then attacks the hips and earn your two points. This move is all about circling and snaps, the more you focus on those two things, the easier the throw by will be. Check out this video of Bekzod Abdurakhminov hitting his variation of it.
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Head In The Hole
Another great option from a front headlock is to put your head in the hole which means to bury your head in their side and chase the far leg. To do this correctly, you are going to stay tight on the chin and bring your elbow to your side which bends your opponents neck laterally. Then drive your head deep into their rib cage (the hole) and attack either the leg at the knee or you can even reach up and grab their opposite hip.
If you attack the knee, you can even turn it into a near side cradle by driving into them until you can lock your hands together. If you want to get real fancy with a cradle from the head in the hole position, check out this roll through cradle by Hudson Taylor. If you are having trouble locking up a basic near side cradle, this is a great option to get the pin.
One move you can hit from an open front headlock is a cow catcher, sometimes also called a bulldog or a cement mixer. Now sometimes this move get criticized at a move that will not work against high level competition, but Iowa wrestlers hit this all the time in big matches.
It starts with an open front headlock. The arm that is on the elbow slides under the arm, like an underhook, and you sink it in deep. At the same time, you step up with the leg on that same side and with the other arm, clamp down on your opponent’s head. From here, drive into them, stay heavy on their head and put them to their back. You should end up with a really tight half which makes for an easy pin.
Head and Arm Roll
If you are looking for another finish from the front headlock position that puts your opponent straight to their back, check out this head and arm roll by Ed Ruth.
With this front headlock, instead of closing it up by grabbing your hand, watch how Ruth shoots the arm really deep under the chin and arm then locks on to his own elbow. The other hand should go across your opponent’s back. Be sure to keep a lot of pressure on the head and neck of your opponent. Ruth refers to this as sinking in to it. Then just run your feet to the outside to increase pressure and tuck you head under and roll. Then, step over and secure the pin.
If you want to really step up your offensive game, you need to start working front headlocks into your arsenal. There have been many high level wrestlers that have scored a lot of points from front headlocks.
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