Duck Unders and High Crotches Via Nestor
The Duck under is both an elementary move in wrestling but also one of the most powerful. The ability to move through (under) an opponent's primary defense to their back is not only valuable but essential. When you watch folkstyle tournaments that have been popularized by the internet today. Nothing will get an announcer more excited than a well-executed duck under.
Why does this illicit such excitement? Not only because of the implications of throws, trips, and general points that can be scored but the fact getting a duck requires strategy. It can be so easy to counter if a wrestler sees it coming, but when they don’t see it coming. It is a thing of beauty.
Normally a duck under consists of a collar tie, and a tricep inside tie. This means one hand controlling the neck of the opponent and the other hand's palm on the bicep with the rest of the hand trying to cup over and around the Tricep.
Another type of grip for the second hand is the “C” grip or Cup grip depending on where you learned it. and this involves the hand making a letter “C” and placing it on the elbow of the opponent's arm.
To initiate a basic duck, the wrestler uses the tie to begin to push the other athlete away, when the response of pushing back happens that is the moment to go. By changing levels and pushing up on the elbow (pulling up on the arm) and shooting underneath the arm (you were holding up) coming back up and placing your ear into the shoulder and wrapping the other arm around the waist.
There are a few basic finishes but that can be gone over later. Right now, we need to figure out how to really get the duck to work. As most wrestlers will see the duck coming and circle out or close the arm down to counter.
The answer to that is you must have options. The ability to threaten another attack which will draw your opponent’s attention away from what you really want to attack. A little sleight of hand but in wrestling, or “Misdirection” as others will call it.
Here is a great video by University of Colombia Coach Nestor Taffur, and how he shows his wrestlers to set up a Duck under. He starts off with showing an option to the far side sweep single. Just watch the video below to see what I am talking about.
Look at that alternative option to the tie, just arm fighting. Then using a slight step to the opposite side that he is going to attack. This changes his hip angle and allows Nestor to drive toward and under the far side armpit for the duck. The hand position he uses will open his options in the event his opponent circles out and away. He can change levels and grab the single on the side his opponent circles to.
Nestor uses the analogy of “looking for the ear” in order to train the body to get the angle to maintain the duck and pin the arm of his opponent. He is using these ducks as both attacks and set ups for secondary attacks. If option A does not work, goes into B , which may lead to a neutral position where he attacks option C.
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Nestor’s system he is displaying, allows wrestlers to become relentless in their pursuit of takedowns and points. He displays many of these options off the High Crotch position.
His technical prowess when it comes to chaining the options and finishes are truly second to none. He has taken the time to create an entire instructional on his High Crotch series. Things that others may have missed. Several set ups, not just a single with options, but several different situations that he can create to enter his High Crotch.
Nestor shows entries both from the near side and the far side, what to do if the attempt ends up in the Crackdown and what I found most useful is how to recover from a bad attempt.
How many instructions do you know of that highlight the idea of failure and what to do with it? Not many but Nestor covers how he likes to recover if it all goes wrong!
If you like the High crotch or are a single leg specialist I cannot say enough about the content in this series here. Full details and disclosure from the Ivy league Coach.
It is only available here!