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Escape From Bad Postions With Chael Sonnen

Escape From Bad Postions With Chael Sonnen

It is often said in the world of sports that defense is the most important aspect a sport or team could have. This is why training in defense is so important, even if it is not as fun or sexy to train as offense. Having the ability to defend against whatever your opponent tries to do to you means that you can always be in the best position. It also means that you are able to choose when the actual fight takes place, as you get to decide when to make the first move and when to actually engage. 

The problem is that sometimes even with the best defense, someone could throw you for a loop. This means that you could end up in some bad positions and knowing how to get out of them is just as important as defense. Being stuck in a bad position could be the difference between victory or defeat, so knowing your escapes and being able to get to a neutral or dominating position is important. 

In this video, the greatest MMA fighter of all time and former NCAA D1 wrestler, Chael Sonnen, shows some techniques that he likes to use to get out of bad situations. In this video Chael focuses on when your opponent tries to ride your legs, something that is becoming more and more common, even among younger wrestlers. 


The first technique that Chael shows is a defense when your opponent works your legs while you're in the turtle position. Chale says that it’s ideal to try to catch your opponent’s leg with your arm before they can get their hook in, but we’re talking about a situation where it’s too late for that. Once that leg is in you need to perform a sit out. Make sure that you travel out and cover some distance when you sit out. This is so that you can create some separation between your hips and your opponents. Chael really emphasizes the importance of a big sit because they need to have their hips close to yours to score and gain control. 

This way your opponent can’t score but you aren’t out of danger yet. To fully escape you need to clear the feet. Get rid of their feet by making your opponent uncomfortable. Push it away with your hands and dig into their shin or claves with your elbow to accomplish this. From there put your weight on that leg and trap it. Alternatively, you could just lift their leg up as that still creates separation from their heel to your groin. 

Once you sit on their leg, you have a few options to complete your escape. Chael shows an option where you swim, grab their head and jump to the side. Alternatively, you can drive up on them and literally sit on their torso and then switch to a top position. 

Chael ends the video by restating the importance of taking a big movement when they get their leg in. To effectively defend against your opponent you need to have your his far away from thiers. It doesn’t matter whether it’s above or below them, you just need to have them away to take away their points and their control. 

If you want to learn more wrestling techniques and drills like this from the Bad Guy Chael Sonnen, then check out our complete video series featuring him, available now!